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Song Stories

“Walk This Way”

Run-D.M.C. | 1986

In the early-to-mid-1980s, the line was firmly drawn between rock and hip-hop. But the wall came tumbling down once producer Rick Rubin persuaded Run-DMC to give Aerosmith's "Walk This Way" a rap makeover. "Run-DMC liked the beat, but they didn't want to sing those words," Rubin told Rolling Stone. "I explained that would defeat the purpose. There were still people who didn't think rap was music. The goal was, here's a song you've heard. And our version isn't so different that theirs is music and ours isn't."

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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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