celebrity

"I wish I could burn that song." 15 celebrities who hate their own songs.

I've always wondered if someone like Elton John, who has been performing for decades, is like 'man, I'm sick of this song'.

Because consumers of music know that feeling, right? And we're just out here listening to the radio or Spotify playlists. We have the option to turn it off or press skip. But if you're in Abba, and you hate 'Mamma Mia'. Well, that's bad news for you because there is simply no way you can't play that song. You simply must. YOU'RE ABBA.

As it turns out, plenty of musicians have complicated relationships with the music they release. Some of them take issue with their biggest, most recognisable hits.

I don't know if Abba hate 'Mamma Mia' (surely not), but here are 15 celebrities who aren't the biggest fans of their own songs:

Elton John, 'Crocodile Rock'.

Oh. It turns out that yes, Elton John DOES get sick of singing his music.

And it also turns out 'Crocodile Rock', which was written as a joke, is his biggest problem.

Watch: Sorry Elton, but here's 'Crocodile Rock'. Post continues below video.


Video via Mercury Records.

Elton John appeared on the Deeney Talks podcast in May 2021, saying: "The last time I have to sing 'Crocodile Rock' I will probably throw a party. It was written as a kind of a joke, like a pastiche."

He said he would never perform the song again after his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour ends in 2023.

"And it became a big hit and people love to sing along with it — so who am I to say 'I am not going to play it' because I play to amuse people and to entertain people. But I have to say when the last show is done at the end of the tour I will never ever sing that song again."

In 2018, he admitted he was long sick of the sing.

"There are certain songs that you think, "Ugh, I gotta f***in' sing that one again," he said. "But the audience love it, and y'know, it's a guilty pleasure, as they say."

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Lorde, 'Royals'.

'Royals' introduced a teenager from New Zealand to the world, but Lorde is now an adult who cringes at her teenage self. I mean, relatable.

"I understand why it worked and why it was kind of a hit, I can see those qualities in it, but at the same time there's part of me that's like…" she groaned, explaining it to The Music, "'these melodies are just not as good as something I could have written now', or like 'I definitely wouldn't have written this lyric this way if I had've written it now'.

"It definitely feels like a bit of a relic now."

In 2021, ahead of her third album Solar Power's release, she told the New York Times she did not expect to ever have a hit that big ever again.

"What a lost cause. Can you imagine? I'm under no illusion. That was a moonshot," she said.

Pink, 'Don't Let Me Get Me'.

In 2001, Pink released 'Don't Let Me Get Me', about feeling inadequate, but by 2012 it had become the song she hated performing the most.

"I wish I could burn that song and never sing it again," she told the Los Angeles Times.

Ariana Grande, 'Put Your Hearts Up' and 'Touch It'.

Image: Universal Records.

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If you're not familiar with Ariana Grande's first ever single 'Put Your Hearts Up', she'll be pleased about that.

Grande released the song in 2011 for a potential teen-oriented pop album while she was acting on Nickelodeon show Victorious, but later disowned the track.

Ariana Grande told Rolling Stone that the song felt "inauthentic and fake," saying it was geared toward kids and that she hated the music video.

"For the video, they gave me a bad spray tan and put me in a princess dress and had me frolic around the street. The whole thing was straight out of hell. I still have nightmares about it, and I made them hide it on my Vevo page," she said.

She also doesn't like 'Touch It' from her third album Dangerous Woman, which HURTS because that is a TUNE.

Responding to a fan tweet that claimed she thought 'Touch It' was boring, Grande responded "I'm correct." 

(She is wrong.)

Zayn Malik, pretty much... all of One Direction's music.

Image: Getty.

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Ouch.

After leaving One Direction in 2015, Zayn Malik told Fader he didn't enjoy any of the music he made with the band, and had no say in its direction.

"There was never any room for me to experiment creatively in the band. If I would sing a hook or a verse slightly R&B, or slightly myself, it would always be recorded 50 times until there was a straight version that was pop, generic as f***, so they could use that version. I wasn't 100 percent behind the music. It wasn't me," he said.

"Would you listen to One Direction, sat at a party with your girl? I wouldn't. To me, that's not an insult, that's me as a 22-year-old man. As much as I was in that band, and I loved everything that we did, that's not music that I would listen to. I don't think that’s an offensive statement to make. That’s just not who I am."

Kanye West, 'Gold Digger'.

'Gold Digger' is one of Kanye West's biggest earliest hits, which is actually the entire reason he released it.

The 2005 track earned him a No. 1 and a Grammy, but it's not his favourite. Turns out he'd initially written the song for a female rapper, with the chorus from a woman's first-person viewpoint: "I'm not sayin' I'm a gold digger", etc.

When rapper Shawnna left the song off her debut album, West rejigged it so it didn't go to waste.

"I never really liked that song, but I knew I would get paid for doing 'Gold Digger,'" he told Zane Lowe in 2013.

Katy Perry, 'I Kissed a Girl'.

Image: Universal.

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Okay, so Katy Perry doesn't hate her first hit single, but she would rework it if she had the chance because it hasn't aged great.

"We've really changed, conversationally, in the past 10 years," she told Glamour in 2018, a decade after its release. "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 on it. Your mind changes so much in 10 years, and you grow so much. What’s true for you can evolve."

Radiohead, 'Creep'.

Okay, ever noticed how the words 'creep' and 'crap' are kind of similar? So has Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke, who nicknamed the band's breakthrough hit the latter.

