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Song Stories

“Clouds”

Hole | 1991

Courtney Love said she wrote this raucous take on Joni Mitchell's melancholy "Both Sides Now" as a diss to her mother. "We used to be forced to sing that in the f---ing Volvo in unison," Love told Rolling Stone. "I felt so humiliated by it." Love, who as a five-year-old is pictured on the back of a Grateful Dead album cover, said the hippie ideals that didn't materialize turned the next generation into drug addicts, which is why Hole's take on "Both Sides Now" features references to drug abuse and self-hatred.

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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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