Some musical hits have become the calling cards of their performers. But those songs might not have been! We’ve selected six tracks that made their artists popular and that we may never have known about.
Nothing Else Matters became not only one of the most famous songs of the band, but also probably the most popular rock ballad. But vocalist James Hatfield admitted that he didn’t intend to publish the song – he had composed it while talking with his girlfriend. James didn’t want to show the song to the rest of the band: it was too personal, and it didn’t fit the band’s rebellious style. But drummer Lars Ulrich was persuaded to include the song in the repertoire, and as it proved, he got it right.
It’s hard to imagine James Cameron’s legendary Titanic without its main song performed by Céline Dion, like live betting from mobile cannot be imagined without football. Initially the director did not want to include songs, leaving only instrumental themes, but the composer James Horner was of a different opinion and personally addressed Celine with a request to sing the song for the new picture. The singer did not like the song, she was not going to record it. But Horner was persistent and persuaded to make a demo version. As a result Cameron approved it, and for the soundtrack there were no double takes by Celine. “My Heart Will Go On” became the singer’s biggest hit, won awards and was listed as “Song of the Century” by the Recording Industry Association of America.
Roxette is one of the most popular pop-rock bands in the history of the music industry. The Swedish duo rose to fame after the release of their first song “Neverending Love”. And at that time, in 1985, nobody could imagine that the names of Per Gessle and Marie Fredriksson would soon become world-famous.
The Swedish band’s composition was released as a single in 1989 and brought the band fame. It is noteworthy that the band members themselves composed it as a “fish”. The author of the song confessed that the text of the first two verses was written completely accidentally, just as a rough draft. The band could not write anything better, that’s why the lyrics were left. The song achieved a success that was unprecedented for the Swedish musicians, for English was not their first language. A month later, the single was certified “gold disc” by the Recording Industry Association of America and is still one of Roxette’s biggest hits.
Sia is an Australian singer who works in jazz, folk, soul, and pop styles. Despite the fact that the artist is among the most famous stars of the international scene, she prefers to remain in the shadows.
In 2016, popular Australian singer-songwriter Sia released her new seventh album and said of it in an interview, “I’ll call it This Is Acting, because it includes songs I wrote for other people. It’s more of a play, an act. It’s fun.” The stars refused to perform the songs, so Sia sang them herself. The artist later confirmed that Cheap Thrills was meant for Rihanna, however, the singer rejected the offer. As a result, the song topped the world charts and became one of Sia’s most famous hits.
The song, which topped the charts around the world in 2014, topped the Billboard Hot 100 and won a Grammy award, might not have been played at all. At first the composition was prepared for the American rapper C.Lo Green, but the musician was concentrated on the recording of the studio album and rejected the new track. Fortunately, the composition was not lost, and went to a new musician – Pharrell. And the composition became not just another of his hits, but made listeners look at the rapper differently: a new performer of modern music with light lyrics and catchy rhythms appeared before them.
The composition Dónde Están los Ladrones? from Shakira’s album of the same name has an unusual story of its creation: during one of the trips to the capital of Colombia, Shakira had part of her luggage stolen, including a small suitcase with lyrics for her future album. According to the artist, the incident was traumatic for her, and she was unable to retrieve the lyrics. This really upset Shakira, and as she confessed to journalists at the time, “A thief is not just someone who steals things that don’t belong to him. There are thieves who steal feelings, space, time, dreams, rights”. In 2000, Dónde Están los Ladrones? was named the best Latin American album of the year at the Premios Gardel Awards, and in 2017 National Public Radio ranked it among the 150 greatest female albums of all time.