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These 13 Smash Hits Were Rejected By Other Huge Artists

Nicole Scherzinger had the opportunity to record Rihanna's "We Found Love" and passed on it.

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1. Rihanna ft. Calvin Harris, "We Found Love"

This song was originally offered to former Pussycat Dolls member Nicole Scherzinger. "I passed on 'We Found Love,'" Scherzinger said to Notion Magazine (via PopJustice). "I've got the demo of that song and I was busy at the time."
Def Jam

This song was originally offered to former Pussycat Dolls member Nicole Scherzinger. "I passed on 'We Found Love,'" Scherzinger said to Notion Magazine (via PopJustice). "I've got the demo of that song and I was busy at the time."

2. Lady Gaga ft. Beyoncé, "Telephone"

Did you know "Telephone" was originally written for Britney Spears? According to MTV, Britney passed on it, but there's a leaked version of her vocals on a demo floating around the internet.
Interscope

Did you know "Telephone" was originally written for Britney Spears? According to MTV, Britney passed on it, but there's a leaked version of her vocals on a demo floating around the internet.

3. Rihanna, "Umbrella"

Another Britney reject, according to Billboard, "Umbrella" was offered to Spears by writer/co-producer The-Dream. Can you imagine Britney on this track? The song went to No.1 and changed the trajectory of Rihanna's career forever.
Def Jam

Another Britney reject, according to Billboard, "Umbrella" was offered to Spears by writer/co-producer The-Dream. Can you imagine Britney on this track? The song went to No.1 and changed the trajectory of Rihanna's career forever.

4. Whitney Houston, "How Will I Know"

This iconic bop was originally offered to Janet Jackson first, according to SongFacts.com, but no dice! The song was recorded and released by Whitney and became a defining moment in her career.
Arista

This iconic bop was originally offered to Janet Jackson first, according to SongFacts.com, but no dice! The song was recorded and released by Whitney and became a defining moment in her career.

5. Kanye West, "Gold Digger"

Shawnna passed on the beat according to CapitalXtra and Kanye went to the top of the charts with his take on the hit.
Roc-A-Fella, Def Jam

Shawnna passed on the beat according to CapitalXtra and Kanye went to the top of the charts with his take on the hit.

6. Rihanna, "SOS"

Christina Milian passed on this song according to Rap-Up. Her last hit was "Dip It Low" in 2004.
Def Jam

Christina Milian passed on this song according to Rap-Up. Her last hit was "Dip It Low" in 2004.

7. Miley Cyrus, "We Can't Stop"

I can totally hear Rihanna on "We Can't Stop" — she passed on the song according to Billboard — and maybe would even...prefer her on it? Oop!
RCA

I can totally hear Rihanna on "We Can't Stop" — she passed on the song according to Billboard — and maybe would even...prefer her on it? Oop!

8. The Pussycat Dolls, “Don’t Cha"

Paris Hilton said no to "Don't Cha" but according to Hollywood.com, she heard the song as a demo, and not the way we all have come to love it now.
A&M / Interscope

Paris Hilton said no to "Don't Cha" but according to Hollywood.com, she heard the song as a demo, and not the way we all have come to love it now.

9. Britney Spears, "I'm a Slave 4 U"

This is (arguably) Britney's best-known hit, but Janet Jackson passed on the song, per Billboard.
JIVE

This is (arguably) Britney's best-known hit, but Janet Jackson passed on the song, per Billboard.

10. Kelly Clarkson, "Miss Independent"

The very first American Idol winner released this as her first single from her debut album, but this was originally intended for Christina Aguilera's album Stripped, according to MTV.
RCA

The very first American Idol winner released this as her first single from her debut album, but this was originally intended for Christina Aguilera's album Stripped, according to MTV.

11. Pharrell Williams, "Happy"

According to Rolling Stone, Cee-Lo Green passed on the hit, which went on to sell almost 14 million copies worldwide. Yikes!
Columbia

According to Rolling Stone, Cee-Lo Green passed on the hit, which went on to sell almost 14 million copies worldwide. Yikes!

12. Rihanna, "Disturbia"

The summer jam was written by and intended for Chris Brown, according to CapitalXtra.
Def Jam

The summer jam was written by and intended for Chris Brown, according to CapitalXtra.

13. NSYNC, "Gone"

Justin Timberlake wrote this song for Michael Jackson, but it ended up landing a spot on the group's album Celebrity, according to Billboard.
JIVE

Justin Timberlake wrote this song for Michael Jackson, but it ended up landing a spot on the group's album Celebrity, according to Billboard.

Music Week is a week of content that celebrates the awesome classic jams, artists, and music videos you grew up with — as well as future classics. Take a step back in time and check out more great music content here.

Alice Mongkongllite / BuzzFeed