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Musicians write songs about the life they know.
Famous musicians also write songs about the life they know—and odds are that life is filled with other famous people. So it's not surprising there are plenty of songs about these people.
And while we can't solve the mystery of who else "You're So Vain" might be about, aside from Warren Beatty, the following are our favorite famous songs written about or inspired by other famous people whom we can identify:
1. "Dirty Laundry" by Kelly Rowland is about Beyoncé
"Dirty Laundry" is a song about the jealousy Kelly Rowland felt toward Beyonce after Destiny's Child broke up.
"When my sister on stage, killing it like a motherfucker, I was in a rage, feeling it like a motherfucker. Went our separate ways but I was happy she was killin' it. Bittersweet she was up, I was down. No lie, I feel good for her but what do I do now? Post-Survivor, she on fire. Who wanna hear my bullshit."
2. "Hollaback Girl" by Gwen Stefani is about Courtney Love
Gwen Stefani and Pharrell Williams were inspired to write "Hollaback Girl" by comments Courtney Love made in Seventeen magazine.
"Being famous is just like being in high school," said Love. "But I'm not interested in being the cheerleader. I'm not interested in being Gwen Stefani. She's the cheerleader, and I'm out in the smoker shed."
Stefani responded to Love's comments in an interview with NME saying, "Y'know someone one time called me a cheerleader, negatively, and I've never been a cheerleader. So I was, like, 'OK, fuck you. You want me to be a cheerleader? Well, I will be one then. And I'll rule the whole world, just you watch me.'"
3. "It Ain't Over 'Til It's Over" by Lenny Kravitz is about Lisa Bonet
Lenny Kravitz's second album Mama Said was inspired by his divorce from actress Lisa Bonet.
"It was a crazy time. My ex-wife (actress Lisa Bonet, who he divorced in 1993) and I were going through issues," Kravitz told Billboard. "I just had my child the year before ['Let Love Rule' came out]. I was adjusting to success and...fame. It was a lot to deal with. I ended up kind of going into hibernation, 'cause at that point, I went through a pretty serious depression. I just let all these feelings out onto the songs. It was very cathartic for me."
4. "Bad Blood" by Taylor Swift is about Katy Perry
Though Taylor Swift has never confirmed "Bad Blood" is about Katy Perry, even newspapers like The Washington Post can tell it is. Swift even alludes to Perry's song "Ghost" when she sings, "If you live like that, you live with ghosts."
5. "By The Grace of God" by Katy Perry is about Russell Brand
Katy Perry only included one song on her album Prism about her divorce from Russell Brand in 2012. In the song, she sings about having suicidal thoughts following the end of her marriage.
She told Entertainment Weekly, "Imagine what you go through. Imagine what happens when you go through a breakup. We all go through break ups and we all get very depressed and desperate."
6. "Antichrist Television Blues" by Arcade Fire about is Joe and Jessica Simpson
According to Stereogum, the original title of Arcade Fire's "Antichrist Television Blues" was "Joe Simpson."
"Dear God, I’m a good Christian man. In your glory, I know you understand, that you gotta work hard and you gotta get paid, My girl's 13 but she don’t act her age. She can sing like a bird in a cage. Oh Lord, if you could see her when she’s up on that stage!"
7. "Me and Mr. Jones" by Amy Winehouse is about Nas
Rapper Nas, who's full name is Nasir Jones, confirmed that he is the Mr. Jones in Amy Winehouse's song "Me and Mr. Jones."
8. "My Favorite Mistake" by Sheryl Crow is about Eric Clapton
Sheryl Crow's "My Favorite Mistake" is about a cheating man. That man was Eric Clapton, whom she dated between 1998 and 2000.
9. "Amber" by 311 is about Nicole Scherzinger
311 front man Nick Hexum wrote "Amber" about his then fiancee Nicole Scherzinger of Eden's Crush and the Pussy Cat Dolls. She even briefly appears in the video. The couple broke up in 2004.
10. "Ms. Jackson" by OutKast is about Erykah Badu and her mother.
OutKast’s Andre 3000 and Erykah Badu were together for about four or five years in the mid 90s and had a child together, Seven Sirius Benjamin, in 1997. But by 1999, the two had separated. Their split inspired André 3000 to write the song "Ms. Jackson," in which he apologizes a trillion times to Badu’s mother.
But turns out, there were no real hard feelings.
"How did my mama feel?" Badu asked during an interview late last year on the podcast Rap Radar. "Baby, she bought herself a 'Ms. Jackson' license plate. She had the mug, she had the ink pen, she had the headband, everything. That’s who loved it."
11. "Girl On TV" by LFO is about Jennifer Love Hewitt
The late Rich Cronin of LFO met Jennifer Love Hewitt at the Blockbuster Entertainment Awards in 1999 (Note: peak 90s sentence!) and they quickly began dating. He wrote "Girl on TV" for her and she ended up staring the video. They broke up because she allegedly cheated on him.
Basically, if you want to write a hit song, start hanging out with Jennifer Love Hewitt.