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Hit Songs That Are Actually Secretly About Celebs

Songwriters take inspiration from pretty much anything. Nature, their own health, sad stories they read about in the paper, and other people. Sometimes, though, when a song is written with a specific person in mind, it just so happens to be about a celebrity .

For better or worse, these songs were all written by one celeb about another. Maybe you knew that was the case, or maybe you didn’t.

“Cupid’s Chokehold” – Gym Class Heroes.

The band’s frontman, Travis McCoy, said the song “was written about probably one of the best relationships I’ve ever been in in my life,” referring to his relationship with Katy Perry. The two split in 2008.

“Better Than Revenge” – Taylor Swift.

Actually, you may have known about this one. It stirred up quite a bit of controversy in the years since its 2010 release. The song is rumored to be about Camilla Belle , who dated Joe Jonas shortly after he broke up with Swift. Critics of the song called Swift out for the anti-feminist sentiment in the lyrics.

“Madness” – Muse.

Matt Bellamy, frontman for Muse, said in an interview that he’d written ‘Madness’ after having a fight with then-girlfriend Kate Hudson . “It’s probably my favorite song that I’ve ever written,” he said back in 2012.

“I Need a Girl” – P. Diddy.

Sean Combs wrote this one about several ex-girlfriends he’d had by the time the song released. One of those exes was Jennifer Lopez, who was married to Chris Judd at the time.

When asked if he would want to get back together with Lopez, he said, “No, she’s married. I can’t think about her like that while she’s married. I have to respect that and move on as a person.

“Ms. Jackson” – Outkast.

Written by Andre 3000, the song is directed toward the mother of Eryka Badu, with whom he was in a relationship in the ’90s. The two even had a child together. Apparently, Badu’s mother loves the song, and even got a “Ms. Jackson” license plate .

“Shout Out to My Ex” – Little Mix.

Perrie Edwards of Little Mix was previously engaged to Zayn Malik of One Direction. The two split in 2013, and Malik began dating Gigi Hadid. ‘Shout Out to My Ex” definitely feels directed to Malik .

“California Gurls” – Katy Perry.

Perry wrote this song in response to Jay-Z and Alicia Keys’s “Empire State of Mind:” “When I came up with the idea of ‘California Gurls,’ it was because I was a little bit jealous of all the love that was given to the East Coast , and I thought for sure Tupac was rolling in his grave, and the Beach Boys, Brian Wilson was totally upset … like, ‘What is up with that?’”

“Fix You” – Coldplay.

Chris Martin wrote this song when he was still married to Gwyneth Paltrow, as a way to help her cope with the death of her father in 2002.

“‘Fix You’ was about him trying to put me back together after my dad died,” Paltrow said.

“Lovebug” – Jonas Brothers.

Any kid who grew up on mid-2000s Disney Channel drama will remember Nick Jonas’s very public relationship with Miley Cyrus. In fact, he wrote “Lovebug” about Cyrus , which is honestly kind of adorable looking back.

“Wedding Bells” – Jonas Brothers.

On the flip side, “Wedding Bells” is seemingly written about Miley Cyrus, who at the time had been engaged to Liam Hemsworth. Cyrus even stated that she strongly suggests that Nick had written the song about her .

“So What” – P!nk

The song’s opening lines “I guess I just lost my husband, I don’t know where he went,” are pretty telling. Of course, this song was written after P!nk’s split with her ex-husband, Carey Heart , which seems pretty obvious.

“Heart-Shaped Box” – Nirvana.

The Nirvana hit was inspired by Kurt Cobain’s relationship with Courtney Love. In fact, the title doesn’t refer to a literal box . When you really think about it, though, the “heart-shaped box” Cobain is referring to is pretty clear.

“Hollaback Girl” – Gwen Stefani.

The song is definitely about Stefani clapping back at someone who had been insulting her, but who could it have been? Well, much like “Heart-Shaped Box,” this song is also about Courtney Love (even if the context is totally different).

“Cry Me a River” – Justin Timberlake.

In 2002, Timberlake released the breakup anthem that had middle-schoolers everywhere in a chokehold. Everyone at the time (rightfully) assumed that Timberlake had penned this song about his painful breakup with Britney Spears .

“Holiday” – Green Day.

If you know anything about Green Day, then you’ll know that frontman Billy Joel Armstrong is incredibly politically outspoken. The entirety of the 2004 album “American Idiot” is a critique of media and culture in America. And who is “Holiday” about? None other than then-president George W. Bush .

“Don’t” – Ed Sheeran.

This song might have been one of 2014’s summer hits, but it was also very clearly about a relationship Sheeran had with another celebrity. The celebrity in question was Ellie Goulding , who was also seeing Niall Horan behind Sheeran’s back.

“I Kissed a Girl” – Katy Perry.

Katy Perry initially said she didn’t write this song about a girl she kissed, but about a girl she’d want to kiss. That girl just so happened to be Scarlett Johansson. She recalled telling her boyfriend at the time, ” If Scarlett Johansson walked into the room and wanted to make out with me , I would make out with her. I hope you’re okay with that?”

Perry later admitted that she had kissed a girl, and then some. Just not ScarJo.

“Style” – Taylor Swift.

Taylor Swift is very well known for writing songs about ex-lovers. And this one, of course, is about ex Harry Styles (as is “Out of the Woods” from the same album). As it turns out, Styles was pretty okay with them.

“It Ain’t Over ‘Till It’s Over” – Lenny Kravitz.

This song was written about Kravitz’s relationship with Lisa Bonet, which was already rocky by the time the single released in 1991. Two years after that, the pair would split for good.

“Obsessed” – Mariah Carey.

Mariah Carey had a very bizarre feud with Eminem, who claimed the two dated at one point . Carey claims the opposite, and wrote this song wondering why Eminem was so obsessed with her. He later fired back with “The Warning.”

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