Holding Out for a Hero

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"Holding Out for a Hero"
Bonnie Tyler Holding a Hero.jpg
Single by Bonnie Tyler
from the album Footloose and Secret Dreams and Forbidden Fire
Released13 April 1984
FormatCD single, 7", 12"
GenrePop rock, dance-rock
Length5:50 (album version)
4:21 (single edit)
Songwriter(s)Jim Steinman, Dean Pitchford
Producer(s)Jim Steinman
Bonnie Tyler singles chronology
"A Rockin' Good Way (to Mess Around and Fall in Love)"
"Holding Out for a Hero"
"Here She Comes"
Music video
"Holding Out for a Hero" on YouTube

"Holding Out for a Hero" is a song recorded by Welsh singer Bonnie Tyler for the soundtrack to the 1984 film Footloose, and later included on her 1986 album Secret Dreams and Forbidden Fire. It was written by Jim Steinman and Dean Pitchford. Initially, the song only just reached the Top 100 in the UK Singles Chart, but made it to number 2 the following year, and re-entered the charts again at number 69 in 1991. The song reached No. 1 on the Irish Singles Chart on 28 September 1985. It reached the top 40 in the United States and Canada.

The song's instrumental break was reused from an earlier song by Jim Steinman called "Stark Raving Love", which featured on Steinman's 1981 album Bad for Good.[citation needed]


Jim Steinman had been recruited to work on the Footloose soundtrack, for which he wrote "Holding Out for a Hero" with Dean Pitchford. Steinman suggested Tyler's name when he was approached about finding a singer to record the song. Tyler recorded the song at the Paramount Studios, and was shown the scene of the film where the song would feature.


Holding Out for a Hero has become a torch song. In the LGBT community, The Star Observer of Australia deemed the song a dearly-loved gay anthem.[1]

Tyler's version was used for a 1984 Days of Our Lives storyline involving the abduction of Hope Williams from her wedding by a motorcycle-riding Bo Brady.[2][3][4] The 2004 animated film Shrek 2 utilized the song.

Tyler's version is heard in a 2017 TV commercial for the Kia Niro that aired during Super Bowl LI on February 5, 2017, but was posted online before the game. The ad stars Melissa McCarthy, who travels around the world stopping environmental disasters. It won the USA Today Super Bowl Ad Meter, becoming the second consecutive car commercial to win the Ad Meter.[citation needed]

Tyler's version is heard in a third 2017 TV commercial for Walmart as part of a back-to-school promotion.[5]

Later in 1984 the song was used in Cover Up, an American action/adventure television series that aired for one season on CBS from September 22, 1984, to April 6, 1985. Created by Glen A. Larson, the series stars Jennifer O'Neill, Jon-Erik Hexum, Antony Hamilton, and Richard Anderson and was performed by the American actress, voice artist, comedian and singer E. G. Daily.[citation needed]

Music video[edit]

The video was produced by Jeffrey Abelson, and directed by Doug Dowdle, with the concept by Keith Williams. It was the second music video (following Deniece Williams' "Let's Hear It For The Boy") that successfully promoted Footloose while having no movie footage in the video.

The video starts off with Bonnie Tyler escaping from a burning house; the video is set primarily in the vicinity of the burning house and on the edge of the Grand Canyon – interspersed with shots of angelic background singers dressed all in white. Evil cowboys dressed in black, carrying neon whips appear before Tyler, threatening her; a cowboy hero dressed in white, brandishing a revolver, appears on horseback and the evil cowboys flee on horseback, with the hero in pursuit. As the song fades out, the hero cowboy appears in front of Tyler.

Live performances[edit]

Two recorded live performances of "Holding Out for a Hero" have been released on her live albums Bonnie Tyler Live (2007) and Live in Germany 1993 (2011). Video performances have also been released on Tyler's DVDs, Bonnie on Tour (2007) and the DVD edition of Live in Germany 1993.

