->''Back in the studio, to make our latest Number One''
->''Take two hundred and seventy-six -- you know, this used to be fun''
-->--'''Music/TheWho''', "Success Story"

Just as many bands have done a MoneySong, and others like to do SillyLoveSongs, so too have many bands done [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin songs about being a rock star]].

Like any theme, different bands handle it different ways, but they often mention their origin and rise to stardom; (mis)handling fame and fortune; isolation; the daily grind of life on tour; and occasionally SexDrugsAndRockAndRoll. The SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism can be seen very clearly at work among the below examples.

See also AntiChristmasSong, AntiLoveSong, BreakupSong, ObsessionSong, and various others for other commonly used musical themes. Compare HeavyMeta. Contrast CreatorBreakdown.

Now count [[{{Irony}} how many of these appear in]] ''VideoGame/RockBand''...
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!!Examples:

* "Rockstar" by Everclear. And Music/{{Nickelback}}. And [[Music/CourtneyLove Hole]]. And JimmyEatWorld. And RKelly. [[LongList And...]]well, just about ''any'' [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rock_star#Music song called "Rockstar"]]. ([[NamesTheSame There are 12 songs on that list]], for the record)
** The Music/{{Nickelback}} song is a subversion, as the narrator is someone who ''aspires'' to be a rock star, and for [[SexDrugsAndRockAndRoll all the wrong reasons]]. They played this straight in "See You At The Show."
** Hole's example is more complicated: the song in question was originally named "Olympia", and it was written to mock the RiotGrrrl movement, but it wasn't meant to be on ''Live Through This''. The last song on ''Live Through This'' was originally named "Rockstar", but it featured lines like "Barrel of laughs to be Music/{{Nirvana}}/I'd rather die", so it was thrown off the album because Kurt Cobain's suicide happened shortly before the release date, and it was replaced with "Olympia". However, there wasn't enough time to print new sleeves, so "Olympia" got stuck with the title "Rockstar" instead.
*** Hole has a straighter example in "Playing Your Song," which is about losing artistic control of your work.
* "Limelight" by Music/{{Rush}}, which puts Rush's usual spin on the theme. (In other words, it's somewhat bittersweet and disillusioned, although not anywhere near as openly pessimistic as some of the songs on here.)
** "Limelight" actually works as something of a deconstruction. It shows the fame and attention received by the person in the song (something of an AuthorTract by Neil Peart, who is very introverted in real life) can be difficult to deal with at times, explaining "I can't pretend the stranger is a long awaited friend".
* Music/{{Pink}} - "So What" (which is actually a [[SubvertedTrope subversion]], since it's really a BreakupSong making fun of this genre. The video is hysterical.)
* The Raspberries - "Overnight Sensation (Hit Record)" (about wanting to be a success)
* Music/TheWho - "Success Story" (about disillusionment with the business), and "How Many Friends" (about people only pretending to like you because you're famous). Half of [[ConceptAlbum ''The Who by Numbers'']] could [[CreatorBreakdown go here]] really.
** They also have "New Song" from ''Who Are You''
** Both positive and negative, but much more positive ("As the doors fly open even the promoter smiles") in "Long Live Rock."
* Music/BadCompany - "Shooting Star" (about burnout, being a OneHitWonder, and suicide)
* Rick Wakeman - "Ghost of a Rock and Roll Star" (about becoming out of date and irrelevant - perilously self-referential, some might claim)
* Music/{{Muse}} dedicated the majority of their debut studio album (titled, appropriately enough, ''Showbiz'') to songs of this type. Examples include "Sunburn", "Muscle Museum", "Cave", "Hate this And I'll Love You", and [[TitleTrack "Showbiz"]].
* Nick Lowe's "They Called It Rock" which is odd, in that we get both the lead-up (''They went and cut a record/the record hit the charts/and someone in the newspaper/said that it was art'') ...the happy high days and money of a one-hit-wonder (''Hey long distance, it's a rock and roll romance/CBS is gonna pay a great big advance/Hey Atlantic, come on take a chance/Arista say they love it but the kids can't dance to it'') ...and the eventual fall and moving on with life (''They cut another record, it never was a hit/Someone in the newspaper said it was shit/The drummer is a bookie, the singer is a whore/The bass player's selling clothes he never would have wore'') All within a quick, fast, marketable song, interspersed with the two-line chorus of "''They called it rock, hey, they called it rock.''"
** "They Called It Rock" itself is a faster remake of "Shake and Pop" from the same album, where the lyrics are nearly identical save for the TitleOnlyChorus and the instrumental backing is slower.