'Creep' was a massive hit, but by 1997 the band had banned it from its live set.

When a crowd in Montreal shouted requests for it, Yorke responded: "F*** off, we're tired of it!"

They dusted it off again for a 2016 tour, and a year later Yorke said his stance had softened a little.

"It can be cool sometimes, but other times I want to stop halfway through and be like, 'Nah, this isn't happening,'" he told Rolling Stone.

And hey, the band released a remix in 2021, so they can't hate it that much. 

Led Zeppelin, 'Stairway to Heaven'.

Led Zeppelin's Robert Plant said 17 years after writing 'Stairway to Heaven', he didn't know if he still found the song to be... important. So God knows how he's feeling a whole 50 years after the song's 1971 release.

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"I'd break out in hives if I had to sing that song in every show," he told the Los Angeles Times in 1988. "I wrote those lyrics and found that song to be of some importance and consequence in 1971, but 17 years later, I don't know."

He dubbed it "that bloody wedding song", and in 2002 pledged a donation to a Portland radio station that announced a ban on the track.

Madonna, 'Like a Virgin'.

Image: Warner Bros.

When you think of Madonna hits, chances are 'Like a Virgin' is pretty close to front of mind. Which is the problem.

"I'm not sure I can sing 'Holiday' or 'Like a Virgin' ever again," she admitted during a 2008 interview with New York’s Z100 Radio. "I just can't, unless somebody paid me, like, $30 million or something."

A year later, she shared how much she disliked her songs - especially 'Like a Virgin' in the wild.

"For some reason people think that when you go to a restaurant or you are going shopping that you want to hear one of your own songs. It's usually 'Like a Virgin' and that is the one I don't want to hear."

But hey, Madonna performed both during 2016's Rebel Heart tour, so either she changed her mind or someone had a spare $30m.

Miley Cyrus, 'Party in the U.S.A'.

They may as well have 'Party in the U.S.A' blasting on repeat at LAX for the rest of time, but Miley Cyrus isn't a huge fan of the pop banger.

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"Honestly, I picked that song because I needed something to go with my clothing line," she told MileyWorld in 2009. "I didn't write it [and] I didn't expect it to be popular, originally. It was just something that I wanted to do and I needed some songs and it turned out for the best."

Image: Hollywood Records.

The song was written by Jessie J, and Cyrus said she didn't even know what Jay-Z song she was singing about in the pre-chorus.

"I've never heard a Jay-Z song. I don't listen to pop music," Cyrus said.

In 2013, she clarified herself in an interview with V:

"I can never say that I don't love 'Party in the U.S.A' and that I'm not appreciative of it. It would be like my dad saying that he hated 'Achy Breaky [Heart]'… I would never take it back. But that's not who I am, that's not where I want to sing, that's not what I want to sing, and that's not what I want my voice to sound like."

Oasis, 'Wonderwall'.

Unsurprisingly, the famously outspoken Liam Gallagher did not hold back when asked about his feelings towards Oasis' top hit, and the favourite of any amateur guitarist, 'Wonderwall'.

"I can't f***ing stand that f***ing song," he told MTV in 2008. "Every time I have to sing it I want to gag. You go to America, and they're like: 'Are you Mr. 'Wonderwall'?' You want to chin [hit] someone."

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And while Liam and his brother Noel see eye-to-eye on... almost nothing, they seem to share similar feelings on this one:

"I don't particularly like that song — I think 'Cigarettes and Alcohol' is a far superior song," Noel told Absolute Radio in 2017.

Selena Gomez, 'Come & Get It'.

In 2016, Selena Gomez was surprisingly candid about the pressures of music industry when admitting she didn't like her 2013 single 'Come & Get It'.

"I love [producers] Stargate more than anything, but it's very difficult for me to perform live. It's not my song. To me, it sounds like a Rihanna reject," she told Entertainment Weekly

"That was just in the beginning. I was so young. I was wanting a hit: 'I don't know if I need a hit, but maybe I do so people can respect me?'"

Lady Gaga, 'Telephone'.

Image: Interscope Records.

Only Gaga could admit she hates her song WITH BEYONCE and get away with it.

"I hate 'Telephone.' Is that terrible to say? It's the song I have the most difficult time listening to," she told Pop Justice in 2011.

"Ultimately the mix and the process of getting the production finished was very stressful for me. So when I say it's my worst song it has nothing to do with the song, just my emotional connection to it."

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Okay, phew, because 'Telephone' is a bop.

It's also the music video she takes most issue with.

"I can't even watch the 'Telephone' video, I hate it so much," she told Time Out London in 2011. “Beyonce and I are great together, but there are so many f—ing ideas in that video and all I see in that video is my brain throbbing with ideas. I wish I had edited myself a little bit more.”

Bob Geldof, 'We Are the World' and 'Do They Know It's Christmas?'

In 2010, Boomtown Rats frontman Bob Geldof shared his embarrassment at 1984's Christmas hit 'Do They Know It's Christmas', which he organised and co-wrote for Band Aid.

"I am responsible for two of the worst songs in history," he told the Daily Telegraph. "One is 'Do They Know It's Christmas?' and the other one is 'We Are the World.'"

('We Are the World', written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie, and was directly inspired by Band Aid.) 

"I will go to the supermarket, head to the meat counter and it will be playing – every f***ing Christmas," Geldof lamented.

Same.

Feature image: Universal Songs of Polygram Inc./Roc-A-Fella Records/SME.

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