7 Love Songs Pop Stars Dropped About Other Celebrities
Rapper Jack Harlow professes his appreciation for Dua Lipa on his new album Come Home the Kids Miss You. The rapper takes his love for the pop star so far that he even named a track after the “Don’t Start Now” singer.
“Dua Lipa, I'm tryna do more with her than do a feature,” he raps on the anthem, simply titled “Dua Lipa.”
Interestingly, this is not the first time that a song has been named after the hit-maker. She inspired a loved-up bop by an artist named AMWIN in 2019.
Listen to Jack Harlow's "Dua Lipa," below:
However, Harlow’s release definitely carries Lipa’s seal of approval. “I FaceTimed her and played it for her cause I didn’t want her to feel blindsided or creeped out,” he told the Breakfast Club. “She was like, ‘Oh, I mean, it’s not my song. I suppose it’s okay.’”
The “Industry Baby” star added that he wouldn’t have dropped “Dua Lipa” if the namesake artist was not a fan.
“Dua Lipa” has racked up millions of streams since Harlow’s album dropped on May 6 — and it generated plenty of headlines, too.
But this is hardly the first time a musician has released a song inspired by their love for or crush on another celebrity.
Below, we’ve rounded up seven other examples of famously inspired songs from the likes of Ariana Grande, Selena Gomez and more.
Ariana Grande’s “pete davidson” Is About Pete Davidson
Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson dominated headlines with their relationship, engagement and breakup in 2018. Their short-lived romance helped coin the term “big d--k energy” and inspired Grande’s first chart-topper on the Billboard Hot 100: her breakup anthem “thank u, next.”
Before that, the pop star captured the joy of their relationship on a song named after the Saturday Night Live star. “pete davidson” appeared as a brief interlude on her album Sweetener. “I thought you into my life, look at my mind,” she sings on the track. “Universe must have my back, fell from the sky, into my lap.” The euphoric cut clocks in at just over a minute long, which makes sense based on how quickly their whirlwind fling burnt out.
The lyrics made headlines again nearly four years after the song’s release when fans noticed that Kim Kardashian seemingly quoted them on Instagram, according to Page Six. Of course, the reality TV star has now been linked to Davidson since October 2021.
Gwen Stefani’s “Make Me Like You” Is About Blake Shelton
Gwen Stefani detailed her breakup with Gavin Rossdale on the lead single to her 2016 album This Is What The Truth Feels Like. However, the rest of the LP’s track list is anything but downtempo and lovelorn.
That’s evident after a single listen to the effervescent “Make Me Like You,” on which Stefani sings about falling in love. In fact, she’s singing about another famous musician on the track: her now-husband Blake Shelton. Glamour notes she confirmed the inspiration behind the single during an interview with Jimmy Kimmel at the time of its release in 2016.
Meanwhile, Shelton shouted out “Make Me Like You” and urged fans to buy it on Twitter following its release. Considering they’ve been married for nearly a year, we’d say it’s a safe bet that the “Cool” singer is still glad she found her man.
Taylor Swift’s “Enchanted” Is About Adam Young, a.k.a. Owl City
Swifties dissect Taylor Swift’s song lyrics with the expertise of a surgeon. Their goal is to hunt down any line that could refer to an event that happened in real life, whether it’s a reference to a long-forgotten scarf or a necklace gifted by a former flame. But the “22” star did some of the heavy lifting for her fans when she explained the inspiration behind her 2010 song, “Enchanted.”
“He was a guy that I had talked to a couple times on email, but I hadn’t met him. Then I went to meet him; I met him in New York," she said. “I remember just the whole way home thinking, ‘I hope he’s not in love with somebody.’” PopBuzz notes that the man in question appears to be Adam Young, also known as “Fireflies” hit-maker Owl City.
After Young realized he might have been that special someone to Swift, he recorded his own version of “Enchanted” in response. Although the duo’s love story seemingly never took flight, it certainly resulted in a gorgeous love song and an incredible story.
Katy Perry’s “Unconditionally” Is About John Mayer
Katy Perry celebrated a love that knows no bounds when she released “Unconditionally” in 2013. The pop titan told Entertainment Weekly that the song was inspired by a UNICEF trip to Madagascar and by her relationship with John Mayer.
“It’s just a simple message about loving someone and accepting them and kind of driving at you don’t have to be so self-conscious, you don’t have to fear, because essentially, everybody has their stuff,” she said. “Nobody comes stuff-free. Everybody has their things and you’re never going to be perfect, and accepting that and understanding that, especially in a relationship, it makes room for a real, genuine kind of love.”
Perry and Mayer’s love was not meant to last. Interestingly, the “New Light” singer penned a breakup song about their time together: “Still Feel Like Your Man” off 2017’s The Search for Everything. “Who else would I be thinking about?” he asked The New York Times.
Jessica Simpson’s “With You” Is About Nick Lachey
Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey were the reality TV power couple of the early aughts thanks to the all-encompassing domination of MTV’s Newlyweds. The stars’ marriage also largely inspired Simpson’s self-assured third album In This Skin. The influence is particularly evident on her single “With You.”
While their relationship wasn’t meant to last, the wholesome love song she wrote about it beat the odds and lands amongst the best in Simpson’s discography. "It's cool for me just because it's my personality,” she told MTV in 2003. “Nick loves me with nothing but a T-shirt on so that's where the song idea came from."
Selena Gomez’s “The Heart Wants What It Wants” Is About Justin Bieber
Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber’s on-and-off relationship played out in the media in the early 2010s. It was also commemorated musically when Gomez dropped her song “The Heart Wants What It Wants” in 2014. Unlike most of the songs on this list, the downtempo ballad depicts a doomed romance without a happy ending in sight.
That’s not enough to hold the lovers apart, though. “There’s a million reasons that I should give you up / But the heart wants what it wants,” the pop star sings on the chorus. Gomez told the Los Angeles Times that Bieber thought the accompanying music video was “beautiful.” That’s not all, either: “I think he was a little jealous of the video guy at first,” she teased.
Jonas Brothers’ “Hesitate” Is About Sophie Turner
The Jonas Brothers showed off their famous wives in the music video for their comeback single “Sucker” in 2019. They took their collective love a step further by padding the track list of Happiness Begins with odes to their various lovers. “I Believe” serves as Nick Jonas’ love note to his wife Priyanka Chopra, according to Billboard. Meanwhile, Joe Jonas gets flashbacks to his wedding day whenever he hears “Hesitate,” which he wrote for his wife Sophie Turner.
"It's like my vows before I wrote my vows. It's my promise to [my wife] Sophie. I can see in the audience when it's definitely those other people's songs. I see couples holding each other. I see somebody that song got them through something,” Joe explains in the group’s documentary, Happiness Begins, according to MTV. “I’m seeing her walk down the aisle every time I close my eyes.”