The Power of Nashville: Inside Hollywood's Obsession With Music City

Taylor Swift, Keith and Nicole...why everyone is decamping to greener pastures.

By Seija Rankin Sep 26, 2017 2:00 PMTags
Keith Urban, Nicole Kidman, Eric Decker, Jessie Decker, Taylor SwiftGetty Images; Melissa Hebeler / E! Illustration

Call it Hollywood East. Call it New York City West. But whatever you call it, Nashville has attracted a very sizable (and specific) group of stars. 

More than ever, celebrities are taking the opportunity to do their business in Los Angeles but their pleasure everywhere else. Whether they're decamping to raise their children out of the glare of paparazzi lights or choosing a small town over the hustle and bustle of Sunset Boulevard, it's not unusual for A-listers to be spread across the country. (And, with the proliferation of movies and television shows filming in Vancouver or Atlanta, it's getting more and more popular). 

But even before all that, Nashville has held court as a hotspot for celebrity real estate. Country singers, their spouses and even a movie mogul or two all call the Music City home at least some of the time. 

Inside Taylor Swift and Joe Alwyn's ''Low-Key'' Weekend in Nashville With Family and Friends

It could be argued that it all started with Taylor Swift. Sure, country singers have been flocking to Nashville for decades to try and make it big in the venues of Lower Broadway for decades, but no one is more popular or more synonymous with the city than T. Swift. Her family relocated to the suburb of Hendersonville, Tenn. when she was 14 so that she could focus on getting a record deal and the rest, they say, is history. She has since put down roots from coast to coast (everywhere from Providence to Malibu), but her Nashville abode is thriving. 

Swift currently resides at a fancy, full-amenity apartment building in midtown Nashville. While she splits a lot of her time spent in the Music City between her own pad and her mother's house, her penthouse made headlines earlier this summer when she was photographed having coffee with then-rumored boyfriend Joe Alwyn on the balcony. It was the first time there was (clear) visual confirmation of their relationship and easily the biggest Nashville-related news of the season. 

Fellow country crooner Keith Urban is also a Nashville local, and since he's been married to one Nicole Kidman their residence has significantly upped the glam factor. The Big Little Lies actress (and recent Emmy winner) came to the area by way of both Australia and Los Angeles, but by all accounts she is fully smitten with her adopted hometown. The couple moved to Nashville in 2007 not long after they got married, and it's where they had their two children as well. 

They spend their time in a historic mansion in Franklin, a neighborhood that's about as typically Tennessean as you can get: Long driveways, beautiful architecture and trees taller than anything you would find in other big cities. It boasts a huge backyard, a recording studio inside the house, an impressive garden (tended by Kidman herself), 

And now Kidman has leaned right into all of that—she never hesitates to praise Nashville in interviews, waxing poetic on the grits, the people or the Tennessee Titans—and has truly become part of the country music community (which she has said she's very, very happy to join). She even admits that her daughters are developing their very own Southern accents. But don't expect her to say y'all just yet. 

Joss & Main

Eric and Jessie James Decker have been tied to Nashville for so long they're practically the city's mascots. When audiences first met the reality show stars, Eric was playing for the Denver Broncos, but Jessie's budding country career made sure she was always swinging through the Music City. Now that the couple's series is coming back to the small screen and Eric is a bona fide member of the Tennessee Titans, it's all Nashville, all the time.

The new season will offer a glimpse into their not-humble-at-all space, which can best be described as "sprawling." It's a heavily-Southern space, with huge Gothic double doors and heavy wood details. There's a walk-in closet the size of a New York City apartment, a sprawling backyard with a resort-style pool, a huge kitchen decked out in Italian marble and of course its own weight room. 

Watch: Behind Closed Doors With Kelsea Ballerini

If the best way to be the next Taylor Swift is to act like Taylor Swift, then Kelsea Ballerini is already halfway there. She's a card-carrying member of the squad and is also a Nashville homeowner. The country crooner bought a brand new condo near Centennial Park and even brought in an interior design firm to deck it out for her. Ballerini took E! News on a private tour of the space, which she described as a "cozy, cottage-y feel" (to counteract all the time she spends on the road) and which boasts musical influences everywhere, from a wall of guitars to a dedicated "music room," which houses her gold records among other memorabilia. 

The condo also has an open living room-meets-kitchen where Ballerini says she plans on hosting many girls nights complete with wine and cheese (and hopefully her neighbor Taylor). She converted one of the condo's bedrooms into a humongous closet and glam room perfect for getting dolled up for late Nashville nights. She even has a gold dress gifted to her by fellow country star and Nashville fan Hillary Scott of Lady Antebellum. 

Now, if we could just find a way to get ourselves inducted into this girl gang.