Nashville, Tennessee is the capital and most populous city of the U.S. state of Tennessee, and the county seat for Davidson County. In 2020, its population was 689,447 and the greater metropolitan area had 2,046,828 people. It is located in the middle of the state on the Cumberland River.
Named for Francis Nash, a general of the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War, the city was founded in 1779. Nashville grew quickly due to its strategic location as a port on the Cumberland River and, in the 19th century, a railroad center. In 1862 during the American Civil War, Nashville was the first state capital in the Confederacy to be taken by Union forces.
Since 1963, Nashville has had a consolidated city-county government, which includes six smaller municipalities in a two-tier system. The city is governed by a mayor, a vice-mayor, and a 40-member metropolitan council; 35 of the members are elected from single-member districts, while five are elected at-large. Reflecting the city's position in state government, Nashville is home to the Tennessee Supreme Court's courthouse for Middle Tennessee.
Nashville is home to Vanderbilt University, a private research university particularly known for its medical, law, and education programs; it enrolls about 13,000 students. The city is also home to several historically Black institutions of higher education, including Fisk University, Tennessee State University, Meharry Medical College, and American Baptist College. Also in the city are Belmont University, Lipscomb University, Trevecca Nazarene University, John A. Gupton College, Nashville State Community College and the Nashville branch of the Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology.
Nashville has long been the center of recording for the Country Music industry.