The best songs about betrayal capture the emptiness and misery when someone close to you intentionally lets you down and hurts your feelings.
It has happened to all of us, and the most successful and popular singers are no exception, as these excellent songs exploring the subject demonstrate.
Read on and discover the best betrayal songs you can relate to today, from tracks by incredible vocalists to duets from some of the world’s most popular performers.
Table of Contents
The 23 Best Songs About Betrayal Of All Time
Betrayal is an unfortunate fact of life that everyone has to deal with at some point or another, as these popular songs on the topic reveal.
We’ve compiled this list to explore betrayal from all angles, covering musical genres from chart-topping pop songs to iconic soul and blues.
So, strap yourself in and dive into our playlist of the 23 best songs about betrayal of all time:
23. “Grenade” – Bruno Mars
American singer-songwriter Bruno Mars released his powerful song about betrayal, “Grenade,” as part of his 2010 album Doo-Wops & Hooligans.
The lyrics “Shoulda known you was trouble from the first kiss” indicates that the writing was on the wall from the beginning.
If you need a pickup after listening to “Grenade,” Mars also wrote one of the best songs about heaven with 2012’s “Locked Out of Heaven.”
22. “New Rules” – Dua Lipa
Dua Lipa is regarded as one of the best female singers with low voices, and her impressive vocal range is evident on the track “New Rules.”
Her fans could no doubt relate to the line, “You know he’s only callin’ ’cause he’s drunk and alone.”
The success of New Rules helped Lipa win the Grammy Award for Best New Artist in 2019 and marked her as an up-and-coming star to watch.
21. “Back Stabbers” – The O’Jays
With a song title like “Back Stabbers,” it’s clear The O’Jays take the concept of betrayal seriously.
The song laments those backstabbers who smile but “All the time, they want to take your place.”
Released in 1972, the song reached the top spot on the US Black Singles charts and was featured on the album of the same name.
20. “Traitor” – Olivia Rodrigo
Rock and indie pop singer Olivia Rodrigo released her song about revenge on the album Sour, released in 2021.
She sings about a former lover and how easily they can move on, saying, “It took you two weeks to go off and date her.”
One of the album’s highlights, it was a critical and commercial success and was rumored to be about the actor Joshua Bassett.
19. “I Knew You Were Trouble” – Taylor Swift
Sometimes we involve ourselves in relationships we know we shouldn’t, as Taylor Swift outlines in her popular hit song, “I Knew You Were Trouble.”
“No apologies, He’ll never see you cry” captures the feeling that the betrayer sometimes gets away with their actions.
Fittingly, she also wrote one of the most popular songs about revenge, “Better Than Revenge,” released on the Taylor Swift album Speak Now.
18. “Womanizer” – Britney Spears
Britney Spears seems to have unfaithful men figured out in her hit song “Womanizer” and how sleeping around never works out in the end.
“Daddy-O, you got the swagger of a champion, Too bad for you, you just can’t find the right companion.”
The track was featured on her sixth album, Circus, which was certified platinum in multiple countries and won her countless new fans.
17. “Irreplaceable” – Beyoncé
Beyoncé’s contribution to the betrayal song genre, “Irreplaceable,” explores the gaslighting in abusive relationships.
She sings about how betrayal made her feel, saying, “How I’m such a fool, talking about, How I’ll never ever find a man like you.”
Featured on the Beyoncé album B’Day, it’s a powerful pop ballad that helped to cement her rise to fame.
16. “Say My Name” – Destiny’s Child
Destiny’s Child’s “Say My Name” is another betrayal song that shook up the music industry when it was released in 2001.
The lyrics depict a girl on the phone with her lover while suspecting him of being unfaithful and the trials and tribulations from confronting the cold, hard reality of betrayal.
Destiny’s Child also created one of the songs everyone knows, “Survivor,” which debuted at number one on the UK Singles Chart in 2001.
15. “Cry Me A River” – Justin Timberlake
“Cry Me A River” offers a sardonic take on betrayal, repeating the title expression and lamenting that the damage is done.
“The bridges were burned Now it’s your turn,” sums up the essence of passing the point of no return and how you never look at someone who has betrayed you the same way.
It was released on the hit album Justified, which launched at number two on the Billboard 200 charts with nearly half a million sales.
14. “Misery Business” – Paramore
Alternative rock song “Misery Business” is one of the more energetic betrayal songs, released as part of Paramore’s 2007 album, Riot!
Betrayal often involves manipulation, reflected in the lyrics, “Whoa, I never meant to brag, But I got him where I want him now.”
The song highlights the crossover potential between rock music and emo, which was becoming increasingly popular around that time.
13. “Dilemma” – Nelly ft. Kelly Rowland
Nelly and Kelly Rowland’s “Dilemma” explores how love and jealousy can become an all-consuming thing that fills our lives.
Obsession is captured in the lyrics, “Even when I’m with my boo you know I’m crazy over you,” going against our better judgment.
Dilemma topped the US Billboard Hot 100 for ten weeks, earning praise from fans and critics alike.
12. “Before He Cheats” – Carrie Underwood
Carrie Underwood’s versatility shone throughout her career, covering everything from songs about dogs to songs about betrayal, winning the hearts of countless fans.
