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Found 11 results

  1. Skinny Legend

    The 5 Best Albums of 2018

    If 2018's list of the best songs of the year shows us anything, it's that the ability to define pop music in the 21st century is becoming increasingly more difficult. Gone are the days when record label executives and radio DJ's defined the sound of the summer in highly organised meetings; nowadays, listeners are willing and able to seek out their own finds, creating intimate emotional bonds with their favourite discoveries that last long after their songs end. Our list of 2018's greatest albums reinforces that idea, bouncing between rock, hip-hop, R&B and dance effortlessly. What's somewhat more inexplicable is the list's focus on comebacks from female artists who haven't had hits in years. In 2018, each of these women managed to reinvent themselves for a generation that's impossible to pin down, and prove that life doesn't end for a singer once they leave the Forbes Hottest 30 Under 30 list or vanish from the cover of US Weekly. It just goes to show that while there's more choice and diversity than ever in pop music, a familiar face is sometimes all an audience wants to see in their Spotify library. Enjoy our picks for 2018's best albums down below, and for a walk down memory lane don't forget to check out our lists from 2017, 2016 and 2015! Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper - A Star Is Born A Star Is Born was the cinematic event of 2018, and with it's Academy Award hype and meme-worthy publicity stunting it's also been the unexpected project that made one-time sensation Lady Gaga cool again. The film's soundtrack had a lot to do with that, hitting the refresh button on Gaga's career while making a would-be star out of Bradley Cooper: for as difficult as it is to believe, there was still some uncultured people who were unaware of Gaga's talent, and who needed her singing over some rock instrumentals to believe it. Let's leave that in 2018, shall we? The soundtrack's success is ironic given the fact that it's probably Gaga's least impressive project overall thanks to a collection of factors. Even when you take out the dialogue tracks, the album is an impressive nineteen tracks long, but sadly it feels as though around half of the songs were just thrown onto the album as gifts for her fans who had waited so long rather than for the impeccable quality we've come to expect from Gaga. 'Heal Me', 'Before I Cry' and 'Music To My Eyes' have some of the worst lyricism we've heard all year, while the electronic duo of 'Hair Body Face' and 'Why Did You Do That' - while bops in a semi-ironic fashion - only make sense in the context of the film and seem incredibly awkward on the country-tinged album. Despite that, there's enough truly great songs on here for an EP of classics, particularly Cooper's touching 'Maybe It's Time', the rock duets 'Shallow', 'Diggin' My Grave' and 'I Don't Know What Love Is' and the holy trinity of Gaga power ballads 'Always Remember Us This Way', 'Is That Alright' and 'I'll Never Love Again'. It may not entirely work on it's own, but in tandem with it's accompanying film the A Star Is Born soundtrack hits all the marks you'd want it to. Nicki Minaj - Queen Nicki Minaj had a false start - or three - in 2017 with her trio of singles 'Changed It', 'No Frauds' and 'Regret In Your Tears', but in 2018 she proved that she was ready for her official comeback. Queen plays out exactly like Nicki's three past albums have - with a section for hard-hitting hip-hop rhymes like 'Barbie Dreams' and 'Good Form', a section for potential crossover hits like 'Bed' with Ariana Grande and 'Thought I Knew You' with The Weeknd, a section for vulnerable slow-jams with 'Ganja Burn' and 'Run & Hide', and a whole lot of random filler thrown in for good measure. And even if her schizophrenic style of putting together albums may be losing it's charm, that's not to say that there aren't any masterpieces to be found among the rubble. Both 'Chun-Li' and 'Good Form' have a frenetic energy pulsing through their beats that's physically hard not to dance to, while the Labrinth and Eminem assisted 'Majesty' and 'LLC' are both aided by the kind of rapping we wish Nicki could bring us all the time. Like all of Minaj's albums, Queen has it's ups and downs, but that doesn't stop it from highlighting her unique talents. All she needs to do now is learn to direct those talents into a cohesive project for once. Christina Aguilera - Liberation Following the commercial failure of Bionic and the generic blandness of Lotus, Christina Aguilera fans would be forgiven for thinking that the 90s queen would never release another great album again. Thankfully, she managed to prove them wrong with this year's Liberation, which successfully propelled XTincta into the mainstream even while not quite matching the brilliance of some of her past reinventions. He may have had his ups and downs in recent years, but Kanye West has to at least be given some credit for his production roles in the album's two best songs: the fiesty, kinetic lead single 'Accelerate' and the album's true opener 'Maria'. A further shoutout has to go to Demi Lovato who lends her vocals to second single 'Fall In Line'; although XTina seems perfectly capable of holding her own on classic power ballad 'Twice'. The rest of the album seems to be built around these four pillars, with high-octane danceable tracks blending with softcore R&B and retro flashbacks in a fashion that's distinctively XTina. This is the album's biggest drawback: it's four standouts are outweighed by some very interchangeable filler, when it could really use one or more two surefire hits (why is no one calling Bonnie McKee nowadays?). Even so, Liberation makes for a great listen for any XTina fan and a promising return to form for her career. Rita Ora - Phoenix Rita Ora's second album Phoenix may have been a long time in the making, but she's never been one to disappoint. Following the release of her impressive debut ORA back in 2012, Rita embarked on a Homeric odyssey for her second album, with the project undergoing at least three different variations before it's ultimate release. One version was recorded with 'I Will Never Let You Down' as the lead single under the guidance of her boyfriend Calvin Harris, but scrapped when they broke up; another was recorded with 'Poison' as the lead single, but scrapped when she left Roc Nation; and the third was recorded throughout one month in 2017 and released in November to little hype. The songs themselves reflect that odyssey, transversing Rita's current EDM bops like the song of 2016 'Anywhere' and the annoyingly catchy 'Let You Love Me', as well as collaborations with the late Avicii on 'Lonely Together', Liam Payne on Fifty Shades Freed soundtrack cut 'For You' and Rudimental on surefire hit 'Summer Love'. Like her first album, Phoenix also has a few outliers: lead single 'Your Song' is a little more poppy, controversial track 'Girls' is pure bubblegum and 'First Time High' was a misstep that should have been kept on someone's external hard drive. But even with these outliers, Phoenix has enough excellent tracks to appeal to any pop music lover, backed up by Ora's commendable vocals and winning personality. Ora has all the elements of a superstar: all she needs is for the world outside of Europe to realise it. Mariah Carey - Caution It's safe to say that Caution was one of the world's least hyped albums in 2018. Following her disastrous New Year's Eve performance back in 2016, an ill-advised reality show and the false start that was 'I Don't', even Mariah's most diehard fans were wary to see what she had up her sleeve for her fifteenth studio album. Luckily, Mariah seemed quick to snap to her senses and managed to release an album that made the world fall in love with her again. From start to finish, Caution manages to simultaneously encapsulate the 90s image of Mariah that is well known and well loved, while still sounding fresh and current. Take our first taste of the album 'GTFO', which by all accounts should have been a tryhard mess that wouldn't be astray on Me. I Am Mariah...The Elusive Chanteuse. But don't let the title fool you; 'GTFO' is a down-tempo, moody heartbreak song, which is only slightly offset by it's alternatively angsty or comedic chorus. 'GTFO' wasn't a hit for Mariah, but it did reach meme status, which is a step up for her in 2018; and we wouldn't be surprised if future hit 'A No No' managed to to the same. Even if she doesn't quite achieve that, Mariah has still gifted her fans with a handful of her famed heartbreak ballads to enjoy: from stirring lead single 'With You' to the intensely vulnerable 'Portrait'. Caution may not have been a smash album, but if nothing else it did what might have once been considered impossible: it changed the public's perception of one of the most misunderstood singers in music history, and set her up for future wins. Let's hope it doesn't take another four years for Mariah to bask in them. What was your favourite album of 2018? Let us know in the comments down below!
  2. Skinny Legend