* Music/CypressHill has both "Rock Superstar" and "Rap Superstar" on the ''Skull and Bones'' album. (They are almost exactly the same, except "Rock Superstar" features rock instrumentation.)
* Music/{{Boston}} - "Rock & Roll Band", which is basically the story of the band's rise to fame.
* Music/{{Foreigner}} - "Jukebox Hero"
* Music/GrandFunkRailroad - "We're an American Band". Originally written as a reprisal to a member of Herman's Hermits (a British band) making fun of them in a bar.
* Music/GreenDay - "Rock N' Roll Girlfriend"
* Music/{{ACDC}} - "It's A Long Way To The Top (If You Wanna Rock N' Roll)". Probably the most rousing, upbeat song ever recorded about how much it sucks to be in a band.
** And, of course, "Rocker."
* The Music/BarenakedLadies have a bunch of these, including "Celebrity," "Box Set," "New Kid (on the Block)" and a number more where themes of celebrity & rockstardom are touched upon. It's a pretty major theme throughout their album "Everything to Everyone." Interestingly, a number of the songs are clearly not about the Ladies themselves - [[NewKidsOnTheBlock New Kid (on the Block)]], for example, is sung from the perspective of a member of that band.
** "Pinch Me" was written by Ed as more personal and stealthy version of this -- torn between the band's relative success in America and his home in Canada.
* Music/DavidBowie - "Ziggy Stardust" - [[MindScrew The rest of the album]], however, is not one of these.
** "Star" is also about the desire to be a rock n roll star.
* Music/DireStraits' classic "Money For Nothing" is a song about being a rock star, from the point of view of someone who is not a rock star - a furniture hauler who imagines musical stardom as the easy life.
** and "Heavy Fuel" - sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll from the eyes of a rocker.
*** The group's first hit, "Sultans of Swing", is an inversion of this genre - it's a song about a band that is never going to hit it big, but they're okay with that.
* "Turn the Page" by BobSeger is about the life of a traveling rock star, though somehow [[MusicVideoOvershadowing Metallica's video version]] is about a SingleMomStripper.
* "Shining Star" by INXS is a cynical deconstruction about what becoming a rock star does to you. Complete with FunnyAneurysmMoment when you realize what happened to Michael Hutchence six years after this song was released...
--> ''Let them gun you down while you run around / Before your shining star has gone''
* "Life's Been Good" by Joe Walsh provides a tongue-in-cheek viewpoint.
-->I have a mansion, forget the price\\
Ain't never been there, they tell me it's nice\\
I live in hotels, tear out the walls\\
I have accountants pay for it all
* "[[PrincessInRags Like A Rolling Stone]]" by Music/BobDylan is a more cynical view. Not surprising, since he wrote it at a time when he was fed up with the music industry.
** Ditto "Positively Fourth Street."
* The album ''Being There'' By Wilco is chock full of these, but especially "Hotel Arizona"
* "Have You Seen Me Lately?" by Music/CountingCrows.
** Also, "Mr. Jones". The more well-known studio version, about wanting to be famous, is iffy, but the live version from ''Across a Wire'' definitely falls into this, considering it's basically about being disillusioned about being a rockstar.
* "Hit In The USA" by BEAT CRUSADERS
* "The Killing Road" by Music/{{Megadeth}}
* Given a dark twist with "Myxomatosis" by {{Radiohead}}, which is either about how ExecutiveMeddling affects artists, or how [[MisaimedFandom misinformed fans]] result in disillusionment.
* Music/MarilynManson had a Rockstar ''Album'' in ''[[ConceptAlbum Antichrist Superstar]]'' (also a meditation upon the vapidity of society and the morality of an {{Ubermensch}}). The straightest example thereon is "Angel With The Scabbed Wings", though. "He will deflower the freshest crop / Dry up all the wombs with his rock and roll sores"?
* "Rock N' Roll Dream" by Crooked X
* Mike Skinner from The Streets isn't exactly a rock star, but ''The Hardest Way to Make an Easy Living'' is about the work required producing an album.
* Pretty much the entirety of ''Wish You Were Here'', Music/PinkFloyd's album about Syd Barrett.
** Heck, ''Music/TheWall'' is a concept album about a rock star who becomes disillusioned with his fame, and goes crazy because of it among other things. That album's "Young Lust" in particular is an example of this trope.
* Music/KidRock, on countless occasions.
* "So You Want To Be A Rock 'n' Roll Star" by Music/TheByrds, which tells you to "Just get an electric guitar and take some time and learn how to play". It was written as a sarcastic swipe against the success of Music/TheMonkees and their "manufactured" nature.
