By Bethonie Butler
Updated August 04, 2020 at 11:00 AM EDT

With all the Hollywood scandals from last week’s “Summer ofScandal” issue running through my head, I found myself listening to Britney Spears’ 2000song “Lucky” — a popditty about an overworked starlet forced to feign happiness in front of hermany fans. When Britney (pictured) says, “This is a story about a girl named Lucky,”I heard “This is a story about a girl named Britney.” And it is. “Lucky,” ofcourse, was only a prelude to 2004’s even sadder “Everytime.” If thesearen’t cries for help, I don’t know what it is.

I got to thinking about other troubled musicians and not-so-subliminal warnings they may have left us. For instance:

Lindsay Lohan:”Confessions of aBroken Heart (Daughter to Father)” — LiLo gave the world a front rowseat to her family troubles (through a plate glass window, actually) in thevideo for this 2005 ballad.

Amy Winehouse:”Rehab,” et al. — This is an obvious one; Amy’s old-fashioned soul allows herto do melancholy like no one else, so it’s not surprising some of her biggesthits are woeful tales of alcoholism (“Rehab”), love lost (“Back to Black,” “TheseTears Dry on Their Own,” “Love is a Losing Game”) and the basic inability to liveup to standards (“You Know I’m No Good”).

addCredit(“Britney Spears: Chris Wolf/”)

Lil’ Wayne: F. Babygets an honorable mention here, though Weezy enthusiast Chris Schonbergermaintains that he is not a hot mess, just crazy. But really, could a songcalled “I Feel Like Dying” be anything but a cryfor help? Yeah, yeah. I know. It’s supposed to be ironic.

Mariah Carey: Anotherhonorable mention — emphasis on “honorable.” You might know from previous poststhat I’m a huge Mariah fan. But I can’t deny that girlfriend’s had some trouble,and she’s shared it with her fans. A few examples — “Looking In,” “Outside,” and “Petals” all speak to Carey’s troubledchildhood and her struggle to fit in as a biracial girl. Of course, Carey’s streakof No. 1 hits suggests that maybe she didn’t need our help after all.

Just a few of my favorite musical pleas for help. Is it wrong to have favoriteshere? Isn’t this what music is about?