58 Songs About Being Famous
You're a Rock Star Just as You Are
Most of us have dreamed of being a rock star or famous actor, model, or athlete. Some of us would prefer to be famous for being famous, like the Rich Kids of the Internet, the Kardashians, and reality stars. You probably associate fame with widespread acceptance, status, and wealth.
But fame is very fickle. It can turn on you or abandon you altogether. It can be a difficult lifestyle, isolating you and making you grow paranoid about whom you can trust. Celebrities caution that it's not always the fabulous dream they had envisioned.
Celebrate the advantages of stardom as well as the downsides of being a celebrity with a playlist of pop, rock, country, metal, and hip-hop songs about being famous. It may make you appreciate your average, anonymous life more because you're a rock star just as you are.
What's your closest brush with fame?
1. "Wanted Dead or Alive" by Bon Jovi
One of Bon Jovi's signature songs, this 1987 hit depicts the lonely life of a rock star while also giving a nod to the American Wild West. While the narrator is proud to entertain millions of fans with his "loaded six string" (guitar), there are significant downsides to his lifestyle. As he travels on his "steel horse" (tour bus), he misses home, drinks to fill his loneliness, and suffers from a lack of meaningful personal connections. He makes these all of these sacrifices so that we can be entertained.
2. "Celebrity" by Brad Paisley
According to this humorous country song from 2003, you don't need talent or self-control to be a celebrity, thanks particularly to reality shows. The tune is a fun take-down on the life of the rich and famous, noting their
- brief marriages
- frequent rehab stints
- lawsuits against family members and
- law-breaking with few consequences.
When you're famous, the public loves you just because you're on television regardless of how irresponsibly you behave.
'Cause when you're a celebrity
It's adios reality
You can act just like a fool
People think you're cool.
3. "Hall of Fame" by The Script (featuring will.i.am)
People who are famous for just being famous are a pretty useless bunch. The lead singer of The Script told "The Huffington Post" that he wrote this 2012 pop ditty partly because "we wanted to inspire people to stop trying to be famous for the sake of it." It provides encouragement to all of us to be the greatest in whatever realm we decide to pursue, whether that's academics, sports, business and industry, religion, politics, or something else. Make a difference in the world by becoming known for your competence and hard work.
4. "Took a Pill in Ibiza" by Mike Posner
Finding success in the entertainment industry isn't as glamorous as you'd imagine, according to this 2015 pop song. The narrator describes living an extravagant lifestyle just to show off. After taking one pill to fit in, he also gets hooked on drugs. Even his love relationships are shallow, consisting merely of one-night-stands.
This celebrity has-been is on a downward career trajectory and suffers the lonesomeness of singing sad songs that reflect his empty life. When people want advice on how to become well-known just like him, he tells them they don't want what he has because when the money runs out you have nothing left.
You don't have to be a washed out musician to feel lonely. Make a playlist of songs about loneliness and isolation, then go find a friend to listen along with you.
5. "Candle in the Wind" by Elton John
Two decades before this 1974 pop tune was rewritten for Princess Diana's funeral, it served as a tribute to Marilyn Monroe. She was an actress and American blonde bombshell of the 1950s. Marilyn's stardom ultimately represented her quest for acceptance, as she grew up in foster homes and endured abuse.
Hollywood created the mystique surrounding Marilyn Monroe, but sadly, those around her controlled and exploited her. The song laments that Marilyn felt confused, isolated, and tormented by her fame and was chased by the press even after her death:
Hollywood created a superstar
And pain was the price you paid.
6. "Applause" by Lady Gaga
This 2013 worldwide pop hit has an electric beat and acknowledges Lady Gaga's reason for performing. Rather than enjoying celebrity status for what it accesses, she seeks the adoration of an energetic crowd who appreciates her music and performance. Riotous applause provides her with instant feedback:
I live for the applause-plause, live for the applause-plause
Live for the way that you cheer and scream for me.
7. "Baby Girl" by Sugarland
This 2004 country ditty is a personal favorite of mine. It exudes positive energy and gratitude for the role the narrator's parents played in making her a celebrity. The song documents the narrator's hard-fought rise from small-time bar musician to big shot singer on the brink of superstardom.
In the early days, the protagonist writes home to ask for her parents' assistance:
Dear Mom and Dad,
Please send money
I'm so broke that it ain't funny
I don't need much, just enough to get me through... .
However, once the singer becomes a prominent musician, she repays her parents handsomely.
8. "Rockstar" by Nickeback
Although critics panned this 2006 rock number as one of the worst songs of all time, it became a global hit anyway. The tune features a wannabe rock star who seeks the material trappings and status symbols of fame without having to work for it: hilltop houses, cars, centerfold models, and fistfuls of money.
If you're someone who values material possessions, here are songs about money to motivate you further.
9. "Grace Kelly" by MIKA
After a recording executive told Mika to try to imitate the style of another popular musician, he wrote this catchy 2007 pop song. An international sensation, it derides musicians who reinvent themselves and change their styles to suit the whim of audiences. He reinforces the value of being uniquely you while poking fun at stars who are too willing to be anything others want them to be.
