Ms. Jackson – Outkast
Written as an apology to Erykah Badu and her mother after Badu and Andre 3000 broke up.
California Gurls – Katy Perry
Aimed at Jay-Z and Alicia Keys as a response to their “Empire State of Mind”, Perry wanted there to be a song to represent California.
The Warning – Eminem
Written as a clapback at Mariah Carey’s “Obsessed”.
Fix You – Coldplay
Written by Chris Martin for Gwyneth Paltrow after her father died.
Can’t Hold Us Down – Christina Aguilera
Written as a response to Eminem’s negative comments about her.
My Way – Calvin Harris
Written about Harris’s ex-girlfriend Taylor Swift, and the struggles of their relationship.
Cupid’s Chokehold – Gym Class Heroes
Written about Katy Perry, who used to date lead singer, Travie McCoy.
Circle the Drain – Katy Perry
Similarly, written about McCoy’s drug addiction.
Don’t – Ed Sheerhan
Written about Ellie Goulding cheating on him with Niall from One Direction.
Cry Me A River – Justin Timberlake
Written about his breakup with Britney Spears. He even got a lookalike for the video.
Better Than Revenge – Taylor Swift
About Camilla Belle dating Swift’s ex Joe Jonas.
Heart-Shaped Box – Nirvana
Written about Courtney Love and, according to her, her vagina. Which gives the original title “Heart-Shaped Coffin” a WAY different meaning.
Madness – Muse
Written about Kate Hudson about her relationship with lead singer Matt Bellamy.
Dear John – Taylor Swift
About the one and only John Mayer, who told Rolling Stone he was “humiliated” by the song.
Paper Doll – John Mayer
And this was Mayer’s rebuttal.
Boyfriend – Ashlee Simpson
Aimed at Lindsay Lohan for accusing Simpson of stealing her then-boyfriend, Wilmer Valderrama.
You’ll Be In My Heart – Phil Collins
Phil Collins wrote this for Tarzan but stated it was really about his daughter, Lily Collins, and refers to it as her song. Awww.
Cinderella – Mac Miller
This song was about some intimate moments with Ariana Grande.
You’re So Vain – Carly Simon
Revealed that at least the second verse is about Warren Beatty, though Mick Jagger, Robert Redford and James Taylor have been rumored as other sources of inspiration, though never confirmed.
I Kissed A Girl – Katy Perry
Inspired by Miley Cyrus, though I’m not sure they ever kissed. But a man can dream.
You Oughta Know – Alanis Morissette
Everyone knows this is about Dave Coulier but I have to put it on the list. And there’s definitely a line about getting a beej at a theater too, so think about that next time you fire up a Full House rerun. Uncle freaking Joey.