Women empowerment songs which charted
To commemorate the International Women’s Day 2019, we rounded up a mix of modern and classic hits that highlight women empowerment. Ranging from recovery from break up to self acceptance, these songs will surely make you salute these female artists for bringing that girl power in the industry!
RUN THE WORLD (GIRLS) – BEYONCE
Who runs the world? Girls! Who does not remember this powerful song from the Queen B? The song is about how Beyonce visions the world as ruled by women. Run the World was released on April 21, 2011 as the lead single for Beyonce’s fourth album, 4.The song reached and peaked at 29th spot on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. Its music video won the Best Choreography at the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards and Best Dance Performance at the 2011 Soul Train Music Awards.
SIT STILL, LOOK PRETTY – DAYA
Debuted by a pop prodigy, Daya, Sit Still, Look Pretty is a single from her album with the same name released on March 29, 2016. In an interview with Genius, Daya says that the song is very special to her life. She shared that she grew up in a home with four talented and smart sisters, and parents who supported them in all their endeavors and pushes them to work hard in school. Thus she wants to share to her fans the same sentiments as well as to encourage them to really go after their aspirations in life. The song debuted at 100th place in Billboard Hot 100, peaked at 28th, and was nominated for Best Song of the Year in 2017 Radio Disney Music Awards.
FIGHT SONG – RACHEL PLATTEN
“Empowering, anthemic, honest, raw and emotional.” This was how Rachel Platten described her song. Fight Song was released on February 19, 2015 under her debut EP with the same name. She revealed that the song was inspired by her experiences as an artist; the rejections and closed doors that made her think that she has no chance in the industry. The song served as her reminder to believe in herself and to not give up on her dreams. Fight Song peaked at number 6th in Billboard Hot 100 and reached number one in Adult Contemporary and Adult Pop Songs in airplay charts.
GIRL ON FIRE – ALICIA KEYS
Alicia Keys was indeed on fire when her single Girl on Fire was released on September 4, 2012 from her album with the same name! She even performed this song for the first time at the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards two days after the release. In a letter Alicia Keys wrote for her fans, she said that the song is about new beginnings and new perspectives, that to be on fire is to allow themselves to take full control of their lives. She ended it with, “I can’t contain the flame! Never contain yours!” Girl on Fire has sold over 4 million paid downloads in the United States.
SALUTE- LITTLE MIX
Remarkable for its empowering lyrics and military-inspired drum beats, Little Mix, a British girl group, received overflowing positive reviews for their single, Salute. The song is about women empowerment and it’s as if the group is recruiting women to join and fight a war, assumedly the struggles of being a woman. The song was released on the 23rd of April in 2013 and debuted at number 74 on the UK Singles Chart and peaked at the 6th spot.
NEW RULES – DUA LIPA
Dua Lipa’s New Rules is about a set of rules that women could do to avoid getting back together with their ex-boyfriends. The song was inspired by the struggles of one of its composers, Caroline Ailin, in fighting the temptation of getting back with her ex-lover. Emily Warren, another composer, explained in an interview with Genius that the track is a reminder for women going through a break-up to not dwell on the urge of reconciliation because it is not a good idea in the long term. Dua Lipa also added that it is a song a woman should tell herself or her friends to realize that there is a reason why people break up and it the same reason why they should not get back together. New Rules is Dua’s third entry and first top 10 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and it peaked on the 6th spot.
SCARS TO YOUR BEAUTIFUL – ALESSIA CARA
Scars to Your Beautiful is the third single of Alessia Cara from her debut digital album, Know-It-All and was released on July 26, 2016. The song, according to her, is about self acceptance. Alessia shared in an interview that it’s about the struggles women go through because of the standards and expectations they are expected to fit into. The song is the contradiction of these things and a reminder that “the world need to change its mind about you and you don’t need to change for the world”. Scars to Your Beautiful was Alessia’s second top ten single on US Billboard Hot 100 and peaked at number eight.
I WILL SURVIVE – GLORIA GAYNOR
Who would survive a devastating break up? We are sure that Gloria Gaynor will. Beyond being a classic and OG disco or dance song, I Will Survive is a hit song from Gloria Gaynor and is branded as a symbol for female strength. The lyrics tell the story of the narrator on how she discovered personal strength after a distressing break up, the process of her moving on and how she actually survived it. The song topped the US Billboard Hot 100 and UK Single Charts for consecutive weeks. What’s more than that? It was even considered by the Library of Congress as “culturally, historically, or artistically significant” and was selected for preservation in the National Recording Registry!
INDEPENDENT WOMEN – DESTINY’S CHILD
Known for being on the soundtrack of the movie Charlie’s Angels, Independent Women is a song from American girl group Destiny’s Child. The song was released on September 4, 2000 and was later on included in the group’s third album, Survivor. It is said that the song was initially made by Beyonce after an argument with her boyfriend. She then went to the studio and recorded the first version of the song; it was all about female independence. The song reached the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for eleven weeks. Billboard also declared the song to be on the 77th on the list of the 100 Greatest Girl Group Songs of All Time.
RESPECT – ARETHA FRANKLIN
The iconic Aretha Franklin’s single Respect was released on April 29, 196 under her album, I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You. It is about a strong and confident woman who knows that she has everything her man wants and demands his respect. It was considered as one of the best songs of R&B era, topped the US Billboard Hot chart, enabled her to bag two Grammy Awards in 1968, inducted in the Grammy Hall of Fame, included in the Songs of the Century, and was honored by adding in the National Recording Registry.
The music industry is a sea of various themes, topics, issues or experiences that artists want to address or talk about. Some may not make it to the charts, but one thing is for sure, music can be a powerful means to advocate, encourage and express just like what these wonderful women did!