By Skinny Legend
2020 may just be the worst year in living memory, but if there's one consolation in all of the chaos it is, as always, music. Although true concerts have been sorely missed in the madness of this year and many projects have faced significant delays while wide-scale lockdowns sweep the globe, that hasn't stopped certain artists from creating and releasing some masterpieces. Whether they're reflecting the mood of dread, isolation and fear prevalent in society or providing us an escape from the horrors of 2020, these ten songs have been the soundtrack of our year on PHF - and what a year it's been.
10. Little Mix - Holiday
Submitted By: @Skinny Legend
Despite their undeniable vocal prowess and incredible chemistry, Little Mix has always been a little underwhelming in my books when it comes to song choice. Their back catalogue is sprinkled with a couple of fun tracks ('Power' and 'No More Sad Songs' are both bangers), and the occasional brilliant ballad ('Secret Love Song' and their 'Falling' cover are incredible), but their singles are often cheapened by derivative production or boring rent-a-rappers. All that changed with 'Holiday', the second single from their last album as a four-piece Confetti. Leaning hard into the groups pop origins, the song served up a slice of fun, effortless, summery bubblegum pop that was just what the public needed to hear in 2020, filling a gap in the market that's been gaping open since the onslaught of R&B and indie artists in recent years. Little Mix might not look the same in a post-2020 world, but 'Holiday' will still go down as one of their best, most anthemic singles to date and a game-changer for the group. It's just a shame it didn't get as much attention as it deserved on the charts.
9. ionnalee - MACHINEE
Submitted By: @coolaideonfire
ionnalee had planned to tour North America in 2020 celebrating 10 years of iamamiwhoami (her audiovisual project launched in December 2009), but after these plans were postponed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic things changed course.
In quarantine she announced the KRONOLOGI playlist, a series of previously unreleased songs and alternate versions to be shared weekly as a soundtrack to our isolation, and true to her iamamiwhoami roots she also played two online concerts in the summer months. One was a lowkey affair filmed in the beautiful surroundings of her garden at home for Sweden's National Day celebrations and the other a highly produced event filmed on a remote Swedish island bearing similarities to IN CONCERT (an ambitious online concert streamed by iamamiwhoami in 2010). KONSERT featured guests such as Imogen Heap, TR/ST and Zola Jesus and culminated in the live premiere of ionnalee's latest single 'MACHINEE' - a brooding electronic number with industrial vibes and my highlight of the year.
8. Pale Waves - She's My Religion
Submitted By: @blonde-rebellion
Avril Lavigne has been my all-time favorite artist practically since birth. The early 2000s were filled with artists trying to emulate her signature pop-rock sound and punk attitude. Listening to the mainstream radio now, it may seem like that style is gone, but look no further than what the new indie girls are doing for some quality Avril-inspired bops. Artists like Snail Mail and Soccer Mommy have been outspoken about the influence Avril has had on their music, but one of the biggest Avril-influenced artists right now is British indie-pop band, Pale Waves. The second single off their upcoming sophomore album, (Who Am I?, due out in February), 'She’s My Religion' sounds like the best of Under My Skin-era Avril. The gothic pop/rock guitar-driven instrumental fits perfectly with Pale Waves’ signature confessional lyrics. The track is an authentic queer love song (made by actual LGBT artists!) with an insanely catchy chorus that features lyrics - “she’s cold, she’s dark, she’s cynical. She’s forever angry at the world” - that will make you say, "Ugh, she’s literally me". 'She’s My Religion' by Pale Waves is everything a pop-rock fan could want in the year 2020.
7. Given - Winter Story
Submitted By: @Vixen Eyes
I listened to this since October before watching the anime Given and after reading it's manga predecessor (same story events). I loved everything at first listen and not only that but the anime is my fave animation and fave series ever. The EP has five songs and three instrumental tracks (of the five previous songs). The part where the vocalist in the anime sings 'Winter Story' I C R I E D. No — I fucking S O B B E D. The lyrics are about the vocalist's ex boyfriend's suicide after they had a fight and his last words to his ex were, "Are you willing to die for me then?". Let THAT sink in.
6. Charli XCX - Party 4 U
Submitted By: @jesuswasaloser
Charli XCX announced on April 6 that she would be creating and conceiving an entire album during quarantine using only the resources she had in her LA home and the help of her fans to choose things such as artworks and lyrics. Six weeks later she released how i'm feeling now, one of her best pieces of work to date. The album was created specially for the time we all spent in quarantine and it has some amazing songs where the singer talks about her moments of love and loneliness, but one song in particular is just something else, and that song is 'party 4 u'.
This song was already a fan favourite, since it had been played many times before by A. G. Cook in many of his sets, and fans would always ask Charli to release it officially - but as she said in an interview for Apple Music, "it had never felt right before now".
It's a simple song, lyrically, that speaks about how Charli only throws a party for one special person, and she hopes that the person "comes through", and hopes that the person will stick by her side through the hard times too. It's a simplistic premise, but during lockdown, where we all had no other choice but to party by ourselves, the song took a whole new meaning. With simple lyrics and production, this song really was like a present for her fans.
I know that when I look back at the time all spent locked inside, this album, and especially this song, will be the first thing I remember. And that's why I consider it one of the best songs, if not the best, from 2020.
5. Melanie C - Who I Am
Submitted By: @Whoknowsmehere
I loved this song from the first time I heard it. I tend to gravitate towards songs where the message is one that hits me right in the feels. And this song is no exception to that. The message of her no longer worrying about what others think about what she has to say - or, who she is - that is exactly how I feel about myself. She is telling people - this is who I am. Accept me or don't, I don't care. I am going to be me regardless of what others say.
