" is the fifth U.S. single (although
later re-released) by the Canadian rock band Nickelback
from their 2005 fifth studio album
All the Right
. It was only released in the U.S. and Canada, and
has since been re-released worldwide. Spoken-word vocals between
each verse are provided by Billy
of ZZ Top
Release and re-release
During the song's original release "Far Away" was more successful
on the U.S. Hot 100
and U.S. Pop charts, while
"Rockstar" instead found moderate success on the rock charts. It
peaked at #4 on the Mainstream
chart, and #37 on the Modern Rock Tracks
chart. It entered the
Billboard Hot 100
, peaking at #54,
during its original run. Because the song was released so close
together with "Far Away" the band opted to shoot a video for "Far
Away" and a video for "Rockstar" was not originally made.
The song was re-shipped to radio for ads on 5 June 2007, and a
video was made to accompany the re-release. Since its re-release,
the song has experienced great mainstream success, and has become
active on most charts again, reaching new peaks on numerous charts
like The Hot 100, the Adult Top 40, and Pop 100. It has also
registered on charts it didn't the first time, such as the Pop 100
Airplay. The song climbed as high as #3 on iTunes top 100 selling
songs as well as #1 on the chart of the most downloaded music video
on iTunes. When iTunes released their Top Sellers of 2007,
"Rockstar" was the 14th best selling digital song of 2007, and the
"Rockstar" video was the #1 selling music video on iTunes for 2007.
"Rockstar" is now the band's best selling digital single to date in
the U.S., currently with U.S. digital sales of over 2 million. On
12 September 2007, "Rockstar" reached a new peak of #6 on the
Billboard Hot 100, peaking higher than "Far Away" did, becoming
Nickelback's third Top 10 hit from All the Right Reasons
their fifth career Hot 100 Top Ten overall.
was a success in the United Kingdom, and the most successful single overall of
Nickelback's career there, where it peaked at #2 in the UK Singles Chart and #1 in the UK Official Download
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
, it became the band's highest charting single in
the country, beating the peak of their breakout hit, "How You Remind Me
", which reached #4 in
2002 (though "How You Remind Me" remains slightly Nickelback's
biggest selling single in the United Kingdom to date). The release
of "Rockstar" also helped All the Right Reasons
top 10 position in the UK Albums
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. In the UK it was one of the biggest selling
singles of 2008. The song remained on the UK Singles Chart
for 50 consecutive weeks
before falling off in October 2008, making it one of the most
successful songs on the chart in years in terms of longevity. It
fell out of the top 40 on 6 July 2008.
On 10 August 2008, the song re-entered the UK Singles Chart
at #27, and stayed in the
chart for an extra four weeks, taking its current total of weeks
inside the UK Top 40 up to 35. Many fans believe that the re-entry
was a result of the song being featured on a DFS
Sofa's advert. The song received the
Record of the Year
award in the
UK for 2008.
The song was the 5th biggest-selling in the UK in 2008, despite not
reaching number one.
This song was #100 on Rolling
's list of the 100 Best Songs of 2007, despite the
fact that the band has been consistently criticized by the
- "Rockstar" (Album Version) - 4:15
- "Rockstar" (Clean Version) - 4:15
- "Never Again" (Live in Atlanta) - 4:16
- "Photograph" (Live in Atlanta) - 4:38
- "Rockstar" (Video)
Pop culture references
The lyrics can be taken as a satirical
commentary on the lifestyle (or perceived lifestyle) of a rockstar,
or as a glorification of 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:
"I want a brand new house/ on an episode of
Cribs/ And a bathroom I can play baseball in
...I want a new tour bus full of old guitars/My own star on
The song echoes a similar sentiment expressed in earlier satirical
odes to the rockstar lifestyle, including the Dire Straits
song "Money for Nothing
" which was a hit
in 1985, as well as the 1978 Joe Walsh
single, "Life's Been Good
's "Cover of the Rolling Stone
1973, and The Byrds
' 1967 "So You Want to Be a Rock
'n' Roll Star
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
When the song was first released in August 2006, a music video was
not made for the single. Dori
, who directed the band's "If Everyone Cared
" video, returned to
direct the music video for the song's re-release. The video would
go on to become the top selling music video of 2007 on iTunes
1. Boy at a baseball field: "I'm through with standing in line to
clubs I'll never get in"
2. Lindsey Shaw in front of the Cloud Gate: "It's like the bottom
of the ninth"
3. Man in front of the Flatiron Building: "and I'm never gonna
4. Cindy Taylor on a pool float: "This life hasn't turned
5. Old woman on the Millennium Bridge (London) in front of St
Paul's Cathedral: "quite the way I want it to be"
6. Billy Gibbons from ZZ Top: "Tell me what you want"
7. Wayne Gretzky: "I want a brand new house"
8. Three women in Times Square: "on an episode of Cribs"
9. Kendra Wilkinson in front of the Playboy Mansion: "And a
bathroom I can play baseball in"
10. New York City policeman: "And a king size tub"
11. Gene Simmons in front of his wall of gold and platinum records:
"big enough for ten"
12. Paul Wall in front of a highway: "plus me"
13. Billy Gibbons again: "Yeah, so whatcha need" (voiceover)
14. Park ranger at Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park: "I'll
need a, a credit card"
15. Dominique Swain in a bubblebath: "that's got no limit"
16. Three men (one US MP, one East German border guard, and one
civilian) at Checkpoint Charlie facing the American Sector: "And a
big black jet"
17. Twista, Mayz from the Speedknot Mobstaz, and unknown man riding
in a limo: "with a bedroom in it"
18. Man in Grand Central Terminal: "Gonna join the mile high
19. Holly Madison in the Playboy Mansion grotto: "at thirty-seven
20. Woman in Los Angeles: "Been there, done that" (Billy Gibbons
21. Street musician in Union Square: "I want a new tour bus"
22. Same street musician with performers in Union Square: "full of
23. Three girls on the bank of the Chicago River in front of Marina
City: "My own star on Hollywood Boulevard"
24. Gene Simmons again: "Somewhere between Cher"
25. Paul Teutul, Sr. of Orange County Choppers: "and James Dean is
fine for me"
