"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.
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so close together with "Far Away" the band opted to shoot a video for "Far Away" and a video for "Rockstar" was not originally made.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. The song climbed as high as #3 on iTunes top 100 selling songs as well as #1 on the chart of the most downloaded music video on iTunes. When iTunes released their Top Sellers of 2007, "Rockstar" was the 14th best selling digital song of 2007, and the "Rockstar" video was the #1 selling music video on iTunes for 2007. "Rockstar" is now the band's best selling digital single to date in the U.S., currently with U.S. digital sales of over 2 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, 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 highest charting single in the country, beating the peak of their breakout hit, "How You Remind Me", which reached #4 in 2002 (though "How You Remind Me" remains slightly Nickelback's biggest selling single in the United Kingdom to date). 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. The song remained on the UK Singles Chart for 50 consecutive weeks before falling off in October 2008, making it one of the most successful songs on the chart in years in terms of longevity. It fell out of the top 40 on 6 July 2008.
On 10 August 2008, the song re-entered the UK Singles Chart at #27, slipping to #31, then climbing back to #29. It currently sits at #37,[when?] and has currently racked up a total of 35 weeks inside the UK Top 40. Many fans believe that the re-entry is because the song is currently featured on the DFS Sofa's advert. The song received the Record of the Year award in the UK for 2008.
The song was the 5th 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.
There is an edited version of the song with drug references and vulgarity censored. The censorship has come under criticism due to its inconsistency. For example, phrases like "drug dealer" are cut, whilst phrases about anorexia are left in.
The lyrics can be taken as a satirical commentary on the lifestyle (or perceived lifestyle) of a rockstar, or as a glorification of material success at the expense of artistic intergrity. 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"
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. The video would go on to become the top selling music video of 2007 on iTunes.
A thread on Yahoo Answers was initiated to list everyone in the separate shots in the video but still missed a number of people and places. This is the list of all identified participants so far (which includes many additions from other sources) and the lyric associated with their shot:
Boy at a baseball field: "I'm through with standing in line to clubs I'll never get in"