15 Famous People Who Were Just a Tad Petty and Low-Key Called Out Their Exes in Their Songs

Mitch
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Ever noticed how some of your favorite tunes can sometimes feel a bit…personal? That’s because they are! When it comes to serving some serious post-breakup pettiness, these 15 musicians don’t hold back. After all, what’s a better way to process heartbreak than writing a chart-topping track about it?

Halsey

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Remember her chart-topping hit “Without Me”? It’s widely believed to be about her breakup with rapper G-Eazy. She didn’t just subtly hint at their tumultuous relationship in the lyrics but went all out by casting a G-Eazy look-alike in the music video. But hey, it’s all part of the healing, right?

Selena Gomez

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Remember that fiery hit, “Lose You to Love Me”? There’s no doubt that this emotional ballad was a not-so-subtle call-out to her ex, Justin Bieber. With lyrics like, “In two months, you replaced us like it was easy,” Gomez demonstrates the art of turning heartbreak into a chart-topper.

Miley Cyrus

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After her high-profile split with ex-husband Liam Hemsworth, Miley cut straight to the chase with her song “Slide Away.”

Saturated with references like “Move on, we’re not 17” – a nod to their young love – and “I want my house in the hills / Don’t want the whiskey and pills” – an allusion to Hemsworth’s reported party lifestyle, Miley did not hold back in articulating her side of their breakup story.

Shakira

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Remember her hit single “Don’t Bother?” Well, it was more than just a catchy tune. The song was reportedly about her ex-boyfriend Antonio de la Rúa, whom she dated for over a decade.

Shakira laid it all out in the open with lyrics like “She’s almost six feet tall, she must think I’m a flea.” Talk about a scathing burn, huh?

Joshua Bassett

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When he released his song “Lie Lie Lie,” fans immediately started speculating that it was about his rumored ex-girlfriend and “High School Musical: The Musical – The Series” co-star, Olivia Rodrigo.

The lyrics are pretty damning, to say the least. “I know what you say about me / I hope that it makes you happy / You can’t seem to get me off your mind,” he sings. Talk about a sassy comeback!

Taylor Swift

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Who can forget the zesty one-liners in “Dear John,” a song so obviously about her relationship with John Mayer that he called it “humiliating”? Then there’s “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” a pop anthem that supposedly throws shade at former beau Jake Gyllenhaal.

Demi Lovato

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Remember their 2015 hit, “Stone Cold”? Fans couldn’t help but speculate it was a not-so-subtle nod to their split from actor Wilmer Valderrama. And who could forget the iconic 2020 single “Still Have Me” that Lovato dropped right after their rough break-up with Max Ehrich?

Ariana Grande

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Oh, Ariana Grande, the queen of sass and class! Remember her iconic hit, “thank u, next”? Grande pulled no punches there, naming her exes outright and sharing what she learned from each relationship. She subtly thanked each one – Big Sean, Ricky Alvarez, Pete Davidson, and the late Mac Miller – before moving on to the next.

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Remember her song “Obsessed”, released in 2009? Many fans and critics alike saw it as a cheeky nod to her ex-boyfriend, the rapper Eminem, who had claimed they had a relationship.

Mariah denied these claims, and in “Obsessed,” she shoots back with lyrics like, “Why are you so obsessed with me? Boy, I want to know.” Talk about a burn, right?

The Weeknd

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Remember in “Call Out My Name” when he low-key called out ex-flame Selena Gomez? Oh boy, the lyrics “I almost cut a piece of myself for your life” sent fans into a frenzy, speculating that he was ready to donate a kidney to Selena, who was undergoing a transplant during their relationship. Talk about being petty with a touch of deep love!

Kelly Clarkson

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The original American Idol queen! With her powerhouse vocals and relatable lyrics, Clarkson’s 2005 hit “Since U Been Gone” is universally interpreted as a break-up anthem. She penned this iconic track after a tumultuous relationship, and if the song’s success is anything to go by, Kelly definitely had the last laugh!

Chase Hudson

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Lil Huddy swooped into the music industry with his punk-pop anthems. But did you catch the lyrics of his debut single, “21st Century Vampire”? All that talk about feeling ‘used’ and ‘out of place’? Rumor has it that the song was a sneaky nod to his brief, tumultuous romance with fellow TikTok star Charli D’Amelio.

Olivia Rodrigo

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Her sensational debut single, “Drivers License,” topped the Billboard Hot 100, but did you know it’s also a low-key call-out of her ex, Joshua Bassett?

With emotionally charged lyrics like “And you’re probably with that blonde girl / Who always made me doubt,” it’s hard not to see the subtle shade being thrown.

Justin Timberlake

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Justin Timberlake is no stranger to airing out dirty laundry through songs. Remember when he and Britney Spears went through a very public breakup?

And then, boom! Timberlake drops “Cry Me a River.” Coincidence? We think not! The dramatic music video, featuring a Britney look-alike, left little to the imagination about the song’s muse.

Perrie Edwards

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Perrie Edwards, one-fourth of the British girl group Little Mix, has never shied away from subtly calling out her ex, Zayn Malik, in her music.

After their publicized breakup, Little Mix’s song “Shout Out to My Ex” became an anthem for anyone who had been through a tough split. The track is full of not-so-subtle hints about Zayn, making it clear that Perrie has moved on and is stronger than ever.

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  • Mitch

    A computer science enthusiast with a keen interest in technology and games, Mitchelle (Mitch) contributes a cutting-edge perspective to the Frenz Hub writing team, integrating her academic knowledge with her personal passions

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