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10 Iconic Pop Songs Originally Written For Different Singers

10 Iconic Pop Songs Originally Written For Different Singers

April 28th, 2014
Posted in Entertainment By
  • nicole-scherzinger-we-found-love

    Song: "We Found Love" by Rihanna
    Originally offered to: Nicole Scherzinger
    In February, the former Pussycat Doll told Notion magazine that she had the chance to record "We Found Love," the Calvin Harris-produced song that became a mega-hit for Rihanna. "I passed on 'We Found Love,'" Scherzinger said. "I've got the demo of that song and I was busy at the time." 

  • hit-me-baby-one-more-time-TLC

    Song: "...Baby One More Time" by Britney Spears
    Originally offered to: TLC
    It's hard to picture TLC—the '90s R&B trio known for baggy pants and skimpy tops—having the same success with this track as Spears, but producer Max Martin originally offered it to them for 1999's "FanMail" album. They obviously rejected it, giving Britney a one-way ticket to superstardom.  

  • michael-jackson-rock-your-body

    Song: "Rock Your Body" by Justin Timberlake
    Originally offered to: Michael Jackson
    This smooth, disco-inflected track was offered to Jackson for his tenth and final studio album, 2001's "Invincible," along with other songs by Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo's production duo The Neptunes. Jackson reportedly rejected all the songs, which eventally landed on JT's debut album "Justified." 

  • britney-spears-telephone-lady-gaga

    Song: "Telephone" by Lady Gaga and Beyoncé
    Originally offered to: Britney Spears
    Gaga originally wrote "Telephone" to be included on Spears' 2010 "Circus" album, but the pop star rejected it. Gaga eventually kept it for herself and turned it into a banging duet with Beyoncé. To be fair, this is one of the few songs on this list that probably would have been just as good if it was recorded by the artist it was intended for. 

  • chris-brown-disturbia

    Song: "Disturbia" by Rihanna
    Originally offered to: Chris Brown
    Oh, the irony. "Disturbia" was actually written by Brown and his team to be part of a re-release edition of his album "Exclusiuve" in 2007, but Brown decided to include "Forever" instead. He reportedly felt that "Disturbia" would be better suited for a female singer and gave it to Rihanna. We all know how that turned out. 

  • celine-dion-aerosmith

    Song: "I Don't Wanna Miss a Thing" by Aerosmith
    Originally offered to: Celine Dion
    This power ballad appeared on the soundtrack to 1999 film "Armageddon," which starred Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler's daughter, Liv. The track was written by legendary songwriter Diane Warren, who reportedly has said she meant it for Celine, but loved the idea of a macho voice on such a senstitive track. 

  • rihanna-miley-we-cant-stop

    Song: "We Can't Stop" by Miley Cyrus
    Originally offered to: Rihanna 
    "We Can't Stop" producer Mike WiLL Made-It has confirmed that the party song was written for Rihanna, whom he ended up working with on "Pour It Up." "When I originally worked on 'We Can't Stop,' we had did it for Rihanna. The idea was more towards Rihanna," he told MTV News. "Rihanna, she heard 'Pour It Up' right away, and she didn't even hear 'We Can't Stop.'" He also said Miley "nailed the record, and she did it with her swag. So it sounds totally different than from what we originally tried to come up with."

  • janet-jackson-im-a-slave-for-you

    Song: "I'm a Slave 4 U" by Britney Spears
    Originally offered to: Janet Jackson
    Written byThe Neptunes, this slinky pop song was one of Spears' first "I'm all grown up!" tracks from her third album "Britney," but it was originally offered to Janet Jackson, who passed. Jackson also had the chance to record "Boys," another Neptune's track that Britney made famous, but only got so far as recording an unreleased demo.

  • beyonce-shania-twain-irreplaceable

    Song: "Irreplaceable" by Beyoncé
    Originally written for: Shania Twain or Faith Hill
    Beyonce's "to the left" R&B hit was written by Ne-Yo and Norwegian producing duo Stargate, but it wasn't written with Beyoncé in mind. According to MTV News, Ne-Yo revealed in interviews that he had Faith Hill and Shania Twain in mind when he wrote "Irreplaceable" as a country song, and Hermansen still thinks the tune could easily have been a country radio hit. Once Bey heard it, however, she loved it and said she thought she could put her own spin on it.  

  • avril-lavigne-breakaway

    Song: "Breakaway" by Kelly Clarkson
    Originally offered to: Avril Lavigne
    Lavigne actually cowrote this hit for her own debut album "Let Go" in 2002, but decided it didn't quite fit with the rest of the material. At that time, Clarkson had just been crowned the first American Idol and the song went on to be her first hit. While it may not have worked on Lavigne's album, we definitely hear traces of the singer in the song.  

Fact: Today’s pop music landscape may have looked very, very different had a handful of singers accepted the tracks that were originally written for them.

It’s pretty mind-blowing to consider that Rihanna almost never got to wow us with “Disturbia” because it was actually written by Chris Brown, who planned to include it on one of his albums (ironic, we know). Also, who knew TLC was thisclose to recording ” … Baby One more Time,” the 1999 mega-hit that turned a Louisiana teenager by the name of Britney Spears  into a bonafide pop culture icon?

MORE: 50 Actors Who Passed on Famous Roles

Furthermore, artists like Janet Jackson and her late brother Michael both passed on songs that would later go to Spears and Justin Timberlake, while Spears herself passed on plenty of pop tracks, including Rihanna‘s “Umbrella,” Lady Gaga‘s “Telephone,” and (many) others.

Obviously, iconic pop songs could easily have become duds had every artist accepted every song offered to them, but it’s fun to see who passed on now-famous songs.

Click through the gallery to see 10 songs originally written for other singers, and let us know which shocked you most! 

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