Taylor Swift 2021

10 Popular Songs That Were Actually About A Celebrity

Musicians have created some of today's biggest hits by using their own personal experiences. They have found inspiration for songs by the heartbreaks they've faced and even by the feuds they've had with other A-list stars. Watch the video below to learn which song that you love is actually about a well-known star! 

  • With the song "Obsessed" Mariah Carey was defending her husband against Eminem in 2009. 
  • Ed Sheeran can be a mysterious person, but with "Don't" he got personal after dating Ellie Goulding. 
  • Taylor is the queen of writing songs about her exes, but "I Knew You Were Trouble" was written for Harry Styles. 

10. Mariah Carey's Song  "Obsessed"  Was Targeted At Eminem

Mariah Carey is not a person to be messed with. After rapper Eminem started a feud with her then-husband Nick Cannon and dissed him in his song, "Bagpipes From Baghdad," Carey sent her own message to the rapper by putting out a song of her own.

Mariah Carey singing

In 2009, Carey released her hit song "Obsessed" which aimed at Eminem, with the first line in the song, "I was like, why are you so obsessed with me?" It was clear that the song was about the rapper after she released its video which saw the songstress dressed as Eminem and stalking her in the streets of New York City.

9. Ed Sheeran's Messy Break-Up With Ellie Goulding Inspired "Don't"

Ed Sheeran got personal for his song "Don't," which many fans to this day are pretty sure is about songstress Ellie Goulding and her affair with former One Direction singer Niall Horan.

In his song, Sheeran sings about a girl who he was briefly seeing who spent the night with one of his friends, while they were all on the same hotel floor. The song is scandalous, but fans believe it is about the singer after she and Sheeran were spotted sitting next to one another at the MTV VMA's, but days before, she was reportedly spotted kissing Horan.

8. "I Knew You Were Trouble" Was Taylor Swift's Message To Harry Styles

Taylor Swift is hands down the queen of writing songs about her private life and her famous ex-boyfriends. The songstress has written songs about Joe Jonas, John Mayer, and Jake Gyllenhaal.

Taylor Swift


But, according to CheatSheet, Swift has written at least three songs about her ex, Harry Styles, with one of them being, "I Knew You Were Trouble." Swift never talks about who her songs are about, but she gave fans a huge hint when she told Time magazine that it was about an ex watching her perform the song during the BRIT Awards, and who so happened to be watching her? Harry Styles.

7. Justin Timberlake Hired A Look-A-Like For Ex Britney Spears In "Cry Me A River"

After Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears called it quits in 2002, the former N'SYNC member did not waste any time releasing a song about his ex.

Justin Timberlake

While he never confirmed if his hit "Cry Me A River" was about Spears, he pretty much let fans know it was about the pop star after using a Spears look-a-like in his music video. The songstress would release her own breakup song called "Everytime."

6. Gwen Stefani Hits Back At Courtney Love With "Hollaback Girl" 

It doesn't appear that Gwen Stefani would have many feuds with her fellow musicians, but she did cause a stir when she released "Hollaback Girl," which fans figured out was about Courtney Love.

Gwen Stefani

According to Insider, Stefani's hit song aimed at Love when Love stated that fame was like high school and Stefani was like a cheerleader. This didn't sit well for the songstress who released the "Hollaback Girl" song and its accompanying music video set in at a high school while cheerleaders performed in the background.

5. Katy Perry Pens "By The Grace Of God" About Her Ex-Husband Russell Brand

Songstress Katy Perry is known for her pop hits, but she got personal when she released her song, "By the Grace of God," which is about her dealing with her divorce from comedian Russell Brand.

Katy Perry

She told EW, "The lyrics are very exact and autobiographical. That's how I write. But the one thing about those lyrics is you can hear me finding my strength throughout the song. It starts really low and then I kind of stand up for myself and say, 'No!'" 

4. Outkast's "Ms. Jackson" Is About Erykah Badu And Her Mother

According to Song Facts, the meaning behind Outkast's hit "Ms. Jackson" is a message to singer Erykah Badu and her mother. Member Andre 3000 had a baby out of wedlock with Badu and wanted her mother to hear his side of the story.

He explained the meaning behind the song, sharing, "I probably would never come out and tell Erykah's mom, 'I'm sorry for what went down.' But music gives you the chance to say what you want to say. And her mom loved it.'"

3. Phil Collins Wrote The Lyrics For 'You'll Be In My Heart' For Daughter Lily Collins 

Phil Collins' hit song "You'll Be in my Heart" was the soundtrack for Disney's 1999 classic movie Tarzan. However, it was originally written for his daughter, Lilly Collins, most famous for her portrayal in the Netflix show Emily in Paris.

Phil Collins

The actress revealed that the song was initially written as a lullaby for her, sharing, "We grew up watching Disney shows and movies together, so that was his way of kind of being able to do it for his kids. It was so special." 

2. "Boyfriend" By Ashlee Simpson Took Aim At Lindsay Lohan

Remember when Ashlee Simpson came on the music scene with songs like "Piece of Me" and Lala?" She showed off her punk rock style and even reportedly hit back at one of her Hollywood pals.

Ashlee Simpson

Her song "Boyfriend" apparently aimed at Lindsay Lohan, with lyrics, "You really got it wrong, I didn't steal your boyfriend." According to Song Facts, Simpson confirmed it was about her dating actor Wilmer Valderrama, Lohan's ex-boyfriend. 

1. Elton John's Song "Candle In The Wind" Was Reworked To Be About Princess Diana

Elton John's hit song "Candle in the Wind" was inspired by Marilyn Monroe, using her tragic passing at the age of 36 as a metaphor for how fame can do more harm than good.

Elton John

However, after the passing of Princess Diana, Elton John changed a few of the lyrics to make the song a tribute to her, which he performed at her funeral in 1997. 

Comment below how many of these songs you knew were for another celebrity! 

Source: The Things

Zoe Ochagavía

My favourite sport? Dancing to pop songs :) If yours is the same, follow me to know everything about our dearest singers!+ info

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