We're huge fans of Drew Barrymore — and we're not the only ones! R&B singer SZA is such a supporter that she named a song after the actress in 2017. In celebration of Drew's 43rd birthday on Feb. 22, 2018, Wonderwall.com is exploring celebs who've had music named after them, starting with the birthday girl. SZA titled one of the lead singles off her "Ctrl" album "Drew Barrymore" because she believed a lot of Drew's roles have reflected vulnerability and an exploration of self-worth and womanhood, which is what the song's lyrics are about. Drew was so touched by the acknowledgement that she appeared in the music video for the song. Keep reading to see what other stars have songs named after them…
Bob Dylan is such an icon that he has multiple songs named after him! There's the 1968 track "Bob Dylan Blues" by Syd Barrett, the 2012 song "Bob Dylan is Dead" by Marvin Etzioni and the 1983 song "Bob Dylan Wrote Propaganda Songs" by Minutemen. "Bob Dylan was probably the only person who I listened to the words in the '70s. My dad was a sailor and he was always away and Dylan seemed like a surrogate dad to me in a way," Minutemen bassist Mike Watt reportedly said in the 1980s.
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R&B singer K. Michelle named a track on "Kimberly: The People I Used to Know" — her fourth album — "Kim K" after Kim Kardashian West in 2017. K. Michelle said she chose the title "Kim K" because she believes the Kardashians get away with things women of color cannot. "Black women are rarely given credit for our cultural trends and flyness… For ages black women have been taught by society that our image isn't good enough for mainstream or that we need to make changes. I believed them and made those SOME of those changes, only to regret it," she wrote on Twitter explaining the backstory.
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Rock band Weezer named a song on their 1994 self-titled album after music icon Buddy Holly. The band's breakthrough hit, "Buddy Holly," was released on Sept. 7, 1994, which would have been Buddy's 58th birthday.
Pop duo Capital Cities named one of their songs after '70s "It" girl Farrah Fawcett. "Farrah Fawcett Hair" was released in 2013 and featured rapper Andre 3000. The song's running theme is "things that are good" and Farrah's hair is an example of one of those things. Interesting…
Taylor Swift's debut single was named after another country great — Tim McGraw! "Tim McGraw" was released in 2006 and peaked at No. 40 on the Hot 100 chart. Taylor reportedly wrote the song during her freshman year of high school, knowing that she and her senior boyfriend would break up when he left for college at the end of the year. One of the things the couple shared was a love of Tim's music.
A track named after glamorous actress-turned-princess Grace Kelly was a very popular song in the late 2000s. "Grace Kelly" by singer Mika was released in 2007 and became an instant hit, reaching No. 1 in Britain. Mika said he wrote the song because he felt frustrated with music executives wanting to change his sound and image. In the song, Mika sings about how he can pretend to be anyone he likes to win approval — including the beautiful Oscar winner.
The 1980s pop supergroup Bananarama named a song on their second album after iconic actor Robert De Niro. "Robert De Niro's Waiting…" was released in 1983 and is about a girl who goes into a fantasy world where she imagines Robert is her boyfriend. The track is one of the group's strongest performing singles, reaching No. 3 on the UK singles chart.
Beatles frontman John Lennon was recognized in a 2008 song by rock band Arkells. "John Lennon" is one of the band's biggest hits and tells a very thought-provoking story. "The example I'm using is that John Lennon in '67 was on top of the world but he was probably going through a grueling depression and using a lot of drugs. I was using that as the example of someone who doesn't need to be feeling sorry for himself but is, even though that's a complicated thing," lead singer Max Kerman has said.
Alternative rock band Brand New named a song after British actor Jude Law after being inspired by his good looks. "Jude Law and A Semester Abroad," released in 2001, is about a girl who cheats on the band's singer after falling for a handsome guy on a trip to Europe. How fitting!
Hollywood icon Bette Davis received numerous honors during her career, including having a hit song named after her. "Bette Davis Eyes" was originally released by Donna Weiss and Jackie DeShannon in 1974, but it was Kim Carnes' 1981 version that topped the charts. Kim's rendition spent nine weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was Billboard's biggest hit of the year. A 73-year-old Bette wrote letters to Kim, Donna and Jackie thanking them for making her "a part of modern times," adding that her grandson now looked up to her. After the track won record and song of the year at the Grammys, Bette sent the three ladies roses. So sweet!
The Red Hot Chili Peppers are true Magic Johnson fans. The rock band named a song after the former NBA superstar in 1989. "Magic Johnson" was released during the peak of Magic's career because the Chili Peppers — especially Flea and Anthony Kiedis — were huge Lakers fans and loved basketball. Anthony had a particular admiration for the NBA player since both were raised in Michigan before settling in Los Angeles.
