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Top 5 girl power anthems

It’s always big news when a big star releases a new single. But the music world goes a little nuts when it’s Beyonce, queen of girl-power anthems, and the song in question is Run the World (Girls). The single, about girls “who run this mutha” and “run this world,” is just the latest in her string of songs about female empowerment, a list that includes the insanely infectious Single Ladies, Irreplaceable and, from her Destiny’s Child days, Independent Women. Of course, Beyonce Knowles isn’t the only one. Here’s a sampling of others who run the girl-power anthem world.

Aretha Franklin:

You thought we were going to say

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

, didn’t you? But Franklin’s

Sisters Are Doing It for Themselves

, recorded with Annie Lennox in 1985, carries a message every girl needs to hear, too: “There was a time when they used to say that behind every great man there had to be a great woman. In these times of change, you know that it’s no longer true. So we’re comin’ out of the kitchen ‘cause there’s something we forgot to say to you. Sisters are doing it for themselves.” Besides, who can resist a music video that opens with cavemen?

Chaka Khan:

There’s no resisting a classic like Chaka Khan’s

I’m Every Woman

. The song, released in 1978 to a driving funk beat, was such a hit, Whitney Houston did it again in 1993, with a music video that featured scenes from

The Bodyguard

and soaring vocals delivering the message: “Anything you want done baby, I do it naturally. I’m every woman. It’s all in me.”

Martina McBride:

The popularity of McBride’s 2003 country hit,

This One’s for All the Girls

, crossed genre and age boundaries with its message for girls from 1 to 91. Whether you’re wishing on shooting stars or standing your ground, you’re beautiful the way you are. Thank you, Martina.

Pink:

Feeling a little insecure? Download Pink’s girl-power anthem,

Perfect.

(Yes, we know there’s an extra word in that title, but this is a family newspaper.) Released in January, the song’s powerful, oh-so-danceable lines remind us that no one can make us feel bad without our help: “You’re so mean when you talk about yourself. You were wrong. Change the voices in your head. ”… Pretty pretty please, don’t you ever ever feel like you’re less than perfect.“

Lady Gaga:

This has been a particularly good year already for songs that inspire, empower and set toes tapping. It’s probably best not to announce to your colleagues that you were born a superstar, but dance to the driving beats of Lady Gaga’s

Born This Way

, released in February, and you can remind yourself, ”Don’t hide yourself in regret. Just love yourself and you’re set. I’m on the right track, baby. I was born this way.“ It’s a song about empowerment, but one that transcends gender and sexual orientation.

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