Some songs were quite obviously written as part of a well-publicized celebrity feud (Taylor Swift's “Bad Blood” almost certainly calls out Katy Perry, for instance). But then there are songs that are secretly about other stars. It's not surprising that there are so many - musicians hang out with other famous people and write songs about what they know. But once you learn who the lyrics are really about, the songs about other celebrities take on a whole new meaning.
A number of these songs about famous people are not-so-subtle diss tracks, like "Cry Me a River" by Justin Timberlake or "Obsessed" by Mariah Carey, which is a musical eye roll directed at Eminem. Others are tender love songs – try to listen to Coldplay's "Fix You" without tearing up after you learn its real message. Just don't expect to see any songs about Taylor Swift here. She's had enough to earn her own list.
Ed Sheeran is a beloved singer-songwriter, but there was a time he wasn't feeling all that loved at all. It was when he was dating singer Ellie Goulding, who was apparently also spending time with One Direction's Niall Horan.
Sheeran was clearly quite displeased when he wrote lyrics like, "And I never saw him as a threat, 'til you disappeared with him to have sex." However, he says he got completely over the situation after writing the song and has even been seen getting chummy with Horan at a party in Vegas.
Artist: Ed Sheeran
Justin Timberlake's "Cry Me A River" contains some pretty pointed shots at his ex, Britney Spears. After hearing the song, Spears apparently felt a strong urge to respond. But instead of unleashing an attack of her own, she came back with "Everytime."
The song is essentially an extended apology, with lines like:
I may have made it rain
Please forgive me
My weakness caused you pain
And this song is my sorry.
Artist: Britney Spears
When you name a song "Sex On Fire," it's bound to get people's attention. That was certainly true in the case of Kings of Leon, who scored a big hit with the tune in 2008. And, according to Elle magazine, lead singer Caleb Followill wrote the lyrics about his girlfriend at the time, Victoria's Secret model Lily Aldridge. In the lyrics he sings, "It's not forever, but it's just tonight," but it appears he was mistaken. Followill and Aldridge got married in 2011.
Artist: Kings of Leon
Chris Martin of Coldplay wrote "Fix You" for his then-wife, Gwyneth Paltrow. In an interview with Howard Stern, Paltrow said, "'Fix You' was about him trying to put me back together after my dad died. I think it's pretty nice."
But even before she met Martin, Paltrow said the Coldplay song "Everything's Not Lost" helped her deal with her father's death as well:
"He wrote this song before I met him, and I think another reason it's sad for me is my father had just died when this album came out, and we [Paltrow and her brother] used to listen to it kind of on repeat... especially this song at the end."