I love the music that goes along with the song as well. Excellent arrangement. Very easy to listen to, and still be able to pay attention to the message behind the lyrics. Melanie C came back with an amazing overall album in my opinion.
4. BLACKPINK - Lovesick Girls
Submitted By: @Capsule
On October 2, 2020, BLACKPINK released the third single from their then-upcoming debut full-length album after four years as a group. The track is the first in the group's history to be co-written by members Jennie and Jisoo, as well as being co-produced by Jennie. The song, although being an overall pop banger, has obvious influences from country, folk and EDM. The song details the feelings of pain and heartbreak after a break up, feeling like you're "born to be alone," but also "still looking for love". It's a subject that can relate to a lot of people - we have all experienced some sort of heartbreak and felt like we would be alone forever. The topic has been done to death, yet the group somehow managed to bring a fresh perspective to the table...that is TALENT.
The song was well-received worldwide, and also helped the group to break various records through their album promotion. The single won 6 music show awards during its promotion, including three consecutive wins on Inkigayo, which lead to them receiving the Triple Crown award on that show. With help from this single, the group's album became the highest-charting album by an all-female group in the United States since 2008's Welcome to the Dollhouse by Danity Kane. BLACKPINK have proven this year that that they are still a force to be reckoned with in the K-Pop industry and that they don't plan on stopping their domination any time soon.
3. Dua Lipa - Break My Heart
Submitted By: @365MM
‘Sophomore slump’? Not a chance!
Back in the oh-so-innocent, pre-pandemic era, Dua Lipa was finally releasing her second album, Future Nostalgia. Great new singles had been dropping over the last few months. Sounded promising. Maybe pick it up when it comes out, I thought.
Old news now, but then everything was turned on its head. Crazy times.
Seemed like there was only constant; “Break My Heart” was the bop everyone was loving at the same time! It really is an amazing combination of a killer dance beat (acknowledged as similar to INXS’ "Need You Tonight"), sublime vocals, and unbelievably catchy lyrics. Great production too, but personally the writing here edges out. It might be a pop song, but the story here is a very mature. An exploration of vulnerability with heartbreak and strength of wisdom out of unsuccessful relationships while still needing to risk it all again in the pursuit of love. I think we’ve all been there. I just wish we could own it as well as Dua.
Arguably the best track on an album that proves to be both ridiculously consistent and infinitely playable. No wonder it broke into the tops of so many charts (including entered at number 6 on the UK Singles and peaking at 13 on the US Billboard Hot 100). Perfect dance-pop! And the video? The colors, the set movement, THAT DANCE? In this year with virtually no live concerts, “Break My Heart” was the performance we needed and deserved. Easily top 20 of 2020.
2. Lady Gaga & Ariana Grande - Rain On Me
Submitted By: @Skinny Legend
Released at the height of COVID-19 lockdowns across the world in May of 2020, 'Rain On Me' was the forerunner quarantine anthem of the year from the moment of its release, even if it was penned months in advance. The self-empowerment lyrics gained new meaning after the struggles that many faced in 2020, with the concept of embracing darkness and pain harkening back to Gaga's 'Marry the Night' days in a beautiful reminder of how to make it through hard times. It further helps that the song is one of Gaga's most rambunctious and high energy in recent years, making it perfect for many late-night lonesome shower disco's that took place over the year. 'Rain On Me' is an important reminder than not only does everyone go through similar struggles, but that these struggles are a lot harder to face when you can celebrate them as the important life-defining moments they are.
1. Kylie Minogue - Say Something
Submitted By: @Cypher
Released during the middle of the year and well into the global lockdown, Kylie Minogue dazzled the world with a shimmering, anthemic disco pop track. The song took on a life of its own during the pandemic with the line, "Can we all be as one again?". It would mark the beginning of her Disco era, propelling her to the #1 position in the UK, beating out Little Mix's Confetti (who she also voiced support for). With the album having 55 000 chart sales (the biggest opening week of the year), Minogue became the first female artist to score a #1 on the UK Official Albums Chart in five consecutive decades. Minogue has undeniable talent, name recognition, and a vocal prowess to appeal to multiple generations. If you love catchy bass lines and callbacks from the '70s, the song and album are definitely going to be contenders for your own year-end list!
Did your favourite track of 2020 make the list? Sound off in the comments below! And from everyone at PHF, Happy New Years - fingers crossed things can only get better from here on out.
By Skinny Legend
Lady Gaga & Ariana Grande - 911/Rain On Me/Stupid Love (Acoustic) Medley
Doja Cat - Say So/Like That Medley
Miley Cyrus - Midnight Sky
The VMAs this year were always going to a bit messy due to COVID restrictions, but I'm impressed with how polished all of these performances were! Still I can't wait until we get back to actual live singing and dancing...
What was your favourite part of the night?
By Skinny Legend
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-five 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.
25. 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.
24. 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.
23. 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.
22. 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.
21. 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.
20. 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.
19. 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'.
18. 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.
17. Kelis - Milkshake
Britney fell into step with The Neptunes crew as early as 2001, when they produced Britney stand-outs 'I'm A Slave 4 U' and 'Boys'. Choosing them to produce songs for her next record In The Zone then seemed like a natural choice, and so the group wrote several songs for the project back in 2003 - one of them being a track called 'Milkshake'. Ultimately, the track never made the album and it was sent later that year to an up-and-coming singer named Kelis, who turned it into her biggest hit to date and an endlessly quotable banger.
Although there's no proof that Britney ever recorded a demo of this track, a Brit version of 'Milkshake' would definitely be something to behold, and would work brilliantly on an album next to 'Me Against the Music' and 'Early Mornin''. We can practically hear Britney's breathy vocals all over that iconic chorus already.
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.