Songs About Famous Singers
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Songs About Famous Singers and Iconic Figures

Songs About Famous Singers and Iconic Figures


Music has the incredible power to captivate and inspire, and sometimes, artists pay homage to famous singers and iconic figures through their songs. These heartfelt musical tributes not only celebrate the legendary status of these individuals but also allow listeners to experience a deeper connection with their idols. In this blog post, we will explore a collection of songs that commemorate renowned singers and famous personalities, providing a factual and professional overview of each track’s details and chart performance.

Candle in the Wind by Elton John (1973/1997):

One of the most iconic and widely recognized songs, “Candle in the Wind,” was originally written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin as a tribute to Marilyn Monroe. However, it gained even more legendary status when Elton John reworked the song to honor Princess Diana after her tragic passing in 1997. The 1997 version reached the number one spot on the charts in both the UK and the USA.

American Pie by Don McLean (1971):

Don McLean’s masterpiece, “American Pie,” is a captivating and enigmatic song that pays homage to the late Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J.P. Richardson (The Big Bopper). It reflects on the tragic plane crash that claimed their lives in 1959, often referred to as “The Day the Music Died.” This profound song peaked at number two on the US charts and number 12 in the UK.

Sweet Child o’ Mine by Guns N’ Roses (1987):

Guns N’ Roses’ classic rock anthem, “Sweet Child o’ Mine,” was written in part as a tribute to Erin Everly, the then-girlfriend of lead singer Axl Rose. While Everly may not have been a famous singer or public figure, the song’s emotional lyrics and catchy guitar riff captured the hearts of millions. It reached the top spot in the USA and peaked at number six in the UK.

Crosstown Traffic by Jimi Hendrix (1968):

Jimi Hendrix, one of the most influential guitarists of all time, dedicated the song “Crosstown Traffic” to his then-girlfriend, singer and actress Kathy Etchingham. This vibrant and energetic track showcases Hendrix’s unique style and musicianship. It reached number 52 on the US charts but didn’t make a significant impact in the UK.

Tribute by Tenacious D (2001):

Tenacious D, comprising Jack Black and Kyle Gass, released the humorous tribute song “Tribute” as a nod to the greatest song in the world, which they had forgotten how to play. While not directly referencing a specific singer or person, this light-hearted track showcases their admiration for the power of music itself. It peaked at number four in the UK but did not chart in the USA.

Here are some more examples of songs about famous singers or famous people:

You’re So Vain by Carly Simon (1972):

One of the most mysterious and intriguing songs about famous singers is “You’re So Vain” by Carly Simon, released in 1972. The song is a scathing critique of a narcissistic lover who thinks the song is about him, but Simon has never revealed the identity of the person she was singing about. Over the years, many speculations have been made, with names such as Warren Beatty, Mick Jagger, David Bowie, and James Taylor being thrown around. Simon has only confirmed that the song is about three different men, and that the second verse is about BeattyShe has also hinted that the name of the subject contains the letters A, E, and RThe song was a huge hit, reaching number one on both the UK and US charts.

Hey Jude by The Beatles (1968):

This iconic Beatles song was written by Paul McCartney as a comforting message to John Lennon’s son, Julian, amidst Lennon’s divorce from his first wife, Cynthia. While not explicitly about a famous singer, it showcases the band’s camaraderie and support during challenging times. “Hey Jude” topped the charts in both the UK and the USA.

Jackie’s Strength by Tori Amos (1998):

Tori Amos penned this heartfelt song as a tribute to the legendary singer and actress, Jackie Kennedy Onassis. The track reflects on Jackie’s resilience and inner strength during times of adversity. Although it didn’t chart highly, it remains a cherished fan favourite.

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance by Gene Pitney (1962):

Inspired by the western film of the same name, Gene Pitney’s song “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance” references the fictional outlaw, Liberty Valance. The track reached number four in the US charts and number six in the UK, showcasing Pitney’s storytelling abilities.

Elvis Presley Blues by Gillian Welch (2001):

Gillian Welch’s folk-infused song “Elvis Presley Blues” pays homage to the legendary King of Rock ‘n’ Roll himself, Elvis Presley. The track beautifully captures Presley’s impact on the music industry and the lasting legacy he left behind. It didn’t achieve significant chart success but is highly regarded by fans and critics alike.

