Alanis Morissette wrote "You Oughtta Know" about Dave Coulier
It's one of the greatest mysteries in Hollywood history… did Alanis Morissette really write her angsty hit '90s song "You Oughtta Know" about Uncle Joey from "Full House"? Rumor has it that the singer penned the angry, scornful tune in response to her relationship with funny guy Dave Coulier, and despite the story being somewhat unbelievable, the stars have been unable to squelch the speculation for decades. But what other songs may have been written with famous faces in mind? Keep reading for more popular tracks that were inspired by celebrities, for better or for worse…
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Kanye West wrote "Famous" about Taylor Swift
Kanye West is about as polarizing a person as we have in pop culture. The man speaks his mind (often to a fault) and he's been known to ruffle feathers. He has his supporters who think he's a genius. Taylor Swift isn't one of them. The two have had a strange history ever since he infamously interrupted her MTV Video Music Awards speech in 2009. They made amends and Taylor presented him with the Video Vanguard Award six years later at the VMAs. She praised him. A few months later, she was singing a different tune thanks to his tune "Famous" in which he essentially claims that he made her famous (he also called her the B-word and said he might have sex with her). Taylor, of course, knows a thing or two about writing songs about other famous people.
Chris Martin: "A Sky Full of Stars"
While writing Coldplay's 2014 hit single "A Sky Full of Stars," Chris Martin admitted that he'd been "listening to a lot of Katy Perry." He noticed a pattern in her songs, he told the Beat x Beat webcast produced by Beats by Dre. "A lot of her songs have the same chord sequence the whole time. Your body feels comfortable with them and then the melody's changing on top so there's a groove you really get into and then also you're kept interested… so I was like, 'That's an amazing way of doing songs.'" Ta-da, "A Sky Full of Stars" was born. Thanks, Katy!
Neil Diamond: "Sweet Caroline"
There is confusion about Neil Diamond's song "Sweet Caroline" and who it was about, but most think it was inspired by Caroline Kennedy. We think this because Neil said so in a 2007 interview. Then in 2011, he explained that a magazine cover photo of a young Caroline on a horse created an image in his mind, and the rest of the song came together about five years after he saw that picture. Then in 2014, he said the song was not actually named after JFK's daughter and had originally written about his then-wife Marsha.
Carly Simon: "You're So Vain"
For years, mystery shrouded Carly Simon's iconic song "You're So Vain," a hit that spoke of self-obsession. Carly finally revealed that she actually refers to three men in the song, and that the one in the middle verse was her ex Warren Beatty. Long before Carly made her admission, Warren gave interviews saying he knew the song was about him.
Justin Timberlake: "Cry Me a River"
When Justin Timberlake released "Cry Me a River" in 2002, there was little doubt about who'd inspired it: his ex girlfriend Britney Spears. In 2011, he finally acknowledged one of music's worst-kept secrets. "I was on a phone call that was not the most enjoyable phone call. I walked into the studio and [producer Timbaland] could tell I was visibly angry," he told The Huffington Post. "I was like, 'Man, don't worry about it,' and he was like, 'I can't believe she did that to me,' and he was like, 'You were my sun, you were my earth.'"
Taylor Swift: "I Knew You Were Trouble," "Style" and "Out of the Woods"
It's well-known that Taylor Swift has a litany of songs inspired by other celebrities, most of them ex-boyfriends. While Taylor never actually admits to who her songs are about, many of them are fairly evident. Harry Styles, though, holds a special place in her heart (and it's not a good place). She allegedly wrote three — yes, three — songs about the One Direction singer: "I Knew You Were Trouble," "Style" and "Out of the Woods." None of them paint a very flattering picture of the British boy-bander. Then again, Taylor got quality material out of their short-lived romance, so maybe she should thank him!
