17 Record-Scratching Facts About Your Favorite Pop Songs

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17 Record-Scratching Facts About Your Favorite Pop Songs

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17 Record-Scratching Facts About Your Favorite Pop Songs

Just when the Internet got its head around the Backstreet Boys fart audible in “The Call,” we’re all losing our heads again with the realization that Natalie Imbruglia’s “Torn” is a cover!

Read over a dozen other pop music fun facts in the slideshow above.

17 Record-Scratching Facts About Your Favorite Pop Songs
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1. You can hear a Backstreet Boy fart in “The Call”

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1. You can hear a Backstreet Boy fart in “The Call”

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Howie D was the flatulent one, as bandmate A.J. McLean told Billboard.

“[Producer Max Martin] gave Howie his harmony, and I think he was just putting so much air into the vocal that as he was singing, he went ‘dun, dun’ and he farted.

“But he farted not only on the beat, but in key. So Max tweaked it and made it sound like one of his patented bass sounds, and it stayed on the record.”

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2. Jamie Foxx is the male vocalist in Ariana Grande’s “Focus”

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2. Jamie Foxx is the male vocalist in Ariana Grande’s “Focus”

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At a Q&A before her performance at Los Angeles’s iHeartRadio Theater in 2015, Ariana revealed that this Sleepless star is the male voice saying “fuh-fuh-focus on me.”

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3. Michael Jackson coveted Kanye West’s “Stronger” jacket

3. Michael Jackson coveted Kanye West’s “Stronger” jacket

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Per NME, Michael called Kanye specifically to ask where Kanye got the jacket he wears in the music video.

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4. There’s no choir in Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me,” only Sam Smith

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4. There’s no choir in Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me,” only Sam Smith

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Sam layered his voice “probably about 20 times” to achieve that choir effect, as he told NME.

“It sounded like a gospel choir, and I remember nearly crying because the whole song suddenly made sense. It was like that one touch … just sounded anthemic.”

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5. The “dolphin” hook in “Where Are Ü Now?” is Justin Bieber’s voice

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5. The “dolphin” hook in “Where Are Ü Now?” is Justin Bieber’s voice

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“It’s a brief snippet of Mr. Bieber’s vocal line, a subliminal reinforcement of the melody,” The New York Times reports.

“It’s pitched two octaves above the original, run through distortion and equalization effects and given a very short tail of reverb, creating a digital sound with a human core.”

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6. Beyoncé released a Spanish-language version of “Irreplaceable”

6. Beyoncé released a Spanish-language version of “Irreplaceable”

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“Irremplazable” has over 18 million views on YouTube so far, but Queen Bey didn’t bother recording a new music video, so the Spanish lyrics don’t match her lips.

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7. Wilson Phillips sang backup on “FourFiveSeconds”

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7. Wilson Phillips sang backup on “FourFiveSeconds”

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The pop group, who hit it big in the ‘90s with songs like “Hold On,” provided backup vocals to “FourFiveSeconds,” the song Kanye West did with Rihanna and Paul McCartney.

“[Kanye] said, ‘When I think of authenticity and I think of angelic, I think of you,’” Carnie Wilson told Pitchfork.

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8. Paul McCartney is the whistler in Kanye West’s “All Day”

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8. Paul McCartney is the whistler in Kanye West’s “All Day”

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Speaking of Kanye-Paul collabs, the Beatles bass guitarist is the one you hear whistling toward the end of “All Day.”

It comes from a song Paul wrote in 1969 — Paul saw a guitarist playing guitar with only two fingers in a Pablo Picasso painting, and he took that as a challenge.

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9. Sia wrote “Alive” with and for Adele

9. Sia wrote “Alive” with and for Adele

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In fact, Sia’s 2016 album is titled This Is Acting because every song is one she originally wrote for someone else — including this track, which was written “about [Adele’s] life … from her perspective,” as the singer told RTV Slovenija.