26. Billy Gibbons again: "So how you gonna do it?"
27. John Rich on a pool table with a banjo: "I'm gonna trade this
28. Woman in Union Square: "for fortune and fame"
29. Chuck Liddell: "I'll even cut my hair"
30. Man in a Chinese restaurant: "and change my name"
31. Two Blazin' Saddles employees in front of a General
Lee-inspired RV: "'Cause we all just wanna be"
32. Eight kids in front of the Sydney Harbour Bridge: "big
33. Wayne Gretzky again: "and live in hilltop houses"
34. Parking valet at Jones Hollywood in West Hollywood: "driving
35. Brian Walton on Lambeth Palace Road in front of the Houses of
Parliament: "The girls come easy and the drugs come cheap"
36. Jenna Westerbeck sunbathing: "We'll all stay skinny"
37. Kid Rock: "cause we just won't eat/And we'll"
38. Twista, Mayz, and unknown man again: "hang out in the coolest
39. Jessie Coleman in Grand Central Terminal: "In the VIP"
40. Eliza Dushku: "with the movie stars"
41. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. in front of a Union 76 gas station: "Every
good gold digger's"
42. Taryn Manning: "Gonna wind up there"
43. Paul Wall again: "Every Playboy bunny"
44. Two women in the middle of Davie Street: "With her bleach blond
45. Jerry Cantrell under Chicago's El tracks and in front of Double
Door: "And we'll/Hey hey"
46. Liam Lynch in Union Square: "I wanna be a"
47. Nelly Furtado on tour bus: "rockstar"
48. Man in front of the same highway as Paul Wall above
49. Man in Union Square
50. Two women in Grand Central Terminal: "Hey"
51. Chuck Liddell again with Elliot Segal from DC101 in a
52. Boy in grocery store: "I wanna be a rockstar"
53. Paul Teutul, Jr., Paul Teutul, Sr., and Mikey from Orange
County Choppers flexing muscles
54. Man in front of Marina City: "I wanna be great like
55. Elvis impersonator: "without the tassels"
56. Federico Castelluccio from The Sopranos: "Hire eight body
57. Chuck Liddell again: (expletive deleted)
58. Grant Hill signing basketball: "Sign a couple autographs/So I
59. Man in Union Square again: "eat my meals for free"
60. Billy Gibbons again: "I'll have the quesadilla"
61. Paul Wall again: "Ha ha" (Billy Gibbons voiceover)
62. Man and woman in the middle of Davie Street: "I'm gonna dress
63. Ted Nugent: "with the latest fashion"
64. Man and woman in front of the Cloud Gate: "Get a front door
65. Kendra Wilkinson, Holly Madison, and Bridget Marquardt from The
Girls Next Door: "to the Playboy mansion"
66. Man in front of the Flatiron Building: "Gonna date a
67. Two teenagers in Washington Square Park: "that loves to blow my
money for me"
