It seems like fanbases are stronger than ever these days. Social media is a way to unite fans (even in the most dire of circumstances, like Zayn Malik leaving One Direction) and help spread enthusiasm for an artist or band's work. Fans constantly trend topics related to the music, making sure their favorite singers feel the love. Often times, the artists reciprocate the love, dedicating a song to their devoted fans.
Fame is a double-edged sword, but fan support is essential to the success of musicians. These songs usually acknowledge the artist's gratitude for the dedication of their listeners. In some cases, the artist even points out how essential the fans' happiness is to him or her. It's a sweet, and at times epic, way of giving a shoutout to the people buying records and attending shows.
The best part is that many of my favorite artists have dedicated songs to their fans. From Christina Aguilera to Justin Bieber to Taylor Swift, so many of the most successful musicians in the world took the time to thank their fans with a musical gift. Want to feel a little warm and fuzzy? Here are seven of the best songs written for fans.
1. "Steal My Girl" — One Direction
“If you have something great, everyone is going to try and take it from you," Julian Bunetta, a "Steal My Girl" co-writer told MTV. "And that also speaks to the fanbase, I think, ’cause of other groups [trying to steal the 1D fanbase] … there are a lot of layers.”
2. "Long Live" — Taylor Swift
Swift reportedly dedicated "Long Live" to everyone who helped her build her career. According to last.fm, she wrote on her website, "This song for me is like looking at a photo album of all the award shows, and all the stadium shows, and all the hands in the air in the crowd. It's sort of the first love song that I've written to my team."
3. "Applause" — Lady Gaga
In a series of tweets, Lady Gaga explained the inspiration behind "Applause," writing, "'Applause' is a very meaningful song to me, because it addresses what many think of 'celebrities' today, that we 'do it' for the attention. But some of us are 'artists' in this group called 'celebrity,' & what we create doesn't live on unless theres an audience to remember it. So I may need your attention at first, so I can sing you my song. But its the 'Applause' after that let me know if I've entertained you."
4. "Thank You (Dedication To Fans...)" — Christina Aguilera
The title says it all: Aguilera is acknowledging everyone who stood by her side.
5. "U Smile" — Justin Bieber
When his career was rising, Bieber took a second to thank his fans with "U Smile." He tweeted (quote via MTV News): "’U Smile’ is one of the best songs I have ever recorded. It really is a throwback to the great records I listened to growing up. … I wrote it for all my fans who got me here."
6. "Larger Than Life" — Backstreet Boys
The lyrics of the song note that the band wish they could thank the fans "in a different way" for their dedication.
7. "Thank You" — Jay Z
In the opening of this song, Jay Z asks fans to hold their applause because this song isn't for him — it's for them.