Rockstar (Nickelback song)

Rockstar (Nickelback song)
Single by Nickelback
from the album All the Right Reasons
Released August 22, 2006 (2006-08-22)
(See release history)
Format CD single, airplay, digital download
Recorded 2005 in Abbotsford, BC, Canada
Genre Alternative rock, country 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 (although later re-released) by the Canadian rock band Nickelback from their 2005 fifth studio album All the Right Reasons. 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 Gibbons 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 Rock Tracks 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so close together with "Far Away" the band opted to shoot a video for "Far Away" and a video for "Rockstar" was not originally made.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. "Rockstar" is now the band's best selling digital single to date in the U.S., currently with U.S. digital sales of over 3 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, and their fifth career Hot 100 Top Ten overall.

"Rockstar" 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 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 (to date) and outperforming their breakout hit, "How You Remind Me", which reached #4 in 2002. 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. In the UK it was one of the biggest selling singles of 2008. It fell out of the top 40 on 6 July 2008.

On 10 August 2008, the song re-entered the UK Top 40 at #27, and stayed there for an extra four weeks, taking its total of weeks in the 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 remained on the official UK Top 75 for 50 consecutive weeks (the 24th longest runner of all time), before falling off in October 2008, making it one of the most successful songs on the chart in years in terms of longevity. The song received the Record of the Year award in the UK for 2008.

The song was the 99th biggest-selling in the UK in 2008, despite not reaching number one.

This song was #100 on Rolling Stone's list of the 100 Best Songs of 2007, despite the fact that the band has been consistently criticized by the publication.[1]

Track listing


  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

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:

"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 Hollywood Boulevard"[2]

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), and The Byrds' "So You Want to Be a Rock 'n' Roll Star" (1967). However, the lyrics and vocal delivery give no indications that the song is intended to be satirical.

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[3]).

Music video

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.[4]

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 often filmed in front of iconic landmarks, such as Times Square in New York and Millennium Park in Chicago. Celebrities include Billy Gibbons (who voices his lines in the song), Chuck "The Iceman" Liddell, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Eliza Dushku, Gene Simmons, Wayne Gretzky, Big & Rich's John Rich, the cast of The Girls Next Door, Kid Rock, Lupe Fiasco, Nelly Furtado, the crew from American Chopper, Paul Wall, Ted Nugent, Grant Hill 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.[5]

Participants and the lyric associated with each shot:[6]

