As Dido preps the March 8 release of her first album in six years, “Still On My Mind,” the singer shares a playlist with USA TODAY of favorite tracks that helped inspire her songwriting, by legendary artists including Van Morrison, Carly Simon and Randy Newman.
Sinead O’Connor, “Nothing Compares 2 U”
Undeniably brilliant Prince song that when Sinead sang it I can still feel how I felt when I first heard it, and it inspired me so much vocally and emotionally. It was the soundtrack to my first (of course gutting at the time!) breakup.
Van Morrison, “Raglan Road”
My dad used to play this to me when I was a kid. I was brought up on so many beautiful Irish story songs; my dad would sing them to me every night to get to sleep.
Sarah McLachlan, “Angel”
This song is a song I wish I could have written, it’s just so beautiful and her voice stunning. It brings back amazing memories of being on Lilith Fair – my first gigs – and having so much kindness, support and help from Sarah. She is a great artist who was not ever afraid to go out of her way to help other aspiring female artists, and I’ll always be grateful to her. If I need to cry, I’ll put this song on!
Carly Simon, “Why”
This song reminds me of when I first met my husband – we were both obsessed with this song. Ever since I first heard it I wished I could write a song as good as this, and I don’t think I’d realized it was a Chic production when I first ever heard it. I then went back over all my favorite songs and realized just how many of them have been produced by Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards. What a team.
Randy Newman, “Louisiana 1927”
Utterly beautiful, moving, became so relevant again during Hurricane Katrina. I love playing this on the piano. He’s so clever with his chords; they sound so simple but aren’t.
Bassomatic, “Fascinating Rhythm”
This whole album was the cause of a huge fight between me and my brother. We only had one copy and just couldn’t agree who would keep it in their car as we both loved it so much. It got pretty heated.
Mike Posner, “I Took A Pill In Ibiza”
Everything I love in a song: beautiful, uplifting, a sense of humor, honest and brilliant.
Bruno Mars, “Treasure”
This song just makes me feel so good and brings back lovely memories of this summer where we took our son to his first ever gig – Bruno Mars – and he then spent the rest of the summer singing this song.