Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Girl power anthems

Girl power anthems

It's always big news when a big star releases a new single. But the music world goes a little nuts when it's Beyoncé, queen of girl-power anthems, and the song in question is "Run The World (Girls)." The single is the latest of her songs about female empowerment – a list that includes the insanely infectious "Single Ladies", "Irreplaceable"  and, from her Destiny's Child days,
"Independent Women" . Here's a sampling of others who run the girl-power anthem world.
Aretha Franklin 

No list of songs about strong women would be complete without "R-E-S-P-E-C-T." But Franklin's "Sisters Are Doing It for Themselves" , recorded with Annie Lennox, carries a message every girl needs to hear, too:
"There was a time when they used to say that behind every great man there had to be a great woman. In these times of change, you know that it's no longer true. So we're comin' out of the kitchen 'cause there's something we forgot to say to you. Sisters are doing it for themselves."

Chaka Khan

There's no resisting a classic like Chaka Khan's "I'm Every Woman" .With its driving, funk beat, the late-1970s song was such a hit, Whitney Houston remade it, with a music video that featured scenes from "The Bodyguard" (and soaring vocals) delivering the message:

"Anything you want done baby, I do it naturally. I'm every woman. It's all in me."

Martina McBride

The popularity of McBride's country hit, "This One's for All the Girls,"  crossed genre and age boundaries with its message for girls from 1 to 91. Whether you're wishing on shooting stars or standing your ground, you're beautiful the way you are.


Pink's "F***ing Perfect" is packed with oh-so-danceable lines that convey an important message: that no one can make you feel bad without your help:
"You're so mean when you talk about yourself. You were wrong. Change the voices in your head. ... Pretty pretty please, don't you ever ever feel like you're less than perfect."


In "Strong Enough" , Cher sings an overdue and bitter goodbye to an unfaithful lover. Though some lines seethe with anger, the true message is one of newfound self-confidence:
"'Cause I'm strong enough, to live without you, strong enough and I quit crying, long enough now I'm strong enough to know you gotta go."

Britney Spears

"Brave New Girl"  might strike some as a naughty starlet celebrating her image as a bad-girl boy toy. Others would give her props for empowering lines like this one:
"She lands on both feet. Won't take a backseat. There's a brave new girl. And she's comin' out tonight."


She's come a long way since "Like a Virgin." The Queen of Pop projects in a truly empowering, no-regrets vibe in "Jump".
"I'm going down my own road and I can make it alone. All work and no fighting, I'll find a place of my own."

Cyndi Lauper

One of the classic hits of the early '80s, "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" might not make it onto a mom or dad's list of daughter-inspiring songs. But there's something to be said for a fun-loving girl who's determined not to let anyone hold her back:
"Some boys take a beautiful girl and hide her away from the rest of the world. I want to be the one to walk in the sun."

Hilary Duff

This teen pop star of Lizzie McGuire fame doesn't mess around in "Supergirl" (listen to it | read the lyrics):
"Haven't you heard? I'm Supergirl. You don't want to mess with me."

Alicia Keys

"Superwoman" is a soul-stirring shout out to "all the mothers fighting for better days to come, and all my women … sitting here trying to come home before the sun." It's a call for all of us to believe in ourselves – especially when times are tough.
"Even when I'm a mess, I still put on a vest, With an S on my chest, Oh yes, I'm a Superwoman."

Gwen Stefani

In "Hollaback Girl" , this rocker – who earned her fame as No Doubt's  frontwoman – drops too many S-bombs for the song to be make it on Mom or Dad's list of girl-power anthems. With its thumping beat, it's a no-apologies call to stand up, be tough and don't let anyone push you around.


Right off the bat, "So Beautiful" shouts a clear message of strength and self-confidence:
"We are a thousand voices strong. We are each girl who sings this song. We are a beauty that is our own. And we are, And we are So beautiful."

Christina Aguilera

In "Can't Hold Us Down" , Lil' Kim teams up with Christina Aguilera, and the two mince no words about sexism and double standards:
"This is for my girls around the world who have come across a man that don't respect your worth, Thinkin' all women should be seen and not heard. So what do we do girls, shout out loud. Lettin' 'em know we're gonna stand our ground."

Lady Gaga

With its driving beat, "Born This Way"  is a song about empowerment – one that transcends gender and sexual orientation:

"Don't hide yourself in regret. Just love yourself and you're set.  I'm on the right track, baby. I was born this way."

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