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Song Stories

“Party in the U.S.A.”

Miley Cyrus | 2009

Originally co-written by English artist Jessie J for her own use, "Party in the U.S.A." was repurposed for Miley Cyrus to reflect her intimidating move from Nashville to Hollywood. The dance-pop song peaked at Number Two on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming the former Disney star's biggest hit to date. Her performance of "Party" at the 2009 Teen Choice Awards was met with controversy when a scantily clad then-16-year-old Cyrus did a suggestive pole dance. She once described the track, whose accompanying music video riffs off the 1978 film Grease, as "an all-American song … about my roots."

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Song Stories

“Road to Nowhere”

Talking Heads | 1985

A cappella harmonies give way to an a fuller arrangement blending pop and electro-disco on "Road to Nowhere," but the theme remains constant: We're on an eternal journey to an undefined destination. The song vaulted back into the news a quarter century after it was a hit when Gov. Charlie Crist used it in his unsuccessful 2010 campaign for the U.S. Senate in Florida. "It's this little ditty about how there's no order and no plan and no scheme to life and death and it doesn't mean anything, but it's all right," Byrne said with a chuckle.

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