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Song Stories

“Baby Got Back”

Sir Mix-a-Lot | 1992

While watching a Budweiser commercial during the Super Bowl, Sir Mix-a-Lot thought the skinny female models in the ad didn’t represent reality. So he wrote this ode to ample bottoms, featuring its famous to-the-point lyric: “I like big butts and I cannot lie.” MTV banished the video, featuring shaking booties and sexually suggestive fruit, to 9 p.m. or later. “I thought my career was over,” he told Rolling Stone. “Then I called Rick Rubin, and I told him the video was banned, and he was like, 'Great!' We sold another 2 million records.”

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Song Stories

“Nightshift”

The Commodores | 1984

The year after soul legends Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson died, songwriter Dennis Lambert asked members of the Commodores to give him a tape of ideas. "And the one from Walter Orange has this wonderful bass line," said co-writer Franne Golde. "Plus the lyric, 'Marvin, he was a friend of mine' ... Within 10 minutes, we had decided it should be something like a modern R&B version of 'Rock 'n' Roll Heaven,' and I just said, 'Nightshift.'" This tribute to the recently deceased musicians was the band's only hit without Lionel Richie, who had left for a solo career.

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