As the city grew, it became known as a center for music publishing. Anyone with a love for music simply gravitated toward Nashville, gathering together and sharing their talents. One of the most famous of those music groups was the Fisk Jubilee Singers, who had the distinct honor of performing for the Queen of England. An even greater honor, those musicians helped to fund Fisk University’s mission to educate freed slaves after the Civil War.

Since then, Nashville has been home to some of music’s most famous personalities. Those who weren’t born here or didn’t live here found some reason to visit. The Vienna Orchestra and John Phillip Sousa both performed at the Ryman Auditorium, helping the venue earn the nickname “Carnegie Hall of the South.” Our legacy lives on in the musicians who still call Music City home, from Faith Hill and Taylor Swift to Ben Folds and Jack White.

We’ve become a city that embraces culture and learning with open arms—one that learns from our mistakes and strives to be an example through our love for all music, art, culture, and history. Our roots are strong, and they get stronger every day.

Trying to include all the accolades Nashville has received over the past few years would be impossible, but there are quite a few we really hold dear. Those, you should definitely know about. For instance, did you know Travel + Leisure named Nashville one of “America’s Favorite Cities in 2013”? Or that Nashville is in the top ten “Most Popular Cities for Millennials,” according to Forbes?

The awards don’t end there. USA Today readers named Nashville #4 on the list of “Best US Cities for Shopping,” and Men’s Fitness says Nashville is one of the “Best Places to Party in America.” We’re not all about spending money and enjoying the nightlife, though. The Development Counselors International named Nashville #2 of the “10 Most Compassionate US Cities.”