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Song Stories

“Rockstar”

Nickelback | 2005

In "Rockstar," the multimillionaire Canadians in Nickelback poke fun at the cliched trappings of the excessive rock & roll lifestyle: Playboy playmates, cheap and accessible drugs, hilltop houses and dozens of cars. The song lays out "just crazy, nonsensical things that help paint this picture of someone dreaming about being a rock star," explained frontman Chad Kroeger. "It's what you would also do if you won the lottery. I hope it comes across as us having a lot of fun and, even to some degree, making fun of ourselves." ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons obliges with spoken-word interludes in between the song's verses, and the video includes more than 100 cameos, including Wayne Gretzky, Gene Simmons, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kid Rock and Nelly Furtado.

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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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