16 Songs You (Probably) Didn’t Realise Were Written About These Artists

12 January 2017, 15:54 | Updated: 30 November 2020, 17:01

By Katie Louise-Smith

This is a shout out to my ex...

Is there anything better than a sassy diss track or emotional ballad from one artist about another? We've had 'Shout Out To My Ex' on replay since it dropped late last year. So what other songs have been written about your favourite artists? Let's investigate.

1) Halsey's 'Colors' is rumoured to be about Matty Healy.


When we say 'rumoured', we mean even though it's never been confirmed, the lyrics are way too coincidental for it to be about anyone else. "Your little brother never tells you but he loves you so / You said your mother only smiled on her tv show." Guess who has both a little brother and a mum with a TV show? Bingo. 

2) The 1975's 'A Change Of Heart' is rumoured to maybe, potentially, possibly be inspired by Taylor Swift... and Halsey.


Well, actually, there's a few songs by The 1975 that could allude to a few of Matty's previous flirtationships (She's American, The Sound...). But none of them are explicitly about any one in particular. Matty confirmed that 'an ex' got in touch with him after hearing the song and went OFF about it. You can probably bet that maybe a line or two has been influenced by one of them though.

3) 'The Hills' by The Weeknd is supposedly about Ariana Grande.


According to the internet at large, the 'man on the road doing promo' in question is actually Big Sean and the girl he's trying to chase is Ariana. To throw even more of an intriguing plot twist into this saga, Ariana Grande was once in a car crash on the way to Big Sean's house in the Hollywood Hills... which mirrors the video for song.

4) Ed Sheeran wrote 'Don't' about Ellie Goulding and Irish prince Niall Horan.


With lyrics like "she was only looking for a lover to BURN", it was pretty obvious from the drop to be honest. Ed confirmed that the song was about Ellie's hook up with Niall and later admitted that he was over it. Thanks for the salty banger though, babes.

5) And Ellie Goulding wrote back with 'On My Mind'.


It's been speculated that Ellie wrote 'On My Mind' in response to the attention she received from Ed's track. She name drops the hotel again and sings, "you wanted my heart but I just liked your tattoos." When asked if the song was about Ed (which it totally is) Ellie responded, "Who cares, man? Seriously, who cares?"

6) Abigail Breslin once wrote a song about Michael Clifford from 5SOS.


According to Abigail, 'You Suck' was a joke song and it was thought to be about Michael Clifford. The lyrics? "I just wanted you to know all your band mates are hotter than you." Oop! She denied ever dating him, but Michael confirmed they went on ONE date and well... he finds the whole thing awkward.

7) The iconic Hollaback Girl was actually written about Courtney Love.


Once upon a time, Love called Stefani a 'cheerleader' in an interview with Seventeen. She took the line and turned into the chart topping diss track 'Hollaback Girl' and starred in the music video as, you guessed it, a cheerleader.

8) Katy Perry's 'Circle The Drain' about deeeeefinitely about Travie McCoy.


OMG, remember when Katy Perry went out with Travie McCoy from Gym Class Heroes? In the song, Perry talks about an ex who is struggling with a drug addiction. Hardly the subtlest of lyrics, huh? She may as well have just @'d him directly. 

9) Selena Gomez's 'The Heart Wants What It Wants' is about Justin Bieber.


First of all, the voice message in the video is emotional - and it was a real conversation Selena had with herself. She's never shied away from speaking about the meaning behind the song, referring to Biebs many times. Selena has said that Justin approved of both the song and the video and he thought they were both beautiful. 

10) Mariah Carey's 'Obsessed' about Eminem.


The musical masterpiece that is 'Obsessed' came about after Eminem claimed that he and Mariah were once in a relationship and continued to keep mentioning and baiting her in his songs. But according to Nick Cannon, the song was actually about the movie Mean Girls, of which Mariah is a huge fan. But we'll let you make up your own minds. 

11) Nicki Minaj's 'Stupid Hoe' is 100% about Lil Kim.


Nicki took her feud with Lil Kim to new heights when she dropped this track. The lyrics, which allude to the current state of Lil Kim's career, say it all: "Stupid hoe shoulda befriended me, then she coulda probably came back." Yikes!

12) Amy Winehouse's 'Me & Mr Jones' was actually about Nas.


Ok, this is a weird one. Amy Winehouse basically stanned for Nas whose real name is Nasir Jones and wrote the song specifically about him. Nas confirmed everything, including the details of the not-so-cryptic lyrics. In fact, they were even planning a birthday party together shortly before she passed away. 

13) Miley Cyrus' '7 Things' is about Nick Jonas.


Before she was writing songs about Hemsworth brothers and weed, Miley was writing songs about her teenage boyfriend, Nick Jonas. According to the director of the video, Miley is wearing a necklace in the video that her 'ex' gave her. Turns out, it's a medical necklace for diabetes. Nick Jonas Confirmed. 

14) And Miley Cyrus might have been the subject and inspiration for Missy Elliot's 'Where They From?'


We'll just leave you with the lyrics... "That dance that you doing is dumb / Stickin' out your tongue girl / But you know you're too young." Hmmm.

15) One Direction's 'Perfect' was never confirmed to be about Taylor Swift, but it totally is.


Well, first of all, Harry is the lead songwriter on the song. Second of all, there's this lyric: "And if you're looking for someone to write your breakup songs about, baby I'm perfect," and third, when confronted by James Corden about the subject of the song, he just smiled and laughed. You ain't slick, Styles.

16) But Taylor got there first with 'Out Of The Woods'... and 'We Are Never Getting Back Together'... and 'Style'. 


Queen of writing songs about other artists.