For decades, women in music have declared their independence, and dismantled double standards and sexism—while inspiring and empowering others with their music. Enter the "Girl Power Anthem." It’s Women's History Month and we’re celebrating by honoring some of these women in music who’ve influenced feminist movements. Ultimately, we want you to pick the greatest girl power anthems of all time in our series below.
Madonna and Cyndi Lauper dominated the female pop scene in the '80s. Madonna garnered her title as Queen of Pop during the Reagan years, and that's thanks to girl power anthems like "Express Yourself," which quite literally encouraged women (and others) to be themselves. Lauper left her mark on pop music that same decade with hits like "Girls Just Want to Have Fun," an anthem that celebrates girlhood. Which girl power anthem from the '80s remains your favorite of all time?
Whitney Houston and Shania Twain recorded arguably the two most significant celebratory hits about womanhood. Whitney's dance-pop version of "I'm Every Woman," to this day, makes women want to get up and rejoice. Shania's "Man! I Feel Like A Woman!" is a unique kind of country-pop song—fully embracing the awesomeness of feeling like, and simply being, a woman. Which song about womanhood deserves the title of best girl power anthem of the '90s? 🎤💁🏾💁🏼
Spice Girls and Destiny's Child were the epitome of girl groups expressing female empowerment during their respective eras of pop dominance. Spice Girls used "girl power" as a slogan and it all started with their signature hit "Wannabe." Destiny's Child kicked off the aughts declaring there was nothing wrong with women doing it for themselves on their mega-smash "Independent Women Part 1." Which smash is your favorite girl power anthem? 🎤💁🏻💁🏼💁🏽💁🏾💁🏿
Christina Aguilera's "Can't Hold Us Down" and Alicia Keys' "Superwoman" are easily the realest girl power anthems of the aughts. Xtina's smash hit offers a very bold (and necessary) message about the many double standards women face in society, and how these struggles hold them down. Alicia's single expresses the litany of challenges women face every day, but that women are strong, powerful and triumphant over it all. Which song was the realest girl power anthem of the '10s? 🎤💁🏽💁🏼
Ever since her days in Destiny’s Child, Beyoncé has been the epitome of female empowerment. As a solo artist, Queen Bey is girl power! She was definitely no stranger to dropping bop after bop endorsing female independence. “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)” is literally an ode to all the single ladies out there making it for themselves. The anthem uplifts doing your own thing, despite your man not coming through with a marriage proposal. The song is relatable and catchy, and the music video and dance routine are simply iconic. While “Single Ladies” was a chart-topping success, Queen Bey may have outdone herself in the girl-power department with “Run the World (Girls).” While the anthem only peaked at #29 on the Billboard Hot 100, it accurately proclaimed the world is nothing without the power and strength of women. How much more girl power can you get than that? So tell us—which of Queen Bey’s songs is the ultimate girl power anthem? 🎤💁🏽