Estelle made a successful U.S. debut -- and won a Grammy for it -- when she wrote an ode to more than one "American Boy." The lady from London spanned the States as she celebrates guys from Cali, New York and Miami, but Estelle forgot to slip in a note about fellas from the Midwest. She made up for it, however, by making room for 16 bars by Chicago's own Kanye West. "Kanye basically just brought his own cheeky self to the track, his own sense of humor," Estelle said of West's contribution. "At first he was like, 'How can you rap over a dance beat?' -- and now he's done it!"
“I don’t consider myself a great poet,” Prince told Rolling Stone. “I just know I’m here to say what’s on my mind.” In the case of the apocalyptic party anthem “1999,” he was worried about then-president Ronald Reagan’s foreign policies. The song’s melody is based on a riff borrowed from the Mamas and Papas’ “Monday, Monday,” and Prince originally envisioned the first verse with three-part harmony but later split the vocals between himself and members of the Revolution. Because Warner Bros., with whom Prince was locked in a contractual battle, owned the original’s masters, Prince rerecorded the song and appropriately released that version in 1999.