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Charlotte is the largest city in the state of North Carolina, and third fastest growing in the United States. The metropolitan area is the 22nd largest in the US and had a population of 2,380,314 as of 2014. It is a "gamma-plus" city as listed by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network.
Charlotte is home to Bank of America's corporate headquarters and the center for the east coast operations of Wells Fargo, which (along other large financial institutions) makes it the second largest banking center in the US. Charlotte's notable attractions include the Carolina Panthers, the Charlotte Hornets, the Charlotte Independence, two NASCAR Sprint Cup races and the NASCAR All-Star Race, Wells Fargo Championship, NASCAR Hall of Fame, Carowinds amusement park, and the U.S. National Whitewater Center.
Nicknamed the Queen City, Charlotte was named after Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, who became Queen of Great Britain justa few years before Charlotte was incorporated. A second nickname is derived from an event in the Revolutionary War, when commander General Cornwallis occupied the Charlotte but was forced into retreat by hostile residents, prodding him to write that Charlotte was "a hornet's nest of rebellion", leading to the name The Hornet's Nest.