** Music/TheMonkees themselves took a shot at manufactured rock stardom in ''Film/{{Head}}'' entitled "Ditty Diego." It makes ""So You Want To Be A Rock 'n' Roll Star" look like a kid's valentine.
* "Rock 'n' Roll Star" by Music/{{Oasis}}
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oSBoW6QSxtI "Rich and Famous"]] by ''Music/GammaRay'' is a Rock Star Song that's also a TakeThat against {{Money Song}}s and similar aspects of the rock star lifestyle.
-->''I don't believe in fame, [[DoingItForTheArt I believe in music]].\\
I don't believe in money, I believe in the power of love.\\
I know I got a brain and I know how to use it.\\
I don't want no one to stick his finger in my pie.''
* Music/{{U2}} have two rather dark takes on this trope, 'The Fly' and 'Gone'.
* "Love Song" by Music/SaraBareilles, is kind of a {{subversion}} of this trope, about refusing to be a sellout.
** "King of Anything" could be about the exact same thing if you plug her label in as the smartasses who think they know what kind of artist she should be more than she does.
* Aversion: "Rock & Roll" by Music/VelvetUnderground ([[CoveredUp or]] Music/LouReed) is not at all about being a rock star, but about how a friend of Reed's was [[ThePowerOfRock saved by a chance encounter with rock & roll]] back in TheFifties.
* "It's Electric" by Diamond Head, which was pretty faithfully covered by Metallica.
* Folk metal band Music/{{Skyclad}} has [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qOGvNLH47Q8 "Penny Dreadful"]], a song against rock stars and selling out.
-->''Commercial suicide's appealing after ten years on this losing streak / 'Cause I'd rather be called sour and bitter than be deemed the flavor of the week. / I saw you in a magazine, they're calling you messiah. They must be living in a dream - they couldn't be more wrong.''
* [[DefiedTrope Defied]] in Music/LemonDemon's [[http://wiki.illemonati.com/Being_a_Rock_Star Being a Rock Star]], a song about not wanting to make a Rock Star Song.
-->''If I ever write / Any songs about being a rock star / Slap me please, all right? / That ain't me.''
* "Endless Sacrifice" and "Never Enough" by Music/DreamTheater. John Petrucci's lyrics are about his sacrifice of family life for the life of a touring musician, and his wife Rena's sacrifice of her own music career to tend their home.
* Music/ChuckBerry's Johnny B. Goode, almost certainly the TropeCodifier.
* "Rock Show" by Music/{{Wings}}.
* "Modern Times Rock n Roll" and "Let Me Entertain You," both by Music/{{Queen}}.
* "Take The Long Way Home" by Music/{{Supertramp}}, which has a [[JourneyToFindOneself spiritual]] [[WhatDoYouMeanItsNotSymbolic double meaning]].
* "Takin' Care of Business" by Bachman Turner Overdrive.
* Music/ReelBigFish love the cynical side of these; "Sell Out" and "Don't Start a Band" are two of their most popular songs. On the same CD as "Don't Start a Band" is "One-Hit Wonderful", ranting about being constrained by the popularity of a certain hit--in their case, the aforementioned "Sell Out".
-->''They don't love you/they just love/'''that one song!''' ''
* "Starz in Their Eyes" by Just Jack, which although it has [[LyricalDissonance a catchy and upbeat tune, is rather cynical about fame]].
-->''They'll keep you down by any means / By the end of the night you'll be stifling your screams. / Since you became a V.I. Person / It's like your problems have all worsened / Your paranoia casts aspersions / On the truths you know. / And they'll just put you in a spotlight / And hope that you'll do alright / ........Or maybe not.''
* "Rockstar" by Third Day.
* "Passing Phase" from the rock musical ''PassingStrange'' by Stew and Heidi Rodewald of The Negro Problem.
-->"''Every night play rock and roll''
-->''Get fucked up after the show''
-->''In the morning lock and load''
-->''And then leave--''"
* Witchfynde's "Big Deal", about turning down a contract from a big-name record company:
-->"Come in, take a seat boys, while we take control of you,
-->"You're gonna have lots of fun, you know, and plenty of women too,
-->"You'll be millionaires by next week, everything's for real!
-->"It's the chance of a lifetime!"
-->"...big deal!"
* The Tragically Hip's "Family Band" and "Escape is at Hand".
* Music/{{Weezer}}'s "Beverly Hills" is a parody.
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hxCYPXMzOtI "Across The Sea"]] is a straight, bittersweet example.
