He smashes records. He brings home more gold than any other Olympic athlete in history. He triggers global swoons every time he slips off his shirt. not only hails from Baltimore, he also dolphin-kicked right back here after Beijing to buy a home even when he could have lived anywhere. As if that weren't enough, he's single-handedly helping local restaurants survive the recession with his famous sumo-worthy meals.
How many bands that hit the big time have a homage to their hometown built into their very name? Chicago? Boston? The Manhattan Transfer? Skid Row? Gloria Estefan's Miami Sound Machine, too. The Grammy Award-winning artist is credited with introducing Latin-style beats to pudgy white kids; without her, America would never know the pleasure of watching American Idol contestants struggle through Rhythm is Gonna Get You.
EDGE: Baltimore. It would have been closer had any of Estefan's biggest songs hit the charts while Phelps was out of diapers.