FEMAIL looks at iconic times celebs shaded their exes in songs

Hell hath no fury: As Shakira and Miley Cyrus release new tracks calling out their exes, FEMAIL reveals the shocking moments pop stars shaded past lovers in songs

With Miley Cyrus and Shakira releasing biting tracks rumoured to be about their exes – it would seem there’s something deliciously vengeful in the air.

The artists, who put pen to paper and used their talents to shade their former lovers, have social media in a frenzy as the public watches the stars call out past beaus for cheating, betrayal and other disappointments. 

Here, FEMAIL takes a look at other iconic songs which became break-up anthems, featuring Taylor Swift’s cutting All Too Well – popularly understood to be about Jake Gyllenhaal – and Eamon’s expletive-ridden F**k It (I Don’t Want You Back).

Other mentions include Justin Bieber’s Love Yourself, and his ex Selena Gomez’s Lose You To Love Me. 

With Miley Cyrus (pictured) and Shakira releasing biting tracks rumoured to be about their exes - it would seem there's something vengeful in the air

With Miley Cyrus (pictured) and Shakira releasing biting tracks rumoured to be about their exes – it would seem there’s something vengeful in the air

SHAKIRA

Shakira has topped Spotify‘s Top 50 Global chart with the ‘diss track’ about her ex Gerard Pique and his new girlfriend.

The Colombian-born singer, 45, has also accumulated an impressive 111 million views on YouTube for the song dubbed Shakira Bzrp Music Sessions 53 which was released in Spanish earlier last week. 

The song takes a swipe at her ex Gerard’s new girlfriend Clara Chia Marti, 23, – who he is rumoured to have started dating last year before they split -saying: ‘I’m worth two 22’s. You traded a Ferrari for a Twingo. You traded a Rolex for a Casio.’

Shakira (pictured in 2008) has topped Spotify 's Top 50 Global chart with the 'diss track' about her ex Gerard Pique and his new girlfriend

Shakira (pictured in 2008) has topped Spotify ‘s Top 50 Global chart with the ‘diss track’ about her ex Gerard Pique and his new girlfriend

The song takes a swipe at her ex Gerard's new girlfriend Clara Chia Marti , 23, - who he is rumoured to have started dating last year before they split. Shakira and Gerard pictured in 2019

The song takes a swipe at her ex Gerard’s new girlfriend Clara Chia Marti , 23, – who he is rumoured to have started dating last year before they split. Shakira and Gerard pictured in 2019

And the tune, which she collaborated with producer Bizarrap for, is now top of the charts on Spotify.

In addition to reaching the top, the viral collaboration has become the Latin song with the most streams in a single day in 2023, breaking the record for most streams by a track on a given day in Spain and Colombia. 

With over 15 million streams, the song has quickly become the top song in Spanish-speaking markets, including Argentina, Colombia, Chile, and Mexico, and has made it to the top 10 in Switzerland (7), Luxembourg (5), and Malta (6).

The charts success comes after it was revealed that Shakira has set up a terrifying lifesize witch doll on the balcony of her Spanish home which reportedly looks over her former mother in law’s pad.

The Colombian-born singer (pictured with Bzrp), 45, has also accumulated an impressive 111 million views on YouTube for the song dubbed Shakira Bzrp Music Sessions 53

The Colombian-born singer (pictured with Bzrp), 45, has also accumulated an impressive 111 million views on YouTube for the song dubbed Shakira Bzrp Music Sessions 53

Residents in the area have reported hearing Shakira ‘blasting the dis song at full volume’ from her home, which includes lyrics aimed at his new girlfriend.

While Shakira’s new song features some barbed lyrics aimed at Gerard and his supposed new love Clara she also includes a few choice words for her ex-mother-in-law.

In the song, she sings the line: ‘You left my mother-in-law as my neighbour, with the press at the door and the debt in the Treasury…’.

It has been reported that the relationship between Shakira and Montserrat Bernabéu [Gerard’s mother] has turned sour after she readily welcomed her son’s new romance.

