Revealed: Musicians Dish On The People Who Inspired Their Hit Songs

The greatest songwriters get their inspiration from real life. Behind every great love song is a real love story. It just so happens that when you’re famous, your love story also involves other famous people. These musicians went on the record and spoke about the inspiration behind some of the biggest hits. From Taylor Swift’s exes to strangers meeting boy banders in the middle of the night, these are the real-life people behind the song.

“Smile” – Jay-Z

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Jay-Z has had a massively long career and throughout, he’s sung about more than a few beautiful women (hello, Beyoncé!). One of these gorgeous women happens to be his mother. That’s right — Jay-Z is a total mama’s boy!

Gloria Carter actually collaborated with her son on “Smile,” a track from 4:44, his 13th studio album. She contributes a spoken word outro, while Jay-Z raps about her struggle living as a closeted lesbian.

In an interview, Jay spoke about “Smile” and admitted he always knew his mother was gay. “But we never spoke about it,” he said. “Until like recently now we start having these beautiful conversations and just really getting to know each other. We were always good friends but now we’re really great friends.”