ICYMI: Taylor Swift just released her new single, “Call It What You Want”– the latest love song off her new album, Reputation. If her telling lyrics are any indication, the song appears to detail the singer’s courtship with British actor boyfriend Joe Alwyn and also references her drama-filled 2015 and her conscious decision to go under the radar for most of 2016.
Swift’s latest song got us thinking about other mushy love songs and the lovebirds behind them. Here are some of those songs – the artists’ muses might just surprise you.
Miley Cyrus – “Malibu”
Inspiration: Liam Hemsworth
Memorable Lyrics: I never would’ve believed you if three years ago you told me I’d be here writing this song
Cyrus’ first Younger Now single is about her relationship with Liam Hemsworth and how they had to “refall” for each other after their 2013 breakup. “They’re going to talk about me if I come out of a restaurant with Liam. So why not put the power back in my relationship and say, ‘This is how I feel’?” she told Billboard.
Selena Gomez – “The Heart Wants What It Wants”
Inspiration: Justin Bieber
Memorable Lyrics: There’s a million reasons why I should give you up / But the heart wants what it wants
In an interview with Ryan Seacrest, Gomez admitted that her on-again, off-again (and possibly on-again once more!) romance with Justin Bieber inspired the emotional track: “Everybody wants to form their own opinions anyway. I think the biggest problem I had this year — even with and on his side — is identity.”
John Legend – “All of Me”
Inspiration: Chrissy Teigen
Memorable Lyrics: You’re my end and my beginning / Even when I lose I’m winning / ‘Cause I give you all of me / And you give me all of you
“Having somebody who knows me so well and knows what it takes to push me creatively is really important,” Legend told Billboard of his wife’s influence.
Gwen Stefani – “Make Me Like You”
Inspiration: Blake Shelton
Memorable Lyrics: Why’d you have to go and make me like you?/ I’m so mad at you ’cause now you got me missing you
“What’s so crazy is sometimes tragedy, if you really absorb it, you can turn it into something beautiful,” Stefani, who began dating her fellow The Voice judge following the now-couple’s subsequent divorce announcements, said while stopping by Jimmy Kimmel Live.
Kanye West – “Awesome”
Inspiration: Kim Kardashian West
Memorable Lyrics: ‘Cause baby you’re awesome / So awesome/ You look too good to be at work, you feel too good to ever hurt / I hope you ready for tonight / I’m gonna cook, you’ll be dessert
It was only a matter of time.
Billy Joel – “Uptown Girl”
Inspiration: Elle Macpherson
Memorable Lyrics: I’m gonna try for an uptown girl / She’s been living in her white bread world / As long as anyone with hot blood can / And now she’s looking for a downtown man /That’s what I am
Contrary to popular belief, Joel’s “Uptown Girl” is not an ode to ex Christie Brinkley – though the pair did tie the knot two years after the song’s release – but to model Macpherson, whom he was dating at the time.
Jessica Simpson – “With You”
Inspiration: Nick Lachey
Memorable Lyrics: Cause with you / I can let my hair down / I can say anything crazy / I know you’ll catch me right before I hit the ground / With nothing but a T-shirt on / I never felt so beautiful / Baby as I do now / Now that I’m with you
The pair also collaborated on “Where You Are” before tying the knot in 2002.
George Harrison – “Something”
Inspiration: Pattie Boyd
Memorable Lyrics: Something in the way she moves / Attracts me like no other lover / Something in the way she woos me
The Beatle fell for model Boyd while they were both shooting A Hard Day’s Night. The two were married for 11 years. “I remember him playing this melody quite a lot, and then some time later, he wrote lyrics for it,” Boyd wrote in her memoir Wonderful Tonight. “And I didn’t realize until after he’d recorded it and he told me that he’d written it for me I was thrilled. I couldn’t believe it. It was wonderful.”
Eric Clapton – “Layla”
Inspiration: Pattie Boyd
Memorable Lyrics: Layla, you’ve got me on my knees / Layla, I’m begging, darling please / Layla, darling won’t you ease my worried mind
How’s this for drama? After weathering a tumultuous marriage with Harrison, Boyd left him for Clapton, who also penned “Wonderful Tonight” and “Bell Bottom Blues” as odes to Boyd.
Coldplay – “Moses”
Inspiration: Gwyneth Paltrow
Memorable Lyrics: Like Moses has power over sea / So you’ve got power over me
The song takes an even sweeter meaning seeing as Chris Martin and then-wife Paltrow named their son after the song, three years later.
Paul McCartney – “Maybe I’m Amazed”
Inspiration: Linda McCartney
Memorable Lyrics: Baby I’m amazed at the way you love me all the time / Maybe I’m afraid of the way I love you
This wasn’t the only time McCartney dreamt up a song for his wife Linda, who lost her battle with breast cancer in 1998. She also inspired him to write “Two of Us,” “The Lovely Linda,” “Long-Haired Lady” and “My Love.”