Twitter has been flooded with reports over the song and the scary-looking witch, which has been placed on her balcony, with many hailing her a ‘petty queen’.

MILEY CYRUS

Miley Cyrus appears to have taken a swipe at ex-husband Liam Hemsworth in her new song Flowers. The couple pictured in 2019

Miley Cyrus appears to have taken a swipe at ex-husband Liam Hemsworth in her new song Flowers. The couple pictured in 2019

Miley released the racy music video for her new single Flowers on Thursday which happens to be her ex-husband Hemsworth's 33rd birthday

Miley released the racy music video for her new single Flowers on Thursday which happens to be her ex-husband Hemsworth’s 33rd birthday

Miley Cyrus appears to have taken a swipe at ex-husband Liam Hemsworth in her new song Flowers.

The track, released on Liam’s birthday, seems to include a reference to the former couple’s Malibu home burning in the California wildfires – as well as various infamous awkward red carpet moments between the pair.

In the opening verse, Miley sings that they ‘built a home and watched it burn’, likely referencing the $2.5 million home she lived with Liam that burned in the 2018 fires.

She also references the Australian star’s sudden act of filing for divorce by singing, ‘I didn’t want to leave you / I didn’t wanna lie / Started to cry.’

At the time it was believed that Miley wanted to work on their 10-year on-again/off-again relationship and was shocked by Liam suddenly filing for divorce in 2019.

In the music video, which also came out Friday, the former Hannah Montana star dances in the streets of Hollywood wearing a golden Saint Laurent red carpet-worthy cut out gown.

Looking like she’s returning from a big night out, Cyrus dances on the street, before getting home, stripping down to black lingerie and jumping in the pool.

She then works out in underwear, has a shower and gets dressed in a blazer and trouser combo while dancing around her house. 

While the golden gown at the beginning of the video is from Yves Saint Laurent fall/winter 1991 collection – the year between her and Liam’s birth – her final outfit is from the same designers’ 2022 collection, signifying how she’s moved on from the relationship she started as a child and is ready for a new era.

The chorus is a clear nod to Bruno Mars’ ‘When I Was Your Man’, which Liam once dedicated to Miley.

DEMI LOVATO 

Demi Lovato (pictured in December) appeared to shade their ex-boyfriend Wilmer Valderrama in a scathing new breakup song, 29, off her upcoming eighth studio album Holy Fvck album

Demi Lovato (pictured in December) appeared to shade their ex-boyfriend Wilmer Valderrama in a scathing new breakup song, 29, off her upcoming eighth studio album Holy Fvck album

Demi has not explicitly confirmed that the tune is about Wilmer, who they dated from 2010 to 2016. The couple pictured in 2016

Demi has not explicitly confirmed that the tune is about Wilmer, who they dated from 2010 to 2016. The couple pictured in 2016

Demi Lovato appeared to shade their ex-boyfriend Wilmer Valderrama in a scathing new breakup song, 29, off her eighth studio album Holy Fvck album.

The angsty tune, widely believed to be about the actor, 42, based off the revealing lyrics, are penned from her perspective at the age he was when they first met when she was still a teenager.

‘Finally 29 / Funny, just like you were you at the time,’ the 30-year-old singer croons. ‘Thought it was a teenage dream / Just a fantasy / But was it yours or was it mine?’

In another verse, the performer, who decided to become completely sober in late 2021, notes that they were ‘too young to drink wine’ when they first started dating.

‘Just five years of bleeders, student and a teacher / Far from innocent / what the f**k’s consent? / Numbers told you not to / but that didn’t stop you,’ the Grammy nominee sang.

Demi has not explicitly confirmed that the tune is about Wilmer, who they dated from 2010 to 2016.

She began dating the actor when she was 18, California’s age of consent, and he was 29. 

During an interview with Harper’s Bazaar in 2020 after he got engaged to Amanda Pacheco, they stated they are ‘not in each other’s lives’ and ‘haven’t spoken in a long time.’

While speaking out about their split, Demi said: ‘I think I needed that because I needed to learn to be okay on my own.

