Rihanna has rejected various songs that were later recorded by other artists.
Not every song originally intended for her was a perfect fit for the albums she’d been working on.
Some songs rejected by Rihanna include Pitbull’s “Timber” and Sia’s “Chandelier.”
The Chainsmokers originally showed Rihanna their song “Don’t Let Me Down.”
Rihanna turned down a collaboration on the electropop duo’s song, but they were OK with it, according to a 2016 Rolling Stone interview.
Instead, the pair welcomed “Hide Away” singer Daya aboard the project. With her assistance, the song made its way into the top three of the Billboard Hot 100 chart in July 2016.
The songwriters of “Dangerous Woman” initially had Rihanna and Alicia Keys in mind for the song, not Ariana Grande.
Songwriter Ross Golan told CBS News in 2017 that he initially wanted Carrie Underwood to take on the song. But after they finished it, they thought it’d work for Keys or Rihanna before Grande came along.
“There aren’t a lot of artists that are appreciative of the songwriters, but the ones you want to work with are people like Ariana, who came in the room and said, ‘Please let me try this song and if I do, I promise I’ll treat it well,'” he said.
After Drake heard Rihanna’s version of “Find Your Love” he really wanted to use the song.
“Drake heard Rihanna’s version and was like, ‘I really want to use this record,’ and I was like, ‘Man, ask her!'” record producer No I.D. said in a 2011 interview with Complex.
“So he ended up with the beat and then when he recorded it he was singing, and I was like ‘Word? Singing. You’re really rolling with this, huh?’ Drake took it and made his own magic record,” the producer explained.
Rihanna didn’t act quick enough to procure “Pretty Hurts” from Sia, and so Beyoncé ended up with it.
“I sent it to probably Rihanna’s people and Beyoncé’s people. Rihanna put it on hold and she had it on hold for eight months, but her management forgot to secure it by paying for the track,” Sia told ABC News in July 2014.
“So what happened is that Beyoncé just slid into home base and threw the money down and it was a really awkward situation,” she added.
Sia was surprised Rihanna didn’t accept the song “Chandelier” when she pitched it to her.
“‘Chandelier,’ I did try to pitch it to Rihanna, and I was surprised she didn’t take it ’cause I thought it was the greatest song in the world at the time,” Sia said in an interview with Good Morning America in June 2020.
Sia’s “Cheap Thrills” was “a little bit too Brit-pop” for Rihanna.
She then went off and made “Cheap Thrills” for Rihanna but “realized just as soon as I was cutting it that it sounded a little bit too Brit-pop for her.”
“We did actually send it to her, but they passed on it,” she said.
“Come & Get It” was originally intended for Rihanna’s “Talk That Talk” album, not Selena Gomez’s “Stars Dance” album.
Songwriter Ester Dean had originally made “Come & Get It” for Rihanna’s sixth studio album, “Talk That Talk,” according to Oprah Magazine.
However, the Barbadian singer passed on the song, leaving it available for the former Disney Channel star.
“Same Old Love” “wasn’t right for” Rihanna, but Gomez was “into it.”
During a Tumblr Q&A in 2016, Charli XCX, who cowrote the song, said she thought “at one point Rihanna was gonna sing it or something, but then I think the direction of her record changed and it wasn’t right for her anymore.”
“Then I think Selena heard it and was into it and she sang it and it just suited her voice and her story so well. The song felt so emotional and real coming from her. I was really happy she cut it, it felt very powerful,” the songwriter added.
Rihanna couldn’t sing on Pitbull’s song “Timber” due to a prior commitment she had with Shakira.
In December 2013, Pitbull revealed in a 2013 interview on “Kid Kraddick in the Morning” that Rihanna was supposed to be singing the hook of his “Global Warming: Meltdown” track, not Kesha.
“The person we were looking at first to work on that record was actually Rihanna and Rihanna had something she had to do with Shakira, so she wasn’t able to work on our record,” he said, according to Just Jared.
Diplo’s club hit “Lean On” was rejected by both Rihanna and Nicki Minaj.
But he ultimately decided that MØ, who ultimately provided the vocals for the song, “sounds better than anybody was going to sound on that record,” he said.
“DJ Got Us Fallin’ in Love” didn’t make it on Rihanna’s “Loud” album, but did make it on Usher’s “Raymond v. Raymond” album.
The 2010 track was one of 200 songs that were written for but never made it onto Rihanna’s fifth studio album, “Loud,” according to MTV.
Miley Cyrus “We Cant Stop” was originally for Rihanna
“It was kind of crazy ’cause … when I originally worked on ‘We Can’t Stop,’ we had did it for Rihanna,” Mike WiLL Made-It told MTV News. “The idea was more towards Rihanna.”
The producer added that after Rihanna heard her “Unapologetic” track “Pour It Up,” she pivoted to working on that “right away. And she didn’t even hear ‘We Can’t Stop.'”
However, Cyrus “nailed the record, and she did it with her swag,” he said. “So it sounds totally different from what we originally tried to come up with.”