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Lyric Music

Counting Stars

One Republic

Album Native

Story of Song

The meaning behind “Counting Stars” is basically that money can’t buy happiness.  Ryan Tedder told Official Charts Company that when he was writing the song, “I had the idea for ‘Counting Stars’ originally in the summer of 2012 when I was in the Hamptons. I was working in the largest house I’ve ever stepped foot in, which was being rented by Jay Z and Beyonce…I started combing through the internet, searching for stuff that would inspire me for Beyonce. I ended up coming across this weird song…I didn’t like the verses or the lyrics, but I loved the feel and the movement of it. That ended up inspiring ‘Counting Stars’.”  Ryan told Billboardthat: “I felt a responsibility to actually write and sing about things that have a level of human gravity to them. If everybody else sings about sex and love and lust and money, then somebody’s gotta be singing about life and faith and hope and things of that nature.” Ryan told that: “A lot of time I just lay in bed awake, stressing out. Everybody does it. And I just thought, I can’t wait until I’m counting stars and not counting dollars anymore. Things will be so much better.”

Release date

Released June 14, 2013


Ryan Tedder


Mosley – Interscope

Chart Rankings

“Counting Stars” has become one of the most successful songs for One Republic, selling over 8 million copies worldwide, putting it at the status of one of the bestselling singles of all time. The song was the first number one single in the UK for Ryan Tedder as a performer. In the US, “Counting Stars” reached number two on the Billboard Hot 100, staying in that spot for two weeks, and it is One Republic’s third US top ten song. The song not only reached top ten in the UK, but also in Brazil’s Hot Pop Songs, Canada, Finland, Mexico Ingles Airplay, Poland, Scotland, Slovakia, US Adult Contemporary, US Adult Top 40, and US Mainstream Top 40. “Counting Stars” reached the top ten in Australia, Austria, Brazil, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg Digital Songs, Mexico Anglo Chart, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, US Billboard Hot 100, and US Adult Alternative Songs. The song was certified 8x Platinum in Canada, 6x Platinum in Australia, 5x Platinum in Sweden, 3x Platinum in Italy, 2x Platinum in Mexico, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom, Platinum in Germany and Switzerland and Gold in Denmark, Belgium, and the United States.  “Counting Stars” also earned certifications for streaming with 3x Platinum in Denmark and 2x Platinum in Spain.

Artist’s age on release date

One Republic’s Ryan Tedder was 33 years old at the release of Counting Stars, Zack Filkins was 34, Eddie Fisher was 39, Brent Kutzle was 27, and Drew Brown was 28.

Cover Versions

A cover of the song was sang by Skylar Astin on the show “City of Angels” in 2014, and was a medley on the TV show “Glee” with the song “Mr. Roboto” by Styx.  A cover of the song was also sang by Secondhand Serenade and included on the album The Cover Up by Brandon Metcalf.  R5 covered the song at a concert in London.  “Counting Stars” has also been covered on YouTube by Alex Goot, Kurt Schneider and Chrissy Costanza; Cimorelli; MattyBRaps; Max Schneider (MAX) & Danny Padilla; Shawn Mendes; the Gardiner Sisters featuring Kuha’o Case; Jannine Weigel; Leroy Sanchez; Rajiv Dhall & TwentyForSeven; Jun Sung Ahn Violin Cover; George Ezra; Johnny Orlando; BILLbilly01 featuring Myle; Hannah Trigwell (acoustic); and  “Post Hardcore” by Ghost Killer Entertainment (pop goes punk).

Added by Slate

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    March 19, 2020 at 9:21 pm

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    April 5, 2020 at 9:50 pm

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    October 25, 2020 at 2:34 pm

    Just hearing it on the radio, I thought Counting Stars was about doing things you’ve been told by parents or anyone in “authority” NOT to do & finding excitement in the rebellion. Wow, so different once I’ve read all the words and what the writer intended! I never understood the demands of success and fame as being like a tyrant forcing artists to conform or have their career “killed” or that doing what’s “right” from your heart might be called “wrong” by the industry. Yeah, it told me too long to get the message, seeing the songs been around over 8 years! 😕

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