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10 Popular Songs That Were Originally Written for Other Singers

There are many songs that are so iconic it is hard to imagine them being sung by a different artist. But some of the music industry’s biggest hits could have turned out different from what we learned to listen and sing along to. Whether by fate, chance, or luck, these artists are fortunate enough to have ended up with these songs, that turned out to be total hits.

We at Bright Side found that some of our favorite songs were actually intended for a different artist. You might be just as surprised as us.

1. Shape of You

With over 5 billion views on YouTube, Ed Sheeran’s song, Shape of You was the #1 played song on Spotify in 2019. However, in an interview with BBC Radio 1, the singer-songwriter revealed that this hit song was originally intended for Rihanna. But due to some of the lyrics like, “...putting Van The Man on the jukebox...” it was decided afterward that he should just sing the song instead.

2. Rock Your Body

Rock Your Body is the song that helped to catapult Justin Timberlake into becoming a solo R&B/pop artist. The song was written by Chad Hugo and Pharrell Williams, known back in the ’90s as The Neptunes. The duo had originally written the song for The King of Pop, Michael Jackson, who didn’t use their song, so they decided to pass it over and collaborate with Justin Timberlake.

3. I Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing

This hit single sung by Aerosmith was first released in the original soundtrack of the movie Armageddon. The song was written by hit ballad writer, Dianne Warren, who revealed that she initially imagined Celine Dion to be the singer of I Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing.

4. Telephone

Stefani Germanotta, more commonly known as Lady Gaga, initially wrote Telephone for Britney Spears. But when her song was rejected by the pop artist, Gaga took the song and collaborated with Beyoncé to turn it into the hit song that has close to 400 million views on YouTube.

5. Cheap Thrills

When Sia took a break from singing and performing, she focused on songwriting for big names like Madonna, Rihanna, and Beyoncé. Sia originally wrote Cheap Thrills for Rihanna, who didn’t take the song. She then collaborated with Sean Paul on the song, which gave her 3 nominations in 2016.

6. All About That Bass

Before she became a Grammy-winning pop singer, Meghan Trainer was a songwriter, penning songs for many famous artists like Rascall Flatts, Fifth Harmony, and JLo. She initially presented All About That Bass to big names like Beyoncé and Adele but decided to perform it herself when no one took on the song. It ended up being her first hit single and led to her winning a Grammy.

7. Let’s Get Loud

Let’s Get Loud is one of JLo’s highly acclaimed songs and music performances. Despite its popularity, the hit song was initially intended for its co-writer Gloria Estefan. However, Estefan felt that the song was too similar to her other tracks and decided it pass it on to Jennifer Lopez in hopes that the Latina artist would “make it more fun” and add her own flair to it.

8. Miss Independent

The songwriters of Miss Independent initially presented the song to Destiny’s Child, who turned it down. The song was passed on to Christina Aguilera who worked on it for her Stripped album and rewrote the lyrics. The song never made it to the album though and was given to American Idol winner, Kelly Clarkson, who released the song on her debut solo album, which made it to the top in the Billboard Hot 100 in 2003.

9. Halo

The song Halo won multiple Grammy awards and nominations for Beyoncé in 2009 and 2010. Ryan Tedder, the lead singer of One Republic, and one of the writers of the song, revealed that this song was actually put up for grabs with X Factor winner Leona Lewis, but ultimately ended up with Queen B.

10. Umbrella

Another song that Britney Spears turned down was the song that allowed Rihanna to win a Grammy in 2008. Umbrella was initially presented to Spears, who passed on it, only to be made into a smash hit single by the R&B artist.

Do you think these songs fell into the hands of the right artists?

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