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Song Stories

“I Wanna Sex You Up”

Color Me Badd | 1991

Color Me Badd weren't shy about their spiritual beliefs. (One of the group's members would later become a minister.) That made it a bit surprising when this doo-wop/hip-hop quartet sang this horny song that oozed, "Just lay back and enjoy the ride." Yet while CMB didn't want to garner a raunchy reputation, they also didn't want to pass up a good opportunity. "It's important to understand that song was written for New Jack City," said singer Sam Watters. "You're not going to go and write a goody, goody song for a movie that's about drugs and all that."

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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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