With the huge success Britney’s delivered in pop music, it’s hard to imagine her career playing out any differently, but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t have!
Billboard points out five big songs that could’ve changed the game as we know it.
Check them out after the jump!
“Telephone” Turned Down By: Britney Spears Recorded by: Lady Gaga
For those who love comparing Britney Spears and Lady Gaga, this one is a doozy: Gaga originally wrote “Telephone” to be included on Spears’ “Circus” album, but after the pop superstar rejected it, Gaga saved the track for later inclusion on her “Fame Monster” release. A demo of Spears singing the track supposedly leaked online in 2010, but we’re unlikely to ever hear Spears’ polished take on the song.
“Umbrella” Turned Down By: Britney Spears Recorded By: Rihanna
Back in 2007, a full-fledged Britney Spears comeback was far from assured, after a series of personal meltdowns prevented the pop superstar from once again reaching greatness. Legend has it that “Umbrella” writer/co-producer The-Dream offered the song to Brit as a way to engineer a return to the throne, but that her management nixed the track, which eventually went to Rihanna and became a No. 1 record. It’s not hard to imagine Spears’ voice on the track, but it’s impossible to think how a lack of “Umbrella” would have changed Rihanna’s career.
“…Baby One More Time” Turned Down By: TLC Recorded By: Britney Spears
This is one denial that seemed to work out for all parties involved: Max Martin’s pop track was originally offered to TLC for their “Fan Mail” album, but the R&B group rejected the song, which eventually served as Spears’ debut single. Without “…Baby One More Time,” Spears perhaps does not arrive in such a huge way; meanwhile, TLC packed “FanMail” with hits like “No Scrubs” and “Unpretty,” and the album was eventually nominated for album of the year at the Grammy Awards.
“Toxic” Turned Down By: Kylie Minogue Recorded By: Britney Spears
Britney’s 2004 smash won the pop star her first Grammy and has sold 1.9 million downloads since its release according to Nielsen SoundScan, but the seductive song could have been a logical sequel to Kylie Minogue’s “Can’t Get You Out of My Head.” “I listened to a snippet of it in the record company offices and decided against it,” Minogue said in a 2008 interview. “It’s like the fish that got away. You just have to accept it.”
“I’m A Slave 4 U” Turned Down By: Janet Jackson Recorded By: Britney Spears
The Neptunes’ slinky pop track was almost given a completely different context: instead of becoming the sexually charged lead single of her more adult “Britney” album, “I’m A Slave 4 U” almost ended up as a game-changing single for Janet Jackson, who passed on the opportunity to record the song. That’s right: if Janet opted to take on “Slave,” maybe Britney NEVER dances with a python on the VMAs stage!