Famous Songs With Celebrities In Lyrics

Do you ever hear songs with celebrities name-dropped in the lyrics and ask yourself, “Hmm, I wonder how many songs are there with famous people in the lyrics?”

Here are 17 of our favorite songs that mention celebrity names.

Name-dropping songs with celebrities mentioned in the lyrics

Some of these songs only name check one or two celebrities, while others dish out a list of several names. Take a spin through this list and see if you can come up with some examples of your own.

Be sure and check out the big list of songs with celebrities below!

1.) Man On The Moon – R.E.M.

Famous names(s) in lyrics:

  • Mott the Hoople
  • Andy Kaufman
  • Fred Blassie
  • Elvis
  • Moses
  • Newton
  • Charles Darwin
  • Saint Peter

As a teenager, the lead singer of R.E.M Michael Stipe took great interest in comedian Andy Kaufman’s appearances on television shows like Saturday Night Live. Stipe wrote Man On The Moon as a tribute to Kaufman and other notable characters. He even included a Kaufman-esque Elvis impersonation in the song when he sings the line “Hey, baby, are we losing touch?”

2.) Buddy Holly – Weezer

Famous names(s) in lyrics:

  • Buddy Holly
  • Mary Tyler Moore

Spike Jonze directed the video for Weezer’s song Buddy Holly, adding vintage footage from the 1970s TV classic Happy Days. Band members appear to be performing the song at Arnold’s Drive-In in the video with the show’s cast dancing along. The 1995 video landed Weezer four MTV Video Music Awards.

Take The Music of the 1960s Pop Quiz.

3.) Alex Chilton – The Replacements

Famous names(s) in lyrics:

  • Alex Chilton
  • Mickey Louse

This 1987 hit by the Replacements was written as a tribute to Alex Chilton, the former Box Tops and Big Star singer. Chilton is considered to be the founder of Power Pop music by many. Asked how he felt about the song, Chilton said, “Uh well, I didn’t feel any way about it. I mean, I’m so used to having these kind of fawning, imbecilic fans, you know. To have it take on some coherence is refreshing,” according to Buzz magazine.

More famous songs with celebrities

4.) Sympathy For The Devil – The Rolling Stones

Famous names(s) in lyrics:

  • The Kennedy’s

The book The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov inspired lead singer Mick Jagger to write the satanically-themed lyrics for Sympathy For The Devil. It describes the devil as a sophisticated socialite, or as Jagger sings, a “man of wealth and taste.” Even though the song perpetuated a dark, bad-boy image for the Rolling Stones, Jagger insists its meaning is about the dark side of the man and was not to celebrate Satanism.

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5.) Valerie Plame by The Decemberists

Famous names(s) in lyrics:

  • Valerie Plame

The indie hit Valerie Plame by the Decemberists is a love letter to the former CIA officer whose identity was leaked during George W. Bush’s presidency. The tune is written from the point of view of an inside contact after discovering her true identity.

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6.) Year Of The Cat – Al Stewart

Famous names(s) in lyrics:

  • Humphrey Bogart
  • Peter Lorre

Al Stewart wrote the lyrics to Year Of The Cat after watching Humphrey Bogart and Peter Lorre in the classic movie Casablanca. The song’s haunting melody came from keyboard player Peter Wood, who would play a mysterious riff on the piano at every soundcheck. Stewart asked if he could use it to write a song, and history was made.

7.) Young Americans – David Bowie

Famous names(s) in lyrics:

  • Richard Nixon

British-born rocker David Bowie wrote his 1975 hit Young Americans to cram his “whole American experience” into one song. At Sigma Studios in Philadelphia, Bowie waited until midnight to record vocals for his new album. He heard that’s how Frank Sinatra had done it when he recorded his records.

You might like the 7 Best National Anthems Performed of All Time.

More famous songs with celebrities

8.) You Get What You Give – The New Radicals

Famous names(s) in lyrics:

  • Beck
  • Hanson
  • Courney Love
  • Marilyn Manson

The New Radicals lead singer Gregg Alexander wrote this song’s cynical lyrics as a statement about those who desire celebrity. At the end of the song, his not-so-subtle criticism focuses on named celebrities he considers fakes and phonies. He emotionally intones how The New Radicals will “kick their ass in.” The song is the first big hit to include the word “frenemies” in the lyrics, referring to someone who is both a friend and an enemy.