    The 18 Best Songs of 2018

    Every year around this time, the #PopHatesFlops community comes together to celebrate the year in pop music and to compile our annual list of our favourite songs of the year. While previous years lists have been microcosms of the genres that populated them - last year focused heavily on country-pop, while 2016 was big on slinky synthpop and 2015 was loving the tropical pop trend - this year's list is remarkable for it's lack of trendiness, showing that in 2018 there's no longer any such thing as an era in pop music. It's a testament to how fractured the industry is in the age of streaming apps and the dwindling importance of radio that our members have chosen such wide ranging songs as piano ballads, acoustic guitar work and 90s-styled R&B, and that all of them sound current and fresh. For the first time ever, we've included a Spotify playlist of this year's entries so you can listen along to the songs while you read our thoughts. Whether you're out partying it up at your local New Year's celebrations or spending a quiet day nursing your hangover at home, we hope that this list will bring you joy as you celebrate the coming of another year. And once again, we have to say a big thank you to the amazing members who make not only this list, but also this forum possible. We love you all and we wish you only the best in 2019! 18. Clean Bandit - Baby (Feat. Marina & Luis Fonsi) Submitted By: @Skinny Legend Little had been heard of the artist previously known as Marina and the Diamonds since 2015's experimental Froot album, which is why it was all the more surprising that she decided to make her long-awaited comeback with dance-pop sensations Clean Bandit and generic Hispanic stereotype Luis Fonsi. 'Baby' is just as generic as it's composers would imply, but that doesn't stop it from being one of the best-produced and straight up fun songs of the year. Marina handles the change from squeaky sex kitten in the verse to acoustic guitar balladeer in the pre-chorus to triumphant Selena impersonator in the chorus with style, and even the typically irritating Fonsi manages to impress with his brand of Latin flair. Hopefully 'Baby' is a sign that Marina's ready to give up her pretentions of making alternative music in favour of a more laidback, carefree style. 17. Avril Lavigne - Head Above Water Submitted By: @kallumlavigne Avril Lavigne's powerful comeback after a long hiatus 'Head Above Water' - apart from the obvious green screen and body double in the video - is stunning. The song itself is quiet: a powerful, slow ballad that finds redemption towards it's last chorus, and it's a very different sound from the in your face guitar-based pop-punk tunes she's known for. But the piano delivers well, the instrumental is a euphoric experience and Avril's semi-soft vocals take the crown this year for me. Also, its low, but it's on Billboard's list of the best songs of 2018. 16. Kim Petras - Tell Me It's a Nightmare Submitted By: @Turn Ya Head Kim Petras, perhaps the most promising upcoming singer from the past three years, has released numerous buzz singles between 2017 and 2018; but in my opinion, her best work so far is one of the tracks from her Halloween-themed EP Turn Off The Light, Vol. 1. 'Tell Me It's a Nightmare' is a dark dance-oriented track which follows a remarkable instrumental song on the EP, creating an ethereal flow that some albums seem to lack these days. The ambiguous, yet intriguing lyrics, manage to convey a sense of horror and desperation that slightly contrasts with the rest of the EP. "Tell me it's a nightmare/And you ain't going nowhere/Try to save ya, warn ya, keep you alive/Try to stop ya, but you paid the price", sings Petras in a pleading manner. Who is she trying to save? What is she trying to save them from? Only her and the person who this song is dedicated to will ever know. Maybe she's trying to save them from herself. Maybe she's trying to save them from a potentially abusive relationship. The mystery allows the listener to apply the lyrics to their own personal life and therefore makes them relatable to almost anyone. The high-pitched vocals showcase Petras's singing ability and charisma. The production allows her crystal clear voice to shine and complement the haunting bass that's so prominent in the instrumental. The song ends with a haunting segment, in which she repeatedly sings non-lexical vocals in a catchy tune. What else could a pop fan ask from a song? Good lyrics, stellar production, a carefully engineered instrumental and outstanding vocals. 'Tell Me It's a Nightmare' might not be a mainstream hit or a chart topper, but it surely is a masterpiece. 15. Kacey Musgraves - Happy & Sad Submitted By: @nanapop99 I used to hate country music and I probably still do, but the good sis Kacey really did that with her latest album Golden Hour. In my opinion the album deserves to win Album of the Year at the Grammy's, but that's another subject. Anyways, country music is a genre I don't really listen to but these past few years we've seen pop divas like Gaga, Miley, Kesha and Kylie bringing their yeehaw out of nowhere, so you could say that I've gotten used to that type of music. I first heard of Kacey in a meme comparing Carly Rae Jepsen's E•MO•TION to Golden Hour and I was really wondering what was so special about that country girl. A few months after that, I heard a snippet of 'High Horse' and it was a bop at first listen so I decided to download the album while preparing for my trip to Vietnam and South Korea. I listened to the first half of the album on the plane and it really was so good! I was shook and my wig definitely flew to Texas or Tennessee or whatever yeehaw place you can think of. But the track that really stood out for me was 'Happy & Sad'. I don't think that there's anything special sonically about the track but the vibe, the lyrics, and the E•MO•TION of it that meant I couldn't stop my tears from falling while listening to the track for the first time. Unfortunately, my moment had to be cut short because the plane was about to land and I had to pretend that I was crying because of the loud noises. I was lowkey a mess back in July because I've just graduated high school and I didn't really know where I'd end up in September, study-wise. And while I was happy to travel with my family, I was kinda sad at the same time within my personal life so you could say that I was "lost.mp3". But this song and the album in general were like a warm hug for me. Golden Hour is the soundtrack to my summer 2018 and 'Happy & Sad' is definitely my song of the year! Who knew I had to become a space cowboy in order to survive this year? 14. Little Mix - Wasabi Submitted By: @Ari 2018 saw the release of LM5 from legendary iconic girl group Little Mix. After the massive success of their previous album Glory Days, they had big boots to fill but they did not disappoint! Many songs on this album are very different to their previous sound which has received some mixed reactions, but one song we can all hopefully agree on is the iconic bop that is 'Wasabi'. Penned by none other than legendary group member and LGBTQ icon Jade Thirlwall, as well as written and produced by the iconic MNEK, 'Wasabi' is the hoe anthem that we all need in our lives. From the catchy lyrics to the boppy beat and bass to even the harmonising "oh oh"'s, Little Mix show us that they will never be limited to one sound as a girl group and that each album they give us will be unique and fresh and work with all four members no matter the style of song. And that is why 'Wasabi' is one of the best songs of 2018. 13. Mariah Carey - GTFO Submitted By: @Skinny Legend Mariah Carey was never entirely gone from the music scene, with releases like the festive 'The Star' and the messy 'I Don't' holding fans over since her last album, 2014's Me. I Am Mariah... The Elusive Chanteuse. Even so, our first offering from this year's Caution plays out just like a comeback single should, harking back to the classics that made gave Mariah her 18 #1's while propelling her unique form of balladry into the modern age. Don't let the title fool you; 'GTFO' is a down-tempo, moody heartbreak song, which is only slightly offset by it's angsty and comedic chorus of "How 'bout you get the fuck out?". While 'GTFO' was far from a hit, it did reach meme status pretty quickly and it's sound is probably the closest thing to a smash song that Mariah could get to in 2018. Fingers crossed that the next release from Caution will do a little better. 12. Ariana Grande - No Tears Left To Cry Submitted By: @Fetish My favorite song of this year has to be the gorgeous introduction to Ariana Grande's fourth album Sweetener. 'No Tears Left To Cry' almost instantly became a hit due to its beautiful production and even dreamier music video. The track defied expectations for Ariana, as she took inspiration from the Manchester tragedy to curate both a meaningful hard-hitting track and a seemingly lighthearted dance track. The upbeat nature of the production secures the song as a beautiful track filled with the celebration of all things, as Ariana twists the idea of no longer being able to cry into a transition towards happiness. With a catchy instrumental and even catchier lyrics by Max Martin, the song has easily established itself as one of the best songs of 2018 in my books. 