Track listings and formats[edit]

  • 1984 7" single
  1. "Holding Out for a Hero" – 4:22
  2. "Faster Than the Speed of Night" – 4:40
  • 1984 12" single
  1. "Holding Out for a Hero" (Extended Remix) – 6:19
  2. "Holding Out for a Hero" (Instrumental) – 5:15
  3. "Faster Than the Speed of Night" – 4:40
  • 1991 12"/CD single
  1. "Holding Out for a Hero" – 4:41
  2. "Faster Than the Speed of Night" – 4:40
  3. "Total Eclipse of the Heart" – 6:49

Credits and personnel[edit]

Other versions[edit]

Since the original release in 1984, Tyler has re-recorded the song three times. Two versions were released under Stick Music, on her album Simply Believe (2004) and EP Bonnie Tyler (2005). She recorded the song again in 2011 on an EP entitled Total Eclipse of the Heart, released by Cleopatra Records.[citation needed]

Cover versions[edit]


Video Games[edit]


Charts and certifications[edit]


  1. ^ Bond, Nick (October 22, 2008). "Holding Out for Bonnie". The Star Observer.
  2. ^ Moss Pit (Daily Columnists), Jake &. "Big screen songs bare souls - 2 DJs and a Boombox." Iowa State Daily (Ames, IA), sec. News, 8 Apr. 1999. NewsBank, infoweb.newsbank.com/apps/news/document-view?p=AWNB&docref=news/12BAB99C886C0950. Accessed 5 Jan. 2019.
  3. ^ Pinkerton, Jonathan. "Soap stars OLTL's Robin Strasser, Days' Peter Reckell & AMC's Michael Knight share May 7 birthday." Nashville Examiner (TN), sec. Nashville Entertainment Examiner, 7 May 2009. NewsBank, infoweb.newsbank.com/apps/news/document-view?p=AWNB&docref=news/1341FEC7C35341E0. Accessed 5 Jan. 2019.
  4. ^ Roos, Henrietta. Soap Opera Super Couples: The Great Romances of Daytime Drama. Jefferson: McFarland, 2017. Amazon Kindle. 5 Jan. 2019.
  5. ^ "Walmart TV Commercial "Shop Fast, Check Out Faster" Song By Bonnie Tyler". Ispot.tv. August 21, 2017.
  6. ^ a b "Shrek 2 (Soundtrack from the Motion Picture) by Various Artists". iTunes Store. Apple, Inc. Retrieved 27 August 2014.
  7. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 316. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  8. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Bonnie Tyler – Holding Out for a Hero" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  9. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 6742." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 21 October 2016.
  10. ^ (PDF) https://www.americanradiohistory.com/Archive-Music-and-Media/80s/1984/M&M-1984-06-25.pdf. Retrieved 11 July 2019. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  11. ^ (PDF) https://www.americanradiohistory.com/Archive-Music-and-Media/80s/1984/M&M-1984-05-28.pdf. Retrieved 11 July 2019. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  12. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Bonnie Tyler – Holding Out for a Hero". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 21 October 2016.
  13. ^ "Hit Parade Italia". HitParadeItalia (in Italian). Retrieved 21 October 2016.
  14. ^ "Charts.nz – Bonnie Tyler – Holding Out for a Hero". Top 40 Singles.
  15. ^ "South African Rock Lists Website SA Charts 1965 – 1989 Acts T". The South African Rock Encyclopedia. Retrieved 21 October 2016.
  16. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Bonnie Tyler – Holding Out for a Hero". Singles Top 100.
  17. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 21 October 2016.
  18. ^ "Bonnie Tyler Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  19. ^ "Suomen virallinen lista". Retrieved February 15, 2019.
  20. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Holding Out for a Hero". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 21 October 2016.
  21. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 21 October 2016.
  22. ^ (PDF) https://www.americanradiohistory.com/Archive-Music-and-Media/80s/1985/M&M-1985-10-07.pdf. Retrieved 23 October 2019. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  23. ^ "Eurocharts Hot 100 Singles" (PDF). Retrieved January 19, 2019.
  24. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 21 October 2016.
  25. ^ "Lescharts.com – {{{artist}}} – {{{song}}}" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved 11 October 2017.
  26. ^ "Listy bestsellerów, wyróżnienia :: Związek Producentów Audio-Video". Polish Airplay Top 100. Retrieved May 22, 2017.
  27. ^ "MAHASZ". Retrieved 10 July 2019.
  28. ^ "British single certifications – Bonnie Tyler – Holding Out for a Hero". British Phonographic Industry. Select singles in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Type Holding Out for a Hero in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.