American Music vs. British Music: Key Differences

Even though they both sing in English, both American and British artists have distinct audiences. People worldwide buy albums of pop, folk, country, jazz, blues, and rock musicians from both the US and Great Britain. Although both American and British artists have enduring appeal, some key differences between American and British music can help music listeners tell the two apart. Here are some of them.

In the media

In the United States, the highest honor a musician can receive for their work is a Grammy Award. The Grammys are held in an annual ceremony and presented by The Recording Academy to reward outstanding achievement in the music industry. Musicians and albums from other countries can also be nominated for a Grammy, provided that their music is released for commercial sale in the United States. This year, the South Korean boy band BTS has also been nominated for a Grammy.

In the United Kingdom, the BRIT Awards are held annually by the British Phonographic Industry to honor the best musicians from the UK. Music groups from other countries can be nominated for a BRIT Award for International Group.

Styles, similarities, and differences

In the 1950s, British pop music was strongly influenced by American genres such as jazz, swing, and film music. In the 1960s, boy bands such as The Beatles and The Rolling Stones popularized an Anglo-American style that blended American beat music with British Blues.

In the United States, music in the 1970s was dominated by funk and soul. Artists like Marvin Gaye enjoyed huge success during this time. By the 2000s, pop music became popular owing to artists like Katy Perry, Britney Spears, and Christina Aguilera. From the 2010s and onwards, European electro-pop has heavily influenced pop music in the US.

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