Through thick and thin, it’s nice to know that there’s always someone there that has your back. That’s why the best friendships, whether they develop in grade school, college, or the workplace, are one of life’s great gifts.
Sometimes listening to pop music can feel like a never-ending barrage of songs dedicated to issues surrounding romantic love. But there are plenty of tunes out there specifically for celebrating besties!
We’ve selected the 21 best songs about best friends to help you pay homage to that special confidant in your life. Fire up these tracks the next time you’re hanging out with your bosom buddy, your ride or die – your BFF!
1. The White Stripes – “We’re Going to Be Friends”
The White Stripes’ “We’re Going to Be Friends” is a surprisingly gentle song about childhood friendship from these purveyors of punk-flavored garage rock.
Over plainly strummed acoustic guitar, White Stripes frontman Jack White sings a heartwarming tale of two misfits coming together at a young age and realizing that they’ve finally found a place they belong.
The song is sentimental while maintaining the White Stripes’ trademark nervy rock and roll edge. For misfit best friends, the track is likely to sound autobiographical.
2. Garth Brooks – “Friends in Low Places”
No bar crawl or karaoke night would be complete without the sound of Garth Brooks’ “Friends in Low Places” emanating from the speakers. This feel-good country anthem is a nod to friends that cut the pretense and celebrate themselves for who they are.
The song’s empowering chorus feels great to sing along to, and while the single has darker undertones of the unnamed structures of class in American society, its ultimate function is as a rowdy beer drinking tune.
“Friends in Low Places” celebrates the friends you meet in life’s margins and is tailor-made for a night with your ride or die homies.
3. Randy Newman – “You’ve Got a Friend in Me”
Randy Newman started his five-decade career in music with bitingly satirical songs that tackled religion, money, love, and politics. As the ’80s began, Newman became more well known for composing soundtracks for motion pictures. Eventually, Pixar came calling in 1996 for a movie called Toy Story.
Ironically, Newman’s composition for Toy Story, “You’ve Got a Friend in Me,” is the biggest hit of his career. The Toy Story theme is shockingly saccharine and surprising coming from an artist known for their wry wordplay and acerbic wit.
But the song’s success shows the mastery of Newman’s writing. The song’s simple melody and lyrics assure the listener of a long-lasting friendship that feels as satisfyingly easy-going as a perfect friendship.
4. The Rolling Stones – “Waiting on a Friend”
The Rolling Stones’ long and tumultuous career spawned dozens of hits and has become synonymous with blues-drenched rock and roll. Even as the band’s output began to diminish in the ’80s, they still managed to release classic tracks like “Waiting on a Friend.”
With half a century of touring, addiction, and disputes in their rearview mirror, the fact that the band continues to this day is a testament to the strength of the band’s partnerships.
Mick Jagger’s lyrics explicitly eschew romance in exchange for friendship. It’s hard to imagine he wasn’t thinking about his bandmates as he penned this thoughtful song about relationships.
5. The Rembrandts – “I’ll Be There For You”
As the theme song to the wildly successful ’90s sitcom Friends, The Rembrandts’ “I’ll Be There for You” is drenched in feelings of friendship and nostalgia.
As soon as the song’s guitar riff kicks in, the listener’s delightful memories of the shenanigans of a group of young adults in New York City come flooding back. Bolstering the feeling are The Rembrandt’s sunny affirmations of friendship wrapped in glossy layers of pop-rock.
Whether you’re arguing over which Friends character you would be or begrudgingly accepting that you’re both Chandler, putting this song on will bring a smile to everyone’s face.
6. Andrew Gold – “Thank You for Being a Friend”
Andrew Gold’s “Thank You for Being a Friend” sounds as positively uplifting as a perfectly timed Hallmark card with its jaunty piano playing and heartfelt lyrics.
The song was the theme for The Golden Girls, an ’80s sitcom about the exploits of a group of older women sharing a home in Florida. The show is unique in its representation of friendships amongst older adults, and in the years since its first broadcast has become a cult classic.
Whether you’re familiar with the Betty White television show or not, you’ll be familiar with the thankful tone of this soft rock ode to bosom buddies.
7. Bill Withers – “Lean on Me”
A best friend is someone that’s there for you in the toughest of times. Bill Withers’ classic single “Lean on Me” crystallizes the finer points of best friendom by laying out the tenants for unconditional support and love in four soulful minutes.
