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Song Stories

“California Gurls”

Katy Perry feat. Snoop Dogg | 2010

Katie Perry confessed to Rolling Stone her SoCal anthem “is not genius. It’s not my opus. But it’s catchy as f---, and it’s a great summertime song.” The pop princess explained that Jay-Z was one of several inspirations for this hit song. “It’s so great that 'Empire State of Mind' is huge and that everybody has the New York song, but what the f---? What about L.A.? What about California? And it’s been a minute since we’ve had a California song and especially from a girl’s perspective.”

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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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