Picture this: an alternate reality where "It's Raining Men" is sung by Diana Ross instead of The Weather Girls, Britney Spears sings the refrain: "My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard" instead of Kelis, and "Disturbia" isn't Rihanna's hit single but Chris Brown's. Well, it's not so far-fetched. In fact, it almost happened, but those artists decided to pass on those songs. The music industry is full of examples of "almost-was" that could have altered the course of several artists' careers like a scene from Back to the Future.
What's Love Got to Do With It?
Photo: Getty ImagesOffered to: Several artists, including Phyllis Hyman and Donna Summer Recorded by: Tina Turner Imagine if Tina Turner's hit "What's Love Got to do With It?" had been sung by Donna Summers. Then it would have been a disco-dance track instead of the gritty pop-soul track it became. Tina Turner may not have become a successful solo artist, and the movie of her life titled after the song may have never been made...or at least, it would have been titled differently.
I Don't Wanna Miss A Thing
Photo: WENNOffered to: Celine Dion Recorded by: Aerosmith This chart-topping power ballad is Aerosmith's biggest hit to date. It's sappy flare added to the poignancy of Armageddon's bittersweet ending. The Diane Warren-penned ballad was initially offered to Celine Dion (naturally, given her sweeping voice and their history of collaborating), but in the end Aerosmith recorded it, and the song went on to be nominated for both an Academy Award and a Golden Razzie.
Because You Loved Me
Photo: WENNOffered to: Toni Braxton Recorded by: Celine Dion It's not hard to imagine Toni Braxton's dramatic sultry voice crooning "Because You Loved Me" but for one reason or another Braxton passed on the tune and Celine Dion took it instead. The song became Dion's second number 1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100, and is featured on the soundtrack to the 1996 drama Up Close & Personal. This isn't the only song that Dion and Braxton seemed to switch...
Un-Break My Heart
Photo: WENNOffered to: Celine Dion Recorded by: Toni Braxton "Un-break My Heart" was originally offered to Celine Dion, who passed on it. The Diane Warren-penned hit was then offered to Toni Braxton, who according to Warren, "hated it" because she didn't want another heartbreak song. Label head L.A. Reid was able to convince Braxton to do the song anyway, and it eventually became her most successful hit ever!
Rock Your Body
Photo: WENNOffered to: Micheal Jackson Record by: Justin Timberlake
Photo: WENNOffered to: Britney Spears Recorded by: Lady Gaga Lady Gaga originally wrote "Telephone" to be a track on Britney Spears' Circus album (2008), but when the song didn't make the cut Mother Monster saved it for herself. She released it on her The Fame Monster album (2009) with a feature from Beyoncé.
Since U Been Gone
Photo: WENNOffered to: P!nk and Hilary Duff Recorded by: Kelly Clarkson
N---as in Paris
Photo: WENNOffered to: Pusha T. Recorded by: Jay-Z and Kanye West Imagine if "N--as in Paris" had been a different song with the same dope Hit Boy beat. Would we still be watching the throne? Well, former Clipse member Pusha T., who was originally given the track, has his doubts. The Virginia-born rapper passed on the song, and says it's a good thing, too, because Jay and Ye made magic with it. "I tell people all the time that I don't know if I would've attacked it that way," he said in a 2011 interview, "which means the record might not have been as special once I got on it."
How Will I KnowOffered to: Janet Jackson Recorded by: Whitney Houston
Let's Get Loud
Photo: WENNOriginally for: Gloria Estefan Recorded by: Jennifer Lopez "Let's Get Loud" has Gloria Estefan written all over it, literally. The veteran Latin songbird originally penned the song for herself but decided to pass it along to Jennifer Lopez, who was seeking to break into music with her debut album On the 6. The single became a hit for the dancer-turned-actress-turned-singer selling over 400,000 copies.
Photo: WENNOffered to: Christina Milian Record by: Rihanna
Photo: WENNOffered to: Britney Spears Recorded by: Rihanna
Baby One More Time
Photo: WENNOffered to: TLC Recorded by: Britney Spears And where would Britney Spears be if her breakout debut single "Baby One More Time" had been sung by TLC, as it was originally intended? Max Martin offered the song to the R&B trio for their Fan Mail album, and it certainly isn't hard to replace Brit's voice with the raspy voice of T-Boz, but TLC took a pass, allowing 16-year-old Britney to ride the song to superstardom in her skimpy school girl outfit.
Photo: WireimageOffered to: Kylie Minogue Recorded by: Britney Spears
Photo: WENNOffered to: Paris Hilton Recorded by: The Pussycat Dolls One listen to the hilariously shallow lyrics "Dontcha wish your girlfriend was hot like me," and it's not hard to see that the "Dontcha" was originally intended for Paris Hilton. The heiress-turned-singer, who popularized the the phrase "That's hot," turned down the song, leaving the Pussycat Dolls to record it as the lead single from their debut album PCD. It's just as well; had Paris released the song it likely wouldn't have become a hit. Instead of being a Hot salacious single it probably would have just become a joke, mocking Hilton's venture into music as if it wasn't funny enough already.