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Ten Singers Who Absolutely Detest One of Their Hit Songs

by Selme Angulo
fact checked by Darci Heikkinen

How would you feel if you recorded a hit song? If it were us, we’d be pretty darn happy about the achievement and brag about it to everybody we knew. And then we’d pray that we weren’t about to become a one-hit wonder and record like mad to ensure we would also have a second hit. Oh, and the popularity (and, theoretically, money) drummed up from the hit song wouldn’t be so bad, either. But that’s just us!

In reality, plenty of singers recorded and released hit songs that they ended up absolutely detesting. In this list, we’ll take a look at ten of those surprising cases. These performers may have reached the world with a massive hit and reaped all the benefits that come from it, but deep down below, they hate these songs for one reason or another. Call them ungrateful, bitter, whiny, or whatever, but that doesn’t change the fact that these ten singers REALLY don’t care for some of their biggest hits!

Related: Ten Unbelievably Strange or Ill-Advised Covers of Songs

10 Katy Perry, “I Kissed a Girl”

Katy Perry – I Kissed A Girl (Official Music Video)

If Katy Perry had to do it all over again, she would have re-written (or maybe scrapped altogether) her 2008 hit “I Kissed a Girl.” As you probably know, the song is all about a woman kissing another woman for the very first time. While the beat is fun and energetic, and the lyrics are plenty catchy, the content of the song has given Katy some serious pause in the years after it was recorded and released.

“We’ve really changed, conversationally, in the past 10 years,” the Santa Barbara-born singer told Glamour years after her 2008 single saw the light of day. “We’ve come a long way. Bisexuality wasn’t as talked about back then or any type of fluidity. If I had to write that song again, I probably would make an edit on it. Lyrically, it has a couple of stereotypes in it. Your mind changes so much in 10 years, and you grow so much. What’s true for you can evolve.”[1]

9 Paramore, “Misery Business”

Paramore: Misery Business [OFFICIAL VIDEO]

The Paramore song “Misery Business” came out nearly two decades ago, so it makes sense that the singer who wrote the lyrics and pushed the song out into the world might think differently now than she did when it was first released. And sure enough, for Paramore lead singer Hayley Williams, that’s exactly the case. The song may have hundreds of millions of streams on Spotify and countless YouTube plays, but its lyrics make Williams cringe. Take this notable verse, for example: “Once you’re a wh*re, you’re nothing more, I’m sorry that’ll never change.” Not exactly a girl power anthem there, is it?!

In 2017, nearly a full decade after “Misery Business” was first released, Paramore spoke to the media outlet Track 7 about it. Looking back on the single, she admitted that it wasn’t one of her finer moments—and she had come to dislike it. “I’m a 26-year-old person,” she told the outlet while looking back on the controversial hit. “And yes, a proud feminist. Just maybe not a perfect one. The thing that annoyed me was that I had already done so much soul-searching about it years before anyone else had decided there was an issue… I was a 17-year-old kid when I wrote the lyrics in question, and if I can somehow exemplify what it means to grow up, get information, and become any shade of ‘woke,’ then that’s a-okay with me.”[2]

8 Lady Gaga, “Do What U Want (With My Body)”

Lady Gaga – Do What u Want with R.Kelly AMA 2013

Back in 2013, Lady Gaga collaborated with the controversial R&B crooner R. Kelly on the single “Do What U Want (With My Body).” The single was a hit after it came out, and the duo went around performing it at shows, festivals, and award events in the months after it dropped.

However, considering the sexual assault and sex trafficking case that came out against R. Kelly in the years after that, the song and its title didn’t exactly hold up so well. Plus, Lady Gaga’s general connection to R. Kelly chilled after he was sentenced to a prison term for his unsettling and illegal sexual history. Enter the public apology! Lady Gaga took to Twitter and was forced to deliver a lengthy one regarding the song and the two singers’ connection.

“I stand by anyone who has ever been the victim of sexual assault,” the superstar singer wrote as part of her public mea culpa over taking part in the song in the aftermath of the Surviving R. Kelly” docuseries that first shed light on his horrible misdeeds. “I stand behind these women 1000%, believe them, know they are suffering and in pain, and feel strongly that their voices should be heard and taken seriously. I’m sorry, both for my poor judgment when I was young and for not speaking out sooner.”

