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Song Stories

“I'm Excited”

DJ Shadow feat. Afrikan Boy | 2011

DJ Shadow puts a lot of thought into his albums, and the process was no different for the Bay Area beatmaker's 2011 release The Less You Know, The Better. The track "I'm Excited," which features U.K. rapper Afrikan Boy as a guest vocalist, was one of the last Shadow wrote, and he considers it to be a "middle finger" to the rest of the album. "At that point, I'm tired of working my ass off and sweating every little split second," he said. "So I make something in a day-and-a-half that totally gets all my emotions out, something cathartic that I can have fun with. That’s what 'I'm Excited' is."

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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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