By the time they achieve stardom, most artists have plenty of people to thank -- which becomes painfully obvious during those long award acceptance speeches. But relatively few actually express gratitude through their music. Their thankful songs usually praise loved ones, deities or the "little people" -- those loyal fans whom the artists hope will express their loyalty one more time by buying the "thank you" song. But these are just our preferences. Tell us your own favorite "Thank You" songs in the comments below, with our thanks.
Dido is said to have written this 2000 song as a tribute to a boyfriend, but she probably owes more gratitude to Eminem. The London-born singer had worked in a series of low-paying clerical jobs when Eminem asked if he could sample this song -- which Dido wrote on soggy paper while taking a bath -- for his tune 'Stan.' Both 'Stan' and 'Thank You' would become hits, and clerical work would become a thing of the past.
We assume the soulful Stax duo thanked Issac Hayes and David Porter for writing this appreciative love song with a not-so-lovey ending, which became a US Top 10 hit in 1968. ZZ Top fans were thankful when the Texas trio put a bearded spin on the tune in 1980.
After the huge success of her album 'Jagged Little Pill,' the former Canadian TV child star was having difficulty dealing with the sudden onslaught of fame. So Alanis did what we all do to cope with stress -- she went to India. In this 1998 song, she actually thanks the entire country, which she said provided her with balance and-- ommmmm -- spiritual calm.
When Zep singer Robert Plant was a struggling musician, his wife, Maureen, helped him through tough times. Financially strapped, Plant even worked for Maureen's father in a steel factory. But once he got on with Zep, he quickly paid tribute to his wife with this 1969 song, the first Zeppelin tune for which he wrote all the lyrics. The marriage didn't last, but they're thankful for their ongoing friendship.
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After his marriage to Heather Mills crumbled, McCartney released this 2007 song, with lines that include 'I should stop loving you/Think what you put me through/But I don't." While that seems to fit the Mills tabloid story line, some fans assumed it might be for his first wife, the late Linda McCartney. But then Sir Paul himself told the New York Times it was for neither: "'Gratitude' is just me being grateful for the good stuff in my life, past and present." Thanks for the clarification.
After O'Connor ripped up a photo of the pope during a performance on 'Saturday Night Live' in 1992, many people weren't especially thankful for the controversy-courting Irish singer. Madonna publicly criticized her. Joe Pesci said she needed a smack. And Frank Sinatra suggested he might "kick her ass." A nervous breakdown and a suicide attempt would follow. And in 1994, she released this song offering thanks to -- well, we're not really sure. But probably not Joe Pesci.
Merchant considers this track from her 1998 album 'Ophelia' to be her most important song. It's also her most-licensed song. Numerous nonprofit organizations use the tune -- which concludes with six mentions of "thank you" -- in commercials to show appreciation to supporters. It has also been played at the Women's Soccer Championship, Major League Baseball's World Series and pro hockey's Stanley Cup, even though Merchant has never expressed any thankfulness for sports.
Throughout his 2009 'Blueprint 3' album, the hip-hop megastar was rather -- how shall we say -- fond of his achievements, which garnered him expensive cars and a place on the Forbes.com Celebrity 100 list of highest-paid entertainers. But material rewards can only go so far. Jay-Z, who credits hip-hop with saving his life, offers thanks in this song, though he also uses the 9/11 plane crashes as a metaphor for his foes' careers, which causes us to question his sincerity.
Jon Bon Jovi can thank Brad Pitt for this one. The New Jersey singer was watching 'Meet Joe Black,' when he heard Pitt's character tell his lover, "Thank you for loving me." Bon Jovi immediately left the theater, went straight home and wrote the chorus. It makes us wonder, though: What if he'd seen 'Fight Club' that day?
The reggae legend was never one to shy away from his belief in Rastafari. In fact, Marley's music -- with its Jah-heavy lyrics -- is credited with moving Rastafari from obscurity to becoming an internationally recognized religious movement. Here he gives Jah thanks and praises -- and never once mentions weed.