Narcissists are the worst. Between their constant arrogance, lack of empathy, and tendency to gaslight those around them, narcissists make life difficult for everyone around them.
If you’ve got a narcissist in your life, you may be looking for some validation. Believe it or not, many musicians have written songs about narcissists. Check out this list of songs about narcissists and see if there are any to which you can relate.
“You’re So Vain” by Carly Simon
Song Year: 1971
The ultimate song about narcissists, Carly Simon’s classic “You’re So Vain,” tells the tale of a woman grappling with a lover’s arrogant and vain behavior. From the opening where the narcissist enters a casual party dressed to the nines to the ending where he dumps Simon to jet-set and fool around with his friend’s wife, this guy is a narcissist through and through.
When Simon sings about this narcissist’s absolute vanity, those who have dealt with narcissists can completely relate. After all, don’t narcissists always think everything is about them, even when it’s not?
“Girl” by The Beatles
Song Year: 1965
In this classic Beatles tune from the album Rubber Soul, the fab four sing about a girl who thinks she is better than everyone else, including her partner, the song's protagonist. She puts him down in front of others and brushes off his compliments as if it should be understood that she is so good-looking.
Like narcissists in real life, this song’s protagonist finds it difficult to leave his aloof and conceited partner. When she promises him everything, he believes despite knowing better from her behavior. If you have ever dealt with a narcissist's empty promises and callous nature, this song might resonate with you.
“Toxic” by Britney Spears
Song Year: 2003
The behavior of a narcissist is toxic, poisoning everyone around them, including those they purport to love. Britney Spears knows this all too well when she sings this song about a narcissist she just won't quit.
Spears tells us narcissistic guys should come with a warning; they are so dangerous and alluring. In the end, Spears falls and becomes addicted to this utterly toxic, narcissistic man, despite trying to get away. Like Spears, many of us find it incredibly difficult to get away from the narcissists in our lives.
“I’m Too Sexy” by Right Said Fred
Song Year: 1992
In this 90s pop tune, the narcissist is the song's main character. He muses on about how he is simply too sexy for everyone and everything around him. This guy is too sexy for his clothing, car, and all the world’s major cities.
Narcissists have such high opinions of themselves, and it is impossible to convince them otherwise. They tend to think they are too important or good-looking to associate with anyone or anything they consider lesser. If you meet someone who embodies this song, it’s time to run in the opposite direction.
“Fame” by David Bowie
Song Year: 1975
This song about a man grappling with the spotlight gives us a glimpse into the kind of attention from which narcissism grows. The protagonist in this song enjoys the fame that affords him attention, fancy limo rides, and the ability to take over everything.
As a result of his fame, he rejects his babe and finds himself too cool to be around them. Narcissists would rather enjoy the spotlight than genuine love and care. Is it any wonder that the narcissist in this song ends up finding his fame hollow and chilly?
“Super Bad (Parts 1, 2, &3)” by James Brown
Song Year: 1970
This smash hit from James Brown paints the picture of a man who thinks he is too cool for school. In Super Bad (Parts 1, 2, & 3), Brown is so bad he does not need anyone around him. He sings about wanting to kiss himself, he is just so in love with his image and fame.
While we may all want to see ourselves as the kind of people who enjoy self-assuredness and self-worth, there is a line you can cross between confidence and narcissism. The protagonist in Brown’s song has crossed that line, alienating those around him even as he enjoys the self-possessed feelings narcissism can bring.
“Can’t Tell Me Nothing” by Kanye West
Song Year: 2007
Named one of 2022’s richest rappers in the world, is it any wonder Kanye West has gotten such a big head about himself and his money? In “Can’t Tell Me Nothing,” West raps about how awesome he is because of all he has earned. He shows off, buying jewelry, champagne, and designer clothes.
No one can tell West anything he thinks so much of himself. He pretends not to hear his detractors in this song, deafened by his narcissism and arrogance. In the end, West concludes he has got it made, reveling in his riches and acclaim.
“Applause” by Lady Gaga
Song Year: 2013
There is nothing a narcissist loves more than attention, and Lady Gaga knows it when she sings about the allure of having an audience in this catchy dance-pop tune. In “Applause,” Gaga sings about mainlining attention like a drug, reveling in the cheers and screams she hears from her audience.
The narcissist in Gaga’s song has no shame about welcoming, even begging for accolades and attention. She lives for nothing more than a spotlight, fame, and most of all, lots of applause.
“Gaslighter” by The Chicks
Song Year: 2020
Narcissists are notorious for gaslighting the ones they love. Gaslighting includes things like minimizing, denying, and blaming someone else for bad behavior. The man about which The Chicks sing in this song is a classic example of this approach to life and relationships.
He lies, cheats, and condescends, justifying his behavior every step of the way. The Chicks are not to be fooled though. They see this “Gaslighter” for what he is, a pathetic little boy trying to cover his tracks. Like The Chicks, if you’ve got a narcissist in your life, it would probably feel great to call them out and expose them for their conceit and deception.
