Clay Cane is a New York City-based writer who is recognized for his contributions in journalism. Clay is a regular contributor for various print and online publications such as The Advocate and BET.com. He is the author of the highly anticipated novel Ball-Shaped World, which is a fictionalized account of the black and Latino ballroom scene. Also, he is the Entertainment Editor at BET.com and a member of New York Film Critics Online. He can be reached at claycane@gmail.com.


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    Monday, January 12, 2009

    Many of you enjoyed the post from last week, so here is a sequel. More big misses...

    10. “I Swear” by Gerald Levert?

    The late-great Gerald Levert always said he regretted passing on David Foster’s offer to record the country song “I Swear” as an R&B ballad. The song was a huge smash for All-4-One, who brought the track to #1 in 1994.

    9. "What the World Needs Now Is Love” by Dionne Warrick?

    This legendary song from 1965 was turned down by Dionne Warwick who thought the lyrics were “too preachy.” Jackie DeShannon recorded "What the World Needs Now Is Love,” which peaked at #7. Warwick would record her own version years later.

    8. "Beautiful" by Pink?

    While Pink didn’t turn the song down, she heard "Beautiful" way before Aguilera, which was written and produced by Linda Perry. Pink begged to record it, but Perry said no. While I love Miss White Mama Soul, Christina Aguilera, I believe the “Just Like a Pill” rock ‘n roll chick would have annihilated this song. “Beautiful” could’ve equally been a hit for Pink. The song charted #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and won a 2004 Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.

    7. "Weak" by Chante Moore?

    Let’s be clear, Chante didn’t turn down the song (Lawd knows she shouldn’t be turning down much), but “Weak” was written for her by Brian Alexander Morgan. However, because he wrote it about her, he was too embarrassed to hand over the song. SWV morphed "Weak" into a hit and got their biggest song, peaking at #1. While Chante can definitely sing, I absolutely could not see her making this song the success that it was.

    6. “Love Will Lead You Back” by Whitney Houston?

    Diane Warren originally wrote this song for Whitney Houston. However, when Clive Davis heard the track, he gave it to Taylor Dayne and the song became a #1 hit. “Love Will Lead You Back” has Whitney written all over it. If she would’ve sung this song Nippy definitely would’ve had her eighth consecutive #1. But - Taylor can sang.

    5. "You Give Good Love" by Roberta Flack?

    The 1985 hit was originally offered to Roberta Flack, but was turned down and sent over to the folks who were working on Whitney’s debut album. The song was Whitney’s first hit, charting at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100. Would Whitney’s career be the same if she didn’t have this first huge hit? While I likeRoberta Flack, I could not see her singing "You Give Good Love"—but don’t forget, by 1985 Roberta already had three #1 hits and four Grammys. Who knows...

    4. "Manic Monday" by Apollonia 6?

    As I mentioned last week, Prince wronged the girls of Apollonia 6 when he took “The Glamorous Life” away from the trio. It got worse—The Bangles had a #1 hit with “Manic Monday,” which was originally for Apollonia, Brenda and Susan. The girls even recorded a rough version, which is completely identical to what The Bangles recorded -- the audio is floating around the Internet. Apollonia reportedly said, "At that point it was like, 'Man, this is just not fair.' Since I was a newcomer, I kinda bit my tongue, but Susan and Brenda really let him have it." Could you imagine an Apollonia 6 album with “The Glamorous Life” and “Manic Monday”? That would've been a classic!

    3. “La Isla Bonita” by Michael Jackson?

    This 1987 top five Billboard pop hit was originally for Michael Jackson’s Bad album, but it was turned down because he supposedly didn’t like the title. Madonna snatched it right up, changed some of the lyrics and the song became an international smash. I cannot see Michael Jackson singing this song in any capacity.

    2. “Let It Go” by Fantasia?

    Poor Fantasia, she is turning into the Patti Labelle of her generation by rejecting good songs. She turned down “Irreplaceable” and made another mistake with Keyshia Cole’s “Let It Go”. You can debate if “Irreplaceable” would’ve been a hit for Tasia, but “Let It Go” has Fantasia written all over it. Supposedly, Fantasia rejected the song because she already had too many songs on her debut album. “Let It Go” hit #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was nominated for a Grammy.

    1. "This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)" by Aretha Franklin?

    Aretha Franklin is known for rejecting the wrong Diana Ross and Natalie Cole songs, but one could argue her biggest mistake was 1975’s "This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)”. 1975 was a tough year for Aretha, the musical tide was moving to disco and the newest darlings were Roberta Flack and Natalie. "This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)” was a massive hit across the world, won a Grammy and helped win Natalie Cole an additional Grammy for Best New Artist.

    Could any of these songs been bigger hits for the original artists?

    Labels: , , , , , ,

    Posted by Clay :: 12:00 AM :: 14 comments

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