REVEALED: The Most Name-Dropped Athletes in Music History!

  • Basketball legend Kobe Bryant is the most name-dropped athlete in music – he’s featured in 1,147 songs
  • Lionel Messi ranks second with 553 lyric mentions
  • Recently passed football royalty Maradona is loved by many and referenced in 270 songs
  • Football boasts the most name-dropped stars overall with a combined total of 2,738 lyric appearances

Our favourite sports stars are revered in many ways, from online support to buying anything with their names on – in fact, recently revealed we’re willing to spend up to £1,300 for signed merch!

A growing way to ‘hats off’ our favourite athletes is in song lyrics, which led to wonder who is the most name-dropped athlete in music history?To find out, they searched top sports stars on to discover who appears the most across songs.

Who is the Most Name-Dropped Athlete? can reveal that basketball legend Kobe Bryant is the most name-dropped athlete of all time! Appearing in a whopping 1,147 songs, fans don’t hold back their love for the talented and caring star who was lost too soon.

In second place is Lionel Messi. Known as the ‘Messiah’ and one of the best players football has ever seen, it’s clear why 553 songs mention him.

When you think of basketball, one of the first names that spring to mind is Michael Jordan. He makes an appearance as the third most name-dropped athlete, appearing in 439 lyrics.

Other sports royalty includes boxer Mike Tyson (407), footballer Cristiano Ronaldo (280) and recently passed footballing legend Diego Maradona270 songs pay homage to the Argentinian magician.

Completing the top ten name-dropped athletes are:

  • George Best (football) – 269 lyrics
  • Muhammad Ali (boxing) – 236 lyrics
  • Neymar (football) – 230 lyrics
  • Tiger Woods (golf) – 221 lyrics

Who is the Least Name-Dropped Athlete?

Flipping the results, in 20th place is George Herman Ruth Jr., or as he’s more commonly known: Babe Ruth. Nicknamed ‘The Sultan of Swat’, Babe was a pioneer for baseball’s popularity with 107 songs showing their respect to him.

Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps follows in 19th place with 112 lyric mentions. Further famous athletes include Magic Johnson (114), Steph Curry (119), N’golo Kanté (160) and David Beckham (182).

Which Sport is the Most Name-Dropped? also totalled the scores for each athlete and sorted by sport to reveal which sport includes the most name-dropped athletes!

Whilst basketball tops the list for individual stars, with combined numbers football comes out on top. Worldwide stars like Messi, Ronaldo, Neymar and Beckham can be thanked for a total of 2,738 lyric appearances.

Basketball doesn’t trail by much though in second place, as the likes of Michael Jordan, Kobe, Steph Curry and more contribute to a combined 2,123 name drops.

Boxing claims third place (729), followed by American football (524), athletics (399) and baseball (280), to name a few.

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