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Song Stories

“I Wanna Dance With Somebody”

Whitney Houston | 1987

Whitney Houston's voice made the song a smash hit, but it was "How Will I Know" songwriters Shannon Rubicam and George Merrill who crafted this tale of those seeking something special in a relationship. "Once again, inspiration was drawn from one of those dilemmas single people often experience, that twilight restlessness that washes in when you don't want to spend another evening alone and are longing for real love," Rubicam said. The songwriting team handed the demo to record label honcho Clive Davis and told him if he didn't like it, they'd record it for themselves. To Davis' credit, that didn't happen.

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Song Stories

“Money For Nothing”

Dire Straits | 1984

Mark Knopfler wrote this song with Sting, and it wasn’t without controversy. The Dire Straits frontman's original lyric used the word “faggot” to describe a singer who got their “money for nothing and their chicks for free.” Even though the slur was edited out in many versions, the band, and Knopfler, still took plenty of criticism for the term. “I got an objection from the editor of a gay newspaper in London--he actually said it was below the belt,” Knopfler told Rolling Stone. Still, "Money For Nothing," undoubtedly augmented by its innovative early computer-animated video, stayed at Number One for three weeks.

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