Fathers are instrumental male figures in their daughters’ lives. Besides providing daughters with basic needs, they help mothers shape almost all aspects of their children’s lives. One of the best ways to relive those special moments is through listening to or dedicating sentimental father-daughter songs. According to PureWow, father-daughter songs cover various music genres from hip-hop, and R&B, to soaring power ballads. Here is a list of fun, classic, and inspirational songs to help inspire your song choice for your dad.
10. “My Girl” by The Temptations (1965)
One of the most famous songs by the Temptations that was selected for preservation in the National Recording Registry is “My Girl.” The group credits this song for helping them peak at one, making it their signature song to this day. It’s an excellent track with a cheerful and soulful vibe but emphasizes strong father-daughter kinship ties.
9. “You’ll Be in My Heart” by Phil Collins (1999)
“You’ll Be in My Heart” is a song by Phil Collins that will melt your heart. The singer released it in 1999 for the Disney animated feature, Tarzan. Thanks to the sentimental message it sent to fathers with daughters, it won an Academy Award for Best Original Song. It became Collins’ last top 40 single, peaking at 21 on the US Billboard Top 100. In an interview with NBC, the singer’s daughter, Lily Collins, revealed that he wrote the song as a lullaby for her.
8. “Kind and Generous” by Natalie Merchant (1998)
“Kind and Generous” was a one-time radio hit that peaked at 18 on the US Billboard Hot 100 Airplay chart and 19 in Canada. Natalie Merchant recorded and performed it in 1998 as her debut single from her second studio album, Ophelia. Unfortunately, it never made it to the US Billboard Hot 100 because she didn’t release it commercially. However, it’s an excellent father-daughter song with lyrics portraying an adult child to their father.
7. “Wind Beneath My Wings” by Bette Midler (1988)
“Wind Beneath My Wings” was initially recorded by Kamahl in 1982 but didn’t commercially release it because he felt it didn’t suit country and western music styles. Several singers, including Bette Midler, performed their versions. Hers featured as the soundtrack for the film, Beaches, which charted at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles for one week in 1989. The heroic song won the Record of the Year Award and Song of the Year Award in 1990.
6. “Daughters” by John Mayer (2003)
“Daughters” is another fantastic father-daughter song by Jon Mayer in 2003. He opens the song by saying, “I know a girl/ she puts the color inside my world/she’s just like a maze. He continues advising fathers to be good to their daughters because they will reciprocate the love you give to them. If you want a song with a contemporary feel, “Daughters” is the one to choose. Upon its release, it became a hit and even won the 2005 Grammy Award for Song of the Year.
5. “The Way You Look To-night” by Fred Astaire (1936)
If you’ve watched the Swing Time film, you may have noticed “The Way You Look To-night” as one of the soundtracks. Fred Astaire sang it in 1936 as a classic song, though Frank Sinatra also covered a different version. According to Minted, Billie Holiday was the third singer who sang it, and both their versions are considered classics to date. This is an excellent track for a formal ballroom wedding theme, regardless of the version you prefer listening to.
4. “Daddy” by Beyoncé (2003)
American singer Beyoncé recorded “Daddy” for her debut studio album, Dangerously in Love, in 2003. She composed it alongside Mark Batson, though she didn’t intend to include it in the album. The singer admitted that her inspiration for the song’s development was her father and manager, Mathew Knowles. Though most songs in the album cover aspects of romantic relationships, “Daddy” was the odd one out as it portrayed a strong kinship tie between a father and daughter.
3. “You’ve Got a Friend” by James Taylor (1971)
James Taylor sang “You’ve Got a Friend” in 1971 from his album, Mud Slide Slim and the Blue Horizon, though the first recording was done by Carole King the same year. The song peaked at one on the Billboard Hot 100 and fourth on the UK Singles Chart. Consequently, the song won Grammy Awards for both singers, with Taylor bagging Best Male Pop Vocal Performance. King’s version won the Song of the Year award. Other singers like Michael Jackson, Donny Hathaway, and Anne Murray recorded their versions years later.
2. “Isn’t She Lovely” by Stevie Wonder (1976)
“Isn’t She Lovely” is a song Stevie Wonder sang to celebrate the birth of his daughter, Aisha. He released it in 1976 from his album, Songs in the Key of Life. The singer collaborated with Burnetta Jones, a Harlem songwriter and studio owner. This song has three sides to the album. You can hear a baby’s first cry, marking the actual childbirth on the first side. The second and third side shows wonder bathing Aisha as an older toddler. Wonder performed the song live at Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee Concert in 2012 after modifying the lyrics to the queen.
1. “You Are the Sunshine of My Life” by Stevie Wonder (1972)
“You Are the Sunshine of My Life” is a song by Stevie Wonder, released in 1972 from his Talking Book album. Wonder received Grammy Award for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance nominations. He also won a Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance the same year, courtesy of this upbeat song. The singer hits all the right notes (as expected) when singing about the apple of his eye. Though his source of inspiration was his wife at the time, the lyrics fit a father-daughter theme.