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Celebrity Song

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A music trope, where a band or singer names one of their songs after a notable celebrity, either living or dead. The song is not usually about the celebrity, and they may or may not be referenced in the lyrics. The celebrity's name is usually used as either a byword for an ideal, a metaphor, or as a comparison.


  • Blue Öyster Cult's Joan Crawford Has Risen From The Grave - which plays on both the glamour and legendarily unpleasant personality of Joan, especially obvious in the video.
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  • Jay-Z's "Tom Ford", from his album Magna Carta Holy Grail. The use of the fashion designer's name is as a byword for elegance and class.
  • Azealia Banks' "Anna Wintour" - named after the famous Vogue magazine editor.
  • Taylor Swift's "Tim McGraw". About the bonding a couple had over Tim McGraw's music.
  • J Cole's "Kenny Lofton" and "Chris Tucker".
  • Lupe Fiasco's "Joaquin Phoenix".
  • Big Sean and Kanye West's "Marvin Gaye and Chardonnay".
  • Rick Ross' "MC Hammer"
  • Drake's "Girls Love Beyonce", which is really an extended cover of the song's namesake's "Say My Name".
  • Duck Sauce's "Barbra Streisand"
  • David Bowie's "Andy Warhol"
  • Manila-based musician Eyedress has "Sofia Coppola".
  • Gorillaz's "Clint Eastwood" from Gorillaz
  • Alt-J's "The Gospel of John Hurt", which references the namesake's role in Alien in the lyrics.
  • "Tonya Harding", "Saul Bellow" and "For Clyde Tombaugh" by Sufjan Stevens. The former is pretty much a straightforward ode to / biography of ice skater Tonya Harding.
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  • The Scissor Sisters' "Paul McCartney"
  • Weezer's "Buddy Holly"
  • OutKast's "Rosa Parks". Controversially, they got sued by Parks for this; although Parks died and OutKast disbanded before anything really ever got settled.
  • Mika's "Grace Kelly"
  • Kendrick Lamar's "Michael Jordan"
  • The Beastie Boys' "Paul Revere", from Paul's Boutique
  • Lil B has both "Justin Bieber" and "Miley Cyrus".
  • Nicki Minaj's "Marilyn Monroe"
  • Maroon 5's "Moves Like Jagger"
  • Lil Wayne's "Bill Gates" and "John"
  • Chiddy Bang's "Ray Charles"
  • Kanye West's "Barry Bonds" and "Christian Dior Denim Flow".
  • Mac Miller's "Donald Trump". Trump has threatened legal action against Miller as a result of this song.
    • Lil Nas X also made "Donald Trump" before he made "Old Town Road".
  • MGMT's "Brian Eno", referring to Brian Eno.
  • Kim Carnes may have helped bring back Bette Davis into the youth consciousness in the early '80s with "Bette Davis Eyes", but the song only goes so far as to explain what someone who has Bette Davis[-type] Eyes might be like.
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  • Sonic Youth's "Mariah Carey and the Arthur Doyle Hand Cream"
  • SZA's "Drew Barrymore"
  • Adam Green's "Jessica"
  • Gaelic Storm's "The Night I Punched Russell Crowe". Unusual in that the song is very literally about the singer meeting Russell Crowe, although whether it's true is anybody's guess.
  • Fall Out Boy's "Uma Thurman." Additionally, "Our Lawyer Made Us Change The Name Of This Song So We Wouldn't Get Sued" was originally titled "My Name Is David Ruffin And These Are The Temptations," but was changed for, well, obvious reasons.
  • Hilary Duff's "Mr. James Dean."
    • The Eagles had a 1974 song simply called "James Dean."
  • Fatboy Slim's "Michael Jackson", sampling the Negativland song of the same name.
  • The Human League's "Tom Baker", a tribute track to the actor and his most famous role.
  • "Weird Al" Yankovic has done a couple of these:
  • "Oh Vanna," by Garcia & Garcia, was a parody song (to the tune of the Box Tops' "The Letter") about the singer efforting to get on Wheel of Fortune.
  • CAKE's "Frank Sinatra" - the lyrics mention Sinatra once, specifically his rendition of the song "Stormy Weather" but otherwise have little to do with him.
  • P's "Michael Stipe", which name-checks him among other celebrities (such as River Phoenix and Sofia Coppola), and is generally about the surreal experience of finding yourself in the same social circle as celebrities.
  • Barenaked Ladies' "Brian Wilson"
  • The Avalanches' "Frankie Sinatra"
  • Bauhaus' "Bela Lugosi's Dead"
  • They Might Be Giants tends to go fairly obscure when it comes to naming songs after famous people:
    • "Meet James Ensor" is a song about "Belgium's famous painter" who "lived with his mother and the torments of Christ".
    • "James K. Polk" is a song about the election and career of the eleventh president of the United States.
    • "XTC vs. Adam Ant" is about "an imaginary rivalry between these two seminal but totally distinct early '80s rock icons."
    • "Tesla" is a song about the scientist Nikolai Tesla, and lists some of the many inventions he made or which were inspired by his work.
  • Little Green Cars has "Harper Lee" and "The John Wayne".
  • Lady Gaga also did a song titled "John Wayne".
  • Ray LaMontagne's "Meg White".
  • M83's "Steve McQueen".
  • The Wedding Present's "Shatner".


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