The 20 Best Girl Power Songs to Enjoy in your GRL PWR Shirt

The music industry has no shortage of strong ladies belting out even stronger girl power songs. Whether you’re into hip-hop, rock, or R&B, you’re sure to find a beat that’ll inspire you to embrace your inner goddess.

These songs are great to get you fired up and ready to conquer the world. So, throw on your favorite GRL PWR shirt, grab your headphones, and get ready to be empowered!

“R-E-S-P-E-C-T” by Aretha Franklin

Most Empowering Lyrics

Oh
A little respect
Whoa, yeah
A little respect
I get tired
I keep on tryin'
You're runnin' out of fools
And I ain't lyin'
Respect when you come home
Or you just might walk in
And find out I'm gone

Album Name

I Never Loved A Man The Way I Love You [1967]

Fun Facts

In 1987 Aretha Franklin was the first women to be inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. During her lifetime she has been nominated for forty-four Grammys and won eighteen of them. Ten were for Best R&B Vocal Performance.

“I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor

Most Empowering Lyrics

Go on now, go, walk out the door
Just turn around now
'Cause you're not welcome anymore
Weren't you the one who tried to hurt me with goodbye
Do you think I'd crumble
Did you think I'd lay down and die?

Album Name

Love Tracks [1978]

Fun Facts

Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive” won the Grammy for Best Disco Recording in 1979. She has the distinction of being the only winner in this category since that’s the only year Best Disco Recording was a thing at the Grammys.

“Rebel Girl” by Bikini Kill

Most Empowering Lyrics

Rebel girl rebel girl
Rebel girl you are the queen of my world
Rebel girl rebel girl
I know I want to take you home
I want to try on your clothes
That girl thinks she's the queen of the neighborhood
I got news for you, she is!
They say she's a dyke but I know
She is my best friend yeah
Rebel girl rebel girl
Rebel girl you are the queen of my world

Album Name

Pussy Whipped [1993]

Fun Facts

Bikini Kill had a difficult time attracting an audience when they first formed. Lead singer Kathleen Hanna noted that when they started performing men in the punk scene were “super pissed” at the all-female group and that women at their shows called them “man-haters” and spit in their faces. Thankfully they, and their music, persisted.

“Run the World (Girls)” - Beyoncé

Most Empowering Lyrics

Boy you know you love it
How we're smart enough
To make these millions
Strong enough to bare the children

Then get back to business
See, you better not play me
Don't come here baby
Hope you still like me
"F" you pay me

Album Name

4 [2011]

Fun Facts

The video for “Run the World” took three days to film and featured over 200 dancers. Staring in the video, as well as helping with the choreography was Mozambican kwaito dance duo Tofo Tofo. When Beyoncé first contacted them to help her with the video they had no idea who she was.

“Bitch” by Meredith Brooks

Most Empowering Lyrics

I'm a bitch, I'm a lover
I'm a child, I'm a mother
I'm a sinner, I'm a saint
I do not feel ashamed
I'm your hell, I'm your dream
I'm nothing in between
You know you wouldn't want it any other way

Album Name

Blurring the Edges [1997]

Fun Facts

When “Bitch” was first released radio stations either wouldn’t play it or wouldn’t mention the name of the song on air because of it’s “offensive” title. Soon after the name of the song was changed to “Nothing in Between” and stations began to play it, even though the lyrics stayed the same.

“Bad Reputation” by Joan Jett

Most Empowering Lyrics

I don't give a damn 'bout my reputation
You're living in the past it's a new generation
A girl can do what she wants to do and that's
What I'm gonna do
An' I don't give a damn ' bout my bad reputation

Album Name

Bad Reputation [1981]

Fun Facts

It took Joan Jett three tries before she would make “Bad Reputation” a huge success. She first pitched the song to her bandmates, “The Runaways”. They didn’t like the song and refused to record it.

In 1979 Joan recorded a version of the song with Sex Pistols’ members Paul Cook and Steve Jones. It was released as a “B-side” and quickly forgotten. She re-recorded the song in 1981 with her new band, The Blackhearts and the rest is rock ‘n roll history.

