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Song Stories

“Please Forgive My Heart”

Bobby Womack | 2012

The soul-baring "Please Forgive My Heart" is the first taste off The Bravest Man in the Universe, Bobby Womack's return to the studio after a long absence from solo recording. Coaxed into the project by co-producers Damon Albarn and XL Recordings label head Richard Russell, Womack explained the session’s songwriting process: "Damon would start playing the melody and I would write to it, then sing it." The soul icon and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee has worked with Albarn before, having added vocals to the Gorillaz album Plastic Beach. Womack has given the Albarn/Russell team full credit for his comeback. "When I got to the studio, they were ready for me," he said. "They believed in me more than I believed in myself.”

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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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