By Christopher Rosa
When a song doesn’t fit, it just doesn’t fit. Unfortunately for today’s crop of talent, recording a song that doesn’t feel right can mean losing a coveted spot atop the Billboard Hot 100 or Top 40 charts. It’s like squeezing into a pair of jeans after Thanksgiving—not pretty, y’all.
There are many cases of artists attempting to fit their circle sounds into square songs—a little Hilary Duff for ya, folks!—and the results are all kinds of awkward and just…meh.
Here are a few examples. Can you think of any would’ve-been smashers had another artist laid down the vocals? Let us know in the comments below.
10. “Recovery” by Justin Bieber from Journals (2013)
Would Have Been A Hit If It Were Sung By: Usher
Bieber attempts to sound all grown up on this R&B groove jam, but the delivery is reminiscent of a young tyke trying on his father’s ties. This baby-making romp needs a man—enter Usher. The “Scream” singer would have made this a No. 1 track à la “Ignition” (unlike the song’s actual No. 41 peak).
9. “Cannonball” by Lea Michele from Louder (2014)
Would Have Been A Hit If It Were Sung By: Demi Lovato
Michele’s Broadway-bursting bravado sounds awkward—and frankly, bizarre—on a squeaky-clean pop anthem like “Cannonball.” But the track does have some tricky high notes that most pop tarts can’t hit. The solution? Demi Lovato, the pop music hybrid, of course! She’s got a killer range, but the ideal pop oomph to her voice that would have made “Cannonball” soar.
8. “The Sky’s the Limit” by Jason Derulo from Jason Derulo (2010)
Would Have Been A Hit If It Were Sung By: Justin Bieber
Derulo’s signature genre of rap/pop smothered in Auto-Tune has garnered him tons of hits; however, “The Sky’s the Limit” failed to take off. The track doesn’t have enough edge for Derulo and would have been perfect for a 2010 Bieber, who was attempting to shake his kiddie-pop image at the time.