You've sung along with Journey's iconic hit 'Don't Stop Believin'' countless times, but have you ever wondered about the meaning behind the line 'Born and raised in South Detroit?'

Named the 'Biggest Song of All Time'

Forbes recently crowned Journey's 1981 anthem 'Don't Stop Believin'' the biggest song of all time not only because it's been a radio staple for decades, but since it reaches so many ears through streaming, sporting events, and has even served as an anthem for hospital staff around the country during the pandemic.

According to the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) the Classic Rock nugget from Journey's 'Escape' album is now an 18-times platinum-certified single, meaning it has moved the equivalent of 18 million copies, mainly through sales and streaming in the US.

Although the song stalled at number nine on the Billboard Hot 100 chart when it was released in 1981, it has become the band's signature song and continues to be an enduring piece of pop culture.

Inspired by a Stay in Detroit

Journey's then-lead singer Steve Perry says he was inspired to write a good portion of the lyrics for 'Don't Stop Believin'' at 2 am during a hotel stay in Detroit, while the band was on tour in 1980.

"I was digging the idea of how the lights were facing down so that you couldn’t see anything," Perry told New York Magazine via Vulture. "All of a sudden I’d see people walking out of the dark, and into the light. And the term ‘streetlight people’ came to me. So Detroit was very much in my consciousness when we started writing."

Perry goes on to say that he took poetic license, creating the fictitious location 'South Detroit.'

"I ran the phonetics of east, west, and north, but nothing sounded as good or emotionally true to me as 'South Detroit,'" Perry said. "The syntax just sounded right. I fell in love with the line. It’s only been in the last few years that I’ve learned that there is no South Detroit. But it doesn’t matter."

Keep reading to see our list of songs that work Michigan into the lyrics.


Our Top 16 Songs That Mention Michigan in the Lyrics

Right off the top of your head, you can think of two or three songs that mention Michigan or Michigan cities in the Lyrics, right?

But we decided to dig a little deeper and came up with 16 songs that mention the Mitten State. Surprisingly, Michigan-born artists like Stevie Wonder and Madonna don't make the list, but Bob Seger has a whopping three songs that make mention of his home state.

Let us know if there are any essential Michigan songs that need to be included.

Gallery Credit: George McIntyre

Concerts Coming to Little Caesars Arena 2024

Gallery Credit: Getty Images

Dangerous Documentaries: Check Out These Binge-Worthy Shows That Focus on Michigan Murderers

Looking for something to binge? We've assembled a list of 15 documentaries that focus on some of Michigan's worst human beings - Murderers.

Even Michigan's beautiful north is safe from crime, as two of the cases spotlight cases from the Upper Peninsula.

Three women, including one from Flint make the list, along with two former police officers.

Some of the videos below are also available on Peacock and Hulu.

Gallery Credit: George McIntyre