11. Tinashe - Ooh La La Submitted By: @Glamleska Tinashe Jorgensen Kachingwe is the slept on R&B up-and-comer that's been championed as an unbeatable contender for seven years running, and this year she takes the stage with my favourite song 'Ooh La La'. Though this year has been considered a difficult one for Tinashe – from being dropped by RCA to going home earlier than deserved on Dancing With The Stars to the unjustly scrapped EP project NASHE – she still delivered one of my favorite R&B tracks of this decade. Track number five, 'Ooh La La', off her sophomore album Joyride has remained at the top of my rotation since its release. Though the album was heavily criticized, I found this track to be an incredible standout. I didn’t mind the album either, with the exception of there being way too many features. Between the nostalgic squeaking sound effect reminiscent of Trillville’s 'Some Cut', the heavy pulsating 808s, and her smooth harmonies over the chorus, 'Ooh La La' was everything I needed from an R&B track in 2018. It’s a shame it wasn’t released as a single over some other questionable choices - *cough* 'Me So Bad' - but I digress. Here’s to 2019 and another year of hoping my Aquarian sister finds some success independently! STOP SLEEPING ON TINASHE 2K19. #BuyJoyrideOniTunes 10. Lady Gaga - I'll Never Love Again Submitted By: @Skinny Legend Although she's best known for her dance/pop tracks, Lady Gaga has always been an incredible balladeer, as she's shown countless times in fan favourite songs like 'Brown Eyes', 'Speechlees' and 'Angel Down'. But while she's explored rooting tooting rock ballads and unsettling acoustic work, Gaga had never lent her vocals to a straight up power ballad before the release of this year's A Star Is Born soundtrack. 'I'll Never Love Again' is the final track on that album, although it appears as the penultimate song on the tracklisting as well with a slightly different ending, and after the high energy rock and roll attitude of the soundtrack and the movie it's the perfect song to listen to as the audience reflects back on the events of the story. Although the lyrics can be slightly over-sentimental and cheesy, the beautiful orchestral work can't be faulted and Gaga's voice sounds the best it ever has, even without any hint of Autotune or post-production work. Put simply, 'I'll Never Love Again' is a masterpiece on par with Whitney's 'I Will Always Love You', Mariah's 'Without You' and Celine's 'All By Myself', and the only shame about the song is that the charts didn't revere it as such. 9. Cher - The Winner Takes It All Submitted By: @Ruthless Love Yes, the song itself is not from 2018, however Cher's rendition is and it is magically perfect. Following her role in Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again, the legendary Cher announced she'd be releasing an album full of ABBA covers, and the result was Dancing Queen. The album itself is flawlessly perfect from beginning to end, and the standout song for me is the second-to-last, 'The Winner Takes it All'. Originally released by ABBA in 1980 from their Super Trouper album, the song is magical in its lyrical content, and under the direction of Cher and music producer Mark Taylor, it's truly uplifting and easy-listening at its best. It's still ABBA, but with a special twist of Cher-riffic talent and gold. This song is not-to-be-missed. 8. Hailee Steinfeld & BloodPop® - Capital Letters Submitted By: @Cypher There were a lot of songs this year that were good in glimpses, but one that stood out is 'Capital Letters' by Hailee Steinfeld and BloodPop®. Coming down from his production on the Justin Bieber collaboration 'Friends', BloodPop® was able to capture the cinematics and emotions of a new romance. With Ellie Goulding thrown into the mix as a co-writer, the song comes together with some of the highest highs of 2018. 'Capital Letters' is a feel-good song about falling into the whirlwind that comes with any new relationship. After what seemed to be a melodramatic 2017 full of anticipation, this song kicked off 2018 with new goals, bright rays of light, and hope for a better tomorrow. Though the single did not become a smash hit in any region, it thrives as an underrated piece of pop perfection with a timeless sound. 7. Au/Ra - Emoji Submitted By: @Cock Destroyer 'Emoji' is underrated and one of my most played songs this year. I thought 'Panic Room' would be Au/Ra's best song but then she released this masterpiece. I love the production, the melodies, everything. It's quite different from today's pop but still a pop song. I feel like if t.A.t.U released a song today, it would sound like this. 6. Demi Lovato - Sober Submitted By: @Whoknowsmehere I have listened to a lot of my favorite songs from 2018 (and there are a quite a few of them) over the last couple of days to determine my fave; but this one particular song just kept coming back to me over and over. The fact that this song hit so close to home for me is my primary reason for choosing it. That, and I actually enjoyed listening to it very much over and over again. I have probably listened to it at least a hundred times since it came out. I will not get into a long drawn out explanation, other than to say I know what exactly Demi is talking about in this song. I know this song did not get a lot of air time. Nor much, if any, acclaim. But for me that is not what makes a great song. The message is what did it for me. 5. Rina Sawayama - Cherry Submitted By: @Skinny Legend Rina Sawayama might still be a relative unknown in the pop music scene, but in the burgeoning realm of underground queer pop artists which includes Charli XCX and Kim Petras she's a frontrunner of the genre. Like these two artists she's fully capable of self-referential and ironic hyper-pop bops, as she proved last year with 'Cyber Stockholm Syndrome'; but with 'Cherry', the Japanese-English Sawayama proves that she has more up her sleeve than just that. 'Cherry' is not only a slice of alternative pop heaven in it's production, but a vulnerable admission of sexual curiosity that's rarely heard in pop music. "Down the subway, you looked my way/With your girl gaze, with your girl gaze/That was the day everything changed/Couldn't stay the same" introduces the song, and for the most part it's the perfect introduction of Sawayama herself - soft yet strong, insecure yet confident, and enigmatic yet honest. If Rina has more "cherries" like this on the way, then we get the feeling the sky's the limit for how far she'll go. 4. Mark Ronson - Nothing Breaks Like a Heart (Feat. Miley Cyrus) Submitted By: @Tweener After taking a social media hiatus, the legendary Miley Cyrus teamed up with the amazing producer Mark Ronson (known mostly for his work with Lady Gaga) and created the song of the millennium! Miley did what other girls wished to do and what they should've done a long time ago. The song and the powerful music video convey a very important message of contemporary society mindlessly following the news about the Kardashians, and other celebrities not paying enough attention to real problems like police brutality, racism, kids running around with guns, greed in stores, and clerks' hypocrisy. The video is comprised of many LGBTQ references as well, which doesn't come as a surprise considering Miley is an LGBTQ icon who, unlike many other pop girls nowadays, fight for our rights not for publicity but because she truly believes in our cause. This is a new gay anthem which charts high all around the world. It's undeniably one of the best songs of 2018 if not of all time. 3. Robyn - Honey Submitted By: @BlackoutZone Crowned the second best song of 2018 by Pitchfork for a reason, the title track of Robyn's recent album is a joyful journey of the senses. After two years of teasing, expectations for the track reached high heavens yet Robyn effortlessly exceeded them all and delivered the masterpiece we all wished for. The song itself is so juicy and so flourishing as it builds that you can almost taste it. The sound becomes the flavour of golden honey waves that your mind surfs on while listening. Though Mariah and Katy B already showed us how seductive honey can be, it's never been done with such delicacy, and Robyn totally elevated the concept of it being a pure sexual pleasure. 2. Kim Petras - Heart To Break Submitted By: @Skinny Legend Kim Petras first hit my radar with her insanely catchy ode to consumerism 'I Don't Want It At All', but it was with 'Heart To Break' that she truly claimed her position as one to watch. 'Heart To Break' went on to become my most listened song of 2018, but it's more than just an earworm. In describing the fairytale of a girl who gives her heart away even while knowing it will soon be broken, Petras ascends to the level of lyrical mastery shown by artists such as Robyn and Utada Hikaru, both of whom pen bittersweet pop songs with danceable beats made even more brilliant by their heartbreaking lyrics. 'Heart To Break' is impressive on it's own, but when you consider it in the context of Kim's strong voice, brilliant lyricism and unique image it makes you question why she isn't already #1 on every chart. 1. Christina Aguilera - Accelerate (Feat. Ty Dolla $ign & 2 Chainz) Submitted By: @liberation Six years after the not so well received album Lotus, Christina Aguilera released 'Accelerate', the first taste of her sixth album (or eighth if you count Mi Reflejo and My Kind of Christmas). When it was revealed that the song was produced by Kanye West and featured Ty Dolla $ign and 2 Chainz, everyone knew that Urbantina was making her comeback, but I guess that we were all very surprised after our first listen, because the song is so...weird? The intro is very strange with hypnotic Ty vocals and heavy drums, and when Xtina starts with her verses there's a lot of ad libs by him. The song is pretty much a duet between two of them until the beat changes drastically and 2 Chainz joins with an iconic bridge. When the song ended I was shocked because it was the messiest thing I've ever heard, but that's the reason why I loved it. I'm pretty sure that the reason why XTina is my favorite artist is because she's not afraid of taking risks. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. When it comes to 'Accelerate', I think it's the best song off Liberation and also her best song in a very long time, so I guess it worked for me. The video is very simple and sometimes it even looks a bit low budget, but I don't mind; I think it's sexy and fits the song very well, and it shows that she still owns her sexuality and doesn't give two fucks about what people think of her. At the end of the day, 'Accelerate' is a 10/10 song that is not predictable at all and I believe that it will age very well, and that’s why it is my song of the year. What songs did we forget about in our hunt for 2018's best track? Let us know in the comments down below!
  3. Skinny Legend

