Songwriters have a knack for creating catchy lines that require you to sing out loud whenever that song comes on the radio. A good song can be synonymous with a certain artist or maybe a movie that features it in the soundtrack.
Who can listen to Whitney Houston belt out, "and I will always love you" without instantly thinking of The Bodyguard? Some artists take an introspective look when writing a song, and the lyrics can give you an insight into the artists' emotional state. Other songwriters choose to write about a place they grew up or a certain memory they had from childhood. These songs can be a powerful expression of an artists' personality, a glimpse into their lives and a way for the listener to get to know them a little.
Love might be the most talked about, written about and sung about theme in music. Musicians can air their dirty laundry about a bad breakup or just express regret over losing someone they cared about. It is a universal emotion, and there's a reason why a good "poppy" love song can really tug at the heartstrings. How well do you listen to the lyrics of your favorite songs? Pop in some headphones for this quiz and see if you can guess the star from a song lyric!
"I said, 'excuse me you're a hell of a guy, I mean my, my, my, my you're like pelican fly'"
Nicki Minaj has many memorable lyrics. This particular one is from her song "Super Bass" which is featured on the album "Pink Friday." Minaj is a frequent user of social media and often interacts with her fans on Twitter. Minaj was first discovered by Lil' Wayne and he immediately signed her to his record label Young Money Entertainment in 2009.
"My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard!"
Kelis had a huge hit with her song "Milkshake" which features the lyrics, "My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard!" Kelis was married to the rapper, Nas. Her big break came after meeting artist and producer Pharrell Williams. This meeting led to the signing of a record deal with Virgin Records.
"I'm feeling sexy and free, like glitter's raining on me."
Jessie J is an English singer/songwriter who has seen a breakout success with her song "Domino." Jessie J was born in London and started her singing career in musical plays in England. She is the first British singer to have six top ten singles on the charts from one album.
"Tell me what you like, yeah, tell me what you don't. I could be your Buzz Lightyear, fly across the globe."
Justin Beiber has been a mainstay on the Pop circuit for years. Bieber is from Canada and made a name for himself by covering songs on YouTube. A talent scout saw one of his videos and reached out to Beiber bringing him to Atlanta to record demo tapes when he was just 13 years old.
"Grew up in a town that was famous as a place of movie scenes, noise is always loud, there are sirens all around and the streets are mean, If I can make it here, I can make it anywhere that's what they say"
Alicia Keys has a fondness for her hometown of New York. This is evident in her song, "New York." Keys is a classically trained pianist and she signed her first record deal at the age of 15. Keys has 15 Grammy awards for her music and she can be seen as one of the four judges on the singing competition show, "The Voice."
"Been around the world, don't speak the language. But your booty don't need explaining."
Jason Derulo was known for writing songs for other artists before he became a singer himself launching a solo career. He has written songs for Diddy and Lil' Wayne among others. Derulo's break came in 2006 when he won the top prize for the competitions show, "Showtime at the Apollo." He was later signed to a record deal with Warner Bros. Records.
"I wanted the fame, but not the cover of Newsweek, oh well, guess beggars can't be choosey."
Eminem is the stage name for Detroit rapper Marshall Mathers. Eminem became a household name after signing with Dr. Dre and releasing his album, "The Slim Shady LP" in 1999. He has won numerous Grammy awards and was the best selling artist of the 2000's. Eminem starred in the movie "8 Mile" which is loosely based on his life growing up and rapping in Detroit.
"Few times I've been around that track, so it's not just gonna happen like that, 'cause I ain't no hollaback girl, I ain't no hollaback girl."
No Doubt had a string of hits in the 1990s with Gwen Stefani fronting the band. When she went solo her hit song "Hollaback Girl" became a smash commercial success. Stefani has continued to be a media figure as a coach on the reality singing competition show, "The Voice."
"What rhymes with hug me?"
Robin Thicke had himself a real smash hit with the song "Blurred Lines" which featured singer/songwriter Pharrell. The question on everyone's mind was, "what rhymes with hug?" from the song. Robin still gets asked this question to this day.
"I stay out too late, got nothin' in my brain, that's what people say, mmm hmm, that's what people say, mmm hmm."
Taylor Swift has been notable for her hit music and being on the receiving end of criticism online. Her song "Shake It Off" exemplifies her attitude toward the "haters" and she implores people to shake off the bad things people say about you. Swift remains one of the few artists to successfully crossover from Country to Pop music.
"Wake up in the morning feeling like P Diddy (Hey, what up girl?), grab my glasses, I'm out the door; I'm gonna hit this city (Let's go), before I leave, brush my teeth with a bottle of Jack,'cause when I leave for the night, I ain't coming back."
