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20 hit songs that were originally intended for other singers

If these songs had gone to the artists they were intended for, the world would be a different place.

1. Telephone by Lady Gaga was recorded by Britney Spears.

Here’s Britney’s version of the song:

Source: britneyalbum2011/YouTube

Obviously it’s a demo that’s nowhere near complete, but you kind of can’t help but be thankful that the song (which was written by Gaga) eventually fell back into Lady Gaga’s had.

2. Umbrella by Rihanna was also originally intended for Britney Spears and Mary J. Blige.

Source: RihannaVEVO/YouTube

Britney’s label rejected Umbrella before she even got a chance to hear it for herself. The timing probably wasn’t right – we all know where Britney was in 2007. Plus this song definitely suits Rihanna more. It’s hard to believe that Britney would even be considered for this track.

Mary J. Blige though, that probably could have worked. Blige’s label described the competition to try and secure the track before Rihanna as the ‘bidding war of our lives‘.

3. Come and Get It by Selena Gomez was almost a Rihanna track.

Source: SelenaGomezVEVO/YouTube

At the time of this songs release, people criticised it and said it sounded like a ‘Rihanna reject’. And it was exactly that. Intended for Rihanna’s 2011 album Talk That Talk, Come and Get It was rejected by Ri and given to Selena Gomez.

4. The year that Come And Get It was released, we witnessed Miley Cyrus’s comeback with We Can’t Stop. This was another track originally offered to Rihanna.

Source: MileyCyrusVEVO/YouTube

Rihanna could have had We Can’t Stop for her 2012 album Unapologetic, but she clearly wasn’t feeling it. Instead, Rihanna pressed Mike Will Made It for his song Pour It Up. Good choice.

5. Since U Been Gone by Kelly Clarkson was turned down by both Pink and Hilary Duff.

Source: kellyclarksonVEVO/YouTube

Written by Dr. Luke and intended for Pink, Since U Been Gone probably would have suited Pink but she turned it down. Hilary Duff’s management showed interest in the song but she was concerned about ‘glass-shattering‘ high notes, so they turned it down.

6. Don’t Cha by the Pussycat Dolls was offered to Paris Hilton before the girl group recorded it as their debut chart-topper.

Source: ThePussycatDollsVEVO/YouTube

Paris claims the version she heard was nothing like the finished product that the Pussycat Dolls released. “I think I did hear the song, but not in the format that we call came to know and love. If I’d heard that, of course I’d have jumped at the chance.

7. S Club 7 were originally supposed to sing Kylie Minogue’s hit ‘Can’t Get You Out of My Head’.

Source: emimusic/YouTube

After a demo was recorded, management decided it wasn’t for them. It was also offered to Sophie Ellis-Bextor, who would probably have done a great job on it, but she turned it down and Kylie Minogue later fell in love with it.

8. Aerosmith’s most well known tune ‘I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing’ nearly ended up being a Celine Dion song.

Source: AerosmithVEVO/YouTube

The song was written by Diane Warren who never expected it to be sung by a ‘gruff, macho rock star’, but rather Celine Dion. Warren preferred the outcome in the end, anyway.

9. When Ed Sheeran wrote ‘Shape of You’, he wanted it to be sung by Rihanna instead of himself.

Source: Ed Sheeran/YouTube

Half way through writing the song for Rihanna, Ed asked himself “Would this really work for Rihanna?” Then, after reading lyrics like ‘putting Van The Man on the jukebox’ he said ‘She’s not really going to sing that, is she?‘ and they decided at that point to keep the song for Sheeran.

10. ‘Boys’ and ‘Slave 4 U’ by Britney Spears were first offered to Janet Jackson.

Source: BritneySpearsVEVO/YouTube

While in The Neptunes, Pharrell Williams wrote these two songs for Janet Jackson. It’s pretty clear that they’re both songs that would be more suited to Janet Jackson, but she disliked the songs.

11. Pharrell Williams didn’t even intend on singing ‘Happy’ himself.

Source: iamOTHER/YouTube

He wrote the song hoping that Cee Lo Green would sing it, but Cee Lo Green was busy launching a Christmas album. He really missed out on that big single, considering it has nearly 1 billion views on YouTube.

12. ‘Toxic’ was offered to Kylie Minogue before Britney Spears.

Source: BritneySpearsVEVO/YouTube

There’s definitely a clear pattern emerging that highlights which singers weren’t interested in songwriting in the 2000s. We’re lucky this iconic tune ended up being Britney’s anyway.

13. ‘Rock Your Body’ was supposed to be for Michael Jackson’s final studio album before it was given to Justin Timberlake.

Source: justintimberlakeVEVO/YouTube

Timberlake and The Neptunes wrote this one together and it was rejected by Jackson along with a couple of other songs.

14. ‘Pretty Hurts’ by Beyoncé could have been sung by either Katy Perry or Rihanna after it was written by Sia.

Source: beyonceVEVO/YouTube

After Pretty Hurts was released by Beyoncé, Katy Perry sent Sia a text message that read “I’m pretty hurt you never sent me this song.” Little did she know, Sia actually had sent her the song, but Katy Perry just doesn’t keep on top of her emails.

15. Sia’s ‘Cheap Thrills’ and ‘Chandelier’ were also written for Rihanna.

Source: SiaVEVO/YouTube

Sia’s songwriting talent does not need to be questioned. She wrote ‘Diamonds’ for Rihanna, but Rihanna wasn’t feeling ‘Cheap Thrills’ as it was a little too ‘Brit-pop‘. Sia couldn’t stop listening to the song and decided to record it for herself. It paid off.

16. ‘Nothin’ On You’ by Bruno Mars and B.o.B. was originally written by Lupe Fiasco for his own album.

Source: CurrentHipHopTV2010/YouTube

He recorded his own version, but the label rejected it and he let B.o.B. take the song, launching both the careers of Bruno Mars and B.o.B. Lupe Fiasco also wrote ‘Airplanes’, B.o.B.’s hit song with Paramore singer Hayley Williams for the same album. B.o.B. definitely owes him one.

17. Christina Milian turned down ‘SOS’ before it was given to Rihanna.

Source: RihannaVEVO/YouTube

Christina Milian didn’t see the appeal of ‘SOS’ and turned it down. She told Rap-Up in 2008 that shortly after, she was dropped from the label a week after the release of her third album. It was done as part of a budget cut, which she claimed was to spend more money on Rihanna. Ouch.

18. ‘We Found Love’ was turned down by Nicole Scherzinger.

Source: RihannaVEVO/YouTube

Calvin Harris offered the song to Nicole Scherzinger, but at the time she wanted to distance herself from dance music. According to Scherzinger, she also turned down ‘Crazy’ before Gnarls Barkley recorded it and ‘Just Dance’ before Lady Gaga released it. Next she’ll be saying she turned down Bohemian Rhapsody before Queen released it.

19. ‘Call Me’ by Blondie could have been sung by Stevie Nicks if it wasn’t for a contract with her record company stopping her.

Source: Romina Valeria/YouTube

Italian disco producer Giorgio Morodor asked Stevie Nicks to help him out on the theme song for American Gigolo, but her recent record deal prevented her from working with Moroder, so Moroder turned to Blondie as his plan B.

20. ‘…Baby One More Time’ by Britney Spears had previously been turned down by TLC because they refused to say ‘hit me baby’.

Source: BritneySpearsVEVO/YouTube

Yeah, when you say it like that it was a pretty weird song in hindsight.

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Kelly Earley

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