The song’s measured pace and prominent piano are reminiscent of gospel music. Withers uses that spiritual tone to underscore how important it is to have people we can rely on emotionally.
Queuing up “Lean on Me” will turn any gathering into an infectiously loving sing-along of friendship.
8. Kanye West, Jay-Z, and Big Sean – “Clique”
Kanye West’s single “Clique” is perfect when you run with an entire crew of ride-or-die besties. The single is a braggadocious slice of hip-hop that features West and his associates puffing out their chests and celebrating the strength in their numbers.
Sometimes you have more than one best friend; you’ve got the whole gang running deep with you. While many songs about friendship focus on singular relationships, Ye’s track is suitable for blasting from the speakers when you’ve got the car packed with your friends.
“Clique” will get your clique hyped with its unique production and ensemble performances, including a verse by the Jay-Z.
9. Queen – “You’re My Best Friend”
Though Queen’s bassist wrote “You’re My Best Friend” about his wife, the lyrics are still a loving proclamation that translates to any pair of BFFs. With its unique sounding Wurlitzer piano and group vocals, this song has stood the test of time as a classic pop single and blast of positive-sounding pop music.
While life isn’t always sunshine and daisies, it will feel like that as soon as your press play on this classic Queen song. The band manages to capture all the warm and fuzzy feelings of friendship and distill them into a slice of pop perfection.
10. Whodini – “Friends”
Whodini’s single “Friends” is a classic track from the golden era of hip-hop. The song has been sampled by Nas, Will Smith, and MF Doom, making it a highly recognizable beat in hip-hop.
The track’s ’80s flavored synthesizers and boom-bap beat are staples of the era, and they give a carefree throwback vibe to a song — even though the song is a cautionary tale about being taken advantage of by so-called friends!
While Whodini wants to make sure you’re not being taken advantage of, the song’s vintage dance vibes and repetitive vocal hook will get all of your true friends dancing.
11. The Beatles – “With a Little Help From My Friends”
We all rely on help from our friends from time to time; it’s part of what makes friendship so vital for our health. The Beatles took this concept to heart when they wrote their classic Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band track “With a Little Help from My Friends.”
With Ringo Starr taking over vocal duties on the song, a rarity for the drummer, the band joyfully marches through this sing-songy tale while sounding downright giddy.
Singer Joe Cocker would rearrange the song and breathe life into it as a scorching soul number during the Woodstock festival. So, whether you prefer the sounds of the British Invasion or blue-eyed soul, this song will cater to your needs. Just like a good friend.
12. Harry Nilsson – “Best Friend”
Singer-songwriter Harry Nilsson was no stranger to sweepingly sentimental songs. Some of the biggest hits of Nilsson’s career were the heartbreaking torch song “Without You” and the ’60s loner anthem “One.” But when Nilsson wrote the theme song for the TV show The Courtship of Eddie’s Father, the singer took a happier note.
“Best Friend” captures Nilsson in a happy mood, singing about a happy-go-lucky bond between two best friends. The song has a simple and catchy melody that helped it live on long after the TV show ended.
Whether you sincerely love the horn-laden ’70s soft-rock sound or ironically appreciate the on-the-nose cheesiness of it all, this track will have you smiling along with your friends.
13. Pharrell Williams – “Best Friend”
Pharrell Williams broke off from his production team, The Neptunes, when he recorded his debut solo record, In My Mind. Though Pharrell was now standing on the weight of his own two creative feet, the lyrics to his song “Best Friend” reference his longtime collaborator, Chad Hugo.
Over Williams’ signature quirky synthesizer production, the singer talks about the trappings of fame in the context of a best friend keeping him in check.
Not only is this track catchy and sure to get any party moving, but it’s a lyrical reminder to stay true to who you are, which is the exact advice any best friend would give.
14. Weezer – “My Best Friend”
When your best friend is also a fan of alternative rock, add Weezer’s song “My Best Friend” to the playlist. This uptempo blast of distorted guitars is a feel-good jam that will have true friends and rock fans headbanging.
Weezer’s emotionally-tinged ’90s alternative rock beginnings have given way to a more direct lyrical approach, but the band still manages to pack vulnerability into tight verses and sing-along choruses.
