You might not be aware that some our favorite songs are not just written about people, but about other famous people. We all know that Taylor Swift’s Bad Blood almost certainly calls out Katy Perry, but you probably never thought that Gwen Stefany wrote a song, after being called a cheerleader in a negative connotation by another famous singer. It’s no secret that a lot of artists write dis tracks about people. But sometimes the songs are inspired by heartbreaks and love.
Here are 12 songs you probably didn’t know were written about other celebrities, courtesy of Ranker.
1. Gwen Stefani’s Hollaback Girl is about Courtney Love
The Sunset Strip singer once disclosed for Seventeen magazine:”Being famous is just like being in high school. But I’m not interested in being the cheerleader. I’m not interested in being Gwen Stefani. She’s the cheerleader, and I’m out in the smoker shed.”
The Voice judge told Time Out that the comment Courtney Love said is what inspired her to write the song: “You know someone one time called me a cheerleader, negatively, and I’ve never been a cheerleader. So I was like, ‘Okay, f*ck you! You want me to be a cheerleader? Well, I will be one then. And I’ll rule the whole world, just you watch me.’”
2. Justin Timberlake’s Cry Me A River is about Britney Spears
The hit song that Justin recorded for his debut studio album, Justified was inspired by his former relationship with singer Britney Spears. In an episode of E! True Hollywood Story the record producer and Justin’s friend Timbaland, said that the Sexy Back singer “went to a concert and saw Britney, and Britney talked about him in the show and he was pissed.”
The 36-year-old singer added “I was on a phone call that was not the most enjoyable phone call. I walked into the studio and Timbaland could tell I was visibly angry.” And with lyrics like “You don’t have to say what you did, I already know, I found out from him,” you can tell he was pretty upset.
3. Kings Of Leon’s Sex On Fire is about Lily Aldridge
Sex on Fire was written by lead singer Caleb Followill for his at-the-time-girlfriend, and now wife, Victoria’s Secret model Lily Aldridge. It gave the alternative rock group their first number-one single in Australia, Finland, Ireland and the United Kingdom.
4. Aerosmith’s “Dude (Looks Like A Lady)” is about Vince Neil
The song that reached 14 on the Billboard Hot 100, was first called Cruisin’ For The Ladies. However, co-writer Desmond Child told SongFacts that he found the name unoriginal:
“Then Steven volunteered, sheepishly, and said that when he first wrote the melody he was singing ‘Dude Looks like a Lady’. He got the idea because they had gone to a bar and had seen a girl at the end of the bar with ginormous blonde rock hair. The girl turned around and it ended up being Vince Neil from Mötley Crüe. So then they started making fun of him and started saying, ‘That dude looks like a lady, dude looks like a lady, dude looks like a lady.’ So that’s how that was born.”
5. Bob Dylan’s Like A Rolling Stone is about Edie Sedgwick and Andy Warhol
Source: Fernando A. Cazares
The confrontational lyrics that Bob Dylan wrote after he returned from touring England, was apparently for model Edie Sedgwick who left the rock singer to hang out with the leading figure in the visual art world, Andy Warhol. The lyrics that goes something along the lines “Ain’t it hard when you discover that he really wasn’t where it’s at after he took from you everything he could steal,” might confirm that.
6. Coldplay’s Fix You is about Gwyneth Paltrow
Source: Coldplay Official
The Devon-born artist wrote Fix You, as an incredibly thoughtful gesture to help his then-wife, Gwyneth Paltrow, deal with her father’s passing away. In an interview with Howard Stern, the actress said: “Fix You was about him trying to put me back together after my dad died. I think it’s pretty nice.”
7. Mariah Carey’s Obsessed is about Eminem
As hard as is to wrap your head around it, the diva Mariah Carey and the rapper dated for a while. Eminem wrote the song Bagpipes From Baghdad that included very direct lyrics like, “Mariah, whatever happened to us, why did we have to break up… Nick Cannon better back the f*ck up. I’m not playing, I want her back, you punk.” And of course, Mariah responded with “Why are you so obsessed with me? Lying that you’re sexing me.”
8. Ed Sheeran’s Don’t is about Ellie Goulding
Source: Ed Sheeran
Apparently, Ed Sheeran wrote the hit song Don’t after he felt betrayed by at-the-time-girlfriend, British singer Ellie Goulding, who was also spending time with One Direction’s Niall Horan.
But on a brighter note, our beloved singer-songwriter is totally over it and has been seen hanging with the One Direction singer at a party in Vegas.
9. Selena Gomez’s The Heart Wants What It Wants is about Justin Bieber
This one was pretty obvious since Justin and Selena’s relationship is very public and the video of the song is further proof. In the video, the 25-year-old singer is seen crying while saying “You make me feel crazy, you make feel like it’s my fault… I was in pain.”
Selena told radio host Ryan Seacrest that Justin was even jealous of the guy that appeared in the video.
10. Nirvana’s Heart-Shaped Box is about Courtney Love
The song written by vocalist and guitarist Kurt Cobain apparently was about Courtney Love. On Twitter, after Lana Del Rey performed the song, Love wrote. “You do know the song is about my vagina right?… On top of which some of the lyrics about my vagina I contributed. So umm next time you sing it, think about my vagina will you?”
11. Billy Joel’s Uptown Girl is about Elle Macpherson
Even though everyone thought the song was written for supermodel Christie Brinkley who Billy Joel was dating at the time, the 68-year-old singer said that he wrote the song for all the other supermodels who were surrounding him. He was a rock star – “a single guy who was a rock star. I was amazed at my good fortune at the time… I started writing songs about these experiences.”
12. Britney Spears’s Everytime is a response to Justin Timberlake
After Justin’s song Cry Me A River where he blames Britney for their break up, the 36-year-singer apologized with the song Everytime. It goes something along the lines. “I may have made it rain, please forgive me, my weakness caused you pain, and this song is my sorry.”