Explore the world of emotions, trust shattered, and hearts broken with our collection of the best songs about betrayal.
In this article, we’ve compiled a powerful playlist that delves into the raw and poignant expressions of betrayal through music.
Whether you’ve experienced betrayal firsthand or simply appreciate the depth of these songs, our list is your guide to the most haunting and relatable tracks that capture the essence of this complex emotion.
1. “Before He Cheats” by Carrie Underwood
“Before He Cheats” tells the story of a woman taking revenge upon her cheating ex.
The song describes her pain at being betrayed, imagining her partner with his new lover.
American country singer Carrie Underwood released this song as the fourth single from her debut album, Some Hearts (2005).
The song was a massive pop and country crossover success, reaching No 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 and topping the country chart for five weeks.
2. “Betty” by Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift created shockwaves in the Swiftie community upon the release of her eighth studio album, Folklore (2020).
Fans were thrilled to find out that the album features three related songs, each from the perspective of a different person in a love triangle.
“Betty” is from the perspective of James, a seventeen-year-old boy who cheats on his high school girlfriend, Betty, with an unnamed girl over the summer.
The song lyrics imagine James pleading with Betty, trying to win her back over after his betrayal.
3. “Love The Way You Lie” by Rihanna, Eminem
“Love The Way You Lie” is from Eminem’s seventh album, Recovery, and features Barbadian singer Rihanna.
The lyrics describe two lovers in a toxic, love-hate relationship, loving the other person despite being constantly hurt and lied to.
The song is described as a Hip-Hop ballad with a pop refrain.
4. “Back to Black” by Amy Winehouse
“Back to Black” is a song from English singer-songwriter Amy Winehouse, who sadly passed away from an alcohol overdose in 2011.
The song was written by Winehouse and producer Mark Ronson and was inspired by Winehouse’s relationship with Blake Fielder-Civil, who had left her for another woman.
The song is now one of Winehouse’s signature pieces, describing not only the betrayal of her lover but the dark hole that the betrayal sent her into.
5. “Take A Bow” by Rihanna
“Take A Bow” was written by Stargate and Ne-Yo, and recorded by Rihanna.
The song has a strong story-telling element, with the speaker singing directly to the lover who cheated on them, saying that they should ‘take a bow’ following the elaborate performance they had put on.
“Take A Bow” was Rihanna’s third single to top the Billboard Hot 100.
6. “I Knew You Were Trouble” by Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift is notorious for writing songs about being cheated on or betrayed, so here is another one from the pop star for this list.
The lyrics describe the pain of knowing that someone will hurt you, but going along with the relationship anyway and still getting hurt.
The song is a dance-pop song with a dubstep refrain, a change in sound from Swift’s country and pop roots.
The song’s music video depicts a toxic relationship, featuring a two-minute spoken monologue from Swift at the start.
7. “Too Little, Too Late” by Jojo
“Too Little, Too Late” was released as the lead single for American singer Jojo’s second album.
The song is a power ballad with pop and R&B influences.
It is about a girl refusing to accept her boyfriend back, despite his efforts to convince her.
The lyrics describe her giving him everything but it not being enough – the singer feels betrayed by how their lover treated them.
8. “Shout Out to My Ex” by Little Mix
Little Mix is one of the biggest girl bands in existence right now.
The group found success, like the boyband One Direction the year before, from the popular TV music competition, X-Factor.
Perrie Edwards from Little Mix dated Zayn Malik from One Direction, and the song is rumored to be about their split.
The song’s lyrics are about getting your heart broken but coming out stronger on the other side, seeing a positive side in getting betrayed.
9. “Irreplaceable” by Beyonce
“Irreplaceable” was originally written as a country song, but was re-imagined as a pop/R&B record.
The song is about kicking a boyfriend out after being cheated on, telling him to not think for a second that he is ‘irreplaceable’.
“Irreplaceable” was nominated for Record of The Year at the 2008 Grammy Awards.
It stayed at the top of the US singles charts for ten consecutive weeks.
10. “You Give Love A Bad Name” by Bon Jovi
“You Give Love A Bad Name” was Bon Jovi’s first single from their 1986 Slippery When Wet album.
The lyrics describe a traitorous, evil woman who has jilted her lover, giving ‘love a bad name’ in the process.
The song became the band’s first number-one hit.
11. “I Know What You Did Last Summer” by Shawn Mendes, Camila Cabello
“I Know What You Did Last Summer” is a duet from Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello.