9.) Mr. Sandman by The Chordettes

Famous names(s) in lyrics:

  • Liberace

This #1 hit song for The Chordettes launched the singing group’s career in 1954. Their signature wholesome sound came from a capella harmonizing with little accompaniment. The song’s reference to Liberace comes from the immense popularity of the piano man around the time the song was written. He had not yet come out about his sexuality.

10.) Mrs. Robinson – Simon and Garfunkel

Famous names(s) in lyrics:

  • Joe DiMaggio

Paul Simon wrote Mrs. Robinson for the soundtrack to the classic coming-of-age film The Graduate in 1968. His melancholy line, “Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio?” referred to heroes of the past that had gone away. As Simon said in SongTalk magazine, “The Joe DiMaggio line was written right away in the beginning. And I don’t know why or where it came from. It seems so strange, like it didn’t belong in that song, and then, I don’t know, it was so interesting to us that we just kept it. So it’s one of the most well-known lines that I’ve ever written.”

11.) She Don’t Use Jelly, The Flaming Lips

Famous names(s) in lyrics:

  • Cher

This absurd song about Vaseline was The Flaming Lip’s only mainstream hit in the U.S. In the song, lead singer Wayne Coyne describes a girl he knows who puts Vaseline on her toast and dies her hair orange. She reminds him of Cher. In the song’s music video, Coyne also sports brightly dyed orange hair.

More famous songs with celebrities

12.) The Seeker – The Who

Famous names(s) in lyrics:

  • Bob Dylan
  • Timothy Leary
  • The Beatles

Pete Townsend of The Who wrote this song to express his struggle to handle success and stay true to himself. The band had just completed their hugely successful rock opera Tommy. Some of the song’s lyrics came to him after drinking and partying all day in Florida, then stumbling through a swamp. He said, “It sounded great in the mosquito-ridden swamp I made it up in—Florida at three in the morning, drunk out of my mind. But that’s where the trouble always starts, in the swamp.”

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13.) Bette Davis Eyes – Kim Carnes

Famous names(s) in lyrics:

  • Bette Davis

This famous song by Kim Carnes was originally written by Jackie DeShannon and Donna Weiss in 1975. DeShannon came up with the concept for the song after watching the Bette Davis movie Now Voyager, performing it on her album New Arrangement. Carnes’s version was a huge hit in the U.S., hitting #1 for nine weeks. Her raspy voice led some to believe Rod Stewart actually sang the song.

14.) Thunder Road – Bruce Springsteen

Famous names(s) in lyrics:

  • Roy Orbison

Thunder Road is the first track of the groundbreaking album Born To Run by Bruce Springsteen. The record connected with people through themes like freedom and escape to the open road. In his 2005 Storytellers appearance, Springsteen said, “What I hoped it would be was the sense of a larger life, greater experience, sense of fun, the sense that your personal exploration and possibilities were all lying somewhere inside you.” His homage to Roy Orbison in the song refers to Orbison’s 1960 hit, “Only The Lonely.”

More famous songs with celebrities

15.) Werewolves of London – Warren Zevon

Famous names(s) in lyrics:

  • Lon Chaney
  • Lon Chaney Jr.

This playful and fanciful song about a well-dressed werewolf eating at a Chinese restaurant and drinking a piña colada at Trader Vic’s was Warren Zevon’s only Top 40 hit as a singer. Zevon had some high-powered help in the recording studio for this song; Jackson Browne served as producer on the track with Mick Fleetwood and John McVie of Fleetwood Mac on backing vocals.

16.) Sweet Home Alabama – Lynyrd Skynyrd

Famous names(s) in lyrics:

  • Neil Young

Southern rockers Lynyrd Skynyrd wrote Sweet Home Alabama as a tribute to the state and their studio musicians at Muscle Shoals Sound Studios. They also took a jab at Neil Young for being critical of southerners for being racist and old-fashioned in his songs. The line from the song that uses his name is, “I hope Neil Young will remember, a southern man don’t need him around anyhow.” The hit song was the band’s first single to chart, reaching number 8 in the U.S.