For whatever reason, though, Adele nixed “Alive” from her album 25 at the last minute.

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10. It took only two days to plan and shoot Justin Bieber’s “Sorry” music video

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10. It took only two days to plan and shoot Justin Bieber’s “Sorry” music video

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Director Parris Goebel choreographed the video overnight and shot it the next day in the span of a few hours — but she told The FADER that kind of tight schedule is “very normal” for her.

The finished product is currently the fourth most-viewed video in YouTube history, with over 2.7 billion views.

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11. Lorde cold-called Kanye West to remix her song “Yellow Flicker Beat”

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11. Lorde cold-called Kanye West to remix her song “Yellow Flicker Beat”

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Lorde produced the soundtrack to The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 and called Yeezy out of the blue, hoping he would remix her song.

“I’m the worst person ever at talking to people I don’t know on the phone — I can't even order pizza,” she told Billboard.

“I would put off calling him. I’d say, ‘It’s 12:57, I’ll do it at 1.”

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12. Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the U.S.A.” expresses his anger at the U.S.A.

12. Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the U.S.A.” expresses his anger at the U.S.A.

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Many fans (and campaigning politicians) have thought Bruce’s “Born in the U.S.A.” is patriotic, but it’s actually a critique of the country’s treatment of Vietnam War vets.

“When you think about all the young men and women that died in Vietnam, and how many died since they’ve been back — surviving the war and coming back and not surviving — you have to think that, at the time, the country took advantage of their selflessness,” he told Rolling Stone in 1984.

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13. Bruno Mars co-wrote CeeLo Green’s “F—k You”

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13. Bruno Mars co-wrote CeeLo Green’s “F—k You”

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CeeLo was two years into the recording of his album The Lady Killer when Bruno and co-writer Phil Lawrence presented him with his now-iconic takedown anthem.

“When Bruno first sang ‘F—k You’ to me, they were still a bit indecisive on whether or not it could work at all,” CeeLo told Entertainment Weekly.

“I was like, ‘I like it. Let’s record it.’”

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14. Justin Timberlake’s “Rock Your Body” was written for Michael Jackson

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14. Justin Timberlake’s “Rock Your Body” was written for Michael Jackson

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When the King of Pop was putting together the 2001 album Invincible, The Neptunes (aka Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo) offered him “Rock Your Body,” among other tracks, but MJ turned them all down.

So instead, “Rock Your Body” went to Justin Timberlake for 2002’s Justified… as Janet Jackson knows all too well.

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15. Saddam Hussein used “I Will Always Love You” for a campaign song

15. Saddam Hussein used “I Will Always Love You” for a campaign song

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The Iraqi dictator apparently used a version of the Whitney Houston hit for his just-for-show 2002 campaign.

“Syrian pop star Mayyada Bselees’s Arabic cover of the soaring love ballad was broadcast on dawn-to-dusk radio spots from Baghdad to Basra endorsing the mustachioed autocrat,” Mental Floss reports.

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16. The chorus for Adele’s “Hello” came half a year after the verses

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16. The chorus for Adele’s “Hello” came half a year after the verses

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Adele and co-writer Greg Kurstin wrote the verses to “Hello” six months before they settled upon a chorus, and Greg told Rolling Stone he wasn’t sure they would ever finish the song.

“We had half a song written,” he said. “I just had to be very patient.”

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17. Natalie Imbruglia’s song “Torn” is a cover

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17. Natalie Imbruglia’s song “Torn” is a cover

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Nothing’s right, we’re torn… after realizing Natalie’s 1997 hit was recorded twice before: in 1993 by singer Lis Sørensen and in 1995 by Ednaswap.

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Just when the Internet got its head around the Backstreet Boys fart audible in “The Call,” we’re all losing our heads again with the realization that Natalie Imbruglia’s “Torn” is a cover!

Read over a dozen other pop music fun facts in the slideshow above.