“Roar” by Katy Perry

Most Empowering Lyrics

I used to bite my tongue and hold my breath
Scared to rock the boat and make a mess
So I sat quietly, agreed politely
I guess that I forgot I had a choice
I let you push me past the breaking point
I stood for nothing, so I fell for everything

You held me down, but I got up (hey!)

Album Name

Prism [2013]

Fun Facts

Katy Perry wrote “Roar” in response to her marriage and messy divorce with English comedian and actor Russell Brand. She wrote it because she was sick of never being able to speak up for herself which cause a lot of resentment in her life.

“Hard Out Here” - Lily Allen

Most Empowering Lyrics

Inequality promises that it's here to stay
Always trust the injustice 'cause it's not goin' away
Inequality promises that it's here to stay
Always trust the injustice 'cause it's not goin' away

Sometimes it's hard to find the words to say
I'll go ahead and say them anyway
Forget your balls and grow a pair of tits

Album Name

Sheezus [2013]

Fun Facts

Allen says she practiced trying to “twerk” for two weeks before the video was shot, but “failed miserably” at it.

“Superwoman” by Alicia Keys

Most Empowering Lyrics

For all the mothers fighting
For better days to come
And all my women, all my women sitting here trying
To come home before the sun
And all my sisters
Coming together
Say yes I will
Yes I can
I am a Superwoman

Album Name

As I Am [2007]

Fun Facts

Alicia’s first recording of “Superwoman” featured sixteen string players and eight horn players which cost her thousands of dollars to employ. After hearing the track in the studio she hated it and re-recorded it sans strings & horns.

“No Man is Big Enough for My Arms” by Ibeyi

Most Empowering Lyrics

No man is big enough for my arms
The measure of any society is how it treats its women and girls
We create
The smart, powerful, creative, accomplished young women
We can fight
I'm here because of you
I'm here because girls like you inspire me
No man in the world

Album Name

Ash [2017]

Fun Facts

"No Man Is Big Enough For My Arms" features quotes by Michelle Obama from one of her rallies in New Hampshire. Mrs. Obama was speaking out against sexism and the politicians who encourage it. This speech resonated with the members of Ibeyi and they decided to feature it in their song.

“Good Woman Down” by Mary J. Blige

 

Most Empowering Lyrics

Been many days, couldn’t take the pain
Felt I should take my life away
Seen every dame and every other young sister’s fate
See I’m cryin’ now ma feelin’ down
Runnin in the streets, no self esteem
Thinkin’ that used to be me
What a shame

Album Name

The Breakthrough [2005]

Fun Facts

Blige’s Debut album “What’s the 411” was a nod to one of her previous jobs as a Directory Assistance Operator for 411.

“I am Woman” by Helen Reddy

Most Empowering Lyrics

I am woman, hear me roar
In numbers too big to ignore
And I know too much to go back an' pretend
'Cause I've heard it all before
And I've been down there on the floor
No one's ever gonna keep me down again

Album Name

I Don’t Know how to Love Him [1971]

Fun Facts

Reddy’s “I am Woman” won a Grammy in 1973 in the Best Female Pop Vocal Performance category. Her acceptance speech is still widely considered one of the most famous speeches given for the award. It sparked numerous protest letters after she gave thanks to God because “She makes everything possible”.

“You Don’t Own Me” by Leslie Gore

Most Empowering Lyrics

You don't own me
I'm not just one of your many toys
You don't own me
Don't say I can't go with other boys
And don't tell me what to do
Don't tell me what to say
And please, when I go out with you
Don't put me on display 'cause
You don't own me

Album Name

Leslie Gore Sings of Mixed Up Hearts [1963]

Fun Facts

“You Don’t Own Me” is widely considered to be one of the first artistic works to kick off the Women’s Liberation Movement the following decade. It’s one of the first songs in which a woman demands her independence.