  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 win"
  4. Cindy Taylor on a pool float: "This life hasn't turned out"
  5. Old woman on the Millennium Bridge 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" (voiceover)
  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. Ralph Fiennes, a US MP, an East German border guard, at Checkpoint Charlie facing the American Sector: "And a big black jet"
  17. Twista, Mayz from the Speedknot Mobstaz, and B-Hype sitting in a limo: "with a bedroom in it"
  18. Man in Grand Central Terminal: "Gonna join the mile high club"
  19. Holly Madison in the Playboy Mansion grotto: "at thirty-seven thousand feet"
  20. Woman in Los Angeles: "Been there, done that" (Billy Gibbons voiceover)
  21. Brett Ryan in Union Square: "I want a new tour bus"
  22. The Wendy Osserman Dance Company and Brett Ryan: "full of old guitars"
  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 American Chopper: "and James Dean is fine for me"
  26. Billy Gibbons again: "So how you gonna do it?" (voiceover)
  27. John Rich on a pool table with a banjo: "I'm gonna trade this life"
  28. Woman in Union Square: "for fortune and fame"
  29. Chuck Liddell: "I'll even cut my hair"
  30. Man in Chinese restaurant: "and change my name"
  31. Two Blazin' Saddles employees[7] 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 rockstars"
  33. Wayne Gretzky again: "and live in hilltop houses"
  34. Parking valet at Jones Hollywood in West Hollywood: "driving fifteen cars"
  35. Brian Walton (an English actor and musician) 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 B-Hype again: "hang out in the coolest bars"
  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 hair"
  45. Wes Scantlin under Chicago's 'L' tracks and in front of Double Door: "And we'll/Hey hey"
  46. Liam Lynch in Union Square: "I wanna be a"
  47. Cote de Pablo on tour bus: "rockstar"
  48. David Baddiel 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 man in a headlock:"hey"
  52. Boy in grocery store: "I wanna be a rockstar"
  53. Paul Teutul, Jr., Paul Teutul, Sr., and Mikey from American Chopper flexing muscles
  54. Man in front of Marina City: "I wanna be great like Elvis"
  55. Elvis impersonator: "without the tassels"
  56. Federico Castelluccio from The Sopranos: "Hire eight body guards"
  57. Chuck Liddell again: "that love to beat up assholes"
  58. Grant Hill signing basketball: "Sign a couple autographs/So I can"
  59. Man in Union Square again: "eat my meals for free"
  60. Billy Gibbons again: "I'll have the quesadilla" (voiceover)
  61. Paul Wall again: "ha ha" (Billy Gibbons voiceover)
  62. Man and woman in the middle of Davie Street: "I'm gonna dress my ass"
  63. Ted Nugent: "with the latest fashion"
  64. Man and woman in front of the Cloud Gate: "Get a front door key"
  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 centerfold"
  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?" (voiceover)
  69. Paul Teutul, Jr., Paul Teutul, Sr., and Mikey from American Chopper again: "I'm gonna trade this life"
  70. Man and woman in front of the Reichstag building: "For fortune and fame"
  71. Jordan Carlos overlooking Los Angeles: "I'd even cut my hair"
  72. Man in front of the New York Stock Exchange: "And change my name"
  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 houses"
  76. Woman in front of the Chicago Theater: "driving fifteen cars"
  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 won't eat"
  81. Three women dancing in front of the Yogi Snack[8] in Berlin: "And we'll hang out in the coolest bars"
  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 Santa Monica beach: "They'll get you anything with that evil smile"
  92. Kid Rock again: "Everybody's got a drug dealer on speed dial/Well"
  93. Steel worker at Finkl Steel/Chicago: "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 Saunders overlooking Los Angeles: "Lip sync 'em every night"
  100. Daniel Self at City Market in Raleigh: "so I don't get 'em wrong"
  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 Santa Monica beach: "We'll all stay skinny"
  107. Brandon Berman in Times Square: "'cause we just won't eat"
  108. Cindy Taylor again: "And we'll hang out in the coolest bars"
  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 digger's"
  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 (a non-celebrity) 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 today's"
  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. Ironworker in front of Marina City: "I wanna be a rockstar"
  124. Wayne Gretzky again, splashing a pool with a hockey stick
  125. Kendra Wilkinson again dancing
  126. Nelly Furtado again: "Hey"
  127. Gene Simmons again: "hey"
  128. Nickelback fans at Comcast Center for the Performing Arts concert singing: "I wanna be a rockstar"
  129. Pan to Chad Kroeger, pan to Mike Kroeger and Ryan Peake

Release history

Country Release date Version
United States August 22, 2006 (2006-08-22) Original
June 6, 2007 (2007-06-06) Re-release
United Kingdom November 12, 2007 (2007-11-12)


Chart (2006-07) Peak
Austrian Singles Chart[9] 5
Bulgarian Singles Chart 36
Canadian Singles Chart 1
Canadian Hot 100[10] 39
Slovak Airplay Chart 28
Czech Airplay Chart 17
Denmark Singles Chart 32
Belgian Singles Chart 23
Danish Singles Chart[9] 32
Dutch Top 40[9] 14
European Hot 100 Singles 7
German Singles Chart[9] 23
Irish Singles Chart[9] 2
Swedish Singles Chart[9] 10
Swiss Singles Chart[9] 14
UK Singles Chart[9] 2
UK Rock Chart 1
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[9] 6
U.S. Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks 4
U.S. Billboard Modern Rock Tracks 37
U.S. Billboard Pop 100 6
Chart (2000–2009) Peak
UK Top 100 Songs of the Decade 54[11]

Year-end charts

Chart (2007) Rank
German Singles Chart [12] 77

  • "Rockstar" has sold over 3,000,000 downloads in the U.S. as of May 2009 and it is the best selling rock single of the 21st century before How You Remind Me.[13]
  • "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.[14]

  • "Rockstar" has sold 3,454,000 downloads in the U.S. as of July 2010.[15]


External links

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