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Song Stories

“Thela Hun Ginjeet”

King Crimson | 1981

When you've almost been mugged, you may want to get in touch with the authorities. Not guitarist Adrian Belew, who instead returned to the studio to tell his King Crimson mates about a dangerous encounter, which is retold in "Thela Hun Ginjeet." "I walked down one of the streets, and there was illegal gambling going on," Belew recalled. "It was done by a group of Rastafarian guys -- pretty tough looking -- and [they’d] gathered around me. They thought I was an undercover policeman -- I had short hair at the time. They were about to kill me; I don’t know how I talked my way out of it. I ran into the control room, and was telling Robert [Fripp] the story. Meanwhile, he had whispered to the engineer to record it, and that’s what you hear on the record." The song's curious title is an anagram of "heat in the jungle."

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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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