There’s a note of optimism to her some “Before He Cheats,” with Underwood singing, “Oh, maybe next time he’ll think before he cheats.”
For her effort, Underwood picked up a Grammy Award for Best Country Song written in 2005.
11. “Too Little, Too Late” – JoJo
Jojo released her song “Too Little, Too Late” in 2006, blending pop with contemporary R&B and soul.
She vocalizes the importance of reciprocity with the words, “I gave you everything, but it wasn’t enough, and now you wanna communicate.”
It’s a downtempo song that remains the singer’s biggest hit of her career and a staple feature on radio stations throughout 2006.
10. “Rumour Has It” – Adele
Sometimes betrayal is easier to spot when you’re on the outside, as Adele’s “Rumour Has It” explores.
“She made a fool out of you, and, boy, she’s bringing you down,” sings Adele in this hugely successful song.
The catchy lyrics and melody helped “Rumour Has It” sell over 2 million copies to be certified platinum by the RIAA.
9. “Lyin’ Eyes” – The Eagles
The Eagles drew upon their personal experiences of seeing gorgeous women at venues married to wealthy older men.
The song’s lyrics, “Look at her, she can’t even hide those lyin’ eyes!” reportedly came from something singer Glenn Frey said on such a night out.
This great song was released on the aptly-titled album, One of These Nights, released in 1975, it was their first to reach number one on the charts.
8. “Love The Way You Lie” – Eminem ft. Rihanna
Rihanna, one of the hottest female singers of all time, teamed up with Eminem for the popular song “Love The Way You Lie” in 2011.
It’s a powerful betrayal song that explores the “rage that took over, it controls you both.”
Featuring Eminem’s impressive rhymes, it’s an angry song that brings the very best of the two artists together.
7. “It Wasn’t Me” – Shaggy
Few people haven’t heard the iconic pop song “It Wasn’t Me” by Shaggy, which has amassed over 150 million views on YouTube alone.
This time it’s the singer who’s doing the betraying, claiming, “Honey came in, and she caught me red-handed creeping with the girl next door.”
It’s a dancehall pop classic, smashing to the top of multiple charts worldwide when it was released in 2000.
6. “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” – Marvin Gaye
Discovering your loved one has been cheating on you through rumors is perhaps the worst way anyone can learn the bad news.
Gaye vocalizes the discovery his wife is having an affair in his idiosyncratic sweet, and soulful singing style.
Released on the Marvin Gaye album Everybody Needs Love, it’s since become a timeless classic loved by fans of music to this day.
5. “Not Gon’ Cry” – Mary J. Blige
Mary J. Blige dominated the R&B and soul charts of the mid-1990s with “Not Gon’ Cry,” one of her most enduring songs about betrayal.
The pain of betrayal is encapsulated in the words, “Eleven years of sacrifice, and you can leave me at the drop of a dime.”
It was featured on the movie Waiting To Exhale soundtrack, which also included exclusive music from Whitney Houston.
4. “It’s Not Right But It’s Okay” – Whitney Houston
Widely regarded as one of the best 80s female singers, Whitney Houston chimed in on the subject of betrayal with “It’s Not Right But It’s Okay.”
Houston understood how to deal with betrayal, singing, “Pack your bags up and leave, don’t you dare come running back to me.”
“It’s Not Right But It’s Okay” was released in 1998, at the height of her singing career, as part of the album My Love Is Your Love.
3. “Back To Black” – Amy Winehouse
The life of Amy Winehouse is one of the most tragic in the music business, with the song “Back To Black” perhaps her most iconic song of all time.
Following her betrayal, Winehouse sings that she “died a hundred times” as her ex-lover returns to another woman.
Taken from the album of the same name, it’s an impressive mixture of pop, soul, jazz, and blues that has stood the test of time.
2. “Eye Hate U” – Prince
“Eye Hate U” was selected by Prince as the lead single from his album The Gold Experience, which was reportedly about actress and model Carmen Electra.
The song takes on the form of courtroom drama, and the emotional suffering felt when no longer with the person you love.
Another hit for Prince, the song peaked in the top ten of the R&B/Hip-Hop and Rhythmic charts when it was released in 1995.
1. “You Give Love A Bad Name” – Bon Jovi
“You Give Love A Bad Name” was released on the 1986 Bon Jovi album Slippery When Wet, becoming an overnight sensation.
The lyrics reflect how betrayal has a lasting impact, singing, “Shot through the heart And you’re to blame, Darlin’, you give love a bad name.
Bon Jovi’s success has come in part through writing one of the best songs of all time, “Livin’ On A Prayer.”
So there you have it, our guide to the best songs about betrayal of all time, from popular pop tunes to classic country songs.
Everyone has faced betrayal at some point, and these songs are a great way to find solace in the fact that others have had similar experiences.
As singers continue to write songs about betrayal, we’ll update this article to ensure it covers the latest tunes, so be sure to check back again.
What’s the best song about betrayal of all time, in your opinion? Leave a comment below.
21 Best Songs About Ice
Chill out and relax with these beautiful ice-themed songs.
21 Best Songs About Connection
Get connected to someone close with these exceptional songs.
21 Best Songs About Monday
Start the week on the right foot with these iconic songs.