What would any of us do without friends? For many of us, friends are chosen “family.” Friends see us through our best and worst of times. They laugh with us, lend a shoulder to cry on, offer advice, keep our secrets, help us pick up the pieces after a failed relationship, make all kinds of memories and leave an indelible imprint on our hearts.
It only makes sense, then, that some of the biggest music superstars in history have penned some epic songs honoring friendship. A list of our picks for the Top 17 best songs to celebrate friendship is below.
This cute song about friendship hails all the way back to a really young Miley Cyrus’ “Hannah Montana” days. It’s featured on the Hannah Montana 2: Meet Miley Cyrus album and makes you want to throw your arms around your BFF and sway during the chorus which says: “You're a true friend/You're here 'til the end/You pull me aside/When something ain't right/Talk with me now and into the night/'Til it's alright again/You're a true friend.”
The folk-tropic vibe of this track from Doo Wops & Hooligans” is so catchy and fun. Bruno tugs at every true-blue friend’s heart in the infectious “You can count on me like one two three, I’ll be there” chorus which also pays tribute to the reciprocal love between BFFs in the next lines “And I know when I need it I can count on you like four three two/You'll be there/'Cause that's what friends are supposed to do, oh yeah.”
Here’s another song that goes way back to a superstar’s humble, breakout singer-songwriter beginning. “I’m Only Me When I’m With You” is featured on Taylor Swift’s self-titled 2009 debut album. The video features Taylor hanging out with her BFF Abigail Anderson and a very young Kellie Pickler doing all sorts of fun things like swimming, cooking and dancing in the kitchen, singing in the car with her mom and more. The song really captures the awesome feeling of letting your guard down and being with a friend who knows and loves you just the way you are.
Here’s another sweet song that hails from the Disney Channel vault. Fans went crazy to find Selena and Demi in the same movie together, “Princess Protection Program.” It’s about friends who are different, yet the same, in all the best ways. We can’t help but wonder if the girls knew what a giant impact they would make in the music industry someday when they sang the lines “Cause we're one and the same/We're anything but ordinary/One and the same/I think we're almost legendary/You and me the perfect team/Shaking up the scene/We're one and the same.”
Randy Newman is a songwriting legend and there probably isn’t a more beloved song in his catalog than his Oscar and Golden Globe nominated song “You’ve Got a Friend in Me,” which served as the theme song to the Disney/Pixar animated film “Toy Story.” Children of all ages love crooning the tune made famous when a toy spaceman named Buzz and a toy cowboy named Woody became unlikely friends. Sing it with us now, “You’ve got a friend in me/You’ve got a friend in me/When the road looks rough ahead/And you’re miles and miles from your nice warm bed/You just remember what your old pal said/Boy, you’ve got a friend in me…” Sniff, sniff.
Garth Brooks’ chart-topping hit is arguably one of the most fun, singalong songs about friends hailing from the ‘90s. It might also be one of the most Karaoke performed songs of all time! It’s perfect for that beer-chugging, body-swaying ode to the kind of friend who meets right where you’re at and revels in joy and misery with you accordingly.
Meghan Trainor’s song called “Friends” lists all the lovely virtues of a loyal friend who loves you through being pushed away and “dumb mistakes” and being broke and mending a broken heart. In every situation, a friend is there to help you find your way again. She’s spot on when she sings, “No one understands me” and “No one’s gonna love me like they do.”
10. “Thank You For Being a Friend” – Andrew Gold
Late, great songwriter Andrew Gold left an indelible musical tribute to friends far and wide with his Billboard Top 20 hit “Thank You For Being a Friend.” The song became the theme song to NBC’s Emmy and Golden Globe-winning sitcom, “The Golden Girls.” It’s a perfect tribute to your besties – and great on a road trip playlist, windows down, singing “Thank you for being a friend/Traveled down a road and back again/Your heart is true, you’re a pal and a confidant …”
A friend often believes in us when we can’t believe in ourselves and that unconditional love and support can be life-changing. Cyndi Lauper’s 1986 hit “True Colors” gave a voice to many who felt they had no voice in the LGBTQ community or anyone who has been bullied or made to feel “less than.” The song is an anthemic beacon of hope and encouragement as she gently sings, “And I see your true colors/Shining through/I see your true colors/And that's why I love you.”