She even went so far as to confirm that the song would be removed from iTunes and other streaming platforms—and that she would never work with R. Kelly again![3]

7 Pharrell Williams, “Blurred Lines”

Robin Thicke – Blurred Lines ft. T.I., Pharrell

Pharrell Williams was at first extremely proud of one of the biggest hits of his career—the single “Blurred Lines” performed with Robin Thicke. But as the years ticked by, Pharrell started thinking a bit more deeply about the song’s suggestive and aggressive sexual lyrics. In time, he came to realize that the song actually played directly into the chauvinistic culture that too often victimizes women as merely sex objects in unsettling social situations.

Speaking to GQ about his regrets over the song, Pharrell said at first: “I think ‘Blurred Lines’ opened me up. I didn’t get it at first… When there started to be an issue with it, lyrically, I was, like, ‘What are you talking about?’ There are women who really like the song and connect to the energy that just gets you up. And ‘I know you want it’—women sing those kinds of lyrics all the time. So it’s like, ‘What’s rapey about that?’”

And then, he had his epiphany. The singer-slash-producer went on: “Then I realized that there are men who use that same language when taking advantage of a woman, and it doesn’t matter that that’s not my behavior. Or the way I think about things. It just matters how it affects women… I realized that we live in a chauvinist culture in our country. I hadn’t realized that. Didn’t realize that some of my songs catered to that. So that blew my mind.” Sounds like he realizes all that now, at least![4]

6 Billie Eilish, “Bad Guy”

Billie Eilish – bad guy (Official Music Video)

Billie Eilish may have launched herself into the stratosphere when she released her chart-topping hit single “Bad Guy” back in 2019, but that doesn’t mean that she has to love the song now… or even like it! In fact, she thinks it’s as dumb as can be! The Los Angeles-based singer went on Jimmy Kimmel’s late-night show in 2023 and told the host that “Bad Guy” is “the stupidest song in the world.” Ouch! Admitting that it’s a “dumb” song, she said, “objectively, ‘Bad Guy’ is, like, the stupidest song in the world. But it’s really good.” Stupid AND good? Oh, to have the mind of a pop star…

Billie wasn’t done there, though. Describing her entire first record as “goofy,” she tried to play down its artistic merits to Kimmel. “You have to have, like, humor in it,” she told the shocked late-night host about her hit track. “Like, that song is… I’m trolling. That song is supposed to be goofy, but it’s just funny because it’s dumb. It’s literally, like, ‘duh.’ Like, what does that mean?” Well said, Billie. Well said.[5]

5 Jay-Z, “Big Pimpin’”

JAY-Z – Big Pimpin’ ft. UGK

Jay-Z’s single “Big Pimpin’” is perhaps the one song of his that people know more than any other. Despite having a massive career that has spanned decades, the rapper is well-known worldwide for the track. It’s quite the track, too. Take this verse within the song, in which he raps negatively about women and claims he doesn’t need them around: “You know I thug ’em, f**k ’em, love ’em, leave ’em, ’cause I don’t f**kin’ need ’em.” That’s not exactly subtle!

But in recent years, Beyoncé’s husband has thought better of the song. Perhaps it’s the fact that he is now married to the pop superstar, and the couple has two daughters of their own. Thus, now that he’s got little girls growing up in his house, Jay-Z might be more in tune with what women go through, you know? That’s called empathy.

He spoke about it—and the lyrics to his troublesome song—to the Wall Street Journal. Looking back on things years later, he said of the single: “Some [lyrics] become really profound when you see them in writing. Not ‘Big Pimpin’.’ That’s the exception. It was like, I can’t believe I said that. And kept saying it. What kind of animal would say this sort of thing? Reading it is really harsh.”[6]

4 Iggy Azalea, “D.R.U.G.S.”

Iggy Azalea – D.R.U.G.S. (feat. YG 400)

Iggy Azalea released the song “D.R.U.G.S.” in 2011. And while the title alone might be controversial enough for those of us who are teetotalers, that’s not the thing that she regrets. Instead, the Australian-born rapper has a very specific lament about one line that she rapped in the verse. Not long before her song was released, the rapper Kendrick Lamar dropped a track called “Look Out for Detox.” In that track, Kendrick rapped that he was a “runaway slave.” In response, Iggy rapped on “D.R.U.G.S.” that she was a “runaway slave master.” She was trying to call back to Kendrick’s track, but the lyric fell flat. Very, very flat.