“Narcissist” by Baby Queen
Song Year: 2021
Like a true narcissist, Baby Queen loves to brag, even bragging about how much of a narcissist she is. In this song, the artist’s narcissism is rooted in a history of criticism and low self-esteem. She responds by embracing her narcissism, singing about how highly she values herself, her looks, and her fame.
Everyone is to blame for Baby Queen’s narcissism but herself. She eschews any responsibility, proudly owning the moniker of a narcissist for anyone who wants to hear her sing. She finds herself devoid of caring and empathy for others, wrapped up entirely in her vanity.
“Mean” by Taylor Swift
Song Year: 2010
Narcissists can be such bullies, using their self-centeredness to hurt and abuse those around them. It is precisely that kind of narcissistic bully Taylor Swift sings about in this catchy new-country song. Swift’s bully uses her words to cut, wound, and bring her victim down.
The narcissist in this song thinks they are better than Swift, pushing her around and humiliating her by bringing up her flaws. Swift is ready to fight back though, telling her bully that someday, she knows she will make it big. If you have ever wanted to show up a narcissist for insulting and bullying you, this tune from T. Swift may be just the anthem you need.
“Because of You” by Kelly Clarkson
Song Year: 2004
This heartbreaking ballad from Kelly Clarkson tells the tale of someone who has been deeply wounded and debilitated by the hurtful behavior of a narcissist. She sings about how the narcissist in her life never thinks of anyone but themselves and their own pain. Meanwhile, Clarkson is in so much pain she cries herself to sleep every night.
As a result of this self-centered behavior, Clarkson sings about experiencing fear, loneliness, and a lack of trust. Narcissists can traumatize so completely. It is only by recognizing the impact of their behavior that we can start to heal.
“Holier Than Thou” by Metallica
Song Year: 1991
Named one of the best modern rock bands ever, Metallica delivers on this high-charged metal tune about a judgmental narcissist. The antagonist in this song is arrogant and ignorant, passing judgment on everyone but themselves.
Lead singer James Hetfield sings about how this person thinks they are so much better than him, even though they are steeped in lies, gossip, and back-stabbing. Hetfield warns them that if they judge others, they will receive the same judgment, a warning any true narcissist would do well to heed.
“Love the Way You Lie” by Eminem and Rihanna
Song Year: 2010
Two narcissist lovers clash with each other in this potent hip-hop song. He loves seeing her in pain; she loves lashing out with her hot temper and insults. Despite early feelings of love and adoration, the couple in this song has come to bitterly despise one another.
Yet, neither one can quit the relationship. They seem caught in a toxic cycle of narcissism and violence. Relationships between narcissists never end well, and the story in this song is no exception. If you find yourself in a relationship that looks like this, it is best to get away as quickly as possible.
“Bed of Lies” by Nicki Minaj featuring Skylar Grey
Song Year: 2014
Narcissists like the one in this tragic Nicki Minaj song can weave a web of lies so tangled that it is impossible to escape. The result is hurt, pain, and betrayal deep enough to make Minaj contemplate lashing out right back.
Minaj’s narcissist in “Bed of Lies” takes advantage of her fame and fortune to make a place for himself, then proceeds to lie and deceive like a true, heartless player. Despite all her success, he does not see her or pay attention to her needs or pain. He thinks only of himself, like the true narcissist he is.
“For Her” by Fiona Apple
Song Year: 2020
This tune from Fiona Apple’s groundbreaking album “Fetch The Bolt Cutters” describes the quintessential narcissist. He treats his partner like a servant, making her clean his messes while he runs around cheating on her and pursuing his own dreams at the expense of hers.
He elevates himself to the point that he shows no weakness, opting instead to insult and hurt his partner. True to form, this Apple song is heavy and dark, dealing with themes of betrayal, substance abuse, and sexual assault.
“Under My Thumb” by The Rolling Stones
Song Year: 1966
The protagonist of this classic Stones tune is pretty reprehensible in his narcissism and control. He tells his partner what to wear, doesn’t allow her to speak unless he speaks to her first, and treats her like a pet. He keeps her under his rule, while he is allowed to do and say as he pleases.
Unashamed of his narcissism, lead singer Mick Jagger sings about how good it feels to dominate and demean the woman in his life. Narcissists always enjoy their behavior, paying no mind to how hurtful it can be to those around them.
Top Songs About Narcissists, Final Thoughts
Whether the narcissist is the protagonist of the song or someone the artist despises, the musicians on this list have a lot to say about narcissism. In their arrogance and self-absorption, narcissists cause incredible amounts of pain and betrayal.
If you struggle with narcissistic behavior from someone in your life, crank up these tunes for a healthy dose of validation. As the artists on this list have shown us, narcissists are everywhere; you are not alone.