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by Mosi Reeves

July 4, 2014

Songs for Famous Exes

by Mosi Reeves  |  July 4, 2014

As we chew over Robin Thicke's Paula, let's not forget that he's hardly the first to make a "creepy" record about a celebrity ex-lover (as some reviewers have unkindly called it). The obvious touchstone is Marvin Gaye's Here, My Dear, which the singer made as part of a divorce settlement with his former wife, Anna Gordy, and on which he obsessed over the details of their breakup. There's also Fleetwood Mac's "Go Your Own Way," a coda to Lindsay Buckingham's breakup with Stevie Nicks. Carly Simon's "You're So Vain" is famously coy about the ex-boyfriend she addresses, as is Justin Timberlake's "Cry Me a River," which everyone assumes is about Britney Spears; Sheryl Crow's "My Favorite Mistake," which could be about Eric Clapton; and Usher's "Confessions," which may or may not be about Chili from TLC. But there's no question that Bob Dylan's "Sara" is about the breakup with his fashion model wife Sara Lownds Dylan; and that "Papers" is about Usher's divorce from Tameka Foster, who wasn't a celebrity per se, but was certainly torn apart by the tabloids in the process. Katy Perry's "Circle the Drain" is about her ex-boyfriend Travie McCoy's struggle with drug addiction, a gossipy revelation he complained about during his VH1 "Behind the Music" episode. With "Dear John" (John Mayer), and "Forever & Always" (Joe Jonas), Taylor Swift may be the queen of songs addressed to famous ex-lovers. Luckily, no one called her "creepy" for writing about them.

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