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Song Stories

“Nowhere to Run”

Martha and the Vandellas | 1965

Martha Reeves was a secretary for Motown A&R guy Mickey Stevenson who stepped in when Mary Wells didn’t show for a session. Fast forward a few years and several upbeat Motown classics, and “Nowhere to Run” is another Top 10 hit for the office worker turned soul diva. Although the song is about a bad love affair, its musical inspiration came from the mean streets of Detroit. According to song co-composer Lamont Dozier, "I was sitting at the piano one day playing this groove, and it came out sounding kind of military because I was looking out my window and there were tanks coming down the street.”

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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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