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Fight Song by Rachel Platten

Album: Fight Song EPReleased: 2014Charted:
6
1
  • More than a decade after releasing her first album, Rachel Platten made her Hot 100 debut with this empowerment anthem. The Massachusetts singer's "Fight Song" was the fruit of 12 years hard graft. She told The Idolator: "I grinded and worked so hard for so long and got to the point of… I didn't think it was going to happen. I thought I might need to figure something else out. That moment bred 'Fight Song.' So that song came because I had to make a decision, 'Am I going to keep going or am I going to give up on myself?'"

    "I came up with the answer to the decision, I guess through writing the song," she added. "I didn't even realize it was happening, but through writing the song I made the decision to not give up on myself. Even if it's only getting to play to a handful of people a night, that's enough. At least I get to spread this message. Then funnily enough, by releasing the song, I got this amazing opportunity."
  • Platten was an unknown, unsigned artist when this song was first released in 2014. The song gained early exposure thanks to its placement in the December 9, 2014 Christmas-themed episode of ABC Family's Pretty Little Liars.

    It got more attention in January 2015 when the Baltimore radio station Mix 106.5 gave it some spins after a friend of Platten's played it for the station's program director, Dave Labrozzi. (Don't try this at home - asking a PD to play your friend's song is the longest of long shots).

    Many listeners Shazamed the song, trying to figure out who was singing it. This Shazam data demonstrated a great deal of interest in the song, and record companies took notice. Columbia Records signed Platten and released the song on their label in 2015. Now with major-label backing, the song, and Platten's career, took off, making it one of the first songs to break out because of Shazam.
  • Billboard magazine asked Rachel Platten if there was one specific experience that inspired the song. She replied: "You know, I've been doing this career for a really long time, but there was not a lot of reason, at the time when I wrote 'Fight Song,' to believe that I should keep going. There were a lot of signs pointing to me needing to find something else. It was breaking my heart, and 'Fight Song' was this declaration that I really wasn't going to quit, that, it didn't matter."

    "Even if I was only going to reach a couple of people a night, I was still gonna do this, I was still gonna find a way to make music and create," Platten added. "I just needed it at the time, you know, I needed that reminder that I believed in myself no matter what."
  • Taylor Swift gave this song a big boost when she brought out Platten to duet on the song at her June 13, 2015 concert in Philadelphia. Swift met Platten a week earlier in Pittsburgh, and the pair had some fun singing the song backstage at Swift's concert. Taylor posted a clip of the hangout to her Instagram feed, which at the time had over 34 million followers.
  • Rachel Platten wrote an early version of the song in November 2013 in a Malibu studio with her friend, veteran songwriter Dave Bassett (Shinedown's "Second Chance," Elle King's ("Ex's & Oh's"). The singer then spent over 18 months tinkering with the tune, even teaching herself how to use the production software Pro Tools to get the sound that she was looking for.

    "I wrote about five or six different verses, and four different bridges," Platten told The Guardian. "It was such a horrible, awful, wonderful labor of love. My manager and I were just flabbergasted how hard it was for me to get the version we have today. When I finally produced the demo I felt good about, I knew I had something special. But God, it was so hard."
  • There is a prominent piano in this song, which was a popular trend in pop music at the time. Other big hits of the era with a piano sound include "Cheerleader" by OMI and "What Do You Mean?" by Justin Bieber.
  • This song was featured in a trailer for the TV series Supergirl, and also in an ad campaign for Ford.
  • Rachel Platten's inspirational performance of the song on ABC's Good Morning America in May 2015 earned her the Daytime Emmy award in the category of Outstanding Musical Performance in a Talk Show/Morning Program.
  • Hillary Clinton used this song at campaign events when she ran for president in 2016. With the line, "I've still got a lot of fight left in me," it proved a resilient anthem as she took on the bellicose Donald Trump. It was a much more aggressive choice than "You And I," a Celine Dion song she used in her 2008 campaign when she lost the Democratic nomination to Barack Obama.

    When Clinton took the stage to deliver her speech on the last night of the Democratic National Convention (July 28, 2016), the song played as she approached the podium. The following day, Platten Tweeted: "Regardless of our politics, seeing the first woman nominated for president is an incredible moment in our country's history. Proud of us."
  • One of her celebrity supporters, Elizabeth Banks, put together a new, a capella version of the song with many other actors and singers joining in. Banks made a video showing the performers singing (or in Jane Fonda's case, awkwardly speaking) their lines that was shown on Day 2 of the Democratic National Convention on July 26 before Clinton accepted the official nomination.

    Banks, who directed the 2015 film Pitch Perfect 2, used a style and sound consistent with the film, and enlisted many of the stars for the new "Fight Song." The ensemble was comprised mostly of actors (America Ferrera, Eva Longoria, Connie Britton), but also featured folks more likely to carry the tune, including Sia and Idina Menzel (Rachel Platten) was also part of the project.

    Banks produced the song with Bruce Cohen and Mike Thompkins; the full cast is:

    Aisha Tyler, Alan Cumming, America Ferrera, Ben Platt, Billy Porter, Chrissie Fit, Connie Britton, Elizabeth Banks, Ellen Greene, Esther Dean, Eva Longoria, Garrett Clayton, Hana Mae Lee, Ian Somerholder, Idina Menzel, Jaime King, Jane Fonda, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, John Michael Higgens, Josh Lucas, Julie Bowen, Kathy Najimy, Kelly Jackle, Kristin Chenoweth, Mandy Moore, Mary McCormack, Mary-Louise Parker, Mike Thompkins, Nikki Read, Rachel Platten, Renee Fleming, Rob Reiner, Shelley Regner, Sia and TR Knight.
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