In the lyrics, the female part describes having cheated on her boyfriend the previous summer, with the male part from the boyfriend’s perspective, describing the distrust he has for his girlfriend.
The song was Cabello’s debut as a solo artist, following her break from girl group Fifth Harmony.
The duo later dated for two years from 2019 to 2021, collaborating again on another track called “Senorita”.
12. “Lose You To Love Me” by Selena Gomez
Selena Gomez released this pop ballad as the lead single for her album, Rare, in 2019.
The song is rumored to be a reflection of her very public relationship with pop star Justin Bieber.
Gomez sings about the pain of a relationship, being ‘replaced’ in two months, and realizing that it was necessary to lose the other person to find love for herself.
13. “Better Than Revenge” by Taylor Swift
Another song about betrayal from powerhouse Taylor Swift, “Better Than Revenge” comes from her third album, Speak Now.
The lyrics are about the singer having her lover stolen away by another girl.
The singer warns this woman that she should remember that there’s nothing that she can do ‘better than revenge’.
The song is an electric guitar-heavy pop-punk song, proving again Swift’s ability to blend genres.
14. “Say My Name” by Destiny’s Child
“Say My Name” was Destiny’s Child’s second number-one hit on the Billboard Hot 100.
The song is from the perspective of a worried girlfriend on the phone to her boyfriend, who can hear ‘the voice of someone else’ through the phone.
She is suspicious of her boyfriend and his refusal to say her name out loud, thinking that he is probably with another woman who doesn’t know he has a girlfriend.
The song won two Grammys at the 2001 awards.
15. “Grenade” by Bruno Mars
“Grenade” comes from Bruno Mars’ debut album, Doo-Wops & Hooligans, in 2010.
The song is about the pain of unrequited love, being willing to go through pain, and even ‘catch a grenade’ for someone who wouldn’t do the same in return.
The song was praised by critics for its raw emotion and thought-out lyrics.
The single reached number one in fifteen countries, and reached number three on the Billboard Hot 100.
16. “Because of You” by Kelly Clarkson
“Because of You” focuses on the pain and lasting effects of being hurt by someone.
Recorded by the American pop singer for her second album, Breakaway, Clarkson originally wrote this song when she was sixteen years old, as a means of coping with the emotional distress caused by her parents’ divorce.
She had wanted the song to be included in her debut album, but the record label rejected it.
It is now one of Clarkson’s signature songs.
17. “Traitor” by Olivia Rodrigo
Olivia Rodrigo took the pop world by storm after the release of her debut single, “Driver’s License”.
Featuring her debut album, Sour, this song looks at the difficulty of being the victim of emotional cheating, where you know that your lover has been unfaithful but they haven’t technically done anything wrong.
The album is supposedly about her relationship with her co-star on High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, Joshua Bassett.
As the title suggests, Rodrigo felt that Bassett had been a ‘traitor’ in their relationship.
18. “California King Bed” by Rihanna
Another song from Rihanna, “California King Bed” is about the pain of being physically close to someone but emotionally distant: “in this California king bed / We’re ten thousand miles apart’.
The song is deemed an alternative rock power ballad and saw success across lots of European charts.
Some critics stated that the song was one of Rihanna’s best vocal performances.
“California King Bed” was released as a single for Rihanna’s 2010 album, Loud.
19. “You Broke Me First” by Tate McRae
“You Broke Me First” comes from Canadian singer Tate McRae, who gained popularity after being a finalist on Canada’s So You Think You Can Dance at age thirteen.
“You Broke Me First” became her first international hit.
The song gained popularity on the social media app TikTok, where it was featured in over one million videos.
The song was a top ten hit in the US and across Europe.
20. “Jar of Hearts” by Christina Perri
“Jar of Hearts” was the debut single from American singer Christina Perri, and remains her signature song.
The song had particular success in the UK, where it reached number 4 on the charts.
The lyrics are about the feeling of betrayal at falling for someone who has a cold personality deep down.
It describes someone with a vindictive and cruel nature, someone happy to collect a ‘jar of hearts’.
21. “Rumour Has It” by Adele
Fittingly, given its number on this list, Adele’s “Rumour Has It” comes from her 2011 album, 21.
Named after her age at the time of production, this album followed her 19 albums and has soul/Motown influences.
This song is supposedly aimed at friends of Adele’s who believed what they were reading in the tabloids about her.
22. “Womanizer” by Britney Spears
“Womanizer” is an uptempo dance-pop track from iconic American pop star, Britney Spears.
The lyrics are about calling a man out on his womanizing, sleazy behavior.