    24 Hits Britney Spears Turned Down

    It's hard to believe, but as of September 30th this year living legend Britney Spears will have been driving us crazy, loving rock and roll and seeking Amy for exactly twenty years - and what a wild ride it's been. Apart from all the personal crises (think that Justin Timberlake break-up, the whole K-Fed saga and the infamous umbrella incident), Britney has also consistently wowed us with hit single after hit single, from 'Me Against the Music' to 'Make Me'. But amidst all the brilliant releases (Britney's last single 'Slumber Party' was her forty-first), there was a multitude of songs that didn't quite make the cut. Some of them (like Gaga's 'Telephone') were recorded by Britney before being scrapped at the last minute; while others (like Rihanna's 'Umbrella') were offered to Britney but rejected for recording for one reason or another. While some of these songs would have contributed absolutely nothing to Britney's legacy and are no loss whatsoever, its interesting to see just how many more hits she could have had if she'd played her cards right, especially in the last decade. In this list we'll be looking at twenty-four such songs which Britney decided to pass on. Keep in mind that in this list we're including only tracks that were officially released by an artist in some capacity jthat we're able to listen to, although other confirmed demos for Britney that are still stashed away in the vault (such as ones written by Timbaland and Justin Timberlake, Sky Ferreira, Dev Hynes and Danja) would undoubtedly be equally amazing. 24. Lady Gaga - Telephone (Feat. Beyoncé) The story of Britney passing on 'Telephone' is at this point legendary, but just in case you've forgotten about the whole saga we'll give a brief recap here. 'Telephone' was originally written by a pre-fame Gaga alongside a song called 'Quicksand' to be considered for inclusion on Britney's sixth studio album and official comeback, Circus. But while 'Quicksand' was included as a bonus track on the album, 'Telephone' was scrapped due to the presence of another similiarly themed song, the Bloodshy & Avant produced 'Phonography'. Later, the song was reworked as a duet between the two artists; but conflict arose when Gaga wanted the track to be on the tracklist of her re-release The Fame Monster while Britney's team wanted the song on her greatest hits The Singles Collection. Ultimately, Gaga took the song back and replaced Britney's part on the duet with a new verse by Beyoncé, and the Britney version was never released either as a solo song or as a duet. Thankfully, her version went on to leak in 2010 and we got a fan-made version of the duet soon after. 23. The Pussycat Dolls - When I Grow Up 'When I Grow Up' was the song of the summer back in 2008, and was a huge hit for the newly reformed Pussycat Dolls minus Carmit Bachar. The song was written by Darkchild (who also worked on 'Telephone') and Rock City, but we had no idea it was meant for Britney until a demo sent to her leaked in 2011. When it was originally written for Brit, the lyrics were tailor made to her situation, opening with, "My name is Britney and I don’t care what you say," before continuing "I swear at first that I was flippin'/When they said I looked like Debbie Gibson/And then I tried to dance like Michael Jackson/But people saw me and started laughing." It's unknown why Brit passed on the song that would go on to be a huge hit, but it's interesting to note that she was originally confirmed to have a short cameo appearance in the music video. Originally, Britney was meant to have a blink and you'll miss it appearance in the traffic jam at the beginning of the video, waving at the Dolls before driving away. Like her version of the song, however, the cameo was scrapped for unknown reasons. 22. Charli XCX - Secret (Shh) 'Secret' is one of Charli XCX's more experimental songs, which is why it may be surprising to hear that it was originally intended for the princess of pop herself. The song's co-writer, Jesse Saint John spilled the tea when discussing another song he wrote for Britney's latest album 'Love Me Down'. "I did [a] song for Charli XCX called 'Secret'' that Karen [Kwak, Britney's A&R] really liked, and for a second she thought it could be for Britney Spears." Sadly, Britney never got around to recording the demo and Charli ended up releasing it on her own EP Vroom Vroom, but it was the strength of 'Secret' that allowed Saint John to pitch 'Love Me Down' in the first place. 'Secret' is actually the second Charli song to be considered by Britney, after she wrote a song specifically for the popstar back in 2013; but we're unsure exactly what that song was, or if it has since been released by anyone other than Brit. 21. Girls Aloud - Graffiti My Soul If you don't live in the UK, you may not have heard of Girls Aloud. Manufactured on an English television show called Popstars: The Rivals, the group soon became a mainstay of the UK charts for over a decade until their break up in 2013. While its release as the fifth single from their album What Will The Neighbours Say? was scrapped, the song 'Graffiti My Soul' nevertheless became one of their most well known tracks, with group member Cheryl Cole later stating in 2008 that if she'd had the chance to release she song as a single she would have. Interestingly though, the song was originally written for Britney, who recorded her own version of it for inclusion on In The Zone. "The record company loved it, but Britney's people said 'Where's the chorus? Why are there no repetitive parts?'," said Bryan Higgins, who produced the song as part of Xenomania. While we've never heard even a snippet of Britney's version of the song, we may not be missing out on that much. Whether it's jealousy or honesty, Cole stated that Britney's version was "strange" and that she sang it "in that really strange voice and it freaked me out"; although she later admitted that the source of her nervousness may have come from the fact that the version she heard was unmixed. 20. Enrique Iglesias - Maybe 'Maybe' is a song written by Enrique Iglesias, Steve Morales, Kara DioGuardi and David Siegel which was first released on his Escape album in 2001. The track was later reworked as an uptempo number for the album's reissue and released as the project's fifth single in May of 2002. What's bizarre is that a month prior to the song's single release, Britney started introducing the track under the title 'My Love Was Always There' and performing it live at her Dream Within A Dream Tour shows, even going so far as to say that she wrote the song. 'Maybe' was far from a flop, hitting #12 in the US and #3 in the UK, so it's unknown exactly why Britney thought she could get away with claiming the track as her own. 19. Jennifer Lopez - Brave 'Brave' is the title track of Jennifer Lopez's sixth album, produced by frequent Britney collaborators Bloodshy & Avant and The Clutch. Originally, the song was actually written for Britney's album Blackout, but it was rejected from the final tracklisting before release. That said, I can't say that I'm too disappointed about not hearing Britney's version - while the tracks lyrics stating "I'm not afraid/Because I am brave" definitely fit into Britney's narrative, the song is pretty typically generic R&B and doesn't really offer anything new to the pop music genre like the rest of Blackout did. 18. Momoiro Clover Z - Rock The Boat Momoiro Clover Z released 'Rock The Boat' on the album Hakkin no Yoake in 2016; but as any true Britney stan will know, the track has been in the works for much longer than that. Britney fans first heard the song in late 2011 as part of the semi-annual Britmas leaks tradition, when it was heard under it's working title 'Dangerous'. Recorded for the Circus album, 'Dangerous' has the same songwriters as bonus track 'Rock Me In' of Greg Kurstin and Coco Morier, and apart from the translated lyrics not much changed at all between it's recording and it's reinterpretation as 'Rock The Boat'. 17. LIZ - When I Rule The World LIZ has been open about her love for Britney, from her confession that Brit taught her "how to be a popstar" to her obsession over every stan's favourite unreleased track, 'Mona Lisa'. But she got closer to Britney than she ever could have expected with her PC Music-inspired single 'When I Rule The World'. "I heard she wanted 'When I Rule'," she told The Guardian, apparently astounded that Britney even knew who she was. LIZ was ultimately so attached to the song that she had to fight for it to be her own release; and although the track definitely would have fit in with the 'Pretty Girls' vibe and aesthetic, we can't say we're sad that she won. 16. Leah McFall - Home (Feat. will.i.am) Leah McFall was a runner-up on the second series of The Voice UK, where she was mentored by the infamous will.i.am - a man who was at the same time taking Britney under his wing on the other side of the pond. That's why it makes total sense for any record will worked on around that time to have been shopped around to both Brit and Leah, as happened with 'Home'. The track is typical will.i.am, complete with nonsensical lyrics, an overused sample and a tacky lyric video, so we can't say we're sad that Britney never jumped on this one; although with that said it would definitely be an improvement over 'It Should Be Easy'. 13. Jordin Sparks - Shy Boy/14. Jordin Sparks - Young and In Love/15. Jordin Sparks - See My Side It might be hard to imagine winner of the sixth season of American Idol Jordin Sparks and Queen of the Lip Sync Britney Spears being offered the same tracks, but believe it or not it happened back in 2007. 'Shy Boy', 'Young and In Love' & 'See My Side' are a handful of tracks which were originally worked on by production team Bloodshy & Avant for Britney's long-awaited Blackout album; but after they didn't make it onto that album, they were passed on to label-mate Jordin Sparks for her self-titled debut. 'Shy Boy' and 'Young and In Love' aren't much of a loss: they both sound like the typical messy 2007 R&B demo that sprouted up in the wake of Timbaland's success, although undoubtedly they would have been improved by some of Britney's vocal stylings. But 'See My Side', which like 'Piece Of Me' was worked on by pop's fairy godmother Robyn, would have worked nicely alongside 'Why Should I Be Sad?' as a lullaby end to the Blackout album. 