American Anthem NPR brings you a year of stories about songs that rouse, uplift or call to action.

American AnthemAmerican Anthem

Music that challenges, unites and celebrates

Frank Sinatra onstage in the 1970s. Though the star was ambivalent at best about the song's message, "My Way" became emblematic of this era of his career. David Redfern/Redferns/Getty Images hide caption

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David Redfern/Redferns/Getty Images

A Toast To 'My Way,' America's Anthem Of Self-Determination

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Gloria Gaynor originally recorded "I Will Survive" as a B-side, but swiftly after its release in October 1978 it became a worldwide hit. Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images hide caption

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Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

'I Will Survive' Saves Marginalized People A Spot On The Dance Floor

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Steve Perry performs with Journey at a Chicago-area concert in 1981. Paul Natkin/Getty Images hide caption

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Paul Natkin/Getty Images

'Don't Stop Believin" Goes On And On, Because We Need It To

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Kendrick Lamar performs at the 2015 BET Awards in Los Angeles. Christopher Polk/Getty Images for BET hide caption

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Christopher Polk/Getty Images for BET

Both Party And Protest, 'Alright' Is The Sound Of Black Life's Duality

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Performing "Rebel Girl" felt risky in Bikini Kill's early years, Kathleen Hanna says. "There were confrontations, things thrown at us, stuff like that. So doing that song always felt like putting my superhero cape on." Jason Frank Rothenberg/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Jason Frank Rothenberg/Courtesy of the artist

Fascination, Friendship And Desire: Kathleen Hanna On The Reign Of 'Rebel Girl'

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The Impressions circa 1970. Left to right: Curtis Mayfield, Fred Cash and Sam Gooden. Gilles Petard/Redferns/Getty Images hide caption

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Gilles Petard/Redferns/Getty Images

'We're A Winner' Married Black Pride To An Irresistible Beat

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The Edge and Bono perform in the Netherlands during U2's The Joshua Tree tour in 1987. The U2 song "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For," inspired by gospel, has become a rock and roll hymn, even finding its way into real-life church services. Rob Verhorst/Redferns/Getty Images hide caption

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Rob Verhorst/Redferns/Getty Images

In U2's 'I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For,' A Restless Search For Meaning

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Dolly Parton in a scene from the 1980 comedy 9 to 5. The film's theme song, performed by Parton, took on a life of its own. 20th Century Fox/Getty Images hide caption

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20th Century Fox/Getty Images

A Cup Of Ambition And Endurance: '9 To 5' Unites Workers Across Decades

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Lesley Gore and producer Quincy Jones at work in the studio. The two collaborated on "You Don't Own Me" and a handful of other 1960s hits. Donaldson Collection/Getty Images hide caption

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Donaldson Collection/Getty Images

'You Don't Own Me,' A Feminist Anthem With Civil Rights Roots, Is All About Empathy

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A woman walks through La Perla, a neighborhood on the edge of Old San Juan, in 2017. AFP Contributor/Getty Images hide caption

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AFP Contributor/Getty Images

For Those Missing Puerto Rico, A Song About Dreaming Of Home

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Robyn performs at the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival in 2011. Charley Gallay/Getty Images hide caption

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Charley Gallay/Getty Images

Alone Together: Robyn's 'Dancing On My Own' Opens The Corners Of Community

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Left to right: Scarface, Bushwick Bill and Willie D of the Geto Boys perform in Houston in 2015. Marco Torres/HOU/VMG via Getty Images hide caption

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Marco Torres/HOU/VMG via Getty Images

Stressed Out: How 'Mind Playing Tricks On Me' Gave Anxiety A Home In Hip-Hop

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Tom Petty performs with the Heartbreakers in Belgium in 1992. Gie Knaeps/Getty Images hide caption

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Gie Knaeps/Getty Images

'A Song For Any Struggle': Tom Petty's 'I Won't Back Down' Is An Anthem Of Resolve

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