The singer can see that he has the ‘swagger of a champion’ but can see underneath exactly who he is.
The song acts as a warning to women, to stop them from being taken advantage of by traitorous and sleazy men.
23. “Foundations” by Kate Nash
“Foundations” comes from British singer-songwriter Kate Nash for her debut album, Made of Bricks.
The song remains Kate Nash’s most streamed single on Spotify.
The lyrics have a story-telling element, setting a scene of the singer’s breakdown of their relationship with their boyfriend.
The song describes the singer’s exchange with the boyfriend, where he calls her a ‘bitch’.
The couple’s relationship is clearly toxic, but Nash is still ‘holding on to the cracks’ of their relationship.
24. “New Rules” by Dua Lipa
Dua Lipa is now one of the biggest pop stars in the world, but “New Rules” was her breakthrough: it was her first number-one hit in the UK.
The song is about the difficulty of getting over someone who has done you wrong, with the singer setting herself rules to make sure she gets over him.
The song was praised for its sense of female empowerment.
The music video was particularly successful, which is set at the Confidante Hotel in Miami.
25. “Misery Business” by Paramore
“Misery Business” is supposedly about the past experience of lead singer Hayley Williams.
She felt that a male friend of hers was being exploited by a girl he was seeing.
The song is considered the band’s breakthrough track.
The lyrics are about stealing the man away from the other girl and taking pleasure in the process.
26. “Driver’s License” by Olivia Rodrigo
“Driver’s License” was Rodrigo’s debut single and breakthrough hit.
Like “Traitor”, it is about her relationship with Joshua Bassett.
In the song, she recalls learning how to drive and wishing she could let him know that she now has her license.
However, he has moved on to be with someone new, and she is left feeling betrayed.
27. “Picture to Burn” by Taylor Swift
Going back to the mid-2000s Taylor Swift’s debut album, “Picture to Burn” is about a girl’s contempt for her cheating ex-boyfriend.
The song is a country rock track and is supposedly inspired by a narcissistic classmate of Swift’s.
The song was praised for showing the rawness of teenage emotions.
In the music video, Swift sits outside the boy’s house with her friend, using binoculars to spy on him with another girl.
28. “Happier Than Ever” by Billie Eilish
“Happier Than Ever” is the title track for Billie Eilish’s most recent album.
The lyrics are about Eilish’s anger towards a toxic ex-boyfriend, describing how he ‘made her miserable’ and how she feels ‘happier than ever’ being away from him.
The first half of the song is slow and mellow, building up into an angry crescendo for the second half.
The dual nature of the song captures the pain and anger of being betrayed by someone.
29. “Matilda” by Harry Styles
“Matilda” is a recent release from British pop star Harry Styles, for his 2022 album Harry’s House.
Where most songs on this list are about being betrayed in a romantic relationship, this one is about being betrayed by family.
Styles explained in an interview that a friend had revealed some past experiences with their family, and Styles had thought that the person should seek help for their trauma.
He disguised the true identity of the person by instead referencing the character Matilda from the Roald Dahl book, who also had bad experiences with her family.
30. “Glimpse of Us” by Joji
“Glimpse of Us” comes from Japanese singer Joji.
The lyrics are about the singer’s dilemma at being with the perfect girl, but sometimes looking into her eyes and wishing he was with his ex-girlfriend.
Most of the songs on this list are about being betrayed, this one is more about betraying the person you’re with and emotionally cheating.
The song was praised for its simplicity and honest lyrics.
31. “Dilemma” by Nelly, Kelly Rowland
Another song from the perspective of the traitor rather than the one being betrayed, “Dilemma” is another song about emotional cheating.
The lyrics are about wanting and needing someone, despite being with someone else.
The song is a pop and R&B ballad and reached number 1 on the US charts.
32. “Jolene” by Dolly Parton
One of the most iconic songs from one of the most iconic country singers, “Jolene” also describes emotional cheating.
The singer directs the song at the beautiful ‘Jolene”, who she believes her partner is in love with.
She begs Jolene not to take ‘her man’ away from her.
33. “Hit ‘Em Up Style (Oops!)” by Blu Cantrell
“Hit ‘Em Up Style” is the debut single from R&B singer Blu Cantrell.
The song has a storytelling element, describing having ‘caught her man cheating’ and wanting to take revenge on him.
The song remains Cantrell’s most successful song.
The lyrics suggest that girls should take revenge on cheating boyfriends by taking their money.
34. “Should’ve Said No” by Taylor Swift
Another song from Taylor Swift’s debut album, this one is about a cheating boyfriend telling him that he ‘should’ve said no’ and refusing to forgive his actions.