10. "Castle Walls" by T.I. (featuring Christina Aguilera)
From the outside, everyone thinks celebrities have it made, according to this 2010 hip-hop song. Behind the smiles, the Grammy Awards, and the flamboyant display of wealth, however, they are real people with real problems. They often live an empty and isolated life behind their castle walls of stardom.
Rapper T.I. deals with the challenges associated with being a young, wealthy, black male who is also a repeat felon. In this song, he references his concerns about how his kids will grow up and how his celebrity lifestyle has impacted them.
11. "The Beautiful and the Damned" by G-Eazy (featuring Zoe Nash)
This is everything that comes with celebrity:
Criticism, ridicule, and the scrutiny... .
In this 2017 hip-hop number, a celebrity narrator explains that anyone, including the rich and famous, can face personal obstacles like substance abuse, overspending, and engaging in reckless behavior. There are two sides of this man's psyche that guide his actions—the angel and devil. Like most people, he is a complex combination of the two.
12. "Beverly Hills" by Weezer
The guy in this 2005 rock song admits to being "a no-class beat-down fool," but he wants to live the life of a Beverly Hills celebrity. Currently, his fashion sense is "a little whack," he's poor and drives a beat-up car, although his dreams are to live the high life of a celebrity. We all have goals, but what are his plans to get there?
13. "Miss America" by James Blunt
Miss America has long been regarded as a model of poise, self-assurance, and success. However, this mournful 2013 pop song looks at the private pain and dark thoughts behind her public mask. As she prances and waves to crowds, the celebrity beauty self-medicates in private with alcohol.
While others see Miss America as pulled together and confident, the song portrays her as crying and falling apart behind closed doors. Not everyone is prepared for the spotlight.
14. "Miracle Mile" by Cold War Kids
As the narrator in this 2013 rock song pursued his singing career, he cut ties with the past and gave up on love. He wasn't necessarily seeking fame, but now that he has found success, he realizes that it matters much less if you don't have the people you love along with you.
15. "You Never Met A Motherfu***er Quite Like Me" by Kid Rock
He sure is full of himself, isn't he? Some celebrities don't let fame go to their heads, but Kid Rock isn't one of them. It's appropriate that this 2002 rock song appeared on an album named "Cocky."
In this song, the singer boasts about rubbing elbows with other famous people, being on the cover of Rolling Stone, and lots of substance use. While this may not be his best work, don't be too quick to dismiss this singer because of his wild, arrogant persona. He actually has a great voice.
16. "Remember the Name" by Fort Minor (featuring Styles of Beyond)
Fort Minor was a musical side gig for Mike Shinoda, songwriter and co-founder of Linkin Park. The 2005 rap song describes what it takes to make it big in the music business:
This is ten percent luck
Twenty percent skill
Fifteen percent concentrated power of will
Five percent pleasure
Fifty percent pain
And a hundred percent reason to remember the name.
17. "Piece of Me" by Britney Spears
No one ever said fame was easy to cope with.
The fact that Britney Spears made it through 2007 should give us all encouragement to face down our own personal struggles. She abused drugs, lost custody of her two sons, did two stints in a psychiatric facility and famously shaved her head. As many as 100 paparazzi hounded her while she melted down in front of the cameras for all to see.
In this electro-pop number, she swings back at the paparazzi and the haters. For everyone who body shamed her and found entertainment in the drama that was her real life, this is Britney's come-at-me bro song. She claps back with the challenge, "You want a piece of me?"
18. "Pop Bottles" by Sky Blu (featuring Mark Rosas)
Sky Blu has had a taste of fame, and he's describing his high flying lifestyle in this 2013 song. The rapper is the grandson of Motown founder Berry Gordy Jr. and was half of the now-defunct American dance music duo, LMFAO.
Full of bravado, the rapper depicts his life of excess and constant travel:
Had a few hits, now we changed the game
Ish gets crazy when you get some fame
Different city every night, but it’s all the same
Everywhere I go people know my name.
19. "Rockstar 101" by Rihanna (featuring Slash)
This danceable 2009 pop song has hip-hop overtones and features a Rihanna who maintains she's no victim. Instead, she portrays a woman who owns her sensuality, even if she does seem a little desperate to convince others that she's in charge. Her repetition of "I told ya" and "Oh, baby, I'm a ...," for example, could almost be confused with stuttering.
20. "Million Years Ago" by Adele
Adele acknowledges that fame has alienated her from those she loves and everything that was familiar to her. In this sad, searching pop song from 2015, she recognizes that life is happening in full speed around her. Fame has made her less of a participant in life than part of the show.
