Ah, Valentine’s Day…a day to snuggle up to the person you love or to blast your favorite break up song in the hopes of getting over the sweetheart who got away. We know we couldn’t get through our worst splits without the perfect soundtrack, but did our favorite break up songs also help our favorite artists get over their exes? Or were the songs just passed on to them by songwriting pros?
In the past, we’ve uncovered the stories behind such classics as “Yesterday,” “You Oughta Know” and “Someone Like You.” In honor of Valentine’s Day, we did a little more digging on 10 more of the best break up songs of all time to uncover whether ballads like “Nothing Compares 2 U” or empowerment jams like “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” came out of Sinead O’Connor and Taylor Swift‘s real pain, or someone else’s studio session magic…
“Irreplaceable” by Beyoncé
The Story Of The Song: In what’s one of Beyoncé’s sassiest songs, a woman kicks out her cheating boyfriend by imploring that he puts all his possessions in a box “to the left, to the left,” and reminds him that he’s not “irreplaceable.”
The Story Behind the Song: Beyoncé has publicly claimed to have written this song for her “girls,” but it was actually written by Ne-Yo. The singer-songwriter didn’t draw upon his own experiences, but he did intend the song to be from the male perspective. The song’s country twang comes from Ne-Yo’s interest in Shania Twain ballads. Eventually, Ne-Yo listened back to the song and felt it would be stronger with a female vocalist. Chrisette Michele was originally supposed to sing it, but Swizz Beatz told Beyoncé that she’d be “crazy” not take it for B’Day.
Queen Bey had some suggestions for Ne-Yo. She wanted drums added, different vocal arrangements and to hear the song at a higher register. Ne-Yo obliged, Beyoncé recorded it and the single became the sassy break up anthem of women world-wide.
Oh, and the “to the left, to the left” hook came from Ne-Yo’s aunt.
[Photo Credit: Eleven, Interscope, Chrysalis & Big Machine]