.

Song Stories

“Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)”

Beyonce | 2008

Drawing from her then-secret marriage to Jay-Z, Beyonce’s megahit celebrates female empowerment by calling out men’s unwillingness to commit to relationships. But it was her simple yet stylized black-and-white video that really made a splash, when her choreographed moves sparked the first ubiquitous dance craze of the internet age, which kicked off when a high-heeled, leotard-wearing Justin Timberlake spoofed the song on Saturday Night Live. A global phenomenon was born, as countless parodies popped up on YouTube. Beyonce has said the inspiration for the routine was Bob Fosse’s 1969 performance of “Mexican Breakfast” on The Ed Sullivan Show. As she herself put it, it is “the most iconic” song and video of her career thus far.

prev
Song Stories Main Next

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.

More Song Stories entries »
www.expandtheroom.com