‘When you get into a relationship with somebody at that young of an age and then you spend six years with somebody, you don’t really get to learn about yourself.’ 

JUSTIN BIEBER 

Selena Gomez ended her on/off eight-year relationship with Justin Bieber in March 2018 - three months before he rekindled his 2015 romance with his now-wife Hailey, 26. Justin and Hailey pictured in 2021

Selena Gomez ended her on/off eight-year relationship with Justin Bieber in March 2018 – three months before he rekindled his 2015 romance with his now-wife Hailey, 26. Justin and Hailey pictured in 2021

The year 2015 in particular appeared to target a slew of tunes at his infamous ex - but one has in particular been questioned by eagle-eyed fans. Justin and Selena pictured in 2011

The year 2015 in particular appeared to target a slew of tunes at his infamous ex – but one has in particular been questioned by eagle-eyed fans. Justin and Selena pictured in 2011

Selena Gomez ended her on/off eight-year relationship with Justin Bieber in March 2018 (three months before he rekindled his 2015 romance with his now-wife Hailey,  26) – but that hasn’t stopped the exes from seemingly vocalising their tensions through song.

The year 2015 in particular appeared to target a slew of tunes at his infamous ex – but one has in particular been questioned by eagle-eyed fans.

Love Yourself, which are about a self-obsessed former lover, suggest that the person Justin is singing about ‘rained on his parade’ and wasn’t liked by his mother.

The tune, which Justin wrote with Ed Sheeran and Benny Blanco, also slams the subject of the song for making him ‘feel small’.

Justin sings: ‘And I didn’t wanna write a song; ‘Cause I didn’t want anyone thinking I still care; I don’t, but you still hit my phone up.’

Attentive fans were in particular convinced that the hit is about Selena, 30, due to a tattoo of hers.

Located on the side of her ribcage, the Arabic script says: ‘Love yourself first.’

EAMON 

American artist Eamon Doyle (pictured in 2004) - who goes by Eamon - was relatively unknown before exploding onto the hip-hop scene with F**k It (I Don't Want You Back)

American artist Eamon Doyle (pictured in 2004) – who goes by Eamon – was relatively unknown before exploding onto the hip-hop scene with F**k It (I Don’t Want You Back)

American artist Eamon Doyle – who goes by Eamon – was relatively unknown before exploding onto the hip-hop scene with F**k It (I Don’t Want You Back) in 2004. 

The expletive-ridden track shot to the top of the charts across the world, and there was even an Italian language version of the song released, called Solo.

The scathing lyrics say: ‘F**k what I said, it don’t mean s*it now; F**k the presents, might as well throw ’em out; F**k all those kisses, they didn’t mean jack; F**k you h*, I don’t want you back.’ 

The track even earned Eamon a Guinness World Record for ‘most expletives in a No. 1 song’.

That same year, a woman called Frankee, who claimed to be the performer’s ex retaliated with her own song – FU Right Back.

Her lyrics – set to the same melody as Eamon’s track – replace the lyrics with the other side of the story.

‘You thought you could really make me moan,’ she sang. ‘I had better sex all alone (Ha ha ha ha); I had to, to do your friend; Now you want me to come back.’

According to MTV, a New York radio station – Z100 – got send the song anonymously – and were eventually playing the reply as much as much Eamon’s original.

However, the outlet also said Eamon denied claims that Frankee and he were romantically linked, reportedly saying: ‘I don’t know who that girl is. I don’t know who she is. I never met this girl in my life. The song is wack. The s*it is mad wack.’

ABIGAIL BRESLIN

Despite being known for her acting, Abigail Breslin (pictured in October) at 18 years old forayed briefly into music to release her debut single titled You Suck

Despite being known for her acting, Abigail Breslin (pictured in October) at 18 years old forayed briefly into music to release her debut single titled You Suck

The lyrics launch a scathing attack on the pop rock singer, with the lines 'you really need to learn to wash your hair,' and 'you're just a dumb a** bleaching your hair'

The lyrics launch a scathing attack on the pop rock singer, with the lines ‘you really need to learn to wash your hair,’ and ‘you’re just a dumb a** bleaching your hair’

Despite being known for her acting, Abigail Breslin at 18 years old forayed briefly into music to release her debut single titled You Suck, which was seemingly aimed at former boyfriend and 5 Seconds of Summer guitarist, Michael Clifford.

