Music icons like good girls Diana Ross and Mariah Carey have taught us all to be strong independent women, but other originators like Madonna, Rihanna, M.I.A and Janet Jackson have urged (forced!) us to be a tad more mischievous. Play hard to get? Check. Tease the boys? Check. Do whatever the hell we want?! Check. Check. Check.
Attribute this newfound badass confidence to a number of reasons: ridding ourselves of insecurities, thinking like men or just simply from the feel-good music that’s blaring through the speakers as you prepare for Girls’ Night Out.
For now, we don’t know where the lines between our inner naughty and nice girls blur, but we do know that these singles have given us a reason to be bad. Click through to find tunes (new and old) that have helped formulate the bad girl identity. Prepare to rock out harder than RiRi and let us know your favorite bad girl anthems in the comments section. —Desire Thompson
M.I.A’s “Boyz” serves as a bad girl anthem, not only for its infectious riddims, but its co-sign that you can hit the dance floor instead of being another pretty face up against a wall.
“Rude Boy” x Rihanna
Rihanna knows what she wants. On this Caribbean-infused record she does that by just playing off the male ego. Asking questions and playing hard to get are some of the bad girl qualities that has everyone loving Miss RiRi.
“Buttons” x Pussycat Dolls
During their girl group reign in the mid 2000s, PCD was a little different from previous girl groups. With suggestive lyrics and provocative dance moves, the ladies didn’t pretend to be classy. On “Buttons,” with the artist formally known as Snoop Dogg, the ladies take control and show off what they got.
“Showstopper” x Danity Kane
DK owned one of the main traits of being a bad girl on their bossy debut: confidence. Minus the Yung Joc feature, the ladies name drop brands and make being sexy cool, without having to show off their goodies.
“Creep” x TLC
The crazy sexy cool ladies of TLC were different kinds of bad girls. With stunning looks and playful personalities Chilli, T-Boz and the late Lisa “Left-Eye” Lopes were painfully honest. What’s more bad than beating a guy at his own game?
“Lady Marmalade” x Patti LaBelle
The original “Lady Marmalade” by Patti Labelle shows that some bad girls have no regrets. Why is it a bad girl anthem? Because some baddies don’t have a problem with being from the darker side of the tracks. Labelle tells the story of a lady of the night and the secrets that will haunt any guy that lusts for her.
Bonus: Lil Kim, Missy, Mya, P!nk and Christina Aguilera’s version knocks too.
“Hot Stuff” x Donna Summer
The queen of Disco, Donna Summer often painted pictures of what a bad girl was made of–strong but vulnerable and someone who just wanted loving. Press play on her seventh album Bad Girls, which featured “Hot Stuff,” and you’ll know what we’re talking about.
“Bad” x Wale ft. Tiara Thomas
Wale challenged what it means to be a bad girl in his single “Bad” featuring Tiara Thomas. A theme for some young women, the track brings to light a woman’s dark past and how it connects to the personality and actions she is today.
“Proud of You” x Drake ft. “Nicki Minaj
We all love when we get a pat on the back for our achievements, and Drake does this with an assist from Nicki Minaj.
“P.Y.T” x Micheal Jackson
This classic by the King of Pop will always get a bad girl in the mood to jam out. No matter the age, every baddie wants to be a Pretty Young Thing.
“Vixen” x Miguel