12. Jamie Lynn Spears - Follow Me Remember Jamie Lynn Spears, Britney's little sister who made a name for herself on Nickelodeon show Zoey 101 before being fired for her unexpected teenage pregnancy? Well, she also sang the theme song for that show, titled 'Follow Me', which just so happened to be written by her big sister Brit and frequent collaborators Bloodshy & Avant. Weirdly the song was never officially released in full on any soundtrack album, although we did get an official instrumental as well as dozens of snippets of the song played throughout the show which has allowed fans to compile their own versions of the song. A demo also leaked in 2014, but it wasn't sung by either Britney or Jamie Lynn which makes Britney's writing credits and the original intent for the song a total mystery. 11. Rachel Stevens - Sweet Dreams My LA Ex A reunion of 'Toxic' producers Bloodshy & Avant and songwriter Cathy Dennis, 'Sweet Dreams My LA Ex' was actually a pretty big hit for English popstar Rachel Stevens back in 2003, hitting #2 in the UK charts and selling 210 000 copies that year. Originally, like 'Everytime', the track was intended to be a response to Justin Timberlake's 'Cry Me A River', which was long rumoured to be about Britney; but when Stevens sang it, it was to break out from her role as a singer in S Club 7. Britney apparently passed on the track because she found the lyrics just a little too obvious, which is a real shame because the western R&B sound in the song would have worked perfectly on In The Zone. 10. f(x) - Chocolate Love/Girls' Generation - Chocolate Love Another K-Pop convert, 'Chocolate Love' was first heard back in 2009 as a dual release for K-Pop supergroups f(x) and Girls' Generation. The song was used to promote the LG Cyon Chcolate phone in commercials, with f(x) jumping on the 'Electronic Pop Version' and Girls' Generation singing the 'Retro Pop Version'. Also worth noting is that f(x) alone recorded an English version of the song entitled 'Topbillin' Love', which was performed live during their international tour in 2010. What's interesting is that this version of 'Topbillin' Love' was actually a throwaway track that had been written years before by Karen Poole as a demo for Britney which got rejected. Poole tried her hand at writing to the instrumental after Cathy Dennis's attempt, called at that point 'Phony Lullaby', was also rejected due to it's inclusion of lyrics Britney apparently found objectionable. Britney even tried her hand at writing to this instrumental alongside Michelle Bell, which resulted in the unreleased track 'Take Off', a song which discussed Brit's anti-war and anti-discrimination views. Cathy Dennis would later reclaim the song and morph it's instrumental into 'Sweet Dreams My LA EX', the Rachel Stevens hit mentioned above; but that didn't stop the K-Pop groups from reusing it's demo years later. 9. BoA - Look Who's Talkin' 'Look Who's Talkin'' is a song originally written by Britney alongside Bloodshy & Avant, Henrik Jonback and Michelle Bell in 2003 during the same sessions that produced songs like 'Chaotic' and 'I've Just Begun (Having My Fun)'. Later, it resurfaced on Korean superstar BoA's debut English album, also titled BoA, as the second single from the R&B-pop project. The Britney demo leaked just a little later on as 'Look Who's Talking Now', and features almost exactly the same lyrics and production; although the words are a little more meaningful coming from a popstar who spent a lot of her early life silenced by her record label or management. Britney's version of the song was probably never strong enough to be a single, but it could have worked well as an an additional track for the Chaotic EP. 8. Pitbull & J Balvin - Hey Ma (Feat. Camila Cabello) 'Hey Ma' was released last year for the The Fate of The Furious soundtrack album as a collaboration between Pitbull, J Balvin and Camila Cabello; but if things had gone differently, the song could have had a twist from the Holy Spearit. When it was originally recorded, 'Hey Ma' featured Romeo Santos and Britney in the Balvin and Cabello parts, with Britney cooing "If you touch me right, I might stay the night" over a Latin-inspired beat. But when the song was pitched for The Fate of The Furious, the producers requested that they be replaced, presumably to appeal to a younger audience and capitalise on the Latin American vibe of the film. While we'd generally cringe at the idea of Pitbull releasing a song with with Britney (or Pitbull releasing any song full stop), we have to admit that 'Hey Ma' featuring Britney is an absolute bop, thanks to the fact that her version was leaked as a Christmas present to the fans. We can only imagine how great this song would have sounded in a mash-up with 'Change Your Mind (No Seas Cortés)' on the Piece of Me shows. 7. Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark - Pulse 'Pulse' was published on the ASCAP registry back during the In The Zone era as a potential candidate for Britney's album, but it didn't end up making the cut there. Instead, it was released in 2010 on the Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark album History of Modern. While we're unsure if anything was changed over that seven year period, we can definitely imagine Britney's vocals on the current version of the track, which has the same breakbeat R&B kind of style she explored on ITZ tracks such as '(I Got That) Boom Boom' and 'Me Against the Music'. 5. Kylie Minogue - Nu-Di-Ty/6. Kylie Minogue - Speakerphone Britney and Kylie have a long history of working with the same producers and thus swapping tracks, with Kylie even turning down the demo that would go on to be a hit for Britney with 'Toxic'. "I wasn't at all angry when it worked for her," she said of the track. "It's like the fish that got away. You just have to accept it." Let's hope the feeling is mutual, because Kylie took two tracks that Britney worked on for Blackout for her own album X, both of which were produced by longtime collaborators Bloodshy & Avant. 'Nu-Di-Ty' is a quirky, fragmented pop song with a hint of R&B and tropicana which plays out like a more light-hearted version of Britney's own 'Freakshow'. While we don't have a Britney version of the track, she definitely did record one as some of her background vocals can be heard in the final version, and are even clearer when filtered out from the other vocals. Then there's 'Speakerphone', a precursor to 'Telephone' with a dreamy Euro-pop production which was definitely an album highlight. We've never heard anything of the Britney version of this one but it's safe to say she would slay it. 4. Kylie Minogue - Get Outta My Way 'Get Outta My Way' is not just one of Kylie Minogue's best songs: it's one of the best pop songs of this decade full-stop. The perfect slice of dance-pop for the summer season, 'Get Outta My Way' was originally shopped around to several artists including Britney, Alexandra Burke and Pixie Lott, and Wynter Gordon also wrote a song to the Cutfather-produced instrumental. But ultimately it was Kylie who nabbed the song, apparently due to the fact that the other potential candidates were too slow to respond. This is one of the few times where we're happy the song went to it's original artist: Britney's version of the track would probably have worked well on Femme Fatale, but Kylie needed the hit desperately and she put way more energy into the choreography than Brit could have at that point. 3. Nelly - Tilt Ya Head Back (Feat. Christina Aguilera) The rivalry between Britney and Christina is basically a tale as old as time at this point, so it's no surprise that they'd both be put up for the same part on Nelly's 'Tilt Ya Head Back', which was a moderate hit when it was released back in 2004. Britney actually recorded vocals for this song, some of which were leaked in 2016; but according to producer Dorian Moore, her label nixed the idea of Britney collaborating with Nelly, finding the song "too urban". Janet Jackson was also considered before XTina took the final spot. It's not entirely surprising given that in 2004 Brit was still fighting for creative control with her record label, leading to the Original Doll saga that would begin her downwards spiral in 2007. 2. Selena Gomez - Whiplash 'Whiplash' is definitely not one of Selena's better known songs, and at the end of the day it is just album filler; but for a non-single track, it's surprisingly fun. Alternating between a silly metaphor-ridden chorus and a bouncy rap part spoken with an English accent, 'Whiplash' was highlighted as a standout track from When The Sun Goes Down and was performed on tour alongside a medley of Britney's own hits. But if things had gone differently, the song may actually have ended up on Brit's comeback vehicle Circus. Britney wrote and recorded the song alongside Coco Morier and Greg Kurstin at the same time as she worked on 'Mmm Papi' and 'Rock Me In', but it failed to make the cut for unknown reasons. So far we haven't heard the demo of the song, which is a shame because I'm dying to know if the English accent was a Selena addition or if it was present in the original version as well. Judging by Englishney's raps in 'Scream & Shout', I wouldn't be surprised if that was something Brit came up with all on her own. 1. Rihanna - Umbrella What more needs to be said about 'Umbrella', the monster hit which launched Rihanna's career properly and transitioned her from Bajan Princess to Bad Girl? Tricky Stewart, who had previously worked on 'Me Against The Music', wrote the track alongside The-Dream intending for it to be a comeback single for the troubled Spears; but when they sent the track to her label, it was rejected without Britney even hearing the track. After Mary J. Blige passed on it too, the song ended up in Rihanna's lap, at which time she utilised her accent to create that signature "ella ella eh eh eh" chorus which made the song such a hit. It's a credit to Rih that her stamp on the song is so huge that we can't even imagine Britney singing this one. Which of these songs would you most like to hear Britney's vocals on? Let us know in the comments down below! Editor's Note: This is an updated version of an article that was originally posted on 04/01/2018.
  4. Skinny Legend