“Sisters are Doin’ it for Themselves” by Eurythmics & Aretha Franklin

Most Empowering Lyrics

Now this is a song to celebrate
The conscious liberation of the female state!
Mothers, daughters and their daughters too.
Woman to woman
We're singin' with you.
The inferior sex got a new exterior
We got doctors, lawyers, politicians too.
Everybody, take a look around.
Can you see, can you see, can you see
There's a woman right next to you.

Album Name

Be Yourself Tonight [1985]

Fun Facts

Aretha Franklin wasn’t Annie Lennox’s first choice to sing “Sisters” with. After waking up inspired, and writing the entire song that morning, she envisioned herself singing the feminist anthem with Tina Turner. Tina though found the song a bit too feminist and passed. Luckily for us, Aretha was on board with it.

“Hit Me With Your Best Shot” by Pat Benatar

Most Empowering Lyrics

You come on with it, come on
You don't fight fair
That's okay, see if I care
Knock me down, it's all in vain
I get right back on my feet again

Hit me with your best shot

Album Name

Crimes of Passion [1980]

Fun Facts

When the song first came out newspapers blasted the song as sexist and wrote that it encouraged violence against women. In reality, the phrase “hit me with your best shot” was meant to be taken metaphorically as in, “I’m strong and I can take whatever you’re dishing out”.

“Girl on Fire” by Alicia Keys

Most Empowering Lyrics

Looks like a girl, but she's a flame
So bright, she can burn your eyes
Better look the other way
You can try but you'll never forget her name
She's on top of the world

Album Name

Girl on Fire [2012]

Fun Facts

“Girl on Fire” landed on The Billboard’s Top 10 list in both the Adult Pop Songs category, as well as the Hot R&B\Hip-Hop Songs category. It was the only song to do so in five years. The last time a song made Top 10 in both categories was with Keys’ song, “No One”.

“Quiet” by MILCK

Most Empowering Lyrics

But no one knows me no one ever will
If I don’t say something, if I just lie still
Would I be that monster, scare them all away
If I let them hear what I have to say

I can’t keep quiet
I can’t keep quiet
A one woman riot

Album Name

This is not the End [2018]

Fun Facts

MILCK, aka Connie Lim, performed her feminist anthem at the January 21st Women’s March in Washington DC. She and 26 other women raised their voices against the inauguration of Donald Trump and his treatment of women.

“Born This Way” by Lady Gaga

Most Empowering Lyrics

No matter gay, straight, or bi
Lesbian, transgendered life
I'm on the right track baby
I was born to survive
No matter black, white or beige
Chola or orient made
I'm on the right track baby
I was born to be brave

I'm beautiful in my way

Album Name

Born This Way [2011]

Fun Facts

In 2011 Lady Gaga performed “Born This Way” at the Grammys. Later that evening her album “Born This Way” won the award for “Best Pop Vocal Album”. Not a bad night for Gaga.

“I’m Coming Out” by Diana Ross

Most Empowering Lyrics

There's a new me coming out
And I just had to live
And I want to give
I'm completely positive
I think this time around
I am gonna do it
Like you never do it
Like you never knew it
Oh, I'll make it through

Album Name

Diana [1980]

Fun Facts

Since its inception “I’m coming out” has been an anthem for the LGBT community. Ross though had no idea what the term meant and regarded it as her “coming out” from under the thumb of Motown’s Berry Gordy. It wasn’t until her producer first heard the song that he informed Diana of what the phrase really meant.

“Who Says” by Selena Gomez & The Scene

Most Empowering Lyrics

Who says
Who says you're not star potential
Who says you're not presidential
Who says you can't be in movies
Listen to me, listen to me
Who says you don't pass the test
Who says you can't be the best
Who said, who said

Album Name

When the Sun Goes Down [2011]

Fun Facts

Even though Selena isn’t fluent in Spanish she created a Spanish language version of “Who Says” called “dices” which, literally translates to, “Who Says”.

What Girl Power Songs did we Forget to Add?

So there you have it; 20 of our favorite Girl Power Songs. Let us know in the comments below what girl power songs you think we missed.

Don’t have a GRL PRW shirt to wear while you rock out to our picks? We’re pretty sure we know a place where you can get one.GRL PWR shirt

 


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