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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

“Bleeding Love”

Leona Lewis | 2007

In 2008, The X Factor winner Leona Lewis backed up her U.K. singing competition victory with an R&B anthem for the ages: "Bleeding Love," an international hit that became the best-selling song of the year. The track was co-penned by OneRepublic's Ryan Tedder (whose radio dominance would continue with songs such as Beyonce's "Halo" and Adele's "Rumour Has It") and solo artist Jesse McCartney, who was inspired by a former girlfriend, Gossip Girl actress Katie Cassidy. Given the song's success, McCartney didn't regret handing over such a personal track: "No, no," he said. "I'm so happy for Leona. She deserves it. There are really no bad feelings."

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