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Here’s what NFL fans listened to on Spotify for the 2023 season

Music is essential to any sports fandom. Some NFL teams have embraced it more than others.

The Philadelphia Eagles have had their fight song, which eventually morphed into ‘Fly Eagles Fly,’ since the 1950s. The anthem has powered the team to four Super Bowl appearances, including last season when they won the NFC championship behind Jalen Hurts and Jason Kelce.

The San Francisco 49ers have ‘Niner Gang’ by Bay Area rap veteran E-40 to motivate them on game days. While it’s a newer song, the 49ers made it to the Super Bowl when it released in 2019 and have reached the the conference championship twice since.

The Dallas Cowboys embrace two songs by local legends Big Hud and Dorrough Music. The former has ‘How Bout Them Boys’ while the ‘Ice Cream Paint Job’ rapper has his own tribute to America’s Team, ‘It’s Our Time.’

The 49ers are the lone team standing in the NFL playoffs after the Eagles and Cowboys were kicked out in the wild card round, but all three teams had moments of glory with their songs.

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And, of course, the Super Bowl halftime show is as much a part of the event’s hype as the game itself. Rihanna stole the show at last year’s championship and her Spotify numbers are proof.

Here’s how music drove the 2023 NFL season via Spotify streams:

Eagles fans stream ‘Fly Eagles Fly’ up to 600% more on game days

During the 2023 season, the Eagles did not match the same success as last year’s Super Bowl appearance. But ‘Fly Eagles Fly’ remained a key ingredient to their winning recipe.

Philadelphia beat the New England Patriots in the season opener, and ‘Fly Eagles Fly’ saw a 600% increase in Spotify streams that day, according to data provided by Spotify.

In Week 4, the Eagles beat NFC East foe the Washington Commanders in a thrilling overtime game. The song was streamed 390% more than the day before.

The next major win during the season was in Week 7 when Jalen Hurts faced his Alabama replacement Tua Tagovailoa and beat the Miami Dolphins in primetime. ‘Fly Eagles Fly’ got a boost of 250%.

‘Fly Eagles Fly’ really soared in Week 9 when the Eagles faced the Cowboys at Lincoln Financial Field in front of the Philly faithful. They beat their rival and Spotify streams were boosted 671%.

E-40’s ‘Niner Gang’ becomes fan anthem during 2023 season

Brock Purdy showed that last season wasn’t a fluke by leading the 49ers back to the playoffs — and as the NFC’s No. 1 seed nonetheless. ‘Niner Gang’ continues to be a fan favorite to go along with the team’s winning ways.

This season, San Francisco started with a bang by beating the Pittsburgh Steelers 30-7. Fans streamed ‘Niner Gang’ on Spotify 355% more than the day before the game.

They continued to play it the next two weeks. The song saw a 330% boost with a Week 2 win over the Los Angeles Rams and a 350% spike with a Week 3 victory over the New York Giants.

Fans flocked to the song Week 5 for a big matchup against another NFC powerhouse, the Cowboys. The 49ers won 42-10 and ‘Niner Gang’ Spotify streams went up 480%.

Cowboys fans embrace two songs during 2023 campaign

The Cowboys won the NFC East for the second time in three years. Their defense dominated with DaRon Bland leading the league in interceptions and Micah Parsons notching a career-high 14 sacks. Not to mention CeeDee Lamb had a record-setting season.

Dallas fans embraced two songs by local legends: ‘How Bout Them Boys’ by Big Hud and ‘It’s Our time’ by Dorrough Music.

Both songs saw the highest spike with Dallas’ season opener, when they dominated their division rival New York Giants 40-0. No one knew the Giants actually weren’t very good this season, but getting such a strong win to start always helps morale. ‘How Bout Them Boys’ saw a 470% increase in Spotify streams compared to the day before while ‘It’s Our Time’ saw a 245% increase.

Fans continued to listen to the songs in Week 2 against the New York Jets. Big Hud’s anthem was streamed 280% more and Dorrough’s got a 220% boost.

The songs stayed in rotation throughout the season and, for Week 12’s division game against the Washington Commanders, ‘How Bout Them Boys’ saw a 180% increase in streams and ‘It’s Our Time’ spiked 100%.

Rihanna’s Spotify streams skyrocket with Super Bowl performance

This year, Usher will be taking the stage as the Super Bowl 58 halftime performer.

Rihanna stunned last season with her pregnancy reveal, flashy red jumpsuit and a whirlwind of her greatest hits. She hasn’t released an album since 2016’s ‘ANTI’ and teased fans in 2022 with the single ‘Lift Me Up’ for the ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ soundtrack.

It didn’t seem to matter that she hadn’t released a new album in seven years. According to Spotify, streams for Rihanna’s music in the United States during the hour of 11 p.m. to 12 a.m. ET after her Super Bowl performance spiked 640%.

The track that saw the highest boost on game day compared to the week prior was her opener, ‘Better Have My Money,’ which saw an increase of 2,600%.

Three other songs also had an increase of more than 1,000%. ‘Diamonds’ saw a boost of 1,400%, ‘Rude Boy’ had an 1,170% increase and ‘We Found Love’ was streamed 1,160% more.

This post appeared first on USA TODAY

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