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16 Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About Songs Inspired by Celebrities

Chris Hyde / Kevin Winter / Simone Joyner, Getty Images

Sometimes an artist’s greatest songwriting aid isn’t their instrument but the famous person who inspired them to pen a song in the first place. Even if, after all these years, we still don’t know for sure who Carly Simon’s ‘You’re So Vain’ is really about, we were able to track down the sources of some other hits for our list of Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About Songs Inspired by Celebrities.


1

The controversial Courtney Love has made some enemies over the years, and some of those people have written songs about her -- like the Foo Fighters' ’I’ll Stick Around’ and Gwen Stefani’s ’Hollaback Girl.’

 
 
 
2

Speaking of Courtney Love, her longtime love-hate relationship with Billy Corgan inspired Hole's 'Violet.'

 
 
 
3

311’s Nick Hexum once dated Nicole Scherzinger, the main singer of the Pussycat Dolls. She's the inspiration for their hit ‘Amber.’

 
 
 
4

When Courtney Love isn't pissing people off, she's lusting after them. Like she does on 'But Julian, I’m a Little Older Than You,' which is about Strokes singer Julian Casablancas.

 
 
 
5

Mia Farrow and her sister Prudence joined the Beatles on their infamous trip to India in 1967. During their spiritual journey, John Lennon wrote ’Dear Prudence’ to help her cope with her depression.

 
 
 
6

After Paul McCartney took a few pointed jabs at John Lennon on his solo album 'Ram,' his former Beatles bandmate responded with the biting ‘How Do You Sleep?’

 
 
 
7

Velvet Underground pal and manager Andy Warhol asked Lou Reed to write a song about his muse Edie Sedgwick. He turned in the classic ‘Femme Fatale’ about the troubled actress.

 
 
 
8

After Taking Back Sunday's John Nolan slept with the girlfriend of Brand New's singer, the latter wrote the venom-filled 'Seventy Times Seven,' in which he wishes for Nolan's death.

 
 
 
9

And then Taking Back Sunday followed it up with 'There's No I In Team,' which they sarcastically referred to as an apology.

 
 
 
10

While Sheryl Crow insists she'll never reveal whom ‘My Favorite Mistake’ is about, almost all signs point to her affair with Eric Clapton.

 
 
 
ShowBizIreland, Getty Images
ShowBizIreland, Getty Images
11

Trent Reznor and Marilyn Manson had a fight shortly after Reznor produced Manson's 'Antichrist Superstar,' so the Nine Inch Nails frontman wrote 'Starf---ers, Inc.' about him. They eventually patched things up, and Manson appeared in the song's video.

 
 
 
12

After Gwyneth Paltrow's father passed away while she was celebrating her birthday, her husband Chris Martin wrote Coldplay's hit 'Fix You' to help her cope with the death.

 
 
 
13

Model Pattie Boyd was married to George Harrison when the Beatles guitarist began collaborating with Eric Clapton, who grew so infatuated with her that he wrote ‘Layla’ in her honor. She later left Harrison and married Clapton.

 
 
 
Harry Benson, Getty Images
Harry Benson, Getty Images
14

The Avett Brothers's ’Famous Flower of Manhattan’ is about singer-songwriter Regina Spektor, who's also the muse behind a couple of Strokes songs.

 
 
 
15

After Kylie Minogue dyed her hair platinum blonde, her boyfriend, INXS' late Michael Hutchence, wrote ‘Suicide Blonde’ about it.

 
 
 
16

The Babyshambles' 'Katy' is about frontman Pete Doherty's troubled, chaotic and volatile relationship with model Kate Moss.

 
 
 
BONUS

You Think You Know Nirvana?

 
 

We know it's not exactly a celebrity-inspired tune, but check out this video to see if you know all there is to know about the one and only Nirvana!

 

Next: 15 Facts You Probably Didn't Know About the New Pornographers

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