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Top 8 Songs About Leadership

If you’re looking for some inspiration in your life, you could do a lot worse than listen to some of the best songs about leadership on my list. They will not only give you a few ideas for a larger playlist, but the high tempo and intense music should also be enough to get the blood pumping.

Are you ready? Then let’s get straight to it and take a look at the first song about leadership.

Songs About Leadership

Top 8 Songs About Leadership

We Are the Champions by Queen

What a band and what a song this is. Although “Bohemian Rhapsody” is their best-known and most popular song, I honestly believe that “We Are the Champions” is their best single and best piece of music.

It was released in 1977 and was the second track on the album News of the World. The single made it to #4 in the US and #2 in the UK, selling over five million copies. The album made it to #3 in the US and #4 in the UK. The album became their third best-selling and sold nine and a half million copies.

All great figures that helped them on their way to selling 300 million records. It also helped them in securing their place as the most successful band in the world after The Beatles.

Like I said, what a band…

We are the Champions” is a leader’s cry to persevere and never give up. It’s a call to strive, work, and fight for whatever victory you are trying to achieve. It’s a highly motivational song of leadership that leaves no room for failure or second best.

Furthermore, it’s an incredibly powerful and rousing song that is frequently used by football and sports teams. It was even used as the FIFA World Cup’s theme song in 1994. 

More recently, it was also used by Donald Trump at his campaign rallies. However, this was without the approval of the band and very much against their wishes. It’s also been voted the catchiest tune in history and has been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. 

My Hero by Foo Fighters

Formed by the ex-Nirvana drummer David Grohl in 1994, this American Rock band had hit a serious deep run of form when “My Hero” came out in 1998. It was taken from the 1997 album, The Colour and the Shape, which also happened to include the amazing “Everlong.” 

That was released as a single a year earlier than “My Hero.” The single peaked at #6 on the US charts. The album went platinum and got to #10 on the US Billboard 200 charts.

The song is about everyday heroes… 

Ones that don’t necessarily have to come from the world of sport. It is a song that recognizes the value of ordinary people who sometimes do extraordinary things. It tries to illustrate the fact that you don’t have to be a superstar or someone famous to be capable of leadership and doing something heroic.

Like nearly every Foo Fighters song, it comes with a humorous video which has become their trademark style. It’s a very funny video that is right up there with the other music videos, “Learn to Fly” and “Walk.” 

Get Up Stand Up by Bob Marley

This is one of Bob Marley’s greatest songs. It’s frequently voted as either the best or second best in readers’ polls. In 2020, Rolling Stone magazine voted it as his best song and the Guardian in the UK as his second best.

It was released in 1973 and was initially included on the album, Burnin’. However, in 1984 it appeared on the compilation album, Legend, of which I happened to buy a copy. A couple of years later, it found its way onto another of their compilation albums, Rebel Music. I didn’t buy that one.

The single sold reasonably well, but the album, Burnin’, didn’t even make it into the US Top 100, which I find astonishing. This is an album that also contains the absolute classic, “I Shot The Sheriff,” which would later go on to be covered by Rock legend Eric Clapton.

So, what makes “Get Up Stand Up” so good?

Firstly, musically it’s an amazing Reggae song with a fantastic melody and rhythm. By this metric alone, I think it’s Bob Marley at his best, with nothing that came before or after getting close.

Secondly, lyrically it carries a very powerful message. It’s a call to arms for the downtrodden and oppressed to stand up, be counted, and affect change in their lives. That easily makes it one of the best songs about leadership.

Heroes by David Bowie

David Bowie is one of my all-time favorite musicians. I’ve bought a heap of his albums and was lucky enough to see him live. Sadly, I saw him in the summer of 1977, just a couple of months before “Heroes” was released. 

Consequently, I never got to hear it live. That is a shame because it’s one of my favorite songs and one I also love to play and perform. “Heroes” is featured as a track on the album of the same name. 

Surprisingly… 

For such an iconic song about being a leader, it couldn’t even make it into the Top 100 in the US. Even in the UK, it only got to #24. Ironically, it charted better when it was re-released following his death in 2016. How easily we forget the true stars whilst they still walk amongst us.

David Bowie sold around 100 million records and released 43 albums in his long career. I consider the album “Heroes” to be one of his best. However, with a paltry 200,000 sales to its name and being his 33rd most popular album, the public disagrees.

Back to the single…

The song is about a relationship between two lovers who lived in very different worlds. They were living on opposite sides of the Berlin Wall in the 70s, before German unification and the tearing down of the Berlin Wall in 1989.

The song has since been used to symbolize individuals’ power and their ability to bring about change. It’s a song about heroic acts, and it’s one of the best songs of leadership I can think of. The song remains popular today and is frequently used at political rallies and sports stadiums.

The Champion by Carrie Underwood

Carrie Underwood is an amazing Country singer, and currently, she can’t seem to put a foot wrong. “The Champion” was written by Carrie Underwood and her backroom slaves for the 2018 Super Bowl final. 

In this respect, the song is quite a bit of a departure compared to most of her other songs. We’ll come on to that in a second. The song made it to #47 on the Billboard 100 and went platinum. It was also the last track on her album, Cry Pretty

The album went to #1 in the US, the UK, and a few other countries besides. I am frankly not surprised that the album did better because I don’t think the song was that great, or particularly played to Carrie Underwood’s vocal strengths.

So, why’s that?