    Five Albums To Look Forward To In 2018

    2017 has been a great year for pop music. With new releases from Miley Cyrus, Sia and Taylor Swift, and comebacks from the likes of Kelly Clarkson, Kesha and P!nk, there's been plenty of new and interesting music to keep us busy throughout the year, and plenty of new trends to keep the songs fresh. That said, it's human nature to always look for the next thing to get excited about, and the ever-changing world of pop music is absolutely no different. In a world in which new albums are teased on social media from their very inception and right up until their release date, there's little room to pause and enjoy the moment before we start anticipating what will happen next. In this list, we'll be looking at the top five albums to look forward to in 2018. Interestingly, all of these albums have actually been in progress for several years, reflecting how slow the release schedule is in the modern age. Lily Allen - The 4th Wall Lily Allen's 2014 comeback album Sheezus may not have been quite as amazing as we hoped for, but that hasn't stopped the English potty mouth from continuing to work on new music. Since that album was released, she's been working on her aptly titled fourth album The 4th Wall, which has taken her to places as far reaching as London (to work with Mark Ronson), Los Angeles (to work with Greg Kurstin) and Jamaica (to work with Sean Paul). So far, the album sounds to be classic Lily - saccharine pop which is just a little left of centre, this time with a trip hop and dancehall vibe - although it's hard to know as up until recently the only song we'd heard was the low quality leak of 'Family Man'. Thankfully, Lily finally released her first official song in years recently, entitled 'Trigger Bang' - although it took an early leak of the track to force her to actually get the song out there. Lily is known to be an incredibly political and observant artist, and given how momentous 2017 has been in terms of politics we're sure she'd have a lot to say, so let's hope that 2018 is finally her year. Christina Aguilera - CA8 (TBA) Forget the Justice League movie - Christina Aguilera's album was actually the biggest disappointment of 2017. After 2012's ill-fated Lotus, Aguilera went back to the drawing board, and even took time off from The Voice back in 2015 to work on her new album with fellow judge Pharrell and 'Beautiful' co-writer Linda Perry. She allegedly worked with Kanye West and PARTYNEXTDOOR on the album, suggesting a hip-hop route for the upcoming work. More importantly, she also recorded 'Telepathy' for the soundtrack for The Get Down, one of her best songs in years. Later in 2016, Aguilera released a charity single dedicated to the victims of the Pulse Nightclub shooting and Christina Grimmie's family called 'Change', and from the looks of it the single was meant to double as a promotional single from her album. The album artwork style for 'Change' was replicated in posts on Aguilera's social media, and she continuously mentioned the musical "surprise" she had prepared for us. Sadly, nothing came of the promotion, but we're keeping our fingers crossed that after her well received Whitney Houston tribute at the AMA's she'll have the public support she needs to finally get the album out there. Nicki Minaj - NM4 (TBA) Nicki Minaj released three singles simultaneously back in March - 'Changed It', 'Regret In Your Tears' and 'No Frauds' - but since then we've heard not a peep about her upcoming album. Instead, Nicki has featured on tracks from the likes of Jason Derulo, Katy Perry, David Guetta, Yo Gotti and Migos to keep her name out in the public's eye. At this point, the album has been so delayed that we're starting to question whether there's some internal drama ala Lil Wayne and Birdman which is causing it to not be released, or if Nicki is just searching for that next #1 single that will define the era like 'Superbass', 'Starships' and 'Anaconda' did in the past. That said, Nicki apparently has a sound and album title already decided on, so it hopefully won't be long before we hear more from her about the project. Selena Gomez - SG3 (TBA) Selena Gomez's last album, Revival, was our favourite back when it was released in 2015, but the star has remained relatively quiet since then - at least on the music front. Between producing Thirteen Reasons Why, a very public battle with lupus and her on-again-off-again relationship with Justin Bieber, Selena hasn't had much time to focus on her music career, but we've heard a few snippets here and there of what her upcoming album might sound like. Gomez first started work on her next album while touring for Revival, which is when she wrote 'Feel Me', which would later leak; this lead to the suggestion of a Revival re-release, although this went unrealised presumably due to her health issues. Following this, Selena seemed primed and ready to release a new album in May of this year when she released the funky 'Bad Liar' and the R&B tinged 'Fetish' with rapper Gucci Mane; but since then, she seems to have gone back to the drawing board, delving more into the EDM world by releasing 'It Ain't Me' with Kygo and 'Wolves' with Marshmello. She's also worked with producers like The Futuristics, Jonas Jeberg and Ryan Tedder, and reunited with writers Julia Michaels, Justin Tranter, Charli XCX and Jacob Kasher. Gomez's last televised performance for the latter song at the AMA's was pretty heavily panned for her lip syncing, so we wouldn't be surprised if we have a little while to wait before Selena saves her image and this album comes out. Lady Gaga - LG6 (TBA) You never quite know what you're going to get next with Gaga's music, and that same element of surprise seems to hold for her release structures. Gaga is constantly working on music which means that LG6 was in the works immediately after the release of Gaga's last album Joanne, but she seems to have put it off to work on not only her impressive Super Bowl Halftime Show performance, but also her upcoming starring role in the musical feature film A Star Is Born. The soundtrack for that film should be out in around May of next year, and so far seems to be carrying on the same country-pop vibe that Joanne introduced to Gaga's fans with production from the likes of Mark Ronson and Lukas Nelson; but in the meantime, Gaga has also been working on her own music without the limitations of a character to write for. Gaga released 'The Cure' as a single earlier this year, but it was implied that the track did not serve as the lead single for any particular project: that said, Gaga has been pictured in the studio frequently with the producer of that song, DJ White Shadow, along with engineer Benjamin Rice. Last month during a backstage meet and greet, Gaga also played fans a new song called 'Frankenstein' which was apparently about "putting the pieces of your heart back together" in a Shelley-esque manner. Fans speculated that Gaga might perform the new single at the AMA's last month, but sadly it was not to be. Fans shouldn't have long to wait though: according to Gaga collaborator Mark Nilan, "2018 radio is ours!". Special thanks to @jlnsgr for inspiring this article with his list of upcoming albums in 2018. Which album are you most looking forward to? Let us know in the comments down below!
  5. Skinny Legend

