Rockstar (Nickelback song)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Single by Nickelback
from the album All the Right Reasons
Released July 6, 2006 (2006-07-06)
(See release history)
Format CD single, digital download
Recorded May 2005; Mountain View Studios, Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada
Genre Alternative rock
Length 4:14
Label Roadrunner
Writer(s) Chad Kroeger, Ryan Peake, Mike Kroeger, Daniel Adair
Nickelback chronology
"Far Away"
"If Everyone Cared"
Nickelback UK singles chronology
"Savin' Me"
"Photograph (re-release)"
Billy Gibbons/ZZ Top chronology
Music video
"Rockstar" on YouTube

"Rockstar" is the fifth U.S. single by the Canadian rock band Nickelback from their 2005 fifth studio album, All the Right Reasons. It was only released in the United States and Canada, and has since been re-released worldwide. Spoken-word vocals between each verse are provided by Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top.

Release and re-release[edit]

During the song's original release "Far Away" was more successful on the Billboard Hot 100 and U.S. Pop charts, while "Rockstar" instead found moderate success on the rock charts. It peaked at #4 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, and #37 on the Modern Rock Tracks chart. It entered the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at #54, during its original run.

The song was re-shipped to radio for ads on 5 June 2007, and a video was made to accompany the re-release. After its re-release, became active on most charts again, reaching new peaks on numerous charts like The Hot 100, the Adult Top 40, and Pop 100. It re-entered the Billboard Hot 100 at number forty-seven on week ending date July 7, 2007.[1] It also registered on charts it had previously failed to do on first release, such as the Pop 100 Airplay. "Rockstar" is now the band's best selling digital single to date in the United States, with digital sales there at 4,229,000 as of July 2013.[2] On 12 September 2007, "Rockstar" reached a new peak of #6 on the Billboard Hot 100, faring better than "Far Away"; becoming Nickelback's third Top 10 hit from All the Right Reasons, and their fifth career Top Ten on the Hot 100 overall. "Rockstar" reached its 3,000,000 downloads mark in the U.S. in May 2009 and became the best selling rock single of the 21st century before "How You Remind Me".[3] It reached 4 million in sales in the U.S. in June 2012, making it the band's best selling hit in that country.[4] As of January 2015, the song has sold 4.5 million copies in the U.S.[5]

"Rockstar" was a success in the United Kingdom, and the most successful single overall of Nickelback's career there, peaking at number two on the UK Singles Chart and number one on the UK Official Download Chart. The song was released in physical form in the country after becoming popular online and climbing into the top 50 on downloads alone. Over two years after the release of All the Right Reasons, it became the band's biggest hit in the country, selling 587,000 copies. "Rockstar" debuted on the UK Singles Chart on October 21, 2007 ― week ending date October 27, 2007 ― and lasted almost nine months on the chart. On August 10, 2008 ― week ending date August 16, 2008 ― the song re-entered the chart. The release of "Rockstar" also helped All the Right Reasons achieve a top 10 position in the UK Albums Chart for the first time, becoming their third top 10 album there. It also pushed sales of the album there from under 200,000 to over half a million. It became the United Kingdom's fifth biggest selling single of 2008.[6] In August 2008, the song re-entered the top 40 of the UK Singles Chart at number twenty seven, and stayed there for an extra four weeks, taking its total of weeks in the top 40 up to 35. The song remained on the chart for 50 consecutive weeks, before falling off in October 2008.


Rolling Stone ranked "Rockstar" at number 100 in their list of the 100 best songs of 2007.[7] Aside from its popularity, the song is considered one of the worst songs of all time by critics.[8][9] The song was listed at number 2 in BuzzFeed's list of the 30 worst songs ever written. They said: "If aliens came to earth and asked why everyone hates Nickelback so much, this song would be a perfect explanation.[10] A 2008 Popjustice poll, voted "Rockstar" as the worst single of the year.[11]

In August 2008, the song appeared in an "banned" advert for sofa retailer DFS in the United Kingdom. The advert featured actors miming "Rock Star" while playing air guitar in front of sofas. In December 2008, the advert was also given the distinction as one of the worst adverts of all time.[12][13]

Track listing[edit]


  1. "Rockstar" (Album Version) - 4:15
  2. "Rockstar" (Clean Version) - 4:15
  3. "Never Again" (Live in Atlanta) - 4:16
  4. "Photograph" (Live in Atlanta) - 4:38
  5. "Rockstar" (Video)

Pop culture references[edit]

The lyrics can be taken as generalization of the stereotypical rockstar lifestyle celebrating material success at the expense of artistic integrity. The material desires of the rockstar are listed, but the practice needed to become proficient at rock music is never mentioned. For example:

The song has been compared to earlier satirical odes to the rockstar lifestyle, including Dire Straits' "Money for Nothing" (1985), Joe Walsh's "Life's Been Good" (1978), Dr. Hook's "Cover of the Rolling Stone" (1973), The Jam's "To Be Someone" from their album All Mod Cons (1978), The Byrds' "So You Want to Be a Rock 'n' Roll Star" (1967) and AC/DC's "It's a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock 'n' Roll)".

The song makes several references to American popular culture: MTV Cribs (Chad Kroeger, the band's frontman, appeared on an episode of the show), the Playboy Mansion and Playmates, and a spot between James Dean and Cher on Hollywood's Walk of Fame (Nickelback is already on Canada's Walk of Fame[15]).

