When musicians look back on their career, they’re not always happy with every song they’ve released. In fact, a few artists even regret a selection of the music they’ve put out into the world. While sometimes it’s simply because it wasn’t their best work, other times it’s because it no longer represents who they are as a person and might even be a little controversial.
Whatever their reasoning, these artists have expressed their distaste for one of their previously released songs — and some have even taken steps to remove it from their catalog.
Find out which musicians have regrets about their songs...
Paramore singer Hayley Williams decided to stop performing the band’s hit song “Misery Business” when she realized some of the lyrics didn’t align with her personal values. The song, which has over 350 million streams on Spotify, features the lyrics “once a whore, you’re nothing more, I’m sorry that’ll never change" which Hayley says she wouldn’t write today.
"I’m a 26-year-old person. 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," she told Track 7 almost a decade after the song’s release.
2. Katy Perry - I Kissed A Girl
Katy Perry says that looking back on her 2008 release “I Kissed A Girl,” which discusses a woman kissing another woman for the first time, she would probably change some things lyrically.
"We've really changed, conversationally, in the past 10 years. 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," she told Glamour.
Iggy Azalea doesn’t agree with a line she rapped in her 2011 song “D.R.U.G.S.” where she referred to herself as a “runaway slave master.” The phrase was an apparent response to Kendrick Lamar’s song “Look Out for Detox,” in which he called himself a “runaway slave.”
"This is a metaphoric take on an originally literal lyric, and I was never trying to say I am a slave owner...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 how others may be hurt by it. In this situation, I am guilty of doing that and I regret not thinking things through more," she wrote in a note to fans.
4. Mandy Moore - Multiple Songs
Longtime Mandy Moore fans may have a special place in their heart for her early music, but she doesn’t feel so positively about it. She actually once called her first two albums, “So Real” and “I Wanna Be With You,” awful.
“Ugh, those were awful, just awful! If I had the money, I would give a refund to everyone who bought my first two albums,” she reportedly told Glamour in 2006.
Pharrell Williams admits that he’s “embarrassed” about some of his old songs and would never write them today. When it comes to “Blurred Lines,” Pharrell says the controversy around the song helped open his eyes to his lyrical content and reconsider how words could play into chauvinist culture and affect women.
“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 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," he told GQ.
Back in 2013, Drake featured J. Cole on his song "Jodeci (Freestyle)" and in a verse, he called himself “artistic” while offensively referring to others as “autistic” and “retarded.” Both Drake and J. Cole have apologized for the inappropriate verse and removed the line from the song.
"I share responsibility and offer my sincerest apologies for the pain this has caused. 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," Drake wrote in a statement.
7. Jay-Z - Big Pimpin’
Jay-Z has regrets about some of the lyrics in his hit song "Big Pimpin'" that harshly objectify women. At one point he even raps, "You know I thug 'em, f**k 'em, love 'em, leave 'em, 'cause I don't f**kin' need 'em.” Since then, Jay-Z has said that he can’t believe he said those words and even reading the lyrics is difficult.
“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," he told the Wall Street Journal.
Led Zeppelin’s song “Stairway to Heaven” has become iconic but frontman Robert Plant says that it’s definitely not one of his favorites. While the lyrics may have once meant something to him, he no longer feels the same.
“The construction of the song, the actual musical construction is very, very good...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...It’s a very beautiful piece. But lyrically, now, and even vocally, I go, ‘I’m not sure about that,’” Jimmy said on “Ultimate Classic Rock Nights” radio show.
9. Oasis - Wonderwall
Oasis has become synonymous with their song “Wonderwall” but it turns out that a lot of the band really doesn’t like it. Singer Liam Gallagher has said at times that he hates performing the song and guitarist Noel Gallagher recently reaffirmed that sentiment.
“Liam [Gallagher] 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,” Noel said in a SiriusXM interview.