8. “Long Live” – Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift earns two spots on our ranking with her friendship anthem “Long Live” from her Grammy-nominated third studio album Speak Now. Over time, it’s become a fan-favorite live show dedication to all the fans who’ve supported Taylor through the years. It’s a perfect graduation song and bears so much promise for an exciting future. The lines “Long live all the mountains we moved/I had the time of my life/Fighting dragons with you” speak to the barrier-breakinall-conqueringing power of friendship and the song remains one of Taylor Swift’s best.
Jason Mraz truly has such a way with words and this song from his fifth studio album Yes! marks a wonderful example. “Best Friend” paa ys beautiful tribute to everything a best friend does to make your life and your shared world a better place. He sings about it sweetly in the second verse “Thank you for all of your trust/Thank you for not giving up/Thank you for holding my hand/I've always known where you stand/As I feel my life is better/So is the world we're living in/I'm thankful for the time I spent/With my best friend.”
As one of the most iconic sitcoms of all time, “Friends” was destined to have an equally epic theme song. That’s what The Rembrandts delivered with their Billboard chart-topping single “I’ll Be There for You.” “Friends” fans can likely croon this tune in their sleep which reminds us all we may be broke and our love life might be DOA, but, our friends will always be there for us – rain or shine, through all situations.
This song was originally performed by The Beatles on their Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band in 1967. Then the late, great Joe Cocker made his own signature version of the song in 1968, which was also the title of his album and featured on the TV series “The Wonder Years.” Cocker’s version was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2001. We all need to “get by with a little help from our friends” and this song will go down in history as one of a friendship anthem’s best.
A group of music superstars led by Dionne Warwick and including Elton John, Gladys Knight and Stevie Wonder, came together to record “That’s What Friends Are For” as a charity single to benefit AIDS research and prevention in 1985. Proceeds from song sales raised over $3 million for the cause. It was written by Burt Bacharach and Carol Bayer Sager and the lyrics arguably offer one of the best tributes to friendship that have ever been written. It makes us want to “keep smilin’, keep shinin’” and loving our BFF for all time.
Queen is one of the biggest rock bands of all time and their bass player, John Deacon, wrote “You’re My Best Friend” for his wife. The song was included on the group’s iconic Grammy-nominated album A Night at the Opera and it was later released as a single in the U.S. There’s probably nothing sweeter, more romantic, or more rewarding in life than falling in love and sharing your life with your best friend. Freddie Mercury did a spectacular job on lead vocals and the band’s harmonies elevate the song to another level. The song ranks high on our list as one of the all-time best.
This song earns our stamp for the most tear-inducing friendship song on our list. Originally recorded by Roger Whittaker in 1982, the Bette Midler version, which she recorded in 1988 for the soundtrack to the heartbreaking movie Beaches, won Grammy Awards for both Record and Song of the Year. The song pays tribute to the quiet strength and love of one friend who stands in the shadows behind another friend in the limelight. It also reminds us success is often not a singular achievement, and friendship is something that gives our spirits wings to fly.
“Winter, spring, summer or fall/All you’ve got to do is call/And I’ll be there yes I will/You’ve got a friend.” There might be no better way to show a friend you care or to describe the enduring strength and love of a friend than these lines which were originally written and recorded by Carole King in 1971, for her groundbreaking album Tapestry. James Taylor covered and released it as a chart-topping single from Mud Slide Slim and the Blue Horizon the same year. This song has remained a quintessential friendship anthem across more than four decades and earns our pick as the No. 1 song about friendship on our ranking.