Song Stories

“Holiday in Cambodia”

Dead Kennedys | 1980

Ominous guitar and bass riffs that growled and yelped underpinned "Holiday in Cambodia," Jello Biafra rant-singing against privileged young brats who needed to experience the horrors of Cambodia firsthand. Co-writer Biafra drew upon his experiences observing frat boys and sorority girls while delivering pizza to college dorms. The song, he recalled, was about "drunk jocks and the idiot women who pursue them. I guess I just juxtaposed that with the reports coming out of Cambodia."

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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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