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Song Stories

“Red Solo Cup”

Toby Keith | 2011

When Toby Keith first heard this song, conceived two years earlier by songwriter Jim Beavers, he said, "That is the dumbest thing I've heard in my life." A song about plastic cups. Yet, not just any plastic cups, Beavers said — red Solo brand cups. "Everywhere I went, at football games and parties, I saw people using them," he said. "It struck me it could be a song, and I wrote down the title." Keith initially laughed off the novelty song, but the melody stuck in his head. So he decided to record it. The video — with its numerous cameos by showbiz and sports figures — went viral.

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Song Stories

“Money For Nothing”

Dire Straits | 1984

Mark Knopfler wrote this song with Sting, and it wasn’t without controversy. The Dire Straits frontman's original lyric used the word “faggot” to describe a singer who got their “money for nothing and their chicks for free.” Even though the slur was edited out in many versions, the band, and Knopfler, still took plenty of criticism for the term. “I got an objection from the editor of a gay newspaper in London--he actually said it was below the belt,” Knopfler told Rolling Stone. Still, "Money For Nothing," undoubtedly augmented by its innovative early computer-animated video, stayed at Number One for three weeks.

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