“Umbrella,” composed by The-Dream, Tricky Stewart, Kuk Harrell and Jay Z, was written for
Spears also passed on “Telephone,” which
It's not like Spears never was on the right side of pop history: TLC decided against recording "Baby One More Time" because the Atlanta trio felt it ran counter to the more mature image they were developing at the time. Spears made it a No. 1 hit out of the box with the song that spawned her post-Mickey Mouse Club career.
The Neptunes created “Rock Your Body” in hopes of placing it on
Tina Turner launched a whole new phase of her career with her version of "What's Love Got to Do With It." British writers Terry Britten and Graham Lyle had written it for early English rock star Cliff Richard, but he rejected it. They also submitted it to American R&B singers Donna Summer and Phyllis Hyman, who also turned it down. After Turner picked it for her 1984 solo album "Private Dancer," it became her first Top 10 single since her 1971 recording of John Fogerty's "Proud Mary," and spent three weeks at No. 1.
George Jones unequivocally rejected the song that would become arguably the most defining hit of his long career when it was first presented to him. Producer Billy Sherrill suggested he record Bobby Braddock and Curly Putman's "He Stopped Loving Her Today" in 1980. Sherrill later said that Jones resisted because "he thought it was too long, too sad, too depressing and that nobody would ever play it... He hated the melody and wouldn't learn it." Sherrill then bet Jones $100 that it would become a hit if he recorded it, so Jones took him up on it. It may be the best $100 anyone ever lost.
One of the longest incubating periods for a song that ultimately became a hit belongs to Bill Mack’s “Blue,” a song he wrote in 1956, recorded himself in 1958 but pitched to the great Patsy Cline, who died in a 1963 plane crash and never recorded it. More than 30 years later, then 13-year-old
The phenomenon even reaches the world of the Beatles.
The song? "The Long and Winding Road."