30 Huge Hit Songs That Almost Went To Other Singers

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Some songs are so closely associated with their singers that it’s difficult to imagine anyone else performing them. That’s why it’s weird and jarring to hear that MANY monster hits were actually meant to be recorded by other people. It throws our whole music-loving universe into doubt! Can you imagine a world where Rihanna didn’t sing “Umbrella,” Beyonce didn’t sing “Irreplaceable,” and Britney Spears didn’t sing “Toxic”?! Folks, we don’t think we want to live in the world. But it almost happened! 

Sometimes the original artist didn’t like the future smash that was submitted to them, or maybe there was some kind of weird music biz politics that prevented them from laying it down. In any event, the number of near misses in music are truly staggering. But let’s take a moment and imagine an  alternate universe where TLC danced in a school hallway to “…Baby One More Time,” Michael Jackson grooved on “Rock You Body,” and Brit Brit teased with “Milkshake.” Strange times indeed…

Head up to the gallery above for 30 of the most mind-blowing examples of MONSTER hits very nearly going to completely different artists. Enjoy!

VH1 Music Editor + Seltzer Enthusiast