March signifies the beginning of Women’s History Month — a reflective time in our society where we pay homage to all of the women past, present and future who unapologetically kick butt. And while it would be sacrilegious to suggest that any of these women march to the beat of any drum other than their own, the occasion does provide us a platform to ruminate on the best female empowerment anthems ever created.
Now let’s be clear; we could never arrive at a definitive list of the greatest female empowerment anthems of all time. But this short list sure feels like a good start.
6. Chaka Khan- “I’m Every Woman”
Recorded in 1978, “I’m Every Woman” served as Chaka Khan’s first breakout solo hit. The song — which was eventually remade by Whitney Houston — continues to provide a much-needed affirmation for women everywhere.
5. Alicia Keys- “Girl on Fire”
The first time I heard “Girl on Fire,” I turned to an office mate and said, “yeah, Alicia Keys has a hit on her hands.” That hot take was spot-on, as Keys made waves on the Billboard charts with all three versions of this song.
4. Beyonce- “Who Runs the World”
If you’re questioning the impact of this Beyonce single (which was considered risky at the time), just find yourself a group of women and yell, “who runs the world?” Their answer will tell you everything that you need to know.
3. Destiny’s Child- “Independent Women- Part 1”
Originally created for the Charlie’s Angels soundtrack, this song would eventually become Destiny’s Child greatest hit, sitting at the top of the Billboard charts for 11 straight weeks.
2. Janet Jackson- “Control”
A young Janet Jackson provided a voice to countless women who were ready to take control of their own lives. Through this song, her story mirrored the story of women across the globe.
1. Aretha Franklin- “RESPECT”
R-E-S-P-E-C-T. There’s really nothing else to say after that.