17.) Party In The USA – Miley Cyrus

Famous names(s) in lyrics:

  • Jay-Z
  • Britney Spears

Miley Cyrus released her pop hit Party In The USA on her EP album The Time of Our Lives in 2009. The all-American song makes reference to Jay-Z and Britney Spears, both of which Cyrus claims to admire. The song has since become a celebratory anthem for patriotic events and elections in the United States, most recently for the election win of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris in 2020.

The big list of famous songs that name drop celebrities

Brigitte Bardot (Message Of Love by The Pretenders)
Halle Berry (She’s Fine by Hurricane Chris featuring Superstarr)
Humphrey Bogart (Key Largo by Bertie Higgins)
David Bowie (David Bowie by Veruca Salt)
Marlon Brando (Pocahontas by Neil Young)
Yul Brynner (One Night In Bangkok by Murray Head)
Jimmy Buffett Mota” by the Offspring)

Al Capone (“The Night Chicago Died” by Paper Lace)
Ruben “Hurricane” Carter – Hurricane Bob Dylan
Johnny Cash (“Long Time Gone” by the Dixie Chicks)
Cheech & Chong (“This Afternoon” by Nickelback)
Phil Collins (Stan by Eminem)
John Coltrane (Angel of Harlem by U2)
Aleister Crowley (Mister Crowley by Ozzy Osbourne)

Miles Davis (Comfortable by John Mayer)
James Dean (James Dean by The Eagles)
James Dean (Jack & Diane by John Cougar Mellencamp)
James Dean (Style by Taylor Swift) See Taylor Swift Riddles and Puns.
Sandra Dee (Come On and Dance by Motley Crue)
Robert De Niro (Robert De Niro’s Waiting by Bananarama)
Leonardo DiCaprio (Hey Leonardo by Blessed Union of Souls)
Drake (I Forgot That You Existed by Taylor Swift)
Bob Dylan (Mr. Jones by Counting Crows)
Bob Dylan (Only Wanna Be With You by Hootie & The Blowfish)
Bob Dylan (Thunder on the Mountain by Alicia Keyes)

Songs with celebrities A to Z

Clint Eastwood (Clint Eastwood by Gorillaz)
Billie Eilish (Alfred’s Theme by Eminem)

Pretty Boy Floyd (Pretty Boy Floyd by Woody Guthrie)
Aretha Franklin (Wood Beez (Pray Like Aretha Franklin) by Scritti Politti)

Clark Gable (You Made Me Love You by Judy Garland)
Greta Garbo (Just Like Greta by Van Morrison)
Crispin Glover (Crispin Glover by Scarling)

Hanson (That’s Just the Way We Roll by the Jonas Brothers)
Jimi Hendrix (Drowse by Queen)
Henry VIII (I’m Henry VIII, I Am by Hermans Hermits)
Buddy Holly (Tribute to Buddy Holly by Mike Berry)
J. Edgar Hoover (God & the FBI by Janis Ian)

Michael Jackson (Slow Jamz by Kanye West)
Mick Jagger (Moves Like Jagger by Maroon 5)
Elmore James (For You Blue by The Beatles)
Janis Joplin (Rock & Roll Heaven by the Righteous Brothers)

Songs with celebrities A to Z

Kim Kardashian (3 AM by Eminem)
Grace Kelly (Grace Kelly by MIKA)

Timothy Leary (Timothy Leary’s Dead by The Moody Blues)
John Lennon (Devil’s Sidewalk by Neil Young)
John Lennon (Life Is Real by Queen)
Liberace (Chocolate Cake by Crowded House)
Lucy Liu (Independent Women by Destiny’s Child)
Bela Lugosi (Hollywood Boulevard by The Kinks)

Chairman Mao (Revolution by The Beatles)
Willie Mays (Centerfield by John Fogarty)
Tim McGraw (Tim McGraw by Taylor Swift)
Steve McQueen (Steve McQueen by Sheryl Crow)
Marilyn Monroe (Candle in the Wind by Elton John)
Marilyn Monroe (Marilyn Monroe by Pharrell Williams
Kate Moss (Everything’s Wonderful by Lily Allen)
Mozart (Blinded by the Light by Bruce Springsteen)

