Who's so vain? Carly's target is unmasked

So, it wasn't Warren Beatty, Mick Jagger or Cat Stevens. Apparently. The target of Carly Simon's 1972 global smash hit "You're So Vain" was none of these former lovers. Maybe.

Instead, the man at the heart of this musical mystery is the music and film impresario David Geffen (who is gay). Supposedly.

Simon last week dropped a weighty hint as to who probably thought this song was about them on a new acoustic version of the song. In an interview with Uncut magazine, she said: "The answer is on the new version of 'You're So Vain'. There's a little whisper – and it's the answer to the puzzle." The whispered name, recorded backwards, was reported to be "David".

The searchlight swung away from some of the previous prime suspects: along with Beatty, former lovers included Kris Kristofferson and James Taylor, whom she married in 1972. It landed on her former producer, David Geffen. His friends countered that there are many famous figures in the singer's life who might be more deserving of such an honour.

That's that, then: a riddle that has lasted nearly a lifetime was finally resolved. Of course, it was too good to be true. A source who worked on the new version of the song told the US website ShowBiz411 that it contained two other "whispered" names, one that's unintelligible and another that is "Warren". So, for now, Warren, Kris, Mick, Yusuf, you can go back to probably thinking this song is about you after all.

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