I'm torn between Tennessee and Kentucky as the most impressive -
Population Rank: 16
Home state of people as diverse as Aretha Franklin, Al Gore, Elvis Presley, Ke$ha, Taylor Swift, Reese Witherspoon, Bettie Page, Bessie Smith, Tina Turner, Justin Timberlake, Quentin Tarantino, dolly Parton, Samuel L. Jackson, etc. etc.
Birthplace of country music
Population Rank: 26
Home state of people as diverse as John Carpenter, George Clooney, Johnny Depp, Tom Cruise (family from Louisville and raised there), Abraham Lincoln, Jefferson Davis, Carrie Nation, Adlai Stevenson, the Judds, Loretta Lynn, Muhammed Ali, Gus Van Sant, Diane Sawyer.
Birthplace of Bluegrass music