The Little Miss Sunshine star, now 26, released the song in 2014, leading loyal fans of Michael to write about the aspiring singer on Twitter.

It features an acoustic guitar and plenty of angst ridden lyrics which seem to be aimed at the pop-rock star.

She began by singing, ‘I hate your dumb tattoo, I wish you’d fly to the moon.’

Australian musician Michael has a tattoo on his arm featuring the lyrics ‘fly to the moon,’ making Abigail’s reference to him all the more obvious.

She then goes on to say, ‘I hate the scar above your eye, it looks like you’re on drugs.’

The year prior, the guitarist took to Twitter to share a shot of a rather nasty looking cut above his eye, writing: ‘This was ages ago but I wanna show y’all how much it hurt lol, I think it’s a perma scar.’

The lyrics then continue to launch a scathing attack on the pop rock singer, with the lines ‘you really need to learn to wash your hair,’ and, ‘you’re just a dumb a** bleaching your hair’.

Michael (pictured in June) is known for his trademark scruffy locks, which he frequently bleaches and colours, having previously sported green, pink and red tresses

Michael (pictured in June) is known for his trademark scruffy locks, which he frequently bleaches and colours, having previously sported green, pink and red tresses

Michael is known for his trademark scruffy locks, which he frequently bleaches and colours, having previously sported green, pink and red tresses.

‘Thanks for the tickets to your show,’ Abigail sings, before adding: ‘I just wanted you to know all your band mates are hotter than you.’

Her lyrics confirm the subject in question is a member of a band, again adding more speculation over Michael being the person she isn’t happy with.

The chorus consists of the lines ‘you suck,’ before accusing the subject matter of sounding like a girl when he calls her drunk. 

She also accuses the ‘person’ of cheating on her, after saying: ‘I talked to all the girls that you were with when you were with me.’

On the day of the video release, Michael seemed to give a subtle reaction via Twitter after sharing three Tweets, writing ‘hahahaha’ multiple times and ‘oh man,’ suggesting he found the song humorous.

JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE 

In 2018, pop icon Justin Timberlake (pictured in October) revealed that he was so emotional following his split from Britney Spears , that he unloaded his feelings by writing Cry Me a River in just two hours

In 2018, pop icon Justin Timberlake (pictured in October) revealed that he was so emotional following his split from Britney Spears , that he unloaded his feelings by writing Cry Me a River in just two hours

The former teen heartthrob's hit song has long been rumored to be about the pop princess, following claims she cheated on him, leading to their breakup in 2002

The former teen heartthrob’s hit song has long been rumored to be about the pop princess, following claims she cheated on him, leading to their breakup in 2002

In 2018, pop icon Justin Timberlake revealed that he was so emotional following his split from Britney Spears, that he unloaded his feelings by writing Cry Me a River in just two hours.

The former teen heartthrob’s hit song has long been rumored to be about the pop princess, following claims she cheated on him, leading to their breakup in 2002.

The 41-year-old wrote of the breakup ballad: ‘I’ve been scorned. I’ve been p***ed off. The feelings I had were so strong I had to write it.

‘I translated my feelings into a form where people could listen and hopefully relate to it. People heard me and they understood it because we’ve all been there.’

Justin doesn’t mention Britney by name in his book – Hindsight: And All The Things I Can’t See in Front of Me – but made clear he is a changed man, crediting wife Jessica Biel and his son Silas for the transformation.

The lyrics – sung from the point of view of a deeply scorned lover – were accompanied by an equally theatrical music video, which for years had fans speculating that the song was about Britney thanks to a cameo from the blonde actress who looked eerily similar the the pop star, 41.

