Over the years, many female artists have written a number of songs all about “girl power” and celebrating what it means to be a woman. In this article, I will give you my personal ranking for what I believe are the best girl power songs that you’ll love.
Girl Power Songs That Are Awesome
Let’s begin with a song by Daya.
10) “Sit Still, Look Pretty” by Daya (2016)
I will admit, I used to not like this song. Hated it, honestly. It was one of those good ones that got way overplayed on the radio and got to the point that all I did was sigh and roll my eyes when I heard it.
But the message of this song is still an undeniably good one, and something that I (in high school at the time it came out) needed to hear. It is one of many songs on this list that tells women they do not need a man to be happy. They can chase their dreams and fight for what they want for the sake of their own happiness, not worried about what anyone else might think.
Daya’s voice is powerful but angelic, delivering her message in a relentless but endearing way. Mike Campbell, who wrote the song, was inspired by the musical artist Pink’s work when writing this song. Pink is, admittedly, another singer that screams female empowerment, so that seems especially fitting. Regardless, the song has cemented its place in the hearts of many since its release.
9) “God is a Woman” by Ariana Grande (2018)
Another song that I honestly kind of hated when it came out. I have never been a huge fan of Grande, but something about this song caught my ear. This is the song I listen to when I’m getting ready for a night out and want to put myself in the right headspace.
This song radiates feminine power, and is undoubtedly one of the singer’s most well-known. It’s message is simple: women know what they want, have the power to achieve it, and can control anything they desire. As the title would imply, it hints that women have all of the power of God.
Grande is well-known for her vocals and they lend themselves well to this track. I couldn’t really imagine it being sung by anyone else, despite my slight dislike for the artist. The pop sound of the instrumentals really drive the message home. It is a song one walks away from feeling truly empowered and celebrating what it means to be a woman.
8) “These Boots Were Made for Walkin’” by Nancy Sinatra (1966)
As I mentioned in Sit Still, Look Pretty, I believe the rhetoric of “women don’t need men to feel good and be powerful,” and this song is another beautiful example of that. It came out decades before that other track, but it is absolutely timeless.
This track reminds men that women are not under their control, as many would believe. One mistake, one wrong move, and the woman can easily leave. Women are powerful, and can easily take control of a situation and make it whatever they want. Women can and will do whatever necessary to get the life of their dreams, and no man is going to stand in their way. These boots? Made for walking.
Nancy Sinatra is the daughter of famous Frank Sinatra, so of course her lyrics and vocal ability were going to be breathtaking. No one better could have sang this song in the unapologetic, “I demand to be heard” way that Sinatra did. Of course, people are still gawking about it to this day, and for good reason.
7) “Bad Reputation” by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts (1980)
Arguably the artist’s best known song, this track will go down in rock n’ roll history for being the thoughts of a fearless, argumentative woman who told the (at the time) male-dominated music industry that she didn’t care if they thought she didn’t deserve to be there. She was tired of the double-standards that the industry had put on female versus male rockstars, and she was going to make sure the world knew.
This song is a hard-hitting track that is true to life. It tells women that they do not need to be afraid of stepping foot into a place that they may feel they do not belong, and owning it. It is a message of fearlessness and demanding to be heard in a place even if no one else thinks you should be there.
Jett did not write this song with the intention of telling the world “I am woman, hear me,” but that was what happened anyway. The artist quickly became a well-known name in the industry, and cemented her place as a force to be reckoned with. Even now, despite her original intentions, many view her as a feminist idol and that is likely how she will continue to be known.
And, on top of everything, “Bad Reputation” is the theme song for the cult classic show “Freaks and Geeks.”
6) “Love Myself” by Hailee Steinfeld (2015)
This may be an unpopular opinion, but I enjoy Hailee Steinfeld as a musical artist almost more than an actress. Though she had incredible acting chops, she also has an incredible way of sending a message through her music and using her voice to say exactly what she wants. In this song, she tells a message of being able to provide entirely for yourself without needing a man, physical or otherwise.
Steinfeld says the song is about how powerful it is to be in love with yourself, and to be able to provide for yourself in a way no one else can. I think it is something every woman needs to hear. It is a truly magical thing when you can say you are entirely in love with yourself, and be able to treat yourself as such.
This song is almost unbearably catchy, and I remember it being stuck in my head for days after the first time I heard it. It was the song that introduced me to her as an artist, and it will always be one of my favorites from her. From what I understand of Steinfeld’s personality from interviews I have seen her in, this song is entirely her and it really helps the listener connect to her on an emotional level.