With so many of the best songs about best friends coming from the pop world, this blast of raging guitar riffs and amplifiers cranked to eleven is a rocker worth befriending.
15. Spice Girls – “Wannabe”
The Spice Girls wrote an anthem of female empowerment and friendship for the ages with their iconic ’90s hit “Wannabe.” The song quickly became the band’s signature track because of its infectious dance beat and spirited celebration of femininity.
The band had a massive global hit with the single, and its success paved the way for the explosion of teen-centric pop that would take over the airwaves at the end of the century.
Whether you’re a child of the ’90s singing along nostalgically or hearing the song’s pristine pop production for the first time, best girlfriends will have a blast bonding to this classic of modern pop.
16. Ben E. King – “Stand by Me”
Ben E. King’s iconic single “Stand By Me” is an essential song in the development of American music.
Paving the way for R&B to morph into the soul sound of the ’60s, the song’s lasting impact on pop music is vital. “Stand by Me” has been covered hundreds of times and is part of the American music canon.
Like the best songs about best friends, this soul standard is all about leaning on friends in times of need and offering love and support to those we care about when they need it most.
17. Elton John – “Friends”
Elton John applies his incredible ear for melody to a set of lyrics by his co-writer Bernie Taupin that celebrate the importance of friendships in the single “Friends.”
The film that featured the song has faded from the public’s memory, but the track remains a prime example of ’70s pop and a notable entry in John’s early career.
The song’s classic feeling evokes warm feelings of companionship. Considering its vignettes of highway imagery coupled with John’s effortless piano flourishes, the song serves as a precursor to the magnum opus “Tiny Dancer,” which would be released a year later.
18. Carole King – “You’ve Got a Friend”
Carole King’s soft rock piano ballad “You’ve Got a Friend” garnered the singer-songwriter a Grammy Award for Song of the Year. The song was successful with critics that even James Taylor’s cover version from the same year won a Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance.
King was a renowned songwriter for years before releasing her landmark album Tapestry. But after the songwriter began singing her songs instead of selling them to other pop stars, she became a household name.
With singles like “You’ve Got a Friend,” it’s plain to see that King’s sense of melody and vulnerable lyrics go together like two best friends.
19. Big Star – “Thank You Friends”
Big Star never broke through to mainstream success during their career, but in the subsequent years following their breakup, the band would grow a cult following and become recognized as pioneers of ’70s pop-rock.
“Thank You Friends” is a punk-tinged pop anthem that extols the virtues of friendship. The song’s female background vocals give the track a slight air of Memphis soul, while singer Alex Chilton delivers his lines with a weariness befitting the leader of a band that couldn’t catch a break.
For fans of ’70s rock, punk, or power pop, this Big Star track should be a go-to anthem of friendship.
20. Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes – “Home”
Best friends and fans of indie-folk will bond over the melodic whistling and group sing-along of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros’ single “Home.” The song’s rustic instrumentation frames a duet between two friends as they profess their mutual love, making this a perfect karaoke duet or car sing-along for besties.
The country-tinged single was a surprise indie hit in 2010 and helped put the band on the map. Thanks to features in dozens of commercials, films, and television shows, Edward Sharpe’s quirky ode to heartfelt friendship has remained part of pop culture. The track has even found a second life on TikTok.
21. Lou Reed – “She’s My Best Friend”
Lou Reed was always a symbol of an aloof brand of New York City coolness. Even as the former Velvet Underground frontman embarked on a solo career his wild tales of the underbelly of city life continued to traffic in the cultural fringes of nightlife.
The cultural background of coolness adds a layer of depth to Reed’s song “She’s My Best Friend.” Instead of his usual “Walk On the Wild Side” posturing, this song is a sentimental expression of friendship, romantic or otherwise. That it’s coming from the silver tongue of Reed makes it all the more impactful.
Through late nights, road trips, tears, and laughter, best friends and good music have to power to elevate life’s momentous occasions. Combining the two is like combining peanut butter and chocolate: perfection.
Whether you and your best friend bond over rock, rap, or country, there are plenty of songs in every genre to help celebrate the camaraderie of besties.
We hope you enjoyed our list of the 21 best songs about best friends. Now load these into a playlist and turn up the volume while you and your homies go out on the town or dish the latest gossip!