25 years ago
ESPN released the first in series of popular compilation albums featuring songs played at sporting events across the world. To celebrate the anniversary, the list has been updated for 2020, using a combination of streaming data, Billboard Hot 100 chart performance and voting by an ESPN panel.
Cardi B told The Undefeated in 2016 that she wasn’t a huge sports fan but loves the Boston Red Sox despite her New York roots. “My father’s side of the family is Dominican, and Dominicans love the Boston Red Sox,” she said.
“Bodak Yellow” was the first song by a solo woman rapper since 1998 to top the Hot 100.
“Colin Kaepernick, as long as you kneel with us, we’re going to be standing for you, baby.”
When Cardi comes on, it's hard not to start moving. “Bodak Yellow” was the soundtrack to choreographed halftime performances by older folks and impromptu dance parties among Philadelphia Eagles and LA Clippers players during warm-ups in 2017 and 2018.
Hall of Fame closer Mariano Rivera began using “Enter Sandman” as his walk-up music in 1999 and had an 89.7 save percentage in 15 seasons using it.
The single went certified platinum in 2009. The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame presented Rivera with a gold “Enter Sandman” record on his last road trip to Progressive Field in Cleveland.
Like Mo, Virginia Tech football leaves the tunnel to “Enter Sandman.” The Hokies' crowd has registered on the Richter scale multiple times while jumping around to it. MMA legend Brock Lesnar and former Mets closer Billy Wagner also used it during their careers.
Metallica plays Mariano Rivera to the mound for his final outing.
A Green Bay radio station edits out the line “New man on the Minnesota Vikings” every time the song plays, just so Packers fans don’t have to hear about their NFC North rivals.
“Truth Hurts” is tied for the longest-running No. 1 song featuring a woman rapper.
At least three Vikings players have denied being Lizzo’s Minnesota connection, but they vowed to figure out who was. “I’ve been wanting to ask her that question since I heard the song. I need to know,” Stefon Diggs told SI.
NFL Countdown went to Wisconsin to meet the radio DJ who censored “Truth Hurts.”
The melody of “Seven Nation Army” is chanted by soccer fans across the world, but it started in 2003 in Italy, where visiting Brugge KV fans heard the song in a bar before a match against AC Milan. They took the chant with them into the stadium and back home to Belgium.
The song’s inclusion in the trailer for the Battlefield 1 video game propelled it to its highest chart position in 2016, 13 years after it came out.
“As a songwriter it is one of the things I am most proud of being a part of. Modern folk music around the world happens when groups of people gather together in larger numbers, not in small homes and villages like it used to in the past. And many times this will happen in sports arenas of course, particularly soccer.”
It’s not just soccer fans who love a good melody. Miami Heat fans serenaded LeBron James and the gang back in 2014.
Italian fans adopted the tune they call the “po po po po” song after that Brugge game, too. It was heard all night through the streets of Rome after Italy won the 2006 World Cup. Soon after, two members of that title team led the chant at a Rolling Stones concert in Milan.
In 2015, researchers in the U.K. studied a British swimmer’s training and musical accompaniment for three months. They concluded that songs with a fast tempo and “emotional resonance” like “Lose Yourself” increased power and speed during intense exercise periods.
Spotify analyzed 43.5 million workout playlists on its platform in 2018 and found that “Lose Yourself” was the second-most streamed. It trailed only behind another Eminem motivational anthem, “Till I Collapse.”
“There’s probably not one guy that doesn’t play that before a game or before they get riled up.”
Michael Phelps went full “8 Mile” on the Paramount Network competition show “Lip Sync Battle” with his rendition of “Lose Yourself.”
Eminem’s Academy Award-winning anthem was on a lot of Olympians’ playlists at the 2016 Rio Games.
ESPN and ABC used “HUMBLE.” during NBA playoff coverage in 2017. It was also featured on the NBA 2K18 soundtrack.
“HUMBLE.“ won Grammy awards for Best Rap Performance, Best Rap Song and Best Music Video. The album, DAMN., won the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Music.
“As an African American kid growing up in the inner city, they don’t believe that you can get out and become something, so that’s why I’m able to relate to a lot of his lyrics and relate to a lot of his stories.“
Lamar played for 3,000 fans in Atlanta’s Centennial Park at halftime of the 2018 College Football Playoff National Championship.
NBA folks show up in a lot of Lamar’s music. His song “The Heart Part 4” alludes to drama between two former teammates. His verse on Big Sean’s “Control” name-checks a Hall of Fame coach. And “Black Boy Fly” admits jealousy for a baller from his hometown.
This Queen banger, known for its rhythm made only by clapping hands and stomping feet, was the most played song at NHL, NFL and MLB games during the 2008-09 season, according to BMI.com.
Billboard named “We Will Rock You” the greatest jock jam of all time in 2017.
“One of my favorites was when I went to see the Chicago Bulls versus the Lakers, and you had Michael Jordan going against Magic Johnson and that was outrageous to see. But then every time they stopped the game they played ‘We Will Rock You.’ I just smiled a lot.”
Beyoncé, Britney Spears, Pink and starred in a memorable Pepsi commercial that debuted during Super Bowl XXXVIII.
Those in attendance at the 2012 London Olympics closing ceremonies were treated to a sing-along with late Queen frontman Freddie Mercury and performance of “We Will Rock You” from guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor.
Mo’ne Davis, the first girl to pitch a shutout in the Little League World Series, used “Run the World (Girls)” as her walk-up music.
Beyoncé has played two of the most loved Super Bowl halftime shows in recent memory at Super Bowls XLVII and 50. After the former, 14 of her songs shot up the iTunes charts, including “Run the World (Girls).”
These multiple-time champions and Olympic legends are the greatest to do it in their sports while advocating for equal rights within their games and their communities.
Hilary Knight not only won gold with the U.S. women’s hockey team in 2018, she also has led the fight for equal pay between the men’s and women’s national teams.
Pitbull recorded a new verse of “Timber” for the 2014 NBA playoffs on ESPN promo. It used the word “playoffs” seven times in a minute.
This collaboration between Pitbull and Ke$ha topped the charts in 20 nations.
Pitbull seems to pop up everywhere, even in the sports world. He has played the World Cup in Brazil and MLB All-Star breaks in Miami and New York. His outfits have been the talk of all those performances.
Pitbull has performed at two WWE events, WrestleMania 33 in 2017 and Monday Night RAW in 2011 -- to celebrate Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson's birthday.
“Don’t Stop Believin’” was a standard at Joe Louis Arena during the Red Wings’ four championship runs in the 1990s and 2000s. When it closed its doors on April 9, 2017, fans sang it goodbye with one last in-unison belt of “born and raised in south Detroit.”
Many people relate the resurgence of “Don’t Stop Believin’“ in the late 2000s to the 2007 series finale of “The Sopranos.” The song shot to No. 1 on iTunes the week after it accompanied the show's final scene.
“That was a thrill to hear that become such a rally song, for sure. But the thing about the song is that it seems to belong to everyone, which is a dream come true. It doesn’t belong to anybody. It really belongs to people who want to believe, and want to keep hoping and keep reaching, and not give up.”
During their 2010 World Series run, the Giants began playing “Don’t Stop Believin’” or another Journey classic, “Lights,” in the eighth inning. If San Francisco Bay Area native Perry was in the crowd, he would conduct it.
“Don’t Stop Believin’“ was an anthem for World Series championships on the South Side of Chicago and along the San Francisco Bay, as well as for those Stanley Cup runs in Detroit.