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Song Stories

“Down Under”

Men at Work | 1982

Singer Colin Hay has said this song — which has become an unofficial anthem for Australia — was a celebration of the land down under even as it was being over-developed by greedy people. Featuring Aussie slang words like "fried-out kombi," "head full of zombie" and "chunder," the song prompted a lawsuit when a publishing company said the famous flute riff plagiarized a copyrighted campfire song, "Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree." Flautist Greg Ham — who took to drugs and alcohol after the decision — died two years later at 58. "I think it had a big impact on him," Hay said.

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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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