5) “No Scrubs” by TLC (1999)
I remember singing this song in middle school and, of course, having no idea what it meant. But this is a song that has stuck with me for years, and was one of the first ones I thought of when I knew I was going to be writing this article. Thus it takes its place exactly in the middle of this list.
The song was coined by Kandi Burruss, a key face on The Real Housewives of Atlanta. She said “scrub” is an Atlanta slang word for, basically, a loser. No Scrubs stands as an anthem for women to tell men, “we don’t want you around if you aren’t going to provide”. It’s a song that sends the message to women that they don’t have to settle for less, and if a guy is not good enough, then do not waste your time.
Like Love Myself, this song is unbearably catchy. Even if all you know is the chorus, you really know it. The words run through your brain for countless hours until you just cannot take it anymore. The women of TLC tell the message in an effortless way that no other artist could quite pull off.
4) “Man! I Feel Like a Woman!” by Shania Twain (1997)
I screamed this song as a kid. Shania Twain was one of my favorite country singers as a child, and even now, as a full grown adult, her incredible vocals have a hold on me that no other female artist has ever quite been able to accomplish. This song will likely stick with me until the day I die.
Twain herself said this song was inspired by the gay bars she went to with her female friends in her twenties. She would marvel at the men wearing beautiful makeup, and that was where Man! I Feel Like a Woman! came from. It is strange knowing that a tune of female empowerment was inspired by feminine men, but I think that just adds to the appeal. Being a woman is so desirable, that even some men want to do it for a night or two.
This is a song I can’t help but dance to whenever I hear it. I still scream it at the top of my lungs. It’s a song I pray comes on at every country bar I go to so I can line dance my heart out to it. This song will always hold a special place in my heart, and will forever be one of the best tunes of female empowerment in my book.
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3) “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor (1978)
A classic female empowerment anthem. While the song itself seems to be about having the strength to move on from a toxic relationship, the message has grown to encompass getting out of any bad situation as the popularity of the song has increased over the years. Gloria herself referred to the song as “timeless” and I do not think there is a better word to describe it.
I have a special emotional connection to this song, because my mother was the one who introduced it to me, and now I think of her whenever I hear it. It truly has been the anthem that has gotten me through a bad breakup, and countless other rough patches in my life. As a woman, this song screams, “it doesn’t matter how much you tear me down, I’ll get back up.” No matter how hard a situation seems to be, we as women will overcome and make it out even better than when we started.
Gaynor, like many other artists on this list, has a sound that is entirely unique to her, and this song fits her immensely well. It was arguably the track that defined her career. It has earned every bit of praise it has been given, and, like multiple other songs on this list, will go down in history as being a true psalm of female empowerment.
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2) “Run the World (Girls)” by Beyonce (2011)
The pop queen herself, there was no doubt a Beyonce song was going to end up on this list. No better song than Run the World to be on a list about girl power, as it was Beyonce’s way of saying, “we are women, and we are powerful.”
This song makes sure the world knows all of the things that women do. We graduate with college degrees, get high paying jobs that bring home the money, and are still able to take care of kids and maintain a social life on top of everything else.
Women are dedicated, work hard, and earn everything that they get. And they deserve everything they have. So much is expected of women by society, and we are able to achieve all that and more, demonstrating a power that we demand men notice.
When Beyonce speaks, the world listens. That was exactly what this song needed. The singer’s powerful vocals and the strong drumbeats underlying them in this track gets the message across expertly. This song took the world by storm upon its release, and even to this day, it is still undeniably one of Beyonce’s best.
1) “Respect” by Aretha Franklin (1967)
Of course this song was going to come first on this list. There is absolutely no other track that I could rightfully put as number one, knowing this song exists. It is literally the definition of female empowerment.
This song, as many would agree, was an anthem, if not the soundtrack, of the feminist and civil rights movements of the 1970s and beyond. It tells women to demand respect from their male counterparts, and screams for our voices to be heard. Respect is often commanded by men in any variety of situations, so why can’t the same be said for women?
Aretha Franklin’s voice is an absolute powerhouse with all the strength necessary to send a message like this. For a song that demands to be heard, Franklin had absolutely the perfect vocal capacity for it. It is undoubtedly one of the best songs of all time, and has gone down in history as the message of female empowerment that we all didn’t know we needed.
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There are countless songs about girl power available on the music marketplace. Year after year, Yearly, female artists flaunt the beauty and power of being a woman, as well as celebrating everything that comes with it. These are powerful messages that women all over the world should hear, as these songs continue to inspire generations to come.
So, if you’re ever feeling down and out, or need a jolt of motivation to get you through the day, through on one of these girl power songs and rock it out until you feel empowered enough to take on the world.
This article was written by Angela and edited by Michael.
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