Hit Songs Originally Intended For Other Artists

Leona LewisDaniel Deme / WENN

Pussycat Dolls’ “Don’t Cha” (Paris Hilton), Kelly Clarkson‘s “Since U Been Gone” (Hilary Duff), Rihanna’s “Umbrella” (Britney Spears) – some of the biggest chart smashes of the 21st century have been foolishly turned down by artists with a distinct lack of hit-spotting nous. Here’s a look at five songs from this year that in a parallel universe would have been gracing the US Hot 100 under a completely different name.

Ellie Goulding – “Burn”

Originally recorded by Leona Lewis, the dubstep-tinged “Burn” was then tossed aside to make way for more ballads on her underperforming third album, Glassheart. Step forward twelve months later and Ellie Goulding is sitting pretty at the top of the UK charts with exactly the same track. After passing on Rihanna‘s “We Found Love” for the same project, perhaps the X-Factor winner should consider firing her A&R team.

Miley Cyrus – “We Can’t Stop”

Considering the production line approach to Rihanna’s prolific output, it’s inevitable that some of her cast-offs will get handed down to other artists. Written with the Bajan superstar in mind, the woozy R&B comedown of “We Can’t Stop” was then offered to Miley Cyrus by producer Mike WiLL Made-It and the rest is twerk history.

Selena Gomez – “Come & Get It”

Further proof that Rihanna is now so invincible that she can afford to throw away Billboard Top 10 smashes in her sleep, the Bollywood-inspired electropop of “Come & Get” It was reportedly intended for her 2011 Talk That Talk LP. But after failing to make the cut, producers StarGate instead gave the track to Selena Gomez for her debut solo album, Stars Dance.

will.i.am & Britney Spears – “Scream & Shout”

Adding to her rotten run of bad luck lately, disgraced former X-Factor UK judge Tulisa missed out on the massive hit she so badly needed when “I Don’t Give A F***,” a track she recorded for her debut solo album, The Female Boss, was taken away from her and handed to creatively bankrupt producer will.i.am and a fake British-accented Britney Spears instead. 

Ariana Grande – “The Way”

The featherlight R&B pop of Ariana Grand’s breakthrough hit might sound like an out-take from one of Mariah Carey’s mid-’90s blockbusters. But co-written by Jordin Sparks as a love letter to her boyfriend Jason Derulo, it was actually intended for the American Idol winner’s comeback album until label issues allowed the Nickelodeon star to score an unexpected Top 10 hit back in March.


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