68. Billy Gibbons again: "So how you gonna do it?"
69. Paul Teutul, Jr., Paul Teutul, Sr., and Mikey from Orange
County Choppers again: "I'm gonna trade this life"
70. Man and woman in front of the Reichstag building: "For fortune
71. Jordan Carlos overlooking Los Angeles: "I'd even cut my
72. Man in front of the New York Stock Exchange: "And change my
73. Man at a pink bus-stop bench on Davie Street: "'Cause we all
just wanna be"
74. Lupe Fiasco on a table: "big rockstars"
75. Woman in front of the Brandenburg Gate: "And live in hilltop
76. Woman in front of the Chicago Theater: "driving fifteen
77. Two women at the beach: "The girls come easy"
78. Taryn Manning again: "and the drugs come cheap"
79. Eliza Dushku again: "We'll all stay skinny"
80. Woman in front of the Sydney Harbour Bridge: "'cause we just
81. Three women dancing : "And we'll hang out in the coolest
82. Gene Simmons again: "In the VIP"
83. Dominique Swain again: "with the movie stars"
84. Lupe Fiasco again: "Every good gold digger's"
85. Chuck Liddell again: "gonna wind up there"
86. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. again: "Every Playboy bunny"
87. Two girls in Times Square: "with her bleach blond hair"
88. Man in front of Beverly Hills High School: "And we'll hide out
in the private rooms"'
89. Eliza Dushku again: "With the latest dictionary"
90. Federico Castelluccio again: "and today's who's who"
91. Riki Lindhome at the beach: "They'll get you anything with that
92. Kid Rock again: "Everybody's got a drug dealer on speed
93. Steel worker: "Hey hey I wanna be a rockstar"
94. John Rich again, smashing a guitar
95. Three women in the middle of Davie Street: "I'm gonna sing
those songs that offend the censors"
96. Te'DeVan Rocketman Wacha Kurzweil in Union Square: "Gonna pop
my pills from a Pez dispenser"
97. Lupe Fiasco again: "Get washed-up singers"
98. Boy in front of a mixing console: "writing all my songs"
99. Gwenno Pipette overlooking Los Angeles: "Lip sync 'em every
100. Daniel Self at City Market in Raleigh: "so I don't get 'em
101. Man on street corner in New York City's Chinatown: "Well we
all just wanna be"
102. Man in front of Big Acorn in Raleigh: "big rockstars"
103. Eight Blazin' Saddles employees at City Market in Raleigh:
"And live in hilltop houses"
104. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. again:"driving fifteen cars"
105. The Naked Cowboy in Times Square: "The girls come easy and the
drugs come cheap"
106. Woman at the beach: "We'll all stay skinny"
107. Brandon Berman in Times Square: "'cause we just won't
108. Cindy Taylor again: "And we'll hang out in the coolest
109. Woman in front of Buckingham Fountain: "In the VIP"
110. Grant Hill again: "with the movie stars"
111. Jayson Woolley in Union Square: "Every good gold
112. Ted Nugent again: "gonna wind up there"
113. Holly Madison again: "Every Playboy"
114. Bridget Marquardt in a pink bed: "bunny with her bleach"
115. Kendra Wilkinson again: "blond hair/And we'll"
116. Laurie Picken standing next to City Hall in front of Tower
Bridge: "hide out in the private rooms"
117. Nelly Furtado again: "With the latest dictionary and
118. Two women in front of the Sydney Opera House and Sydney
Harbour Bridge: "Who's Who/They'll get you anything"
119. Kid Rock again: "with that evil smile/Everybody's"
120. Ted Nugent again: "got a drug dealer on speed dial/Well"
121. John Rich again: "hey"
122. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. again: "hey"
123. Worker in front of Marina City with a Michigan State
University sweatshirt: "I wanna be a rockstar"
124. Wayne Gretzky again, splashing a pool with a hockey
125. Kendra Wilkinson again dancing
126. Nelly Furtado again: "Hey"
127. Gene Simmons again: "hey"
128. Nickelback fans at Tweeter Center for the Performing Arts
concert singing: "I wanna be a rockstar"
129. Pan to Chad Kroeger, pan to Mike Kroeger and Ryan Peake
The video features B-list celebrities (mostly rednecks
) and non-celebrities lip synching
to the lyrics. The non-celebrities
are often filmed in front of iconic landmarks, such as Times Square in New York and Millennium Park in Chicago.
Celebrities include Billy Gibbons
voices his lines in the song), Chuck "The
, Taryn Manning
Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
, Eliza Dushku
, Wayne Gretzky
, Big & Rich's John Rich
, the cast of The Girls Next Door
, The Naked Cowboy
, Lupe Fiasco
, Riki Lindhome
, the crew from American
, Paul Wall
, Ted Nugent Twista
, Juicy J
, Grant Hill
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. The shot outside the Reichstag
building in Berlin was filmed
on 23 July 2007.
Image:Berlin_20070723_0046a.jpg|Filming outside the Reichstag in
- "Rockstar" has sold over 3,000,000 downloads in the U.S. as of
- "Rockstar" entered the UK singles chart on 21 October 2007 and
lasted almost 9 months on the chart. On August 10, 2008, the song
re-entered the chart.
- It re-entered the U.S.
Singles Chart at number
forty-seven on 7 July 2007.
- No byline (11 December 2007). "The 100 Best Songs of 2007" Rolling
Stone. Retrieved 2007-12-21
- Nickelback - Rockstar lyrics
- Canada's Walk of Fame: Nickelback
- Video Static: Music Video News: June 3, 2007 - June
- YouTube - Nickelback making video
- Nickelback - Rockstar at acharts.us
- Billboard Hot 100, Issue Date: Saturday July 7th, 2007