* Music/TheyMightBeGiants' "Hey, Mr. DJ, I Thought You Said We Had a Deal" is about ''failing'' to become a rock star by not getting any radio play.
* "Opening Band" by Music/PaulAndStorm is about being the band that kills time on-stage before the ''real'' rock stars show up.
* "Superpowers" by Music/FiveIronFrenzy portrays being on tour as an endless series of petty hardships, ultimately concluding "I wanted to be famous, now I want to take it back."
** Contrast that with "It Was Beautiful", a song they wrote at the end of their career, looking back fondly on all the people they met and cool places they got to visit while on tour.
* Music/{{Starflyer 59}} has written at least one song about being a rock musician for every album since 1999. Some albums, like ''Leave Here a Stranger'' are arguably nothing ''but'' rockstar songs. All of them take a very unromantic view of being a musician. Apparently Jason writes what he knows, and he doesn't think his day job (he's a truck driver) is interesting enough to write about more than once.
* "We Are The Roadcrew" by Music/{{Motorhead}}. Takes a look at some of the joys, and perils, of life on the road.
* Music/{{MGMT}}'s "Time to Pretend" is another dark take on the concept:
-->"We'll choke on our own vomit, and that will be the end - we were fated to pretend..."
* "The Marshall Plan" by Music/BlueOysterCult.
* "Gypsies On Parade" by Sawyer Brown is about how the public doesn't see a successful band's homesickness and road fatigue. (Yes, they're a country band, but still ...)
* [[Music/TheStooges Iggy Pop]]'s "Dead Rock Star" from his album ''Skull Ring.''
* Saliva's "Superstar" is at the more cynical end of the scale, describing somebody getting caught up in the sex, drugs, and rock 'n roll lifestyle only to wind up dead at 27.
** "Superstar II" however, plays more it optimistic about someone on the rise, who did their best "[[CallBack make it to 27]]".
* Music/{{Rainbow}}'s ''Spotlight Kid''
* Music/{{Rihanna}} (in a more pop setting) has 'Rockstar 101.'
* "Top of the Pops" and "The Moneygoround," by TheKinks, both on the same album. The first is about the exhilaration of getting a number-one hit; the second is a TakeThat against [[ExecutiveMeddling money-grubbing]] [[CorruptCorporateExecutive executives]].
* "Hellraiser", written jointly by Music/OzzyOsbourne, Zakk Wylde, and [[Music/{{Motorhead}} Lemmy Kilmister]].
* Music/{{Styx}} has "The Grand Illusion", "Superstars" and "Man in the Wilderness". "Rockin' the Paradise" uses it as a metaphor for fighting a decaying establishment to restore American prosperity.
* Music/{{TenCC}}'s "The Worst Band in the World" is a humorous spin on the trope.
* "The Entertainer" and "Piano Man" by Music/BillyJoel.
* "Wanted Dead Or Alive" by Music/BonJovi
* Prefab Sprout's "Electric Guitars" edges into AffectionateParody territory.
-->We were songbirds, we were Greek gods, we were singled out by fate
-->We were quoted out of context; it was great!
* Music/BenFolds' "Rockin' The Suburbs" is another parody of the type.
* Music/GoodCharlotte have the song ''I Just Wanna Live''. This was featured on their third album - Y'know, the one they made ''after'' they attained massive success... With ''Lifestyles of The Rich & Famous'', which lashed out at people complaining about their success. Lampshaded within the song.
* TheHoldSteady's "Rock Problems"
* "Party Poison" and "Vampire Money" by Music/MyChemicalRomance. Maybe a subversion, because even though they have their share of rock cliches in the lyrics, both are about how the lifestyle is pretty much bullshit.
* "Top of the Pops" by Music/TheKinks is about a young rocker's rise and rise, including an appearance on the eponymous TV show. This being Ray Davies, you can see the fall coming around the corner.
* Music/{{Disturbed}} has the songs "Remember", "Awaken", "Rise", "Just Stop", "I'm Alive", "Sons of Plunder" and "Monster" (thought these are mainly referential, told from a perspective that could only come from a rock star).
* ''Series/BigTimeRush'' have the popstar song "Famous," which, while ostensibly asking "do you want to be famous?" basically says "look at us, we are famous."
* Music/{{ABBA}}'s "Super Trouper" is about the life of a star while the band's on tour.
* Music/TheVeronicas, not once, but twice, "Popular" and "Hollywood" on their second record.
