John Mayer has a new song, “Still Feel Like Your Man,” which he’s described as being explicitly about Katy Perry. Not only does it add to Mayer’s back catalog of breakup songs — see below — but it also adds to the modern canon of pop breakup songs we know are about certain people. Carly Simon’s decades-long tease about who’s at the center of “You’re So Vain” (or, well, the second verse, anyway) — maybe the most famous of that genre — ended in 2015. But since then, there have been any number of songs by pop stars that throw a little shade at exes, explicitly or not. Here are some of the more recent ones.
John Mayer, ‘Paper Doll’
Taylor Swift, ‘Forever & Always’
Swift admitted to Ellen DeGeneres that this song was about Joe Jonas’s 27-second break-up phone call to her.
Selena Gomez, ‘Love Will Remember’
Gomez called this “the most personal track” on Stars Dance when she confirmed it was about Bieber, adding “I’m sure he’ll love it, too.”
Miley Cyrus, ‘7 Things’
With lyrics like “Your friends, they’re jerks / when you act like them, just know it hurts,” “7 Things” doesn’t mince any words, and the video’s director, Brett Ratner, confirmed that it’s about Cyrus’s ex Nick Jonas – Cyrus wears Jonas’s diabetes necklace in the video for the song.
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Katy Perry, ‘By the Grace of God’
Though Perry said she doesn’t want “to hand over a specific story about each and every song,” she confirmed to Entertainment Weekly that “God” was indeed about her divorce from Russell Brand.
Justin Bieber, ‘Nothing Like Us’
Bieber confirmed to Billboard that “Nothing Like Us” is about Gomez. At the time, he said, “I’m not in the happiest place that I’ve ever been.”