Over the weekend, singing sensations Miley Cyrus and Shakira brought the “diss track” — a song whose primary purpose is to disparage someone else — back into the mainstream. Both artists chose to target their ex-husbands.
Shakira’s new song, which was released last week, racked up 63 million views in the first twenty-four hours following its release. It has since been viewed more than 142 million times, making it the most watched new Latin song in YouTube’s history.
Last year the Colombian singer split from former soccer player Gerard Piqué, her husband of more than a decade. Shakira supposedly deduced that Piqué had been cheating on her after discovering that the strawberry jelly in her fridge had been used: a food that he doesn’t eat. Consistent with his last few seasons at Barcelona, Piqué mounted a weak defense — and in true sports star fashion, he has since started dating twenty-three-year-old Clara Chía.
Some of Shakira’s lyrics include, “You swapped a Ferrari for a Twingo / You swapped a Rolex for a Casio.” She also takes aim at her mother-in-law, the media and her tax problems, singing, “You left me with my mother-in-law as a neighbor, with the press at my door and a debt to the taxman.” Shakira is reportedly playing the song on a loop, with a witch on her balcony pointing at her mother-in-law’s house.
Miley Cyrus’s latest song is a bit less in-your-face. Her new single, “Flowers” was released on her ex-husband Liam Hemsworth’s birthday.
In the diss track, Cyrus sings, “We were good / We were gold / Kind of dream that can’t be sold. We were right / ’Til we weren’t / Built a home and watched it burn.” Miley and Liam’s home was destroyed in a 2018 wildfire.
Maybe it’s just Cockburn, but he struggles to empathize with the personal struggles of multimillionaires — especially when their scathing songs are making them a load more cash. What’s more, there’s a place for the airing of such personal grievances: the therapist’s couch, for instance, or mediation. But in public? On YouTube? What on earth happened to quiet dignity?