* [[VelvetUnderground John Cale]]'s "The Biggest, Loudest, Hairiest Group Of All"
* The entire album ''Saints of Los Angeles'' by Music/MotleyCrue is basically an autobiography of the band (the album was, in fact, inspired by their book ''The Dirt''), from their humble beginning playing nightclubs in LA to becoming international superstars.
* "Cover of the Rolling Stone" by Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show, which is a parody of these kinds of songs (it was written by Creator/ShelSilverstein). It's about how they're ''not famous enough'' yet.
* "The Loadout" by Music/JacksonBrowne has some elements of this when he talks about life on the road, but it's mostly about thanking the fans and the roadies for all their support.
* Creator/LindsayLohan has "Fastlane", "Rumours" and "A Beautiful Life (La Bella Vita)."
* Music/HilaryDuff has "Wake Up" and "Haters"
* A vast majority of the songs sung by the fictional HannahMontana fit this trope (although they were mostly about being a ''secret'' Rockstar, in the loosest meaning of the word) but some examples are "Rockstar", "Old Blue Jeans", "The Good Life", "Mixed Up", "Just A Girl", "Supergirl" and "Ordinary Girl".
* Hannah Montana's [[MileyCyrus real world counterpart]] has "Fly On The Wall" and "Robot".
* "La La Land" by DemiLovato.
* The Music/JonasBrothers have "Hollywood".
* "Country Star" by Pat Green is another rare country music example.
* "Partners, Brothers and Friends" by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band is an interesting example, dealing both with the good (the fun of being on the road and the family atmosphere of a band) and the bad (broken bus, a bad cold, radio heads who can't decide how to handle the band's eclectic music).
* "Factory Girl" by Music/ThePrettyReckless, an unusual celebration of the lifestyle.
* Quite a few of Music/{{Drake}}'s songs talk about the sudden fame he achieved (well, not exactly sudden, as he had already been on ''Series/DegrassiTheNextGeneration'' for 7 years before becoming a rapper).
* "Stand Up" by Music/JamesDurbin.
* Music/BritneySpears with "Outrageous", "Overprotected", "Piece Of Me", "Mona Lisa (Both Versions)", "Rebellion", "Kill The Lights" and "Circus".
* Unsurprisingly, there are some country equivalents of this. "Crazy Town" by Music/JasonAldean (referring to Nashville), "Neon Rainbow" by Music/AlanJackson, "Honkytonk U" by Music/TobyKeith, "Start a Band" by Music/BradPaisley and Music/KeithUrban.
** Also "Celebrity" by Music/BradPaisley
* "Famous" by PuddleOfMudd.
* A song from the Creator/DiC english dub of ''Anime/SailorMoon'' is one of these. It's surprisingly catchy, too! But [[SpokenWordInMusic the]] [[{{Narm}} bridge]]...
* "Celebrity" by *Music/{{NSYNC}}
* Creator/CheechAndChong's comedy sketch "Earache My Eye" started with a satirical song about a stereotypically camp singer who didn't care about anything else because he was "a big rock star and makin' lots of money."
* Music/MarilynManson's second ConceptAlbum, ''Mechaical Animals'' is based off his experience becoming a rock star, feeling emotions for the first time in a decade, and not being as dependent on cocaine. It's about a rock star, and his life, making the entire album this.
* "Garden Grove" by Music/{{Sublime}}.
* Music/TaylorSwift's "The Lucky One" is a semi-biographical account of an unnamed musician who grows disillusioned with fame. (Said musician is widely considered to be Music/JoniMitchell.)
* Music/EltonJohn has a lot of these, most of them appearing on his two autobiographical concept albums (''Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy'' in 1975, and its sequel ''The Captain & the Kid'' in 2006). The 1974 B-side "Sick City" is a further example unrelated to these projects.
* Music/TheAlanParsonsProject: "Limelight"
* Atlanta Rhythm Section: "Georgia Rhythm"
* "Homeward Bound" by SimonAndGarfunkel is about homesickness and the daily grind of life on the road.
* "New Kid In Town" and "Life In The Fast Lane", the second and third tracks of ''Hotel California'' by TheEagles, are both about the meteroic rise and fall of showbiz stars.
* "Fences" by {{Music/Paramore}} is a deconstructed version of this type of song.
* Music/{{KISS}}: "Do You Love Me?" cynically lists all the trappings of the life of a rock star's life, all of which his current paramour "really like", but -- oddly for the group -- seems sincere about the titular question.
* TheRollingStones "It's Only Rock 'n'Roll' ("but I like it.")
* ThePartridgeFamily, of all "groups," had a modest hit with "One Night Stand," a very innocent take on rock life on the road.
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