Before Rihanna was known for singing “ella, ella, a, a” Britney Spears was supposed to sing “Umbrella.” And before Britney Spears became a pop legend when she stepped on the scene with “…Baby One More Time,” T-Boz, Left Eye and Chilli were supposed to make that track a hit. The Max Martin and Rami Yacoub written and co-produced song was meant for TLC’s Fan Mail album, because the writers thought it fit the trio’s style. Unfortunately, the ladies turned it down. Why? According to the group, it just didn’t fit their sound. Here’s what T-Boz said when speaking to MTV:
“I was like, I like the song but do I think it’s a hit? Do I think it’s TLC? I’m not saying ‘hit me baby’. No disrespect to Britney. It’s good for her. But was I going to say ‘hit me baby one more time’? Hell no! That’s not even my subject of conversation, so you know, it worked for her, I’m happy for her, I like Britney. Every song isn’t good for each artist, and when you’re a real artist you know what you believe in and what you really want to sing. So, I’m clear that it was a hit, but I’m also clear that it wasn’t for TLC.”
Chilli also agreed that the three women just felt like it wasn’t for them when speaking today on Access Hollywood Live:
“We did as a group. We thought the song was great, but we couldn’t hear our voices on the song. I don’t feel bad about the past because it was a total hit for her.”
Interesting. On Access Hollywood Live, host Billy Bush told the ladies he probably would have liked the song better if they had actually performed it. But could you hear T-Boz’s voice on this track talking about, “My loneliness is killing me…when I’m not with you I lose my mind/give me a sign“? Considering the group’s many other girl anthems and sexually confident tracks (aside from maybe “Ain’t 2 Proud 2 Beg”), I can’t see it. But what do you think?