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19 Hits That Were Almost Sung By Someone Else

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Okay, but the female version of “Gold Digger” would be such a vibe.


Both Adele and Beyoncé turned down “All About That Bass” before the song went to Meghan Trainor.

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“Gold Digger” was originally meant to be sung by a woman and was offered to Shawnna, but she passed on it. However, Kanye West knew it’d be a hit, so he reworked the song and kept it for himself.

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“Umbrella” by Rihanna was originally meant to be sung by Britney Spears, but she passed on it.

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Mary J. Blige was also in the running to record the song, but she passed because she was already too busy with the Grammys


“See You Again” by Wiz Khalifa feat. Charlie Puth was offered to Eminem first, but he passed because he was already invested in his songs for the movie Southpaw.

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“…Baby One More Time” was originally meant for TLC, but when they rejected it, producer Max Martin ended up giving the song to Britney Spears.

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T-Boz told MTV, “I was like, I like the song but do I think it’s a hit? Do I think it’s TLC? I’m not saying ‘hit me, baby.’ No disrespect to Britney.”


Dua Lipa’s hit “New Rules” was actually written for Little Mix.

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The song had also been passed on a few more times before landing with Dua Lipa. 


Pharrell Williams’ “Happy” was originally recorded by Cee Lo Green and ready to be released, but some of the members on his team felt that he needed to focus on his album instead.

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Pharrell told Rolling Stone, “The powers that be, at the time, did not see it fit for him. Some folks on his team just felt that the priority should be on [his] album at the time [Cee Lo’s Magic Moment], so they elected not to do that song.”


Stevie Nicks was approached to sing “Call Me,” but she had to decline because she was busy at the time, so Blondie recorded the song instead.

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Justin Timberlake originally wrote “Gone” for Michael Jackson, but his team rejected the song, so Justin took it back for NSYNC to record.

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“Since U Been Gone” was offered to Pink and Hilary Duff before it finally landed with Kelly Clarkson.

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“Black Widow” was partially written by Katy Perry and she intended it to be included on her album Prism, but she gave it to Iggy Azalea and Rita Ora instead.

Def Jam / Getty Images


Ed Sheeran originally wrote “Shape of You” for Rihanna, but then he realized the lyrics didn’t sound like something she’d say, so he kept the song for himself.

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NSYNC’s “Bye, Bye, Bye” was originally meant for a British boy band called 5ive, but they turned it down.

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Simon Cowell told Rolling Stone, “Then they went out to Sweden a few weeks to record a song which they famously turned down, called ‘Bye Bye Bye.’ And it really was bye, bye, bye after that.”


Nicole Scherzinger was offered “We Found Love” but was busy at the time, so it went to Rihanna.

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Katy Perry was originally meant to sing “Pretty Hurts” but her team passed on the song, then it went to Rihanna but her team forgot to secure the song, so it finally went to Beyoncé.

Getty Images / Columbia

Sia revealed, “I wrote it on the sofa three years ago for Katy Perry, sent it to Katy Perry, she never heard it. Then I sent it to Beyonce’s people and Rihanna’s people, and Rihanna heard it and she had it on hold for eight months and her management forgot to secure it by paying for the track, and Beyonce just slid into home base and threw the money down and it was a really awkward situation.”


Camila Cabello was originally featured on the Chainsmokers song “Closer” but had to turn it down because Fifth Harmony was about to put out an album, so Halsey did it instead.

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Charli XCX originally wrote “Boom Clap” for Hilary Duff, but her team passed because the song wasn’t “cool enough,” so Charli kept it for herself.

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“Can’t Get You Out of My Head” was intended for S Club 7 to sing, but they turned it down and the song went to Kylie Minogue instead.

Parlophone Records / Getty Images


Finally, “We Can’t Stop” was written for Rihanna, but it ended up going to Miley Cyrus instead.

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Songwriter Mike Will said, “When I originally worked on ‘We Can’t Stop,’ we had done it for Rihanna. The idea was more towards Rihanna. Rihanna, she heard ‘Pour It Up’ right away, and she didn’t even hear ‘We Can’t Stop.'”

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