Not long after the track dropped, Iggy popped up in the media to apologize for it and explain how badly she regrets using the “runaway slave master” lyric at all. “This is a metaphoric take on an originally literal lyric, and I was never trying to say I am a slave owner,” she said, according to MTV. “In all fairness, it was a tacky and careless thing to say, and if you are offended, I am sorry. Sometimes, we get so caught up in our art and creating or trying to push boundaries we don’t stop to think about how others may be hurt by it. In this situation, I am guilty of doing that, and I regret not thinking things through more.”[7]

3 Led Zeppelin, “Stairway to Heaven”

Led Zeppelin – Stairway To Heaven (Official Audio)

Led Zeppelin’s song “Stairway to Heaven” may be one of the most iconic rock songs ever produced and released. It has been around for decades and has been loved for as long. But there’s one person who very much doesn’t love it: Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant. Yes, really! While Plant has had an incredible career and enjoys the musical construction of the band’s most well-known hit, he regrets how the lyrics turned out and wishes they were very different! So it goes with age and the inevitable changes that life brings over decades, we suppose.

“Of course, it was a good song,” Plant said during a radio interview in 2019. “The construction of the song, the actual musical construction is very, very good. It’s one of those moments that really can stand without a vocal—and, in fact, it will stand again without a vocal, I’m sure, because it’s a fine, fine piece of music.”

But there was a problem! He continued: “Lyrically, now, I can’t relate to it because it was so long ago… I would have no intention ever to write along those abstract lines anymore. I look at it and I tip my hat to it, and I think there are parts of it that are incredible. The way that Jimmy [Page] took the music through and the way that the drums reached almost climaxed and then continued… It’s a very beautiful piece. But lyrically, now, and even vocally, I go, ‘I’m not sure about that.’”[8]

2 Drake, “Jodeci (Freestyle)”

Drake – Jodeci (Freestyle) feat. J. Cole

Way back in 2013, Canadian rapper Drake featured North Carolina-based artist J. Cole on a song called “Jodeci (Freestyle).” The track should have just been good enough for what it was—the meeting of two very popular artists that would give their fans immense pleasure. But on the track, Drake took a left turn and got really dark, really fast. He referred to himself as “artistic” in a verse while comparing his talents to others who he said were “autistic” and “retarded.” Not cool, dude. Not cool at all.

Sensing quickly that backlash was going to come, Drake moved to offer a public apology. “I share responsibility and offer my sincerest apologies for the pain this has caused,” he wrote in a note to his fans, according to Billboard. “Individuals with autism have brilliant and creative minds, and their gifts should not be disparaged or discounted. This was a learning lesson for both of us, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to try to right this wrong. J. Cole and I believe that it is the right, responsible, and respectful decision to remove the lyric from the song.” By 2019, Drake had even edited the song around a bit to remove the offending verse entirely. Probably a good idea![9]

1 Oasis, “Wonderwall”

Oasis – Wonderwall (Official Video)

Oasis was supposed to be the Beatles of the 1990s. Their songs were a smash hit across the pond in the United States, and a new generation of Americans fell in love with the prickly Gallagher brothers who helmed the band. But their biggest hit, “Wonderwall,” wasn’t exactly something that singer Liam Gallagher took too much pride in over the years. In fact, he has said multiple times that he strongly dislikes the song—and he hates performing it. But as if that wasn’t bad enough, his brother Noel Gallagher actually doubled down on that statement!

If you know anything about Liam and Noel’s contentious and vicious decades-long feud, you know that having these two brothers agree on anything is noteworthy. And yet they are both in lock-step over hating “Wonderwall.” Speaking on a SiriusXM interview in 2021, Noel had this to say about the hit single: “Liam hated it. I’m not sure the rest of the band were too keen on it. You know, why that song took hold on the planet the way that it did is crazy; there’s no rhyme or reason for it. It just is.” Doesn’t sound like he’s too proud of it, either![10]

fact checked by Darci Heikkinen