Taylor Swift: "Dear John"
Taylor Swift was at it again in 2010 when she released "Dear John," a brutal song fans instantly recognized as being about her failed relationship with John Mayer. "Dear John, I see it all now it was wrong / Don't you think 19's too young to be played by your dark, twisted games? / When I loved you so, I should've known," she sang. The couple dated in 2009 when she was 19 and he was 31. He has publicly said he doesn't like the song… And why would he?
Justin Bieber: "Sorry," "What Do You Mean" and "Mark My Words"
Young love can hurt so bad, as Justin Bieber knows. The singer and Selena Gomez dated off and on for years, but it seems that maybe, just maybe, it is actually over for good. Justin, like many singers, has put his heartbreak into words. He told Ellen DeGeneres that three songs on his 2015 album "Purpose" are either inspired by or directly about Selena: "Sorry," "What Do You Mean" and "Mark My Words." Three in one album. Selena, maybe you should write a song about him that speaks about The Biebs being wrapped around your finger!
Elton John: "Candle in the Wind"
"Candle In The Wind" is one of those rare songs that was inspired by two people on different occasions. Elton John's classic song was originally written in 1973 by Elton and lyricist Bernie Taupin as an ode to Marilyn Monroe, as evidenced by the opening line "Goodbye Norma Jean," her real name. When Princess Diana died in 1997, the hit was rewritten to honor her, as it was rumored to be her favorite song. The 1997 version got rid of the ode to Marilyn and replaced it with "Goodbye England's Rose…" It's easily one of the most well-known songs in history… both versions, actually.
Aerosmith: "Dude Looks Like a Lady"
Did you know that Aerosmith's "Dude Looks Like a Lady" was originally titled "Cruising For a Lady"? True story. But then Steven Tyler met Mötley Crüe and everything changed. In his book, "Walk This Way: The Autobiography of Aerosmith," the former "American Idol" judge said, "One day we met Mötley Crüe, and they're all going, 'Dude!' 'Dude' this and 'dude' that, everything was 'dude.' 'Dude (Looks Like a Lady)' came out of that session."
Mariah Carey: "Obsessed"
People seem to have forgotten that Mariah Carey once had a steamy relationship with Eminem. The romance didn't end well, to say the least. The rapper had dropped lyrics directly about Mariah on multiple occasions. Then Mariah fought back with "Obsessed," a damning song in which she claims the rapper is obsessed with her, as evidenced by him speaking about her in his music. He, of course, had a retaliation song.
Sheryl Crow: "My Favorite Mistake"
Sheryl Crow's 1998 song "My Favorite Mistake" was scathing, to say the least. It refers to a man who had multiple secret relationships, but the woman still can't seem to shake him, no matter how bad he treats her. The song is believed to be about Eric Clapton, whom Sheryl dated around the time the song came out. Ouch!
Kings of Leon: "Sex On Fire"
Victoria's Secret model Lily Aldridge and Kings of Leon frontman Caleb Followill have been relatively private about their romance. At least they were until his band's song "Sex On Fire" came out in 2008. Lily is reportedly the inspiration for the saucy song that features the lyrics: "Hot as a fever, rattling bones / I could just taste it, taste it." Phew, is it hot in here!
Ed Sheeran: "Don't"
In 2014, rumors swirled that Ed Sheeran's hit "Don't" was about Ellie Goulding cheating on him with One Direction's Niall Horan. Ed never actually admitted that's who the song was about, but he's never denied it either, which would be the right thing to do if it weren't about his ex. He's been asked about it on many occasions, but all he's ever said was that he's never actually "confirmed" the Ellie speculation. The lack of a denial, despite being given so many opportunities to do so, is confirmation in and of itself, right?
John Mayer: "Your Body is a Wonderland"
John Mayer dated Jennifer Love Hewitt in 2002 when she was essentially an "It" girl. Then came the omnipresent "Your Body is a Wonderland." It's long been speculated that the song was inspired by and written about J.Love's famous curvaceous body. She's denied it, but for different reasons. "My body is far from a wonderland," she told Entertainment Weekly.