Kesha made a name for herself singing with Flo Rida on his hit "Right Round." Her career took off after releasing her debut single and album of the same name, "Tik Tok." In addition to writing her own songs, she has found success as a songwriter for the likes of Miley Cyrus, Ariana Grande and Britney Spears.
"Do you ever feel like a plastic bag, drifting through the wind, wanting to start again?"
Katy Perry became famous for her song about kissing a girl. Perry recorded her first album at the age of 15 and has achieved commercial success with five studio albums to her name. Both her parents are pastors and she began singing in church at the age of nine.
"My loneliness is killing me (and I),I must confess I still believe (still believe), when I'm not with you I lose my mind, give me a sign, hit me baby one more time."
Britney Spears has been referred to as the "Princess of Pop" for her hits and sustainability in the world of Pop music. Spears is a southern girl having hailed from a small town in Louisiana. She had her first taste of fame as a Mouseketeer on the variety show "The Mickey Mouse Club" in 1993.
"I can't wait 'til I get you on the floor good-looking."
Justin Timberlake came onto the Pop scene with the boy band N'Sync. His solo career has been just as popular with hits like "Suit & Tie" featuring Jay Z. The multi-talented star was another famous name who was part of "The Mickey Mouse Club" as a child.
"There's a fire starting in my heart, reaching a fever pitch and it's bringing me out the dark, finally I can see you crystal clear."
Adele has a slew of pop hits to her credits and her album "21" is the fourth best selling album ever in the UK. Adele sites The Spice Girls and Ella Fitzgerald as inspirations for her singing. Adele shares the record for most categories won in a single night at the Grammy's with Beyonce; both scoring six awards.
"Thought I'd end up with Sean, but he wasn't a match, wrote some songs about Ricky, now I listen and laugh."
Ariana Grande had a famous breakup with Saturday Night Live comic Pete Davidson. Her response was a song all about dishing on her exes titled "Thank You." Grande is a self-proclaimed animal lover and currently has eight dogs! She is a vegan and feels strongly about avoiding all animal products.
"White lips, pale face, breathing in the snowflakes."
Ed Sheeran has been hailed as a complex and soulful lyricist as well as a stellar guitar player. Sheeran is from England and began his career playing in small venues in London. He self-released his first collection of songs before being signed to Asylum Records.
"Damn, my AP goin' psycho, lil' mama bad like Michael, can't really trust nobody with all this jewelry on you."
Post Malone is a singer, rapper and songwriter from Texas. His song lyrics are often introspective and his music is described as a mix of country, grunge and hip-hop. Malone claims to have learned guitar from playing the video game "Guitar Hero" for hours. He sites Bob Dylan as his biggest inspiration in music.
Moon river, wider than a mile, crossin' in style someday ,my dream maker, heartbreaker, wherever you're goin', I'm goin' the same."
Though the song "Moon River" by Frank Ocean is a cover song, his version became an instant Pop hit. Ocean is another artist who first made a name for himself writing songs for other people. He has songs credited to John Legend, Brandy and Justin Beiber. Ocean made his stage debut at the Coachella Music Festival alongside his hip-hop group Odd Future in 2011.
"Yo, his palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy, there's vomit on his sweater already, mom's spaghetti."
Eminem had a hit song with "Lose Yourself" which was featured in the movie "8 Mile" that also starred Eminem as an up and coming rapper in Detroit. The song would eventually win Eminem an Oscar award for best original song. Eminem is known for colorful lyrics and some just refer to this as "that spaghetti song."
"I am runnin' this bitch, you are just a dog walker."
Childish Gambino is the stage name of actor Donald Glover. He has managed to be successful in both acting and music. He might be best known for his roll in the TV series, "Community" but he has since starred in such movies as "The Martian" and "Solo: A Star Wars Story." He continues to garner acclaim with his music winning a 2019 Grammy for record of the year.
"She say, 'Do you love me?' I tell her, 'Only partly' I only love my bed and my momma, I'm sorry."
Drake is a songwriter and rapper from Toronto, Canada. He has made a name for himself on the Pop and Hip Hop charts for years. Before he made it big in music he was an actor on the Canadien teen soap, "Degrassi: The Next Generation." A devout basketball fan, Drake can often be seen sitting courtside at Toronto Raptors home games.
"Two four hour lockdown, we made no moves, now it's 4 AM and I'm back up poppin' with the crew. I just landed in, Chase B mix this pop like Jamba Juice."