Music video[edit]

When the song was first released in August 2006, a music video was not made for the single. Dori Oskowitz, who directed the band's "If Everyone Cared" video, returned to direct the music video for the song's re-release.[16]

Filming outside the Reichstag in Berlin on 23 July 2007

The video features celebrities and non-celebrities lip synching to the lyrics. The non-celebrities are filmed around the world, in front of iconic landmarks, such as Times Square in New York, Millennium Park in Chicago, Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles, St Pauls and Tower Bridge in London, the Opera House and Harbour Bridge in Sydney, and the Reichstag in Berlin. On screen celebrities include multiple shots of Billy Gibbons (who voices his lines in the song), Chuck "The Iceman" Liddell, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Eliza Dushku, Dominique Swain, Gene Simmons, Wayne Gretzky, Erik Rowan, Big & Rich's John Rich, the cast of The Girls Next Door, Kid Rock, Lupe Fiasco, Twista, Nelly Furtado, the crew from American Chopper, Paul Wall, Ted Nugent, Grant Hill, Taryn Manning, Tom Petkos, Lindsey Shaw, Riki Lindhome and numerous others. Sometimes the lyric they are lip synching relates to themselves. At the end of the video Nickelback is shown playing live on stage; this shot was filmed 13 July 2007 at the Comcast Center for the Performing Arts in Mansfield, Massachusetts.[17]

Release history[edit]

Country Release date Version
United States August 21, 2006 (2006-08-21) Original
June 6, 2007 (2007-06-06) Re-release
United Kingdom November 12, 2007 (2007-11-12)


Chart (2006–07) Peak
Australian ARIA Physical Singles Chart[18] 60
Austrian Singles Chart[19] 5
Bulgarian Singles Chart 36
Canadian Hot 100[20] 39
Slovak Airplay Chart 28
Czech Airplay Chart 17
Denmark Singles Chart 32
Belgian Singles Chart 23
Danish Singles Chart[19] 32
Dutch Top 40[19] 14
European Hot 100 Singles 7
German Singles Chart[19] 23
Irish Singles Chart[19] 2
Slovakia (Rádio Top 100)[21] 28
Swedish Singles Chart[19] 10
Swiss Singles Chart[19] 14
UK Singles Chart[19] 2
UK Rock Chart 1
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[19] 6
U.S. Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks 4
U.S. Billboard Alternative Songs 37
U.S. Billboard Pop Songs 6
U.S. Billboard Adult Pop Songs 6
Chart (2000–2009) Peak
UK Top 100 Songs of the Decade 54[22]

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (2007/2008) Rank
German Singles Chart[23] 77
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[24] 5


  1. ^ Billboard Hot 100, Issue Date: Saturday July 7th, 2007 α
  2. ^ Paul Grein (July 17, 2013). "Week Ending July 14, 2013. Songs: Seven For Jay-Z". Chart Watch (Yahoo). 
  3. ^ "Yahoo Music". 
  4. ^ "Week Ending June 10, 2012. Songs: No Maybes About It". 14 June 2012. 
  5. ^ Grein, Paul (January 31, 2015). "The 15 Most Downloaded Song in Rock History". Yahoo! Music. 
  6. ^ "Duffy and Burke top 2008 charts". BBC. 29 December 2008. Retrieved 4 July 2013. 
  7. ^ "The 100 Best Songs of 2007". Archived at Wayback Machine. Rolling Stone. 11 December 2007. Retrieved 6 June 2013. 
  8. ^ Robinson, Peter (9 February 2008). "How bad can Nickelback be? Phenomenally, says Peter Robinson". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 June 2013. 
  9. ^ "To See Or Not To See: Nickelback". Metro. 15 September 2008. Retrieved 2 June 2013. 
  10. ^ Broderick, Ryan (12 June 2012). "Thes are the 30 of the worst songs ever written". BuzzFeed. Retrieved 2 June 2013. 
  11. ^ "Popjustice Readers’ Poll Results 2008". Popjustice. 1 January 2009. Retrieved 14 August 2013. 
  12. ^ "10 of the best - worst adverts of all time". Daily Record. 12 December 2008. Retrieved 4 July 2013. 
  13. ^ Sweney, Mark (11 December 2008). "The worst TV ads of 2008: Federer, Woods and Henry take a bow". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 July 2013. 
  14. ^ "Nickelback - Rockstar Lyrics - SongMeanings". SongMeanings. 
  15. ^ MouthMedia. "Canada's Walk of Fame". 
  16. ^ Video Static: Music Video News: June 3, 2007 - June 9, 2007
  17. ^ YouTube - Nickelback making video
  18. ^ [1] ARIA Report 918. Retrieved 2012-10-12
  19. ^ a b c d e f g h i Nickelback - Rockstar at
  20. ^ "Rockstar - Nickelback". Billboard. Retrieved 2010-08-11. 
  21. ^ "SNS IFPI" (in Slovak). Hitparáda – Radio Top 100 Oficiálna. IFPI Czech Republic. Note: insert 200745 into search.
  22. ^ Radio 1 Official Chart of the Decade, as broadcast on BBC Radio 1 on Tuesday 29th December 2009, presented by Nihal
  23. ^ "Nickelback". 
  24. ^ "Chart Plus Year End 2008" (PDF). Official Charts Company. Retrieved 6 August 2015. 

External links[edit]