SELENA GOMEZ

Selena Gomez - who has touched on her own relationship heartbreak in her single, Lose You to Love Me - has in past insisted she couldn't write a tune that didn't chime with her real-life self

Selena Gomez – who has touched on her own relationship heartbreak in her single, Lose You to Love Me – has in past insisted she couldn’t write a tune that didn’t chime with her real-life self

In 2019, Selena reflected on her single, which seems to be about her ex-boyfriend Justin Bieber. The pair pictured in 2012

In 2019, Selena reflected on her single, which seems to be about her ex-boyfriend Justin Bieber. The pair pictured in 2012

Selena Gomez – who touched on her own relationship heartbreak in her single, Lose You to Love Me – has in past insisted she couldn’t write a tune that didn’t chime with her real-life self.

‘I wrote this song over a year ago. It’s obviously a very emotional song for me,’ the Texas native told E! News in 2019, as she was reflecting on her single – which seems to be about her ex-boyfriend Justin Bieber.

‘It’s interesting to see how far I’ve come from that point to now,’ she added. 

‘Me sharing my story is exactly what I’ve always done. I can’t be unauthentic. I can’t pretend that I’m not going through something when it’s obvious that I had been.’

Selena – who was involved in an on/off relationship with Justin over a number of years – hoped her fans can relate to the single.

She shared: ‘It’s one of those songs where I just feel like it’s out, it’s released and I hope that girls and guys all over the world can feel supported. That’s a feeling everyone’s felt.

‘That was something that I needed to do for myself regardless of what was [going to] come after.’

Meanwhile, a source had also previously told Us Weekly that Selena’s single is ‘obviously’ about Justin.

According to past claims by an insider, the track relates to the ‘Love Yourself’ hitmaker rather than The Weeknd, who Selena has also dated. 

‘Although the song Lose You to Love Me was co-written and a collaboration, Selena was very involved in writing and creating it, and the song is obviously about Justin,’ they said.

‘Her fling with The Weeknd did not inspire the song – their relationship was much more short-lived and not deep enough to inspire it.’

OLIVIA RODRIGO

Olivia Rodrigo (pictured in November) shot to overnight superstardom after her hit song - Driver's License - threw social media into a frenzy as they navigated a love triangle featuring ex-Disney stars

Olivia Rodrigo (pictured in November) shot to overnight superstardom after her hit song – Driver’s License – threw social media into a frenzy as they navigated a love triangle featuring ex-Disney stars

Olivia had opened up about how the song came to be. Fresh from a breakup (with former High School Musical co-star Joshua Bassett) she sat down at her piano after shedding many tears. The pair pictured in July

Olivia had opened up about how the song came to be. Fresh from a breakup (with former High School Musical co-star Joshua Bassett) she sat down at her piano after shedding many tears. The pair pictured in July

Olivia Rodrigo shot to overnight superstardom after her hit song – Driver’s License – threw social media into a frenzy as they navigated a love triangle featuring ex-Disney stars.

It was released on January 8, 2021 and broke Spotify’s record twice for most daily streams ever for a non-holiday song within the week it was released, and also became the first song to hit 80 million streams in just seven days. 

Olivia had opened up about how the song came to be. Fresh from a breakup (with former High School Musical co-star Joshua Bassett) she sat down at her piano after shedding many tears. 

She took the first line: ‘I got my driver’s license last week’ from her diary and also created the song with TikTok culture in mind.

‘To see it do really well — to have this really painful moment in my life, and turn it into something beautiful that can maybe help people through a tough time that they’re having, like I was having a tough time — it’s just so empowering,’ Olivia told Billboard after its release. 

The song won two MTV VMAs, and she herself won two New Artist of The Year awards at the American Music Awards and the People’s Choice Awards. 

Additionally Olivia snagged a whopping seven nominations at the 2022 Grammys — including Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Solo Pop performance for Driver’s License.   

She celebrated her nods writing in excerpt: ‘many dreams have come true for me this year but this one is probably the most meaningful.’

Meanwhile last year, Joshua, 22, got candid about the health challenges and mental anguish he endured after facing scrutiny following the release by his rumored ex.

