Sometimes, a song has to go down a long and winding road before ending up with the right artist. Songwriters might pen a tune with a specific singer in mind–but that’s no guarantee they’ll connect with it.
I’m relieved that these 8 hits went to the perfect artists in the end. Can you imagine if they’d been recorded by anyone else?! Spoiler alert: A bunch of these hits were originally meant for Camila Cabello!
“God Is a Woman” by Ariana Grande
The 2018 banger from Ariana Grande was initially written for Camila Cabello. Cabello revealed this on SiriusXM’s Radio Andy, saying that she recorded a demo, but the song didn’t sound right for her to sing. It eventually landed with Ariana Grande, and the rest is history.
“Since U Been Gone” by Kelly Clarkson
The American Idol artist wasn’t the first choice for the song. The songwriters wrote it with P!nk in mind, but she rejected it, saying it didn’t fit her at the time. In an interview, P!nk said that she has no hard feelings, adding, “Songs find their homes.”
It was then passed to Hilary Duff, but her team passed on it because she couldn’t hit the high notes. Then, Kelly Clarkson picked it up and became her lead single on her second album.
“Same Old Love” by Selena Gomez
Rihanna was initially going to release the song, but Selena managed to snap it up first. “Same Old Love” was Selena Gomez’s second single off her second solo album Revival in 2015. Selena was drawn to the lyrics, saying they represented her relationship with her father and that she had to record it.
However, Rihanna’s demo is still available to listen to for those curious about what it would’ve sounded like.
“Anyone” by Justin Bieber
“Anyone” was originally going to be released on Camila Cabello’s sophomore album but scrapped it despite it being her favorite song on the album. The reasoning for this is still unknown. Regardless, the song is a hit when either artist sings it.
“Burn” by Ellie Goulding
Leona Lewis originally recorded the song for her third album but was scrapped when she went for a more ballad-heavy album. It all ended up for the best since it became Ellie Goulding’s first number-one hit on the U.K. charts.
“The Middle” by Zedd, Maren Morris, and Grey
The dance-pop hit went through 14 singers before landing with Maren Morris. One of those singers was Camila Cabello, who had recorded the song and had a release date. However, two weeks before the date, Havana started climbing the charts, and her team ultimately scrapped the song. It ended up with Maren Morris shortly after, and we have the hit we know nowadays.
“Boom Clap” by Charli XCX
Charli wrote this song and initially offered it to Hilary Duff. Duff’s team listened to Charli’s demo and rejected it because it wasn’t “cool enough for Hilary.” Duff never heard the song. But, boy, was her team way wrong?
“Telephone” by Lady Gaga
Lady Gaga initially wrote her first big hit for Britney Spears’s sixth album, Circus. Spears demoed the song, but her team ultimately rejected the piece. The demo leaked in 2010. Lady Gaga has spoken on the song, saying there’s no bad blood between them, and she’s happy she gets to perform it now.
Gaga also wrote another song for Spears, “Quicksand,” on the Circus album.