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Song Stories

“Rainy Night in Georgia”

Brook Benton | 1970

This tale of what it feels like when the whole world is raining and there's no warm place to find became a smash for Brook Benton in 1970, eight years after Tony Jo White penned it. White’s inspiration? "I knew about rainy nights in Georgia because I drove a dump truck for the highway department," he said. In naming it one of the 500 Greatest Songs of all time, Rolling Stone praises "Benton's intimate baritone set over crying violins, crashing horns and dolorous organs and guitars."

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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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