Travis Scott is an up and coming star in the world of Hip hop. Scott is the boyfriend of reality TV star Kylie Jenner. His breakout hit song "Goosebumps" was a collaboration with rapper Kendrick Lamar. Originally from Texas, Scott dropped out of the University of Texas to pursue his musical career. He has recently signed to Kanye West's record label.
"Love, let's talk about love, is it anything and everything you hoped for?"
Kendrick Lamar has seen quite a bit of success in the last few years. His songs are known for containing an element of emotion. Lamar is a frequent collaborator with Kanye West and claims the pair have worked on over 40 songs together.
"Sold more albums my first week than Harry Styles and Katy Perry, if that ain't a sign of the times then I don't know what is."
Sir Robert Bryson Hall II is better known by his stage name, Logic. Logic is known as a rapper and for making acclaimed mixtapes but sites Frank Sinatra as one of his biggest influences. Logic never made it through high school as he was expelled in the tenth grade for skipping class too much.
"When I'm walkin' with you, I watch the whole room change, baby, that's what you do, no, my baby, don't play."
Bruno Mars has a stack of hits to his name. His style has a throwback vibe to Motown. Mars has been an entertainer his whole life even having a video of himself as an Elvis impersonator at the age of four. Mars is a huge fan of Michael Jackson and you can see the influence in his dance moves and stage presence.
"I really want a power girl, you been runnin' through my section all day, you been runnin' through my mind all day."
Khalid is a singer-songwriter whose song "The Ways" was featured on the Black Panther movie soundtrack. This has led to Khalid becoming an overnight household name, and he's only 19! Though he is young, Khalid is already getting comparisons to seasoned artists such as Frank Ocean and The Weeknd.
"Kids are walkin' around the hallway, plagued by pain in their heart, a world so hateful, someone would rather die, than be who they are."
Some artists tackle social issues in their music and lyrics. This is evident in Macklemore's song called "Same Love" which addresses issues of the LGBTQ community. The Seattle rapper has admitted to having a checkered youth and being fired from several jobs as a teenager, but promotes positivity and is clean and sober now.
"And we can't stop, and we won't stop, we run things, things don't run we, don't take nothing from nobody, its our party we can do what we want."
Miley Cyrus has come a long way since her days of playing Hanna Montana. She has a reputation as a party girl and that is evident in some of her lyrics. Music runs in her family and her dad, Billy Ray Cyrus, was a well-known country music star in the '90s and had a huge hit with "Achy Breaky Heart."
"To the left, to the left, everything you own in the box to the left."
Beyonce burst onto the scene with her former group, Destiny's Child. Her solo career produced the song "Irreplaceable" featuring the lyrics: "To the left, to the left, everything you own in the box to the left!" Beyonce is married to rapper Jay Z and they perform together on a regular basis.
"I got my red dress on tonight, dancing in the dark in the pale moonlight, done my hair up real big beauty queen style, high heels off, I'm feeling alive."
Lana Del Rey has a musical styling that has been referred to as "sadcore" for her dark lyrics. Del Rey has a huge impact on YouTube where some of her videos have over 100 million views! Lana Del Rey is a stage name. Her real name is Elizibeth Grant and she changed it because she likes the way it rolls off the tongue.
"We're collecting dust, but our love's enough, you're holding it in, you're pouring a drink, no nothing is as bad as it seems, we'll come clean."
Pink is not shy about expressing her feelings through her music. Her song "Just Give Me A Reason" is ripe with emotion. Pink was born Alecia Beth Moore and is currently married to professional motorcross rider Carey Hart. She claims she got the name Pink from the Quentin Tarantino movie, "Reservoir Dogs." The movie features a character called Mr. Pink.
"I'm lookin' right at the other half of me, the vacancy that sat in my heart, is a space that now you hold, show me how to fight for now."
Justin Timberlake has another hit with his song "Mirrors." The former boy band singer has turned himself into a multi-faceted artist with acting credits and several business ventures to his name. Notably, he stars as Sean Parker, the inventor of the music pirating software Napster in the movie, "The Social Network" about the rise of Facebook.
"Have you ever seen such a beautiful night? I could almost kiss the stars for shining so bright."
Hillary Duff played the title character in the movie Lizzie McGuire. The song made famous by the movie was "What Dreams Are Made Of." Sung by Hilary, it was often confusing as to who the song was credited, the Pop stare herself or the fictional character she played.
"And I will always love you."
Whitney Houston is one of the most famous Pop singers of all time. Her hit song, "I Will Always Love You" was synonymous with the hit movie it was feature in called "The Bodyguard." The movie starred Houston and Kevin Costner. Some people say it is the greatest love song of all time.
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