Did You Know?

I have not done a Did You Know post in a while. This week Hollywood Reporter reported that British singer Adele Adkins is closing in on breaking The Bodyguard soundtrack record of being no.1 on the Billboard 200 charts for 20 weeks. Adele has just claimed her 17th week atop the chart.

Just for fun here a list of musicians who turned down songs that became mega hits for others.
Bet you have had those moments when you pass on an opportunity or make a decision that you later look back and think; what the hell was I think? Well you are not alone ... 
Song: Disturbia
Declined By: (In this case intended for) Chris Brown
Sung by: Rihanna

Everyone knows that Chris Brown and Rihanna share some unsavory history (courts and all), but once upon a time he was helping her out professionally. He actually co-wrote the track "Disturbia" for his own album, Exclusive, but passed it Riri's way after he decided it was better suited to a female vocalist.

The song was never really a mega-hit for Riri but it did very well.
Song: What's Love Got To Do With It?
Declined By: Donna Summer
Finally sung by: Tina Turner

Seriously, can you even think about anyone else but Tina Turner singing this song? All I am going to say is, thank you for rejecting the song Donna or else we would have never had the pleasure of enjoying this classic by Ms Turner.  The song was a hit and Angela Basset played Tina Turner in a biopic of the same name. 
Song: Gold Digger
Declined By: Shawnna (Who?!)
Sung By: Kanye West

Kanye originally created 'Gold Digger' for then hip-hop hopeful Shawnna's solo debut, but she rejected it. He then reworked the lyrics, made a colab with Jamie Foxx and Ka'ching!. Meanwhile, we still asking... Shawnna, who dat?
Song: Toxic
Declined By: Kylie Monogue
Sung By: Britney

Songwriter Cathy Dennis penned "Toxic" for Kylie Minogue, who had previously scored a smash hit with Dennis' song "Can't Get You Out of My Head." Kylie passed on the track. She says she didn't mind when "Toxic" proved a career booster for Britney, explaining, "It's like the fish that got away. You just have to accept it.". Somehow I don't personally see the song having worked with Kylie. So in my opinion this was a good choice for Kylie to pass.
Song: It's Raining Men
Declined By: Diana Ross
Sung By: The Weather Girls

Diana Ross was one of several divas to pass on the glittery disco anthem "It's Raining Men," as Donna Summer, Cher, and Barbra Streisand all refused the tune before The Weather Girls made it their own mega-hit in 1982. The song has become the international de facto gay anthem!! Of course Ms Ross spun few hits of her own post this so I doubt she spent any sleepless nights about this blunder. 
Song: Since You've Been Gone
Declined By: Hillary Duff
Sung By: Kelly Clarkson

This girl power pop anthem was offered to both Pink and Hilary Duff before it ended up on Kelly Clarkson's radar. According to Dr. Luke, Duff's management was concerned about her ability to hit the tune's glass-shattering high notes. You know what, I totally agree. Hillary is not a strong vocal performer so I doubt she would have done the song justice.
Song: Umbrella
Declined By: Britney
Sung By: Rihanna

Can you imagine Britney going; "Ela ela ela ... eh eh eh" ? Well had it not been for her dramatic meltdown that would have been the case. Terius "The Dream" Nash revealed that the song was written with Britney in mind but it never got her. This was during the divorce-babydrama-headshaving period in Britney's life.  
Song: Baby One More Time
Declined By: TLC
Sung By: Britney

This I would have loved to have seen. I genuinely believe that in TLC's hands the song would have been epic. Scrubs proved that the girls could do cross-over songs very well so this would not have been a biggie for them. The girls gave the track a pass when they were putting together FanMail albumn. 
Song: Telephone
Declined By: Britney
Sung By: Lady Gaga and Beyonce

The song was originally written for Britney Spears. Though she went as far as recording a heavily autotuned demo of the song, she eventually passed, paving the way for songwriter Lady Gaga's collab with Beyonce Knowles.  Cue the raunchy video!! I hated the song so I couldn't really give a damn who recorded it. Even Lady Gaga hates it. She's been quoted saying, "I hate ‘Telephone’. Is that terrible to say? It’s the song I have the most difficult time listening to."
Song: Irreplaceable
Declined By: Chrisette Michele
Sung By: Beyonce

Penned by Ne-Yo, "Irreplaceable," was rejected by Chrisette because she felt it "wasn't her." Beyonce jumped at the chance and the world chanted with her "To the left, To the left" all the way to the top of the charts. Word is that Chrisette has not being able to get over the foolish blunder.
Song: Milkshake
Declined By: Britney Spears
Sung By: Kelis

Before Kelis brought all the boys to the yard Britney was supposed to, but she passed. 
Song: Halo
Declined By: Leona Lewis
Sung By: Beyonce

The song was composed by Ryan Tedder, Evan Bogart and Beyonce Knowles. It was conceived by Tedder and Bogart who have said that it was specifically for Knowles, although there are media speculation that it had been intended for Leona Lewis.

The story goes: Simon Cowell declined the song for Leona Lewis because she was too busy with other more refined material to record 'Halo'. We all know what happened when the track hit Sacha Fierce. 
Song: Miss Independent
Declined By: Destiny's Child and Christina Aguilera
Sung By: Kelly Clarkson

When Destiny's Child refused 'Miss Independent,' producer Rhett Lawrence brought it to Xtina, who had a go at it but gave it up. It then fell into the lap of Clarkson, who turned it into a smash.

Ok, let us be real. Every artist is different and brings a different dynamic and feel to the song. Just because these songs became hits does not mean they would have fared the same automatically if they were recorded by the artists who turned them down.

Maybe they would have, maybe not. Fact is that we will never know. It is still fun to wonder though. 

1 comment:

Mmeyi said...

Phil, "Umbrella" was actually written with Mary J Blige in mind (too weird). However, Rihanna insisted that she wants to sing it after she hearing the caribbean lilt in the song.

Other random facts:
• Rihanna's "SOS" was actually turned down by Christina Milian. It went on to become Rihanna's first #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
• "Toxic" won Britney her only Grammy to date (Best Dance Record).
• There's actually a demo of Britney singing "Telephone", the chorus was appalling.

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