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Song Stories

“Running on Empty”

Jackson Browne | 1977

Sometimes the best lyrical metaphors arise from literal events, such as in the case of this title track to Jackson Browne’s breakout album. The singer-songwriter was inspired by the reading on his car's fuel gauge while motoring to the studio each day to make his previous album, The Pretender. “I was always driving around with no gas in the car,” he said. “I just never bothered to fill up the tank because – how far was it anyway? Just a few blocks.”

Find out about flying panties inspired a young Jackson Browne to become a musician.
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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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