Robbie Williams’ “Strong” Lyrics Meaning

Robbie Williams’ “Strong” has an interesting backstory in that it seems most pop singers are cool with having fans being obsessed with them. But when Robbie encountered such individuals firsthand, it rather raised an alarm within his soul. 

Or put otherwise, it reads like he’s not the type of celebrity who is privy to being worshipped. So his response to such persons was to drop a song to let them know that, contrary to how they may perceive him, he is in fact far from perfect.

The Lyrics of “Strong”

The said song ended up being “Strong”. So to note, the chorus revolves around the singer letting the listener know that if they do perceive him as such, i.e. as being “strong”, then their perception is “wrong”. 

The ways he goes about illustrating this point is by ‘confessing’ his addictions and moral shortcomings, i.e. having downed enough cigarettes in booze in his day, in addition to apparently having a less-than-ideal sexual history.

But the entire piece is not dedicated to the star singer trying to drive home that idea that he’s some type of exceptionally bad guy. Instead, as it progresses, a sentiment of remorse, on a very personal level, is also present – but even moreso an expression of encouragement. 

And whereas the conclusive message he’s putting forth isn’t the most coherent we’ve come across, it does seem to be something along the lines of encouraging listeners to repent, for lack of a better word. That is to say that implicitly interwoven into this piece is the idea that no one wants to age, as Williams is, feeling as if  they’ve squandered a significant portion of their youth on bad habits.

Lyrics to Robbie Williams' "Strong"

When was “Strong” released?

This track, which was released on 15 March 1999, served as the second single from Robbie Williams’ sophomore album, “I’ve Been Expecting You”. Said LP, which was issued through Chrysalis Records, stands as Williams’ most-successful as far as the BPI is concerned. 

And “Strong” made its own contribution to the project’s success. The track peaked at number 4 on the both the UK and Scottish Singles Chart and also eventually achieving silver status in the former.

This is one of two songs Robbie Williams performed at the historical One Love Manchester concert in mid-2017. And in that instance, he modified the lyrics to reflect the historical backdrop which led to the creation of said concert.

This song once reportedly held the Guinness World Record in the category Most Karaoke Participants. This was made possible when no less than 125,000 people sang “Strong” simultaneously at a Robbie Williams’ performance in England.

The Writing of “Strong”

Robbie wrote “Strong” with Guy Chambers, the latter of whom also produced the track alongside Steve Power.

According to Robbie, he wrote this song in while lodging at a hotel in the German city of Köln (Cologne). He wrote the song in response to the obsessive fans who followed him everywhere he went and freaked him out.

These obsessive fans apparently followed Robbie to his Köln hotel and got him totally freaked out. According to him, at this point he was doing his best to stay away from these fans. It is not clear if he was successful in his efforts to avoid the fans or not. But what is clear is the fact that it was at that point that he sat down to write “Strong”.

Chart Success

“Strong” was not a #1 hit, but it did receive Top-10 status in UK, New Zealand, Belgium to name a few.

United Kingdom#4
New Zealand#9

Sales Record

In the United Kingdom, “Strong” has so far sold over 200,000 units.

Cover Version

British rock band, Lower Than Atlantis, released a cover of “Strong” in 2014.


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