Now that Post Malone’s ‘rockstar’ seems to have run its course on the radio, it can be placed forever in the canon alongside all other rockstars singing about rockstars.
Ever since the greatest mashup of all time and my favorite video of 2017, I’ve been obsessed with finding a true victor of the Rockstar battle. Now that Post Malone’s ‘rockstar’ seems to have run its course on the radio, it can be placed forever in the canon alongside all other rockstars singing about rockstars. So without any more fanfare, here’s the official, unequivocal, and definitive ranking of songs named “Rockstar.”
10. “Rockstar”— A Great Big World
Oooph. It took several attempts to get through this one. I try really hard to keep an open mind diving into new music but this track is rough. It sounds a lot like what I would imagine the sad lovechild of Ben Folds and Owl City sounds like after three glasses of chardonnay. Also, after a little bit of research, I found out that they performed this song on a later season of Glee, so that’s how you know it’s some really groundbreaking stuff.
9. “Rockstar”— Dappy ft. Brian May
Ahh, who could forget the British cinema classic Street Dance 2 that boasts a whopping 47% on Rotten Tomatoes? Surely not me. But what’s better than the movie is it’s actually amazing 26(!!) song soundtrack, where you can find a serious Skepta deep cut, some Drake, a little Nicki Minaj, and our good friend Dappy. Now, I’m no grime expert, but the fact that Dappy could pull legendary Queen guitarist, Brian May probably means this track bangs, right? Unfortunately, that’s very far from the truth. Maybe Dappy should just stick to politics.
8. “Rockstar” — Nelson
Having a soft spot of 80s hair metal is pretty on brand for me. It was the rawest we would ever get with rock icons, they were vicious, flamboyant, wicked talented, and as much as I would love to see the AC/DC tour fronted by Axl Rose, at some point these guys need to hang it up. Nelson are a couple of guys that should probably heed that advice. A pair of Bon Jovi knockoffs stuck with that same tired sound, their 2015 “Rockstar” is uninspired and probably not worth your time.
7. “Rockstars” — Kane Brown
You know those guys in school who spoke in their own language because literally, everything they said was a reference? Yeah, well imagine that but in a country-pop song about rock music. Here’s a little taste for ya,
“Every word of them Rolling Stones/Stacy’s mom had it going on/Lived Three Doors Down I can see her now/Her daughter had a heart that was wild and free/If you Blink 182 then you’d miss me and her”
6. “Rockstar”— Dylan Schneider
Hailed as, “Country Music’s Next Rising Star” Dylan Schneider is a young guy whose name will probably be kicked around a ton in 2018 (don’t forget who put you on). Rising stardom was no match for the curse of painfully average songs named “Rockstar.”
At least this track is thematically different than most of the others, and as far as mediocre country music goes, it’s pretty good! It has a place somewhere on your BBQ playlist, or maybe saved on your mom’s Satellite Radio favorites… but in the end, it’s pretty forgettable.
5. “Rockstar” — Duki
This song is T-H-I-C-K. Easily the biggest surprise of this list was a rapper out of Argentina. Duki’s “Rockstar” pops off over a pretty standard trap beat but it absolutely bangs. It was really only a matter of time before trap really made waves in Latin America, and 2017 was huge for artists like Duki. He’s full of talent and this song shows his chops, with a warble reminiscent of Young Thug lets hope Duki doesn’t fizzle out like so many rappers out of Latin America tend to.
4. “ROCKSTAR 101″—Rihanna
I know, this song isn’t exactly named “Rockstar” but imagine I left a RiRi and Slash track off of this list. The fifth single off of Rated R, the song is pretty damn good. Produced by The Dream, it’s hard not to like it. My biggest issue with this song is the lack of Slash, including him seems like more of a sales boost than anything.
But as far as Rihanna songs go, this wouldn’t come close to cracking the top ten although it does perfectly show her range. ANTI was one of my favorite records of 2016, introduced me to SZA, and made me completely reevaluate Rihanna’s artistic capabilities. All we can do is wait until Rihanna finally comes back around to do rock/punk tracks.
3. “Rock Star” — Hannah Montana
The year is 2007. You get home from school and flip on the TV. What’s on? Disney Channel. What show? Hannah Montana. I’m pretty sure they just played episodes on a loop from like 3–6pm Monday through Friday. Anyway— this record is pretty badass. At :15 when the guitar kicks in the song goes from just another Disney song to a bonafide tween anthem. Written and produced by former #3 songwriter in the world, Toby Gad, the song was engineered to be accessible and easy to listen to.
It was a toss-up between Hannah Montana and Rihanna but the sheer nostalgia of pre-Miley, Miley Cyrus was too much to pass up.
2. “rockstar” — Post Malone ft. 21 Savage
If you were a living, breathing human being with a pulse, chances are you’ve heard this song. I have never been more conflicted over an artist than Post Malone. Every single picture of him seems to represent everything I hate about Soundcloud rappers. But he just keeps putting out good music. I don’t understand. He is a legitimately talented singer and flexes hard on this track, keeping the song strangely accessible.
All the credit to Tank God and Louis Bell for some serious production chops, the stripped down trap beat perfectly walks the line between underwhelming and catchy— not in your face but burned into your brain. With a little writing from Joey Bada$$, Carl Austin Rosen and Olufunmibi Awoshiley this track hit the #1 Billboard spot in over ten countries. This song gets a 9.5/10 Rockstar Rating.
1. “Rockstar” — Nickleback
If Post & 21’s “rockstar” was the new kid on the block with the shiny new bike, baseball card in the spokes and sweet bell, than Nickleback’s “Rockstar” is the old grandpa in a rocking chair on the porch smoking a pipe.
It truly is the best worst song of all time. In the span of a decade this song has gone from a hit to universally despised back around to being (maybe even not ironically) a playable song. I stand arm and arm with my Canadian brothers and will unapologetically sing every word of this song when it comes on in a bar. If you click on the video above you’ll have a chance to see the comically bad music video with a ton of cameos from Ted Nugent to Chuck Liddell. For a fake country song about rockstars— and as you can tell there are plenty— its staying power is incredible.
Maybe it’s because all we want is to be big rockstars, and live in hilltop houses, drivin’ fifteen cars. Maybe we just want a world where we’ll hang out in the coolest bars, in the VIP with the movie stars. Or maybe we’ll just be cursed to hear songs named “Rockstar” for the rest of our lives.