Augusta is a consolidated city in the U.S. state of Georgia, located along the Savannah River. The city of Augusta and Richmond County governments merged operations in 1996; as of 2009, the Augusta-Richmond County estimated population was 194,343 not counting the unconsolidated cities of Hephzibah and Blythe. Augusta is the principal city of the Augusta-Richmond County Metropolitan Statistical Area, which as of 2009 had an estimated population of 539,154. Augusta is thus the second-largest city in Georgia and the second-largest metro area in the state after Atlanta, as well as the 114th-largest city in the U.S. Internationally, Augusta is best known for hosting The Masters golf tournament each spring, and for being the hometown of funk/soul singer James Brown. The area along the river was long inhabited by varying cultures of indigenous peoples, who relied on the river for fish, water and transportation. The site of Augusta was used by Native Americans as a place to cross the Savannah River, because of its location on the fall line.