Because the track is all about different kinds of champions, like athletes, soldiers, and so forth. Consequently, the music is relatively dramatic, and the mix is full. Plus, Carrie Underwood is pushing her voice almost through the entire song.

So, what’s the problem?

She’s got a great voice, but it isn’t suited to belting endlessly. It feels a little shouty at times. She also sounds like she’s going to run out of breath at any minute and will need a sit-down. The overall effect is that the song starts to get wearing as there are no subtle dynamics to level off the intensity.

Dear Carrie,

I love your voice and your music but stick to Country.

Regards,

Me.

Girl on Fire by Alicia Keys

They don’t come much more talented than Alicia Keys. Her songwriting and musical talent are incredible. In many ways, as an R&B artist, she stands head and shoulders above the rest.

Girl on fire” was taken from her fifth album of the same name. Both were released in 2012, and both were well received. The single went six times platinum in the US, and the album went platinum too. As well as being commercially successful, the album won a Grammy in 2014.

The song was inspired following the birth of her son, Egypt. Words fail me why you’d name your son after a country, but there you go. Maybe it has something to do with her husband being called Swizz. Another bonkers name.

A bit off-topic, so now, back to the song…

Unsurprisingly, it’s a powerful and inspiring number with lots of references to female empowerment and combating adversity. There is loads of girl power here which makes it one of the best songs about leadership as far as women are concerned.

It’s a pretty good song, but the only comment I’d make is that I think some of her better songs are just Alicia Keys at her piano with things dialed down a notch or two. Give me her 2004 hit “If I Ain’t Got You” every time.

Man in the Mirror by Michael Jackson

This was released in 1988 and was a single from the immensely popular 1987 album Bad. “Man in the Mirror” made it to #1 in the US, but surprisingly, it only got to #21 in the UK. 

Not surprisingly, in this instance…

The album sold bucketloads. To be precise, over 35 million copies make it the eleventh best-selling album of all time. 

Not bad as a follow-up to “Thriller,” which was released five years earlier, sold 50 million copies, and was already the best-selling album in history. How cool to have 85 million album sales to your name from just two releases?

The quality and production of “Man in the Mirror” are pretty much flawless. It’s nothing less than what you’d expect when Quincy Jones is in charge of your mixing desk. However, I still don’t think it was anywhere near as good as songs like “Thriller,” “Billie Jean,” and “Beat It.” 

So, what is this one about?

It’s about looking at yourself and taking the responsibility to change. Also, it’s about taking things further and using your strength to effect positive changes in the world. It’s one of the best songs about leading a good life I can think of, and I honestly don’t criticize the sentiment for a second.

However, I do criticize the fact that he might have taken some of his advice and taken a closer look at himself and his stage performances of the time. 

I was unlucky enough to have seen him live during the Bad tour in the UK. He endlessly gripped his crotch and screamed to the point of it being both ridiculous and embarrassing. I did shout out and tell him to stop touching himself and bloody well get on with it, but he paid no notice. True story! 

The Leader of the Pack by The Shangri-Las

The Leader of the Pack” takes me back to 1964 when it was released. It was taken from their debut album, which was also named Leader of the Pack. The single went to #1, but the album garnered much less interest and only made it to #109 on the US charts.

Some might say that this all-girl American band was a bit of a one-hit-wonder. But I’d say that’s more than a little harsh. That’s because the year before, they had a #5 hit with the song, “Remember (Walking in the Sand),” and then a year later, they got to #6 with “I Can Never Go Home Anymore.” 

Admittedly they never made it to #1 again, but they still had a handful of other hits that made it onto the US Billboard 100 charts.

“The Leader of the Pack” is a little different from the rest…

That’s because the main character is a bit of an anti-hero. Although he’s undoubtedly a leader, he’s not one that most of us would try to emulate or celebrate. 

The hero in the song is called Jimmy and is very much the typical bad boy. He’s from the wrong side of the tracks, rides a motorbike, and has a rebellious and nonconformist attitude. The good girl in the song ends up dumping him, no doubt down to parental pressure, and he just shrugs and rides off.

Soon after, he crashes and is killed. The girl was obviously heartbroken. But she’s now married to an accountant called Michael and is living in Ohio.

Searching for More Songs About Doing the Right Thing?

If you are, take a look at our detailed articles on the Best Songs About Change, the Best Songs about Fighting, the Best Songs About Heroes, the Top Songs About Bravery, and the Best Women Empowerment Songs for more great songs.

Of course, you need to listen to them. So, check out our in-depth reviews of the Best Headphones for Music, the Best Sound Quality Earbuds, the Best Headphones For Rock & Metal Music, the Best Noise Isolating Earbuds, and the Best Headphones Under $200 you can buy in 2023.

Songs About Leadership – Final Thoughts

So, there you have it. I hope my playlist of leadership songs has been fun and got you fired up for today or the future. It was only a short list, and I couldn’t include everything I wanted, so apologize if some of your favorites weren’t included.

Until next time, happy listening. 

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About Corey Hoffman

Corey is a multi-instrumentalist who has played in numerous bands over the years, some good, some not so good. He has also written countless songs and recorded five albums in professional studios across America. Today he is a hobby musician but still loves the guitar after over 15 years of playing.

He considers his writing as a way to share what he has learned over the decades with younger generations ad always can't wait to get his hands on the latest gear.

He lives just outside New York with his wife Barbara and their two German Shepherds, Ziggy and Iggy.

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