“Since U Been Gone” by Kelly Clarkson
The Story Of The Song: This empowering break up song tells the story of a romantic relationship that started out great, but grew ugly. It’s only Clarkson’s narrator is free of the romance that she finds happiness.
The Story Behind the Song: “Since U Been Gone” might tell the story of a romantic relationship gone sour, but its behind-the-scenes saga shadows a professional feud between Clive Davis and Kelly Clarkson. The song was written and produced by pop song dynamos Max Martin and Dr. Luke for P!nk, but she passed. Next on their list was Hilary Duff, but she couldn’t reach the song’s soaring high notes. Super music mogul Clive Davis convinced them to give the song to Kelly Clarkson.
Martin and Luke weren’t crazy about giving their song to an American Idol alum, and Clarkson didn’t like the overly pop sound of the still unfinished song. She fought to add drums and guitars to the arrangement.
In his memoir, Clive Davis says that Clarkson came into his office in hysterics because she didn’t want to record the song. Clarkson refuted this and has called it “bullying.”
“Don’t Speak” by No Doubt
The Story Of The Song: “Don’t Speak” is your classic break up song. Boy and girl break up. Girl is sad. Girl demands that the boy “don’t speak.”
The Story Behind the Song: Unlike a lot of the other songs on this list, this ballad was inspired by a real-life romance. No Doubt’s lead singer Gwen Stefani and bassist Tony Kanal had been together for seven years when they broke up. Stefani was devastated, even more so because she had to keep working alongside Kanal with the band. She wiselyput her feelings down in this ballad which she co-wrote with her brother and (then) bandmate, Eric Stefani.
At first this song was awkward for the rest of the band to play, but it soon became one of their biggest hits of all time. Tensions got so high within the band that they almost broke up the day before the music video was shot. No Doubt chose to go ahead with the shoot and used it as their “therapy.”