    Nine Hits Leona Lewis Passed On

    Watch the video version of this article here! There are some popstars who seem to simply go from strength to strength, to the point where it seems as though the sky is the limit for the amount of talent and commercial success they can achieve in a lifetime. Some, like Justin Bieber, may have started from a particularly low base in which they repeat the word "baby" two hundred times in succession; while others, like Beyoncé, take the time to break out as solo stars, free from girl group politics or the dark shadows of their husbands empires. But then there are others who, try as they might, never seem to be able to match the success of their very first single. Such is the case for Leona Lewis, the X Factor UK winner who stunned the United Kingdom with her amazing vocals and the world with her debut single 'Bleeding Love', but who has failed to make as huge of an impact with each successive follow up to the song. Sure, she's had 'Run', the UK #1 which still gives listeners goosebumps every time it's performed live; and 'One More Sleep', the best holiday themed single since 'All I Want For Christmas Is You!'. And there's a plethora of under-appreciated tracks which could have done great on radio, such as the Guetta-esque 'Can't Fight It' or the DJ Poet collaboration 'Catch Me When I Fall'. But nothing has ever captured the imagination of the public quite like 'Bleeding Love', the hit first single which topped charts worldwide and soundtracked the lives of many teens going through their first heartbreaks. But that's not to say that Leona hasn't had the chance. For over the course of her career, there's been at least nine tracks which we know of that she's turned down which have gone on to be hits for other artists ranging from John Legend to Christina Aguilera. Some of them were timed poorly, while others were victims of internal record label drama; but almost all of them would have sounded brilliant had they been sung by Leona. Read on to find out more! 9. Rihanna - We Found Love (Feat. Calvin Harris) Like Nicole Scherzinger before her, Leona was also offered 'We Found Love', one of the biggest hits of 2011 and the song which made a bonafide star out of Calvin Harris on the international scene. Leona even recorded her own version of the track, which was finalised and set for release along with the rest of her dance-oriented Glassheart album, and which apparently sounded identical in production to the final released version. However, she wanted to release 'Trouble', her collaboration with Childish Gambino, as the first single from the project; while Harris wanted 'We Found Love' to be the lead. Ultimately, when Harris went on tour with Rihanna she recorded her own version of the song, which she was happy to release as the first single from her own album Talk That Talk, and Leona's finalised version was left to rot on Calvin's enviable external hard drive full of unheard hits. 8. John Legend - All of Me John Legend's 'All of Me' was the sleeper hit of 2014, spending 59 weeks in the Billboard Hot 100 chart since it's release in August 2013 and going on to become the second best selling song of the year in the US and the third best selling song in the UK. And weirdly enough, the original version of the track was actually a duet between Legend and Lewis. We had no idea about the collaboration until a superfan posted about it online after hearing the original version for themselves. "This version was recorded before the original JL version but Syco and US label couldn't get their shit together and released the solo version," they said, adding, "One of the reasons Leona left Syco, lots of opportunities wasted, Leona picked all her songs for the album but were rejected". Sadly, the duet has never been heard, but we do have this fan-made version of the track which combines Legend's finalised version with a short live cover Leona filmed in her car. 7. Shontelle - Impossible Shontelle's 'Impossible' was a minor hit when it was first released back in 2010, hitting #13 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #9 in the UK; but it only really blew up a couple of years later when The X Factor winner James Arthur released his cover version of the song, which went straight to the top of the UK charts. The track could have been an earlier hit for an X Factor contestant if Leona had recorded it back in 2010 though, when it was originally sent to her by her 'Come Alive' and 'My Hands' collaborator Ina Wroldsen. "I don't know what her reasons were - maybe she couldn't relate to it at the time," opined Shontelle when asked about Lewis's refusal to record the track, before going on to thank her for the hit. "I was like, 'Wow! I'm glad you turned it down, because I got to sing it!'" 6. Christina Aguilera - Blank Page When a snippet of Sia's demo for 'Blank Page' first leaked in 2012, it was labelled as a demo for Leona Lewis; a charge Sia later rebuked on her official Twitter account, where she stated it was intended for another artist entirely. But a version of the song sung by Leona definitely does exist, as it was confirmed before the snippet leaked to be a contender for the final tracklisting of Glassheart. Sadly, Lewis received a mediocre reception to the first single off the album 'Collide', and the entire project was delayed from an expected release date of November 2011 to November 2012. In the meantime, the demo was shopped around to other artists for a quicker release, and Christina jumped on the track to add her trademark touch of strain to the vocals. While we leaked the Sia demo several years ago, we've heard nothing more about the Leona version of the track since it was initially confirmed; and given that it's already been released by someone else, it's unlikely we ever will. 5. Ellie Goulding - Burn A collaboration of songwriting between freuqent Lewis collaborators Ryan Tedder and Greg Kurstin, 'Burn' could have been the perfect track for Leona during the Glassheart era to keep her true to her roots while still progressing her sound further into the dance-pop realm. While she did record a version of the track that went on to leak in 2013, the song ultimately didn't make the cut for her album and was instead passed on to fellow Brit Ellie Goulding. Goulding's version lit up the charts worldwide, hitting #13 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #1 in the UK and Scotland; while the lead single from Glassheart, 'Trouble', hit #7 in the UK and failed to chart in the US. Choices. 4. Emeli Sandé - Mountains It was hardly a hit and was never even released as a single, but 'Mountains', the heartfelt ballad released on Emeli Sandé's debut album Our Version of Events, was originally recorded by Lewis for her Glassheart album. The song was actually written three years before its ultimate release in 2012, but when Sandé began working with Leona for her album on tracks such as 'I To You', she revived it once again for an appearance on Glassheart. Sadly, during the period of delay that the album experienced, Sandé decided to reclaim the track and release it on her own project; one that debuted at #1 on the UK charts and ultimately went double platinum. It's not all bad, though: the same sessions which brought to fruition the Leona version of 'Mountains' also brought us 'Trouble', Leona's lead single, which ended up hitting a pretty decent #7 on the UK charts. 3. Kelly Clarkson - What Doesn't Kill You (Stronger) 'What Doesn't Kill You (Stronger)' is well known as the comeback single which sent American Idol alum Kelly Clarkson back to the top of the charts, but it could easily have gone to another singing reality show competition winner. According to songwriter Ali Tamposi, the track was initially offered to Lewis before Clarkson's label even knew of it's existence, but the songstress turned it down without a second thought. But before you get too excited about the thought of Leona rocking out to the pop-rock anthem, remember this: the song at this point was in early stages and had a completely different tempo, beat, chord progression and vibe. It wasn't until frequent Sia producer Greg Kurstin stepped in to tailor make the song for Clarkson that it took on the stadium rock quality it now has. 2. Beyoncé - I Was Here A cult hit from a cult album, 'I Was Here' is a song from Beyoncé's 4 album which, despite never being released as a single, managed to chart in the top twenty in Hungary and Belgium thanks to a well publicised and much viewed music video in support of the United Nations' World Humanitarian Day efforts. And while it may not have been such a hit in Lewis's capable hands, it almost certainly would have tugged at the heartstrings just as well if she had chosen to record it. Diane Warren, who would later go on to work with Lewis on the animal rights charity single '(We All Are) Looking for Home' in 2016, sent the track to both Jay-Z and Simon Cowell back when it was first demoed for consideration by both Bey and Leona. But while Bey jumped at the chance to record the track, halting production on her album just to record the vocals, Cowell's office rejected the song, apparently telling Warren "This song just doesn’t go all the way for us." According to Warren, she responded via e-mail to Cowell with the ultimate comeback saying, "That’s okay. I’m in the studio with the biggest artist on the planet and it kind of went all the way for her. All good." 1. Beyoncé - Halo Probably the most infamous of all of Leona's unrealised songs, 'Halo' caused a scandal when it's co-writer Ryan Tedder was accused of penning similiar songs for Lewis, Beyoncé and Clarkson all in the space of a few months. Some of this scandal could have been averted, of course, if Leona had snagged 'Halo' when she had the chance. According to Tedder, the song was always intended for Beyoncé as an ode to her marriage with Jay-Z, but it spent a long time on hold while Bey waited to record it in between albums. While she slept on the song, it somehow found its way into the inbox of Syco Entertainment, the record label owned by Simon Cowell which manages Leona; but due to her tight schedule she was unable record the song immediately. By the time Lewis had gotten around to wanting to record the song, Bey had taken it back and released it as the iconic power ballad we all know and love today. Looks like this was a case of bad timing. Which of these songs do you think Leona would have slayed the most? Would they even have been as successful if she'd released them as singles? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!
  6. Skinny Legend

