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Released: 2020

Ava Max’s “Kings & Queens” is a powerful anthem for female empowerment, filled with bold, resilience affirming messages and a no-nonsense assertion of feminine strength. The pop hit marries a catchy tune with unapologetic lyrics that defy patriarchal norms, and invite women to embrace their power and independence.

From the get-go, the lyrics “If all of the kings had their queens on the throne/We would pop champagne and raise a toast/To all of the queens who are fighting alone” set an egalitarian tone. Max is not merely talking about a desire for equality; she calls out for a regal celebration of women who valiantly face their battles alone. The reference to “the kings” and “the queens” puts men and women on an even keel – a place of equal importance and equal power.

Lines like “Can’t live without me, you wanna, but you can’t, nah-nah-nah/Think it’s funny, but honey, can’t run this show on your own”, solidify this theme of female independence. Addiction-like dependency is often a trope in love songs, but here Ava flips it, placing the man in the dependent role. She takes it a step further by insisting that he can’t manage without her, making an important point about women’s integral role in society.

The bold statement “I can feel my body shake, there’s only so much I can take/ I’ll show you how a real queen behaves” alludes to women’s resilience – a much-needed salute in the face of injustices faced by women in society. The queen Ava Max presents is a symbol of strength and courage, not the damsel-in-distress stereotype often used in pop culture.

The chorus, repeated several times, serves as the song’s rallying cry, a toast to the queens out there, who, even though they are ‘fighting alone’, are not ‘dancing on their own’. This could be taken as a shout-out to the sisterhood across the world, a message to remind women that they are not alone in their various struggles.

In the verse, “In chess, the king can move one space at a time/But queens are free to go wherever they like”, Ava Max uses a clever chess analogy to further accentuate the theme of female supremacy. In chess, the queen is indeed the most powerful piece, able to move any number of spaces in any direction, a subversive metaphor in a patriarchal society, suggesting women’s abilities to transcend traditional limitations.

All in all, “Kings & Queens” by Ava Max is a bombastic burst of feminine energy, a pop anthem that inspires women to take their rightful place and be seen, respected, and celebrated as the queens they are.

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