Who is Foo Fighters' My Hero about?

19 January 2021, 17:33 | Updated: 19 January 2021, 18:16

Dave Grohl from Foo Fighters in 1998
Dave Grohl from Foo Fighters in 1998. Picture: Martyn Goodacre/Getty Images

We celebrate the Foos' The Colour and the Shape single by delving into the subject behind Dave Grohl's lyrics.

This week sees Foo Fighters' My Hero celebrate its 23rd birthday.

The single, which was released on 19 January 1998, has become an anthem for fans across the globe and is still one of the band's biggest hits to date.

The third track to be released from the band's 1997 The Colour and the Shape album has gone on to represent heroes from across the world, but who was Dave Grohl actually referring to when he wrote the song?

Was it about Kurt Cobain, about your everyday man or about someone else in particular?

Let's find out...

VIDEO: Does this guy's vocal on Foo Fighters' My Hero match Dave Grohl's?

Was Foo Fighters' My Hero about Kurt Cobain?

Some people assume that Dave Grohl is referring to the late Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain, who sadly lost his life to suicide in 1994. Grohl has previously said that it was somewhat influenced by grunge icon, saying: "There's definitely an element of Kurt in that song".

Nirvana's Kurt Cobain in 1990
Some people think Foo Fighters' My Hero is about the late Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain. Picture: Kevin Mazur/WireImage/Getty Images

However, by 1999, Grohl had definitely distanced himself from the idea. When Grohl performed the track on The Howard Stern Show that the song was "loosely based on Kurt Cobain," the rocker scrunched up his face and replied: "Errr, it's kinda more about heroes that are ordinary."

When the shock jock asked if it's because heroes disappoint you, he clarified: "Not at all. I look up to regular people, more than I up to... [celebrities].

Watch their conversation and decide for yourself in the clip below:

Who is Foo Fighters' My Hero about?

Dave Grohl has never really official attributed My Hero to one person, instead suggesting it was more about the "common man". In 2008, the band released a statement when Republican candidate John McCain used the track without their permission.

They wrote: "The saddest thing about this is that ‘My Hero’ was written as a celebration of the common man and his extraordinary potential. To have it appropriated without our knowledge and used in a manner that perverts the original sentiment of the lyric just tarnishes the song."

READ MORE: Which Foo Fighters song is about Kurt Cobain?

Last year, the meaning of My Hero was solidified further when it was used to celebrate healthcare workers and essential workers during the coronavirus pandemic.

In March 2020, Grohl performed a moving rendition of the track live from Hawaii for the iHeart Living Room Concert for America, which was organised by Elton John.

Ahead of his performance the rocker said: "Hey this is Dave Grohl from the Foo Fighters. I hope everyone is staying healthy. If you love someone let them know. If you're thankful for someone, tell them."

He added: "I'd like to dedicate this song to everyone out there on the frontlines that are doing their best to get us through all of this..."

WATCH: Dave Grohl sings Foo Fighters' My Hero with daughter Violet at Leeds Festival 2019