Everybody Is A Star

Album: Greatest Hits (1970)
Charted: 1
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Songfacts®:

  • This song is about how everyone is equal and how people try to change themselves to be what the media wants them to be. For black individuals, it can be about how we try to change ourselves to "act white" but in the end the system brings us down, yet we bring ourselves back up with the help of our people. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Christina - NorCal, CA
  • This was released as a double-A-side single with "Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)." The single went to #1 in the US, so under Billboard methodology at the time, the chart position is attributed to both songs combined.
  • Like many Sly & the Family Stone songs of this era - "Everyday People" and "Stand!" among them - "Everybody Is A Star" has a message of togetherness and self-worth. These songs were set against joyful melodies that kept them from sounding preachy. They went over very well at live shows where a sense of community formed.
  • The nonsense chorus ("ba pa-pa-pa ba...") actually makes a lot of sense - it's about the power of music, which can speak without words. In this case, the rhythmic syllables play against horn lines in a very similar fashion to Otis Redding's 1966 track "Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa (Sad Song)."

Comments: 4

  • James Hadley from North LondonThe sentiment of this piece of music is one of the most affirmative of any song I've yet heard. "I love you for who you are, not the one you feel you need to be." That might just be the most beautiful single lyric in all pop music. The song embodies everything that was great about this band and their era. One looks back from today's time of "culture wars" and wonders what we have forgotten and what we need to remember. This song sets me straight about what really matters.
  • Billy D Cooper from Bronx, Ny 10462...as for the unique intermingling leads, "Sly &..." 1st began this with his seminal hit Dance to the Music in '68. From that point, there were several groups-most notably, The Temptations-who followed. The Tempt's had several hits including a pair of #1s-i Can't Get Next to You ('69) and Papa was a Rolling Stone ('72)-using this same Sly & the Family Stone formula.
    The Temptations also had Motown's 1st Grammy winner-Cloud 9 ('68)-and 2 more Top 10s-Psychedelic Shack ('69) and Ball o' Confusion ('70)-same formula.
  • Billy D Cooper from Bronx, Ny 10462you refer to the great innovative bassist Larry Graham as "...a fourth person"? Are you serious?? You're not serious. Seriously???
  • Rich from El Segundo, CaI was surprised this didn't have any entries. This is a fantastic song, and is in my personal favorite list of "Songs with the best beginnings"...in that Sly trades opening lines with his brother, sister and a fourth person which obviously embodies the meaning of the song. Their individual and unique voices make me wonder if this is not a first for not only a #1 hit, but ANY hit to have 4 credited vocalists!
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