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Song Stories

“Countdown”

Beyonce | 2011

Producer Cainon Lamb laid the groundwork for Beyoncé's "Countdown" while listening to Boyz II Men. "The song, 'Uhh Ahh' starts with a countdown of '10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1,' Lamb explained. "Once the countdown was in the computer I sped it up a little bit. I put the snare drum taps to it and I started a beat." It was both kismet and prophetic. Destiny's Child opened for Boyz II Men 15 years ago. Also, Beyoncé professed her desire to expand her family when she sang, "I'm trying to make us three/From that two." In 2012, Beyoncé got her wish with the birth of Ivy Blue Carter.

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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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