Across almost all major sports leagues and competitions, you’ll find at least once instance of a team or individual star walking to the arena of battle to their own song. The songs provide many benefits to those who rumble them around the stadium, such as by putting off the opposition and rousing the crowd. Here, we’re going through ten of the best walk-out songs from across the world of sports.
10. Sweet Caroline, Neil Diamond
This one’s a bit of a sly entry, but Sweet Caroline has become a staple of Matchroom Boxing cards. At their stadium-capacity events, just before the main event, the promotion plays Neil Diamond’s 1969 single, and the whole crowd gets on their feet to sing along.
9. KernKraft 400, Zombie Nation
Another sly one at the foot of this top-ten, but it’s become so synonymous with the sport and the team that it had to make the list. Rather than it being a walk-out song, KernKraft 400 has been played whenever the Boston Bruins score a goal on home ice, with the whole crowd bouncing to the tune for nearly two decades. Its usage even inspired the “Stadium Chant Mix” of the song and an Australian online casino to add it to some poker games as a background song.
8. Can’t Stop, Red Hot Chili Peppers
An absurdly intelligent boxer whose knowledge of the human psyche was only matched by his boxing IQ, Wladimir Klitschko could stifle just about anyone with the gloves on. However, some of the heavyweight champion’s best work occurred leading up to the ring. Along with intimidation tactics, he also made the most of the crowd-winning Can’t Stop on his epic ring walks.
7. Bad Reputation, Joan Jett
Perhaps the ultimate song for young female rebellion, Bad Reputation made for the perfect track to play upon the entry of the UFC’s first female competitor. Ronda Rousey goes down as one of the most impactful fighters to ever compete in the promotion, and while she originally entered arenas to Sex and Violence by The Exploited, the necessary switch – for broadcast purposes – certainly fitted her persona of grit and aggression.
6. Crazy Train, Ozzy Osbourne
If there’s one sure-fire way to get the mental advantage over a pitcher while also getting the crowd on its feet, it’s by having an iconic walk-out song. Chipper Jones had exactly that with Crazy Train. As soon as “All Aboard” rung around the stadium, everyone knew an All-Star was approaching the plate.
5. Hypnotize (Club Mix), Notorious B.I.G
Determined to push the mind games in the running to UFC 229, Conor McGregor couldn’t help but taunt Khabib Nurmagomedov on his walk to the octagon. The Irishman took his time, eventually arrived, and then did his loose-limbed Billionaire Strut around to draw out proceedings further – all while the not-so-subtle Hypnotize by the legendary Notorious B.I.G echoed around the arena.
4. The Liquidator, The Harry J All-Stars
In the Premier League, the walk-out song is quite a big deal, often boasting tremendous heritage with all of the home fans knowing the words – but Chelsea’s is by far the coolest of them all. Chelsea is in the midst of a great season in which young players have shined to lead the Blues to being second-favourites to finish in the top-four in the William Hill football betting. Throughout their rise, they, like the greats before them, have walked out to a buzzing crowd chiming along to The Liquidator.
3. Shut Up, Stormzy
Having won gold at the 2012 Olympics, it was only a matter of time before Anthony Joshua won a belt. During his ascendency, however, a potential usurper stepped forward, claiming that he had knocked Joshua out in before. In response to Dillian Whyte’s claim, when they fought in 2015, Joshua invited number one artist Stormzy to perform Shut Up live during his ring walk – which worked a treat.
2. Seven Nation Army, The White Stripes
Darts may not be the most physically demanding sport in the world, but the crowd certainly knows how to make it a spectacle. The ring walks are a tremendous amount of fun, with the perfect song being needed to get the crowd involved. Seven Nation Army, for Michael van Gerwen, easily gets the most raucous response – particularly because his name can be chanted along to the tune.
1. Back in Black, AC/DC
Capable of being a catchy tune for any team that wears a black uniform, one university team shows exactly how mighty Back in Black can be as a walk-on song. Witnessing the crowd at an Iowa Hawkeyes game wiping their black scarves and banging the panels shows the ultimate effect of a perfect walk-out song.
While there are many great individual walk-out tracks from decades past, these more contemporary tunes stand among the most iconic.