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Apr 21, 2020

22 Really Famous Songs I Didn't Realize Were About Another Celebrity

It all makes sense now.

We asked the BuzzFeed Community to tell us a famous song they didn't realize was about a celebrity. Here are some of the best responses:

1. "Ms. Jackson" by Outkast was an apology to Erykah Badu and her mother after Badu and Andre 3000 broke up.

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2. "California Gurls" by Katy Perry was aimed at Jay-Z and Alicia Keys as a response to their "Empire State of Mind." She wanted there to be a song to represent California.

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3. "The Warning" by Eminem was a clapback at Mariah’s "Obsessed."

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4. "Killing Me Softly" by Norman Gimbel was inspired by a young singer named Lori Lieberman who had seen Don McLean perform and told Gimbel that it was an intensely moving experience. So in essence, it's about Don McLean.

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5. "Fix You" by Coldplay was written by Chris Martin for Gwyneth Paltrow (his wife at the time) after her father died.

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Gwyneth and her father.

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6. "Can't Hold Us Down" by Christina Aguilera was a response to Eminem's negative comments about her.

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Christina presenting an award to Eminem at the 2002 VMAs.

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7. "My Way" by Calvin Harris was about his ex-girlfriend, Taylor Swift, and the struggles of their relationship.

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8. "Cupid’s Chokehold" by the Gym Class Heroes was written about Katy Perry. She used to date the lead singer, Travie McCoy.

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She even appears in the music video!

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9. And "Circle the Drain" by Katy Perry was about Travie McCoy's drug addiction.

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McCoy's response to the song: "I'm just stoked that she finally has a song with some substance on her record."

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10. "Don’t" by Ed Sheeran was about Ellie Goulding cheating on him with Niall from One Direction.

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11. "Wedding Bells" by Nick Jonas was about his ex-girlfriend Miley Cyrus's engagement to Liam Hemsworth.

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12. "Cry Me a River" by Justin Timberlake was about his breakup with Britney Spears.

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13. Taylor Swift wrote "Better Than Revenge" about Camilla Belle dating Joe Jonas (her ex).

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14. The song "Heart-Shaped Box" was about Courtney Love and her vagina.

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She communicated this to Lana Del Rey over Twitter after she was displeased with the singer's version of the song.

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15. "Madness" by Muse was written by lead singer Matt Bellamy about his relationship with Kate Hudson. It was inspired by a fight they had.

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16. "Dear John" by Taylor Swift was about her ex, John Mayer.

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In a Rolling Stone article, Mayer said he was "humiliated" by the song.

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17. Mayer's song "Paper Doll" was allegedly his rebuttal.

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18. "Boyfriend" by Ashlee Simpson was aimed at Lindsay Lohan for accusing Simpson of stealing her then-boyfriend, Wilmer Valderrama.

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19. When Phil Collins wrote "You’ll Be In My Heart" for Tarzan, he wrote the lyrics for his daughter (Lily Collins) and has often referred to it as her song.

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20. "Cinderella" by Mac Miller, a song that has lyrics about very intimate bedroom moments, was about Ariana Grande.

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21. A verse in Carly Simon's "You're So Vain" was about Warren Beatty.

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22. And "I Kissed a Girl" by Katy Perry was inspired by Miley Cyrus. Miley said she heard Katy say on the radio that the song was about her.

Larry Busacca / Getty Images

Some submissions have been edited for clarity and grammar.

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