"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.
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 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. 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" 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. 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. 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. Aside from its popularity, the song is considered one of the worst songs of all time by critics. 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. A 2008 Popjustice poll, voted "Rockstar" as the worst single of the year.
The song appeared in an advert for sofa retailer DFS in the UK. The advert featured actors miming "Rock Star" while playing air guitar in front of sofas. The advert was also given the distinction as one of the worst adverts of all time.
"Rockstar" (Album Version) - 4:15
"Rockstar" (Clean Version) - 4:15
"Never Again" (Live in Atlanta) - 4:16
"Photograph" (Live in Atlanta) - 4:38
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
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.
Filming outside the Reichstag in Berlin on 23 July 2007
"Rockstar" has sold over 4,000,000 downloads in the United States as of June 2012, making it the band's best selling hit in that country.
"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".
In the United Kingdom, "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.
It re-entered the Billboard Hot 100 at number forty-seven on week ending date July 7, 2007.