The singer and actor found his personal life in the headlines when his High School Musical: The Musical: The Series co-star released her viral hit, which many believe is about their rumored split, last January.

Although they have never confirmed they dated, the performer revealed to People that the situation as a whole took its toll on his health and he found himself in the hospital grappling heart failure after he received criticism – and even death threats online – as a result of the song’s release.  

‘I felt my heart literally failing,’ he told the site. ‘I was like, “This isn’t just anxiety. This is bad.”‘

The actor said he ‘felt worse and worse’ in the week before his hospitalization. 

He added: ‘I was sleeping 16 to 20 hours a day. I couldn’t even stand up for longer than 30 seconds.’

A producer on his TV show eventually took him to hospital, where he was diagnosed with septic shock and told waiting any longer for the illness, which could have been brought on by stress, may have proven fatal. 

TAYLOR SWIFT

Taylor Swift appeared to in particular shade Jake Gyllenhaal with the song - and eventual short film - All Too Well

Taylor Swift appeared to in particular shade Jake Gyllenhaal with the song – and eventual short film – All Too Well

The 'Shake It Off' hitmaker alleges in the lyrics that she left a scarf at the house of a sister to a man she was dating and fans believe that she is alluding to the 'Brokeback Mountain' actor (pictured in November)

The ‘Shake It Off’ hitmaker alleges in the lyrics that she left a scarf at the house of a sister to a man she was dating and fans believe that she is alluding to the ‘Brokeback Mountain’ actor (pictured in November)

She’s known for her powerful lyrics which aren’t afraid to take digs at past lovers – but Taylor Swift appeared to in particular shade Jake Gyllenhaal with the song – and eventual short film – All Too Well.

The 33-year-old pop star released the track and its accompanying 10-minute short film towards the end of 2021 and sparked rumors that the ‘red scarf’ she sings about was still in the possession of ex-boyfriend Jake Gyllenhaal, 42.

However, she has now admitted that the garment was simply a storytelling device, with the color chosen after its parent album’s title.

Speaking on stage at the Toronto International Film Festival, she said: ‘Basically, the scarf is a metaphor and we turned it red because red is a very important color in this album, which is called ‘Red’.’

‘And, I think when I say it’s a metaphor … I’m just going to stop!’

The ‘Shake It Off’ hitmaker alleges in the lyrics that she left a scarf at the house of a sister to a man she was dating and fans believe that she is alluding to the ‘Brokeback Mountain’ actor – whom she dated from October 2010 until January 2011 – and his sister Maggie.

On the track, Taylor sings: ‘I walked through the door with you, the air was cold. But something about it felt like home somehow. And I left my scarf there at your sister’s house. And you’ve still got it in your drawer even now.’

The film appears to act out a version of Taylor's relationship with Jake, with Sadie Sink, 20 (pictured with Dylan O'Brien) playing the Taylor stand-in

The film appears to act out a version of Taylor’s relationship with Jake, with Sadie Sink, 20 (pictured with Dylan O’Brien) playing the Taylor stand-in 

However, at the time, Maggie admitted that she ‘never understood’ what the scarf was about and why she was repeatedly asked about it.

She said: ‘I never understood why everybody asked me about this scarf. I am in the dark about the scarf. It’s totally possible. I don’t know. I have been asked this before!’

All Too Well originally debuted in a five-minute version on her hit 2012 album Red, but Taylor had originally written a 10-minute draft of the song with her cowriter Liz Rose, who helped her edit it down for the album.

After Taylor set about rerecording her catalogue, she finally recorded the original 10-minute version of All Too Well and included it as a bonus track on the album.

To accompany the new song, she created the nearly 15-minute short film to serve as its music video.

The film appears to act out a version of Taylor’s relationship with Jake, with Sadie Sink, 20, playing the Taylor stand-in — referred to only as Her — while Dylan O’Brien plays a version of Jake, known as Him.

Taylor is also featured toward the end of the short as an older version of Sadie’s character, and she sports red hair to match.

In addition to making her directorial debut, Taylor also wrote and produced the short film. 

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