King of Rock 'n' Roll Elvis Presley had a song named after him seven years after his death. U2 recorded and released "Elvis Presley And America" in 1984. Bono reportedly became inspired by Elvis still being able to perform perfectly during his "fat" period and improvised the lyrics for the song from there.
Elvis isn't the only Presley who has a song named after him. His ex-wife, Priscilla Presley, was the inspiration for Miranda Lambert's 2015 track "Priscilla." It draws parallels between Miranda's life and Priscilla's and in it, Miranda asks the former Mrs. Presley for advice on being the "king and queen of country," clearly a reference to her then-marriage to music star Blake Shelton.
Marilyn Monroe has made such a cultural impact that two of today's biggest artists named songs after her. Hip-hop producer and artist Pharrell Williams released the song "Marilyn Monroe" in 2014 and rapper Nicki Minaj released the song "Marilyn Monroe" in 2012. "I'm very infatuated with Marilyn Monroe," Nicki told Artist Direct at the time. "I had a moment with that song where I was like, 'Oh my God, every woman in this world needs to hear that.' No, we're not perfect. Sometimes, we think, 'What's wrong with us?'… I needed to hear that, 'I'm not perfect, but I'm worth it.' It resonated with me." Pharrell shared similar sentiments about his song, telling The Sun, "I called the song 'Marilyn Monroe' because she was beautiful. Then the lyrics name-check Joan of Arc because she was heroic, and Cleopatra was wise. Women don't have to be any of that to be beautiful. You can just be your own thing."
Rock band R.E.M. named a song after iconic actor Marlon Brando but never shared how, exactly, the late star had inspired them. "Me, Marlon Brando, Marlon Brando And I" was released in 2011 on the band's "Collapse Into Now" album.
YouTube sensation and rapper Chiddy Bang honored music legend Ray Charles by naming a song after him in 2012. Chiddy thought his brother resembled Ray during a recording session and felt inspired. "I just looked at him like, 'You're on your Ray Charles right now.' It was on a whole other level. And then I went into the booth and laid the song down," Chiddy said at the time.
"King of Cool" actor Steve McQueen was honored with a song title 22 years after his death. Sheryl Crow's "Steve McQueen" was released in 2002 and was an immediate hit, charting at No. 88 on the Billboard Hot 100 and winning a Grammy Award for best female rock vocal performance.
Music mogul JAY-Z rapped about O.J. Simpson and his dysfunctional view of blackness and colorism in the song "The Story of O.J." Jay explained the lyrics in a Tidal documentary in 2017. "We tend to as black people — because we've never had anything which is understandable — we get to a place where we think we separate ourself from the culture. Like where O.J. will get to a space where he's like, 'I'm not black, I'm O.J.' … I've never had an inferior complex ever. I'm the opposite, I was more defiant to the system."
JAY-Z seems to be making a habit of naming songs after famous celebrities. In 2013, Jay named one of the tracks on his "Magna Carta Holy Grail" album "Tom Ford." This song is an ode to the New York fashion designer who was Gucci's creative director for 10 years. Jay has been known to rock Tom's suits on red carpets and at industry events.
Music legend David Bowie had a song named after him in the 1990s. "With David Bowie" was released by alternative rock band Veruca Salt in 1997. Lead singer Nina Gordon told reporters that she spent a lot of her childhood listening to Bowie and that led her to write the song for the band's second album. "It's about coming of age and my band and being obsessed with songwriters," she told Entertainment Weekly at the time.
Before David Bowie had a song named after him, he named one of his own songs after another famous artist. "Andy Warhol" was released in 1972 in honor of pop artist Andy Warhol. David was a big admirer of Andy's work and sent him an advanced copy of his album in addition to performing the song in person at Andy's The Factory in New York City in September 1971. Andy reportedly had his typical minimal reaction upon hearing the track and David was never sure if he liked it or not.
Pop singer Lady Gaga honored another industry icon in 2012 with the release of her song "Donatella." The single is named after fashion designer Donatella Versace. "'Donatella' is an incredible, crazy, fun pop song with really raising electronic beats that I did with Zedd. It's about being a fearless female and not caring what people say about you — being proud of who you are and walking the walk no matter what," Gaga told Just Jared at the time of the song's release.
Rapper Lil Wayne honored former NBA superstar (and 2018 Academy Award nominee!) Kobe Bryant with a song he named after him. "Kobe Bryant" was released in December 2009 to praise from hip-hop critics and fans alike.
Microsoft founder and multi-billionaire Bill Gates might not be a super-famous celebrity in Hollywood circles, but he still has a song named after him! Rapper Rick Ross released the song "Bill Gates" in 2015. Rick boasts on the track that he has so much money you might as well call him Bill Gates. Hmm… seems a little far-fetched, but okay!