Skip To Content

    24 Famous Songs I Never Realised Were Tributes To People Who Have Died

    Happy Birthday is about Martin Luther King Jr?

    Songwriters are known to draw inspiration from many sources, and sometimes these sources can be difficult personal experiences, or tragic historical events.

    Of course, we all know certain songs like Elton John's "Candle in the Wind" and Wiz Khalifa's "See You Again" are tributes to people who have died, but did you know these 24 songs are also tributes?

    1. "Back In Black" by AC/DC

    A black and white image of AC/DC with the lyrics I kept looking at the sky cos it's gettin' me high forget the hearse cos I'll never die on top

    2. "Who Knew" by P!nk

    3. "Wake Me Up When September Ends" by Green Day

    4. "Fair Chance" by Thundercat feat. Ty Dolla $ign & Lil B

    5. "Hear You Me" by Jimmy Eat World

    6. "What The Water Gave Me" by Florence + The Machine

    7. "In The Aeroplane Over The Sea" by Neutral Milk Hotel

    The album In The Aeroplane Over The Sea by Neutral Milk Hotel showing a woman and a young child of front of an ocean with the lyrics there are light in the clouds anna's ghost all around hear her voice as it's rolling and ringing through me soft and sweet

    8. "Help Me" by Alkaline Trio

    Dark image of the band Alkaline Trio on stage with the lyrics you're up there took the stairs to the stars all alone you left the lights burning but nobody's home on top

    9. "Jesus to a Child" by George Michael

    George Michael kneeling on stage with the lyrics and the lover that I kissed is always by my side on the lover I still miss was Jesus to a child on top

    10. "To Be Young, Gifted and Black" by Nina Simone

    Black and white image of Nina Simone with the lyrics in the whole world you know there are billion boys and girls who are young gifted and black and that's a fact on top

    11. "Edge of Seventeen" by Stevie Nicks

    Close up of Stevie Nicks on stage with the lyrics when I went searching for an answer up the stairs and down the hall not to find an answer just to hear the call of a nightbird on top

    12. "Chelsea Hotel No. 2" by Leonard Cohen

    Leonard Cohen on stage with the lyrics I remember you well in the Chelsea Hotel you were famous you heart was a legend on top

    13. "Fix You" by Coldplay

    14. "The Greatest" by Sia

    15. "Revenge" by XXXTENTACION

    16. "Man on the Moon" by R.E.M.

    17. "7 Years" by Lukas Graham

    18. "Gypsy" by Fleetwood Mac

    19. "How to Save a Life" by The Fray

    20. "2000 Miles" by The Pretenders

    Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders leans against a tree in snowy apparell in her music video for 2000 miles with the lyrics in those frozen and silent nights sometimes in a dream you appear on top

    21. "Black Velvet" by Alannah Myles

    22. "Mary" by Scissor Sisters

    23. "The Edge Of Glory" by Lady Gaga

    24. "Happy Birthday" by Stevie Wonder

    You can listen to and follow the Spotify playlist here.

    Did we miss any out? Are there any other songs out there you were surprised were a tribute to somebody? Tell us in the comments below!