Vladimir Nabokov (Don’t Stand So Close to Me by The Police)
Napoleon (Waterloo by Abba)
Willie Nelson (I’ll Never Smoke Weed With Willie (Nelson) Again by Toby Keith)
Richard Nixon (Ego Is Not a Dirty Word by Skyhooks)
Notorious B.I.G. (I’ll Be Missing You by Puff Daddy)

Songs with celebrities A to Z

Oasis (Elegantly Wasted by INXS)
Michelle Obama (Bo$$ by Fifth Harmony)
Jackie Onassis-Kennedy (Bullet by the Misfits)
Roy Orbison (Twisted Road by Neil Young & Crazy Horse)
Buck Owens (Lookin’ Out My Back Door by Creedence Clearwater Revival)

P. Diddy (Tik Tok by Ke$ha)
Jimmy Page (I Hate Jimmy Page by Mindless Self Indulgence)
Jimmy Page (Rock Show by Wings)
Pablo Picasso (Where Do You Go To, My Lovely? by Peter Sarstedt)
Brad Pitt (That Don’t Impress Me Much by Shania Twain)
Edgar Allan Poe (I Am the Walrus by The Beatles)
Elvis Presley (Calling Elvis by Dire Straits)
Elvis Presley (Wanna Be a Rock n Roll Star by Eddie Money)
Elvis Presley (Free Fallin’ by Tom Petty)
Prince (Good Times by Owl City)

R.E.M. (You’re The Reason I’m Leaving by Franz Ferdinand)
Donna Reed (Living Dead by Rob Zombie)
Rosann Arquette (Rosanna by Toto)
Smokey Robinson (When Smokey Sings by ABC)

Salt N Pepa (Juicy by Notorious B.I.G.)
Shakespeare (Pray For Me by John Cougar Mellencamp)
Ravi Shankar (Monterey by the Animals)
Del Shannon (Running Down A Dream by Tom Petty)
Jessica Simpson (So What by Pink)
Frank Sinatra (It’s My Life by Bon Jovi)
Frank Sinatra (Fairytale of New York by the Pogues)
Ronnie Spector (Take Me Home Tonight by Eddie Money)
Gwen Stefani (Sorry, Blame It on Me by Akon)
Jimmy Swaggart (Merely a Man by XTC)

Songs with celebrities A to Z

John Wayne (Restless by Gordon Lightfoot)
John Wayne (Wild Thing by Tone Loc)
Brian Wilson (Brian Wilson by Barenaked Ladies)
Jackie Wilson (Jackie Wilson Said by Van Morrison)
Amy Winehouse (Amy by Green Day)
Wolfman Jack (Clap For The Wolfman by The Guess Who)

Frank Zappa (Smoke on the Water by Deep Purple)

Bonus songs with celebrities: multiple names in one song

Here is a sampling of the many songs that list multiple celebrities in them. See if you can come up with songs with celebrities we haven’t listed here – a great topic for your next trivia party!

It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine) – R.E.M.
Lenny Bruce
Leonard Bernstein
Leonid Brezhnev
Lester Bangs

Cleaning Windows – Van Morrison
Jimmie Rodgers
Blind Lemon
Sonny Terry
Brownie McGhee
Muddy Waters
Christmas Humphreys
Jack Kerouac

Vogue – Madonna
Greta Garbo
Marilyn Monroe
Marlene Dietrich
Joe DiMaggio
Marlon Brando
Jimmy Dean
Grace Kelly
Harlow Jean
Gene Kelly
Fred Astaire
Ginger Rogers
Rita Hayworth
Lauren Bacall
Katherine Hepburn
Lana TurnerBette Davis

U.S. Blues (The Grateful Dead)
P.T. Barnum
Charlie Chan
Uncle Sam

Dig It – The Beatles
B.B. King
Doris Day
Matt Busby

You’re the Top – (Cole Porter)
Mahatma Ghandi
Johann Strauss
Mona Lisa
Greta Garbo
Calvin Coolidge
Fred Astaire
Eugene O’Neill
James MacNeil Whistler
Dante Alighieri
Jimmy Durante
John Jacob Aster

We hope you’ve enjoyed this list of Songs with Celebrities in the Lyrics. Check out some of these other song lyric lists:

Songs with Lists in the Lyrics

Songs with Girl’s Names in the Lyrics

Songs About Death and Teen Tragedy

By Greg Johnson | Published 1/11/2021