Sweet Baby James by James Taylor (1970):

James Taylor’s breakout hit, “Sweet Baby James,” was written as a tribute to his new-born nephew, James Taylor Jr. While not about a famous singer, this tender folk ballad showcases Taylor’s song writing prowess and his ability to evoke emotions through his music. The song reached number three on the US Adult Contemporary chart.

Back in the USSR by The Beatles (1968):

The Beatles’ “Back in the USSR” is a lively rock track that humorously celebrates the Soviet Union and pays homage to the Beach Boys’ distinctive sound. While not specifically about a famous person, it showcases the band’s love for American music and their playful approach to songwriting. The song reached number 19 on the US charts and number 19 in the UK.

Lola by The Kinks (1970):

The Kinks’ “Lola” tells the story of a romantic encounter between the narrator and a transgender woman named Lola. While not explicitly about a famous singer, this classic rock song has become an anthem for acceptance and embracing diversity. It peaked at number two in the UK and number nine in the US.

Mrs. Robinson by Simon & Garfunkel (1968):

Simon & Garfunkel’s folk-rock hit “Mrs. Robinson” was written for the soundtrack of the film “The Graduate” and pays tribute to the character portrayed by Anne Bancroft. The song achieved immense success, reaching number one on the US charts and number four in the UK.

Dear Jessie by Madonna (1989):

Madonna’s whimsical and dreamy track “Dear Jessie” was inspired by the daughter of her ex-boyfriend, Carlos Leon. Though not directly about a famous singer or public figure, this song showcases Madonna’s versatility and ability to capture a childlike sense of wonder through her music. It peaked at number five in the UK.

Ziggy Stardust by David Bowie (1972):

David Bowie’s alter ego, Ziggy Stardust, became an iconic character in the realm of rock music. The song “Ziggy Stardust” explores the rise and fall of this fictional rock star. It reached number fifteen in the UK charts but didn’t achieve significant success in the US.

Sweet Home Alabama by Lynyrd Skynyrd (1974):

One of the most catchy and controversial songs about famous singers is “Sweet Home Alabama” by Lynyrd Skynyrd, released in 1974. The song is a response to “Southern Man” and “Alabama” by Neil Young, which criticized the racism and slavery in the South. Lynyrd Skynyrd, a Southern rock band, defended their home state and culture, and called out Young for his hypocrisy and ignorance. The song also references other topics, such as the Watergate scandal, the Muscle Shoals Sound Studio, and the governor of Alabama, George Wallace. The song was a huge hit, reaching number eight on the US chart and number 21 on the UK chart. It also became an anthem for the South and a symbol of Southern pride. However, the song also sparked controversy and debate, as some people interpreted it as an endorsement of racism and segregation, while others saw it as a celebration of diversity and heritage.

Man on the Moon by R.E.M. (1992):

One of the most quirky and playful songs about famous singers is “Man on the Moon” by R.E.M., released in 1992. The song is a tribute to Andy Kaufman, the eccentric comedian and actor who died in 1984 at the age of 35. Kaufman was known for his unconventional and unpredictable humour, which often blurred the line between reality and fiction. He also had a passion for wrestling, especially with women, and claimed to be the intergender champion of the world. The song references many of his antics and characters, such as Tony Clifton, Latka Gravas, and Elvis Presley. The song also questions the existence of God, aliens, and the moon landing, and invites the listener to join the fun and keep an open mind. The song was a hit, reaching number four on the US chart and number 18 on the UK chart. It also inspired a biographical film of the same name, starring Jim Carrey as Kaufman, in 1999.


Songs about famous singers or famous people provide a fascinating glimpse into the creative process and the ways musicians pay homage to their idols or draw inspiration from cultural icons. Through these songs, we witness the creative ways musicians celebrate personal relationships, capture the spirit of historical figures, or explore fictional characters, deepening our connection to both the artists and the subjects they commemorate. From Elton John’s emotionally charged tribute to Marilyn Monroe and Princess Diana in “Candle in the Wind” to Don McLean’s introspective reflection on the lives lost in “The Day the Music Died,” each song offers a unique perspective and connection to the individuals being celebrated. Whether through heartfelt ballads or energetic rock anthems, these musical tributes ensure that the legacies of these famous singers and cultural icons live on for generations to come, reminding us of their everlasting impact on the world of music.

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