    Whitney Houston's 'The Voice' Hologram Cancelled

    Any Whitney Houston fans who were planning on tuning into Monday's episode of The Voice will be left sorely disappointed after a planned duet between the late legend and the show's judge Christina Aguilera has been abruptly cancelled. The duet, in which Whitney would appear from beyond the grave via hologram and Christina would appear in person, was rumoured for some time, and moments from the performance were posted on Snapchat by curious audience members, before the collaboration was confirmed by TMZ. It wasn't promoted by the network, who wanted to keep Whitney's appearance as a surprise for Monday's seson finale. But the duet was pulled two days ago, after Whitney's estate saw the performance for the first time. Allegedly they thought that the hologram technology was not up to par and that the figure "didn't look like Whitney" - a sentiment echoed by many fans online. Pat Houston, executor of the estate and Whitney's sister in law, said in a statement: The saddest part of the situation is that Christina served her best live vocals in years during the show - something which even the The Voice producers and Whitney's estate can agree on. Aguilera has made no secret of her admiration for the icon, and in 2001 she performed another tribute to the superstar when she performed 'Run To You' live on TV. News of a Whitney hologram was first announced last year, when plans were made to develop a tour with the technology to tour around America. Back then, Pat Houston stated that the hologram will be a “reinvention of one the most celebrated female artists in history” and will “continue a legacy of performances that will not be forgotten in years to come”. What do you think of the Whitney and Christina duet? Were they right to cancel it, given Whitney's somewhat dodgy appearance? Or should the performance have made it to air given XTina's vocals? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
  7. Watch the video version of this article here! In theory, Nicole Scherzinger has everything it takes to be the world's biggest popstar. She's undeniably stunning, has a versatile voice that can belt out Whitney just as well as it can lilt over opera or spit out raps, is well known for her provocative dance skills and judging by the sheer volume of reality shows she appears on seems to have a strong work ethic. And yet since her start in the entertainment industry back in 1999, it seems as though Nicole has suffered through setback after setback. From the short-lived girl groups Eden's Crush and The Pussycat Dolls; to the three different attempts at a debut solo album; to the continuous record label contracts signed, scrapped and switched, it seems as though the stars have never quite aligned for her. And yet, Scherzinger seems to be one of those people who has a good name in the industry; for try as they might, she just won't seem to go away. Whether she's popping up on one of her many editions of The X Factor, filling in as musical talent on Neil Patrick Harris's variety show or cameoing in Men In Black, Nicole always finds a way to maintain her public presence even when her record label fails her - and apparently, it does so regularly. For since she's debuted as a solo artist, Scherzy has had at least six hits that we know of that she or her label have let slip through her fingers. Whether she was simply too "busy" to record them, was suffering from endless album delays thanks to her label or because she had crises with her public image, Nicole has regularly passed on tracks only to have them go on to be successful releases at the hands of other artists. Check our list after the jump to see just what we could be missing out on! And keep in mind that excluded from this list are all the hits Nicole could have had if she'd joined The Black Eyed Peas - it goes without saying that her versions of 'My Humps' or 'I Gotta Feeling' would have been amazing. 6. Lady Gaga - Just Dance (Feat. Colby O'Donis) Nicole and Lady Gaga were often linked both through their involvement with Interscope Records and their ongoing work with RedOne, with Gaga even opening for the Pussycat Dolls on their Doll Domination Tour in 2009. But Gaga might not have even made it that far had it not been for the success of her lead single 'Just Dance' which propelled her into worldwide superstardom. Weirdly, the song was originally offered to Nicole and the rest of the Dolls back when it was first written, but was turned down for unknown reasons. While we're sure the Dolls could have slayed the track, the possibility of a Gaga-less world is just too much for us to deal with. 5. Jennifer Lopez - On The Floor (Feat. Pitbull) This one was never officially confirmed by Scherzy herself, but around the time 'On The Floor' was released it was rumoured that it had originally been recorded as a demo by Nicole - not a totally crazy piece of gossip given how regularly she was working with producer RedOne around that time. In a weird twist, it was later rumoured that J. Lo had recorded a version of Nicole's single 'Right There', but that an issue with gaining the rights of the song had stopped her from releasing the track at the last minute. While we can't 100% vouch for the veracity of this missed opportunity, it's safe to say that Nicole could have slayed 'On The Floor' and nailed the chemistry between herself and Pitbull. 4. Christina Aguilera - The Beautiful People (From Burlesque) One song you may not have heard of is Christina Aguilera's 'The Beautiful People', a track recorded for the soundtrack to her film Burlesque back in 2010. The song itself was never released as a single, but it's accompanying soundtrack album did manage to hit #18 on the Hot 100 and #1 on the Soundtrack Albums chart, constituting a minor success. Nicole recorded her own version of the song for her debut album which later leaked, but like the rest of that album, it ultimately remained unreleased. It's not all bad, though: Nicole ended up with writing credits on the finished version of the song (along with Ester Dean and Marilyn Manson thanks to a sample oddity), so she at least would have made some coin every time the movie played in theatres or on TV. 3. Dave Audé - I'm Gonna (Feat. J Sutta) 'I'm Gonna' is a cover version of 'I'm Gonna Get You', a 1992 track released by Bizarre Inc alongside vocalist Angie Brown. Nicole recorded her version of the track in 2011 alongside DJ and producer Dave Audé, but the song was never officially released. In a strange turn of events, Audé later reworked his production of the track for release with Nicole's former Pussycat Dolls bandmate J Sutta (known during her time in the group as Jessica). While the song was hardly a commercial success, it did hit #1 on the Hot Dance Club Songs; an ironic feat given that during her time in the group Sutta often played second fiddle to Scherzinger, who later in her career was struggling to even get her album released while Sutta scored #1 hits. 2. Gnarls Barkley - Crazy Possibly the strangest of all the songs Scherzinger has turned down, 'Crazy' was the Gnarls Barkley song which won a Grammy Award in 2007 and which was at one point so successful and overplayed that the band decided to remove the single from music stores so that people would "remember the song fondly and not get sick of it." Nicole was offered the song during sessions with Cee-Lo which also spawned 'Don't Cha', but refused the song for unknown reasons. While the song was a huge hit at Gnarls Barkley's hands, we have to wonder whether a Nicole version would have been as successful: it doesn't quite fit her sex kitten image and we're not quite sure she could pull off the mysterious persona that made the song popular. 1. Rihanna - We Found Love (Feat. Calvin Harris) In an interview with Notion magazine, Nicole confessed the most sinful of all sins: that she'd passed on one of the biggest songs of 2011 and an iconic hit for Rihanna, the Calvin Harris produced 'We Found Love'. "I've got the demo of that song and I was busy at the time [it was sent to me]", she mentioned in the interview. "They'd sent me a few dance tracks and I wasn't able to get to them and I was like, 'Oh there's so much dance and I want to take a break from it.' That was my fault. I slept on it." Of course, she's not entirely alone with her regrets on passing on the track - fellow The X Factor UK star Leona Lewis can keep her company, after she scrapped her recorded version of the song due to a desire to release her Avicii collaboration 'Collide' as the lead single from her Glassheart album instead. It's a shame given just how badly both of these girls needed the hit. Which of these songs do you think Nicole would have slayed the most? Would they even have been as successful if she'd released them as singles? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!
  8. Skinny Legend

    Taylor Swift Declares War on YouTube

    Taylor Swift made headlines last year when she pulled her entire back catalogue from music streaming service Spotify just months before holding back her latest album 1989 from Apple Music until she was promised the royalties owed to artists during a three month streaming period the company was offering customers. This year, she officially reconciled with the company when she appeared in advertisements for Apple Music's Beats 1 Radio. Now, she's aiming for another week in the news by setting her sights on another music streaming service: YouTube. Along with over 180 other artists - including Christina Aguilera, The Band Perry, Jennifer Hudson, Elton John, Yoko Ono Lennon, Paul McCartney and U2 - Swift has signed a letter which will appear this week in publications such as The Hill and Politico urging lawmakers to change the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) to reflect changes in the media landscape. The DMCA, initially passed in 1998 with the rise of the Internet, was created to protect works from infrigement, but has a "safe harbour" provision that protects ISP's and websites from copyright violations so long as such services take down content when they are notified of the existence of copyrighted works. This was put in place to protect social media websites like YouTube, which cannot reasonably be expected to trawl through the thousands of videos uploaded in search of copyrighted material. However, according to Swift and others, the safe harbour provision has become unfeasible now that YouTube has become a go-to source for illegal music uploads. According to the letter: Music Mogul Irving Azoff, who manages artists like Aguilera, The Eagles and Steely Dan, also signed the letter. In an article last month for Recode, Azoff said, "You have built a business that works really well for you and for Google, but it doesn't work well for artists. If you think it is just the labels and publishers who are complaining, you are wrong. The music community is traditionally a very fractured one, but on this we are united." The musicians are hoping to catch the attention of the US Copyright Office, which is currently reviewing the DMCA. Earlier this year, music trade groups such as the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and American Federation of Musicians (AFM) told the Office that the RIAA has noticed more than 175 million illegal music uploads online since 2012, and sent over 280 million infringement notices to Google. Christophe Muller, head of YouTube's international music partnerships, referenced the movement in April when he posted an article on The Guardian. "Music matters. Musicians and songwriters matter. They deserve to be compensated fairly," he said at the time. "We believe this deeply and have partnered with the music industry for years to ensure it happens on our platform." In a time of unprecedented gun violence, racist and prejudiced rhetoric against Hispanic and Muslim people, and the incredibly upsetting cancellation of CBS's The Good Wife, we find it surprising that Swift is choosing to focus her celebrity on such a minuscule issue. Artists have long known how to use YouTube to their advantage - take Justin and Selena's lip sync video to 'Call Me Maybe' which sent the song up the charts, or Cody Simpson's YouTube discovery - and we'd be shocked to hear that Swift and the other celebrities listed have never searched YouTube in order to hear their favourite pop song. Regardless of the outcome of the petition, one things for sure - the Internet has a way of getting what it wants. Whether it's Napster, Limewire, or YouTube, we have the feeling there will always be an easy and accessible way of hearing music for free online. Thoughts?
  9. They both look so flawless, and I'm so proud of Christina for losing the weight. Ready for new eras from my queens!
  10. CHOLA GODDESS! :hail: When will your ugly Caucasian fave?
  11. Legenteama preaching the truth! When will Troy Carter?

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Even though Turn Ya Head has made less than 400 posts, she's been with us since early 2017 and at this point it really feels as though she's a constant presence on the forum and a big part of the #PHFamily. Not only that, but her taste in music is impeccable and she's responsible for introducing many of our members to the wonders of Kim Petras and A*M*E! Plus, did you notice the pronouns I'm using? Turn Ya Head is one of the only female users on PHF, even though her taste levels match a lot of the gay boys we have running around the place. Turn Ya Head, we love you and we can't wait to see more of you in 2019!

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