20 Songs Named After Other Musicians: The Wanted's 'Walks Like Rihanna' & More
So far this week, the Wanted has returned with a new single that tips its cap to the body language of a certain Barbadian pop princess ("She can't sing, she can't dance/But who cares, she walks like Rihanna!" goes the chorus), and Lil Kim has jumped on a Tiffany Foxx track titled "Jay-Z," which reuses a line from Hov's 2003 anthem "Public Service Announcement." In both cases, the artist at hand has deemed it necessary to title their new song after a long-running musical superstar, as both a tribute to their enduring power and a hip way to connect to the young folks consuming popular music. Want to make the masses understand how gorgeously a woman walks? Just compare her to Rihanna!
But these two songs are not the first to nod to their elder musical artists within their titles -- check out this list of 20 other songs that are named after other musicians, Maroon 5's "Jagger" swagger to Taylor Swift's "Tim" tribute to Rick Ross' pounding "MC Hammer." Take a listen to any or all of the songs, and tell us which one you think most effectively evokes the artist referenced in its title.
Maroon 5 feat. Christina Aguilera, "Moves Like Jagger"
In one of 2011's earwormiest songs, Adam Levine teamed up with "The Voice" colleague Christina Aguilera to show the ladies he could dance like the then 66-year-old Rolling Stones frontman.
Weezer, "Buddy Holly"
Rivers Cuomo paired his love for Holly's trademark horn-rimmed glasses with some '90s hip-hop slang in this "Blue Album" essential, which appropriately parodied "Happy Days" in its famous video.
The Replacements, "Alex Chilton"
Often known for his drunken badassery, the Replacements' Paul Westerberg got earnest on this 1987 song which paid tribute to his musical hero, Big Star jangle-rock forefather Alex Chilton.
Katy B feat. Jessie Ware & Geeneus, "Aaliyah"
Following her 2011 breakout LP "On a Mission," British dancefloor siren Katy B (along with guest star Jessie Ware) teased fans with a new EP highlighted by this lyrical bow to the legendary Aaliyah.
Drake feat. James Fauntleroy, "Girls Love Beyonce"
Earlier this month, Drake took inspiration from Destiny's Child's "Say My Name" and its most famous member for this self-released lament to his loneliness: "I've been avoiding commitment/That's why I'm in this position."
Taylor Swift, "Tim McGraw"
Taken out of context, the line "When you think Tim McGraw/I hope you think of me" is a little odd coming from a 16-year-old girl. But the first song on Taylor Swift's debut album uses the country legend as a signifier of her soon-to-be-ended relationship. Years later, Swift became just as big of a star as McGraw.
Rick Ross feat. Gucci Mane, "MC Hammer"
Ricky Rozay bangs another street anthem over the head of his listeners while spitting over Lex Luger's operatic production, which samples "Too Legit To Quit" and proves equally as boisterous.
Jason Aldean, "Johnny Cash"
This road trip anthem only makes a quick reference to the Man in Black -- "Blastin' out the Johnny Cash," Aldean croons -- but the rising country star deemed it effective enough to name the lead track from his 2007 album "Relentless" after the musical icon.
Eric Church, "Springsteen"
Church's jaunty hit nods to Bruce Springsteen's hits like "Glory Days," "Born in the U.S.A." and "Born To Run" while giving the country hit a platform to honor one of his favorite artists.
Duck Sauce, "Barbra Streisand"
Duck Sauce, the goofy side project of A-Trak and Armand Van Helden, scored an out-of-nowhere hit in 2010 with this track, which only has two words comprising its hook and serves as a highly random, damn fun ode to Babs.
Mojo Nixon, "Elvis is Everywhere"
"Elvis is in your jeans! He's in your cheeseburger!" claims the novelty hit of the gonzo rock project Mojo Nix0 -- which also penned the bleakly titled song "Don Henley Must Die." Guess they weren't fans of "Hotel California."
The Cranberries, "I Just Shot John Lennon"
A tribute to the fallen musical legend, this Cranberries track recaps the events of December 8, 1980, and its title recalls Mark David Chapman's infamous response to the question, "Do you know what you've done?"
Meek Mill feat. Rick Ross, "Tupac Back"
The typically intense Maybach Music track pays respect to Mr. Shakur while Ross screams "All eyes on me!" as a reference to the rapper's classic 1996 LP.
Brad Paisley, "Old Alabama"
Want to know this cut from Paisley's "This Is Country Music" sounds so much like the band Alabama? Well, the southern rock group guested on the track, which includes shout-outs to "Tennessee River" and "Dixieland Delight" as Paisley shares the mic with Randy Owen.
Das Racist, "Michael Jackson"
As the first single from Das Racist's "Relax" album, "Michael Jackson" takes closer aim at the King of Pop in its music video, which flips the "Black or White" clip's concept on its head.
Big Sean, "Marvin & Chardonnay"
Big Sean -- one of the hot shots from Kanye West's G.O.O.D. clique -- dropped this single on his debut "Finally Famous," making us wonder what soul singer Marvin Gaye would have thought of autotune and Roscoe Dash.
Against Me!, "Bob Dylan Dream"
This bonus track from the limited edition of Against Me's 2011 album "White Crosses" fantasizes a totally cool friendship with Dylan, in which singer Laura Jane Grace (then Tom Gabel) put fandom aside and just smokes some joints and drinks some wine.
Ashley Monroe, "You Ain't Dolly (And You Ain't Porter)"
In the last song on her 2013 album "Like a Rose" Ashley Monroe dueted with Blake Shelton in this guy-girl ode to country legends Dolly Parton and Porter Wagoner.
Dave Matthews Band, "Jimi Thing"
Jimi Hendrix's masterful guitar-playing has been a big influence on Dave Matthews, and the jam band leader paid tribute on this "Under the Table and Dreaming" album cut, which has since become a live staple.
Van Morrison, "Jackie Wilson Said (I'm In Heaven When You Smile)"
'70s singer-songwriter Van Morrison pulled influence from one of his vocal idols -- R&B/soul legend Jackie Wilson -- in this 1972 cut inspired by Wilson's "Reet Petite."