Celebrity SelfiesClick thumbnail to view full-size
Even More Songs About Fame and Being Famous
Song & Year Released
Lyrics About Fame
21. When I Grow Up (2008)
Be careful what you wish for / 'Cause you just might get it
22. Papparazzi (2008)
I'm your biggest fan / I'll follow you until you love me / Papa-paparazzi / Baby, there's no other superstar
23. Vultures (2013)
How did they find me here / What do they want from me? / All of these vultures hanging / Right outside my door
24. All the Pretty Girls (2017)
(All the pretty girls) like me for who I am / (All the pretty girls) when the record goes platinum / Plenty of action, massive attraction / When you're selling out stadiums
25. Bullets with Butterfly Wings (1995)
The Smashing Pumpkins
Despite all my rage I am still just a rat in a cage
26. Fame (1980)
(Fame) I'm gonna live forever I'm gonna learn how to fly (High)
27. You Don't Really Know Me (2014)
Playing pretend I shouldn't hide it / It isn't right Being a liar
28. The Lucky One (2012)
Another name goes up in lights / You wonder if you’ll make it out alive / And they’ll tell you now, you’re the lucky one
29. The Memory Remains (1997)
Fortune fame mirror vain gone insane
30. 13 Beaches (2017)
Lana Del Rey
Something separates me from other people / Everywhere I turn / There's something blocking my escape
31. The Entertainer (1974)
Today I am your champion, I may have won your hearts / But I know the game, you'll forget my name / And I won't be here in another year / If I don't stay on the charts
32. Starz in Their Eyes (2006)
Since you became a V.I. Person / It's like your problems have all worsened / Your paranoia casts aspersions / On the truths you know
33. An Ordinary Life (2010)
I don't care about the cameras / I don't care about the lights / All I wanted was an ordinary life
34. Our Lawyer Made Us Change The Name Of This Song So We Wouldn't Get Sued (2005)
Fall Out Boy
We're only liars, but we're the best (we're the best) / We're only good for the latest trends / We're only good 'cause you can have almost famous friends / Besides, we've got such good fashion sense
35. Next Best Superstar (2009)
Sell your life; sell your soul telling everyone you know / You're living your dream
36. Would You Catch a Falling Star (1982)
Would you catch a fallen star before he crashes to the ground Don't you know how people are nobody loves you when you're down Pick him up and take him home and he'll bring his old guitar Sing a golden oldie song if you'll catch a fallen star
37. The Fame (2008)
Fame, doin' it for the fame / 'Cause we wanna live the life of the rich and famous
38. Britney (2008)
Britney, I'm sorry for your broken heart We stood aside and watched you fall apart I'm sorry we told you fame would fill you up And money moves the man, so drink the cup
39. Mo Money Mo Problems (1997)
I don't know what they want from me/ It's like the more money we come across / The more problems we see
40. Castle (2017)
Eminem (featuring Liz Rodrigues)
I built this castle, now we are trapped on the throne
41. Everybody Knows (2006)
Just another day / Of everybody looking / I swore they'd never see me cry
42. C-lebrity (2008)
Queen + Paul Rodgers
I want to be a face on tv /(Yeah I wanna be on your screen) / Then you can see I'm a c-lebrity
43. Fame (1975)
Fame, makes a man take things over Fame, lets him loose, hard to swallow Fame, puts you there where things are hollow
44. Superstar (2007)
Lupe Fiasco (featuring Matthew Santos)
If you are what you say you are -- a super star / Then have no fear the crowd is here and the lights are on and they want a show
45. Hollywood (2006)
There's something in the air in Hollywood / I've lost my reputation / Bad and good
46. Falling Down (2009)
Selena Gomez & The Scene
Smile for the camera, everybody's looking at ya / Smile for the camera, cause they're all about to trash ya
47. Eraser (2017)
I used to think that nothing could be better than touring the world with my songs / I chased the pictured perfect life, I think they painted it wrong
48. Welcome to the Fishbowl (2012)
Everybody's business is everybody business and that's a big business now
49. Glamorous (2007)
Fergie (featuring Ladacris)
... I remember yesterday / When I dreamt about the days / When I'd rock on MTV, that be really dope / Damn, It's been a long road / And the industry is cold
50. Jenny from the Block (2002)
Jennifer Lopez (featuring Jadakiss & Styles P)
Don't be fooled by the rocks that I got / I'm still, I'm still Jenny from the block / Used to have a little, now I have a lot
51. Junkies for Fame (2008)
Why are we just junkies for fame
52. Fifteen Minutes of Fame (1992)
Here's your 15 minutes of fame It's a risky business It's a liar's game Into the spotlight and out again
53. Farm to Fame (2010)
Joey + Rory
He went from rags to riches, Farm to fame / From digging ditches, to carving out a name
54. Life's Been Good (1978)
I'm making records, my fans they can't wait / They write me letters, tell me I'm great
55. Act Naturally (1989)
Buck Owens & Ringo Starr
They're gonna put me in the movies / They're gonna make a big star out of me / We'll make a film about a man that's sad and lonely / And all I got to do is act naturally
56. Famous in a Small Town (2007)
Everybody dies famous in a small town
57. When the Lights Go Down (2002)
They were there for the fame, the flash, and the thrill / For the drop of the name, the parties, the pills
58. Cover of the Rolling Stone (1972)
Dr. Hook and The Medicine Show
Well, we're big rock singers / We got golden fingers / And we're loved everywhere we go
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
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