Muscle Shoals is the largest city in Colbert County, Alabama, United States. It is located along the Tennessee River in the northern part of the state and, as of the 2010 census, the population of Muscle Shoals was 13,146. The estimated population in 2019 was 14,575.
Both the city and the Florence-Muscle Shoals Metropolitan Area (including four cities in Colbert and Lauderdale counties) are commonly called "the Shoals". Northwest Alabama Regional Airport serves the Shoals region, located in the northwest section of the state.
Since the 1960s, the city has been known for music. Local studios and artists developed the "Muscle Shoals Sound", including FAME Studios in the late 1950s and Muscle Shoals Sound Studio in 1969. They produced hit records that shaped the national and international history of popular music.
Due to its strategic location along the Tennessee River, Muscle Shoals had long been territory of historic Native American tribes. In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, as Europeans entered the area in greater number, it became a center of historic land disputes. The new state of Georgia had ambitions to anchor its western claims (to the Mississippi River) by encouraging European-American development here, but that project did not succeed.