Swapping Singers: Five Popular Songs Originally Written For Other Artists

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From “Irreplaceable” to “Umbrella,” some of our favorite songs were originally meant for other people. 

On “Pretty Hurts,” from Beyoncé’s 2014 self-titled album, the diva belts the powerful lyrics so passionately that only someone like Queen Bey could sing a song like it, right? Wrong. 

Sia, the originator of the song, first thought of pop star Katy Perry when writing the self-help ballad. She also sent it to Rihanna before it made its way to Bey. 

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Here are five other songs, or stories, that have similar accounts.

CHRISETTE MICHELE to BEYONCÉ: “Irreplaceable”

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Chrisette Michele sent "Irreplaceable" to the left, to the left, when Ne-Yo offered the breakup track to the songstress. Ne-Yo, who has also written No. 1 hits for Rihanna and Jennifer Hudson, produced Michele's sophomore album, Epiphany, but the vocalist says when she first heard "Irreplaceable," she thought it was "cool, but it’s not me. I’m a jazzhead." It became one of Beyoncé's biggest hits and signature songs.

JENNIFER LOPEZ to FAITH EVANS: “I Love You”

Faith Evans' soft and sensual "I Love You," released in 2001, has a co-writer credit from Jennifer Lopez, who almost put the song on her own album. "It almost slipped through the cracks and ended up on her album," Evans said. But the ballad has another interesting co-writing twist: Sean Combs, who once dated Lopez, also penned the hit.

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TLC to BRITNEY SPEARS: “...Baby One More Time”

Britney Spears assimilated to the top of the pop world with her debut single, 1998's "...Baby One More Time." And she has a group of girls to thank for that: TLC. T-Boz, Left Eye and Chilli turned the song down while recording their third album, Fanmail, which included massive hits like "No Scrubs" and "Unpretty." They didn't feel like "...Baby One More Time" sounded like a hit for them: "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," T-Boz said.

BRITNEY SPEARS to RIHANNA: “Umbrella”

The favor TLC did for Britney, Britney did for Rihanna. The-Dream and Tricky Stewart, who wrote and produced the song, sent it to Spears first, who rejected it. But Rihanna got hold of the tune and gave it a new home, and in return, RiRi got her pop star breakthrough, new short haircut and all. 

RIHANNA to DRAKE: “Find Your Love”

The stories about Rihanna and Drake never end. After the rapper/singer heard the bad gal's version of "Find Your Love"––which she worked on with Kanye West––he told producer No I.D. he wanted the song for himself. No I.D.'s response: "Man, ask her!" The track became an international hit for Drake, a rapper not afraid to show his vulnerable side.  

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