It’s hard to imagine hit songs being sung by another artist, especially if those songs have become the anthem of the year and a staple in the singer’s discography. Some songs are simply not meant to be sung by someone else—think of hearing TLC’s vocals for “Baby One More Time” instead of Britney Spears. Difficult, isn’t it?
Well, it could have really happened as the 1999 hit was supposed to be a TLC song. It may come off as a surprise for many, but it’s quite common to have a song made for a certain artist picked up and released by another and became their signature song.
Aside from Spears’ smash hit, these are some other hit songs that were originally meant for other artists.
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This duet between Beyoncé and Lady Gaga is more than iconic and it’s impossible to imagine someone other than the Queen B hitting it off with the Mother Monster. However, the song was supposed to be sung by Britney Spears, according to bimonthly magazine i-D.
Gaga originally wrote the track for Spears’ “Circus” album but was rejected. If you want to know what it’s like to hear Spears’ vocals for the song, you can look up a leaked demo version of the song online.
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One of the most legendary Pussycat Dolls songs ever released. But did you know that you could’ve been hearing Paris Hilton’s voice for the 2005 hit instead? Hilton said she regrets passing up on the song and that she would’ve “jumped at the chance” if the demo she heard was in the format that we all know today.
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Australian singer-songwriter Sia’s seventh studio album, “This Is Acting,” is made up of all the songs she wrote and rejected by other artists. This includes the single “Cheap Thrills,” which was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance. Had it not been rejected, “Cheap Thrills” would have been a part of Rihanna’s undisputed discography.
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Rihanna has multiple hit songs, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t have any hand-me-downs. Her 2007 chart-topper “Umbrella,” which featured rapper Jay-Z, was written for Britney Spears. Entertainment news site PopCrush says the song was then run by Mary J. Blige before RiRi eventually recorded and released it to become one of the most iconic songs of the decade.
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Beyoncé’s post-breakup song, which empowers girls after finding out their boyfriend cheated on them, was supposed to be sung from the male perspective, according to People Magazine. RnB star Ne-Yo wrote the song and he regretted giving up the song after it was released and became a hit.
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Since U Been Gone
The song may seem fitting for 2002 American Idol Kelly Clarkson, but “Since U Been Gone” was written with P!nk in mind. P!nk rejected the song, prompting songwriters Max Martin and Dr. Luke to offer it to Hilary Duff. She also rejected the song, with reports saying it’s because she couldn’t reach the high notes. It was eventually given to Clarkson, who made the song a hit single in her best-selling album “Breakaway.”
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Did you know Queen B’s iconic song was almost given to another artist? According to Insider, an American financial and business news website, OneRepublic frontman Ryan Tedder offered the song to Leona Lewis even though it was initially written for Beyoncé when Tedder thought the Queen B was taking a long time to record it.
“What happened was that Beyoncé waited long enough to record that song that I had no communication with her and didn't know if she was going to do it or not,” Tedder told radio station Key 103. “I thought this would be a brilliant first single for Leona, which it would have.”