Like many from Swift’s debut album, the song combines country, rock, pop, and grunge.
Music critics praised the production and Swift’s songwriting.
35. “It Wasn’t Me” by Shaggy
“It Wasn’t Me” was the debut single from Jamaican-American music artist, Shaggy.
The song is about cheating on his girlfriend with the girl next door, getting caught in the act, and still trying to refuse that he did it.
Shaggy has been nominated for seven Grammys for his various hits.
36. “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” by Marvin Gaye
“I Heard It Through The Grapevine” was originally written in 1966 for Gladys Knight and The Pips.
It was then recorded by Marvin Gaye and released the following year.
It then went to the top of the singles charts and stayed there for seven weeks.
The song is about the singer having heard rumors about their girlfriend’s affair, having heard it ‘through the grapevine’.
37. ”Reckless” by Madison Beer
“Reckless” by American singer Madison Beer describes the pain of being betrayed by someone you love.
The lyrics describe the singer finding out that her boyfriend had been unfaithful and asks him how he could be so ‘reckless’ with her heart.
Beer said about the song that ‘people have so much power over their partner’s feelings, yet many still choose to treat each other carelessly’.
38. “Unfaithful” by Rihanna
“Unfaithful” is from Rihanna’s second album, A Girl Like Me.
The song is an R&B pop ballad, and the lyrics are about the guilt of having cheated on someone.
She describes knowing that her partner knows that she is with someone else, saying that she can ‘see him die a little more inside’ every day and knows that she is the ‘murderer’ responsible.
39. “Real Friends” by Camila Cabello
“Real Friends” is a track from Cabello’s debut album, Camila.
The song describes the pain of not being able to trust your friends, and wanting to find some ‘real friends’ instead.
It was apparently inspired by the loneliness she felt while creating her first album in Los Angeles.
40. “The First Cut Is The Deepest” by Cat Stevens
“The First Cut Is The Deepest” was originally written and released by British singer-songwriter Cat Stevens in 1967.
It has since been covered by many artists, including Rod Steward and Sheryl Crow.
The lyrics are about being caused pain by someone you love, and how nothing is as bad as that initial betrayal.
41. “Cry Me A River” by Justin Timberlake
“Cry Me A River” is supposedly inspired by Timberlake’s public relationship with fellow pop star Britney Spears.
The lyrics are about moving on from a girl who has cheated on him, and no longer feeling any sympathy for her.
The song was received well by critics and won the Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance in 2004.
42. “It’s Not Right But It’s Okay” by Whitney Houston
“It’s Not Right But It’s Okay” depicts a woman confronting her cheating boyfriend about his infidelity.
Whitney Houston was a famous female singer and actress, nicknamed ‘The Voice’ for her exceptional vocal ability.
Houston passed away in 2012 aged 48, drowning in a bathtub in a hotel room, with cocaine and heart disease listed as contributing factors.
43. “Bust Your Windows” by Jazmine Sullivan
“Bust Your Windows” by Jazmine Sullivan is an R&B track about taking revenge on a lover who has done her wrong.
The song tells the cheating ex that he ‘has to learn’, so he takes power into her own hands and ‘bust the windows’ out of his car.
The song was nominated for Best R&B Song at the 2009 Grammys.
44. “Champagne Problems” by Taylor Swift
This song from Taylor Swift is about the pain of letting someone down by not being able to commit to them.
Like many of Swift’s songs, there is a strong story-telling element.
The lyrics describe a girl being proposed to by her partner, but being unable to say yes to them, because of their own mental health problems and struggles.
The song feels like an apology to the ex, acknowledging the effort they had gone to and feeling guilty that they weren’t able to ‘give a reason’ for their answer.
45. “Beautiful Liar” by Shakira, Beyonce
“Beautiful Liar” was created for Beyonce’s second album, B’Day.
It is described as a blending of Shakira’s Latin and Arabic styles with Beyonce’s Hip-Hop and R&B.
The song is about two girls being cheated on by the same man, but instead of fighting each other, they come together and ‘laughing’ about him.
Wrapping Up Our List of the Best Songs About Betrayal
Featuring some of the biggest names across the industry, this list is a definitive collection of some of the greatest betrayal anthems of all time.
Feeling betrayed is one of the most natural and raw of human emotions.
Creating and listening to music can act as a cathartic means to release emotions, so if you are struggling with the pain of feeling betrayed by someone, at least you can live it through those who have experienced the same.