How Nickelback Became the Most Hated Band in the World

Why Nickelback is the most hated band in the world, and the surge in digital downloads they've seen from President Trump's "photograph" tweet.

Sara Belcher - Author

Dec. 7 2020, Updated 2:50 p.m. ET

Source: Getty Images

Ah, Nickelback — the bane of everyone's internet existence. The group has been the most-hated band in the world for years now, and is the brunt of so many internet memes we've lost count. Even those who were never subjected to actually listening to Nickelback's music have the same burning hatred everyone else does for the band.

But why is that? What made this group the most hated band in the world?

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Source: Getty Images

The beginning of Nickelback.

Nickelback started as a Canadian cover band in the mid-90s, when it was just frontrunner, Chad Kroeger, his brother Mike, their cousin Brandon, and drummer Ryan Peake. Their first album consisted only of covers of Metallica and Led Zeppelin songs, not releasing their first full album until 1996, titled Curb.

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Their first full-length album showed enough promise that it got them signed to their first record label. The State was their first album released until the new label, and soared on the charts, selling millions.

It was after that album that the band worked on and released the infamous song "How You Remind Me."

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What happened to Nickelback? "How You Remind Me" and "Rockstar" were the beginning of the end.

"How You Remind Me" was a hit, and played over, and over, and over, and over again on all of the radio stations. It was everything a hit song should have, and that's why it performed so well. 

It peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, staying within the top 10 for 20 consecutive weeks.

It's also the song that was played relentlessly on the radio, to the annoyance of anyone who once loved the hit.

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If you've listened to none of their discography, you probably have heard one of these two songs at least a handful of times. They're the cookie-cutter versions of every other rock song that performed well at the time, offering nothing new and eventually leading the general public to call them out on their faux-creativity.

"Rockstar" was another single that performed ridiculously well after its release in 2006, selling millions of copies worldwide. This song was fine — until the sofa brand DFS was allowed to play the song in their advertisement. The band was then seen as a sell out for allowing the song to be played on the awful commercial, and from there the memes began.

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Source: Getty Images

Where are they now?

Now the band has switched from their rock roots to producing generic pop songs —following the same formula they did with their old albums, creating songs that follow in the footsteps of other famous pop songs, but bring nothing new to the table.

The Nickelback memes are arguably more popular than the band right now, and most of their recent public performances, like the 2011 Thanksgiving halftime game, have sparked petitions to have them replaced.

Most recently, the band has seen an increase in streams, specifically for their song "Photograph." President Trump tweeted out an edited video of Joe Biden to Nickelback's song, and captioned the tweet "LOOK AT THIS PHOTOGRAPH." Unfortunately, the tweet has since been taken down, but Nickelback saw a surge in digital downloads by almost over 500 percent.

So maybe being a meme is paying off for them after all.

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