Rihanna has been a household name for more than 16 years now. When she sings, it’s absolute magic, and the whole world appreciates her gift and overall contributions to music. Such star power understandably attracts every minor and major player in the industry; everyone wants Rihanna on their song.
This means unless she’s working every waking hour, certain songs had to be turned down for one reason or another. One of these was Miley Cyrus’s absolute banger of a song – “We Can’t Stop.” Read on to discover why this was and other tracks the pop star has passed up.
An overview of Rihanna’s music career
Robyn Rihanna Fenty needs no introduction. She’s a global pop and R&B star known for her versatile but distinctive voice and her work in the fashion scene. Hailing from Barbados, she grew up listening to Caribbean music, in addition to American R&B and rap. Her love for music made her form a singing group with two of her classmates in 2005, as per Timepath.
American record producer, Evan Rogers, witnessed the group audition and felt Rihanna’s potential as soon as she got into the room. He was so impressed he sent her demo tape to Jay-Z, leading to the Barbadian being signed by Jigga’s Def Jam record label. She released a monster of a debut single still in 2005 that you’ve likely sung along to called “Pon De Replay.”
Rihanna was buoyed by her success and went on to release her first full-length album, Music of the Sun. It was a beautiful coming together of Caribbean-inspired dance-pop and traditional RnB ballads. In the 11 years between the 2005 release of Music of the Sun and 2016’s Roc Nation-released Anti, she’s released eight studio albums, one reissue, two remix albums, three extended plays (EPs), and seven box sets.
Thanks to her hard work, dedication, and undeniable talent, Rihanna is a decorated artist with scores of awards and nominations under her belt. According to WordDisk, the “Don’t Stop the Music” singer has a total of 234 wins and 634 nominations. Her successes include nine Grammy Awards, 13 American Music Awards, 12 Billboard Music Awards, and seven MTV Music Awards.
Why did Miley Cyrus sing ‘We Can’t Stop’ instead of Rihanna?
Miley Cyrus released “We Can’t Stop” on June 3, 2013, and it became one of the biggest songs that summer. RCA Records released the song as the lead single from her 2013 album Bangerz. The track peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100. Fans have always loved Cyrus’s party spirit, and this song captures this exact vibe. Yet, while there’s no question this song is peak Miley Cyrus, Mike Will Made It told MTV News he’d composed the song with another pop queen in mind.
“It was kind of crazy ’cause … when I originally worked on ‘We Can’t Stop,’ we had did it for Rihanna.” The producer went on to say, “The idea was more towards Rihanna. And then Rihanna, she heard [her Unapologetic track] ‘Pour It Up,’ and then she got on ‘Pour It Up’ right away. And she didn’t even hear ‘We Can’t Stop.’ So then we finished up the record.”
After finishing up with Rihanna, Mr. Will Made It figured “We Can’t Stop” would be the ideal way to usher in the next chapter in Cyrus’s music career. Her team had a listen, and the ex-Disney star gave the green light. She hit the booth and put her own spin on the song; as they say, the rest is history.
Other songs RiRi turned down
The youngest self-made billionaire in USA’s history has grown into her own in the music industry after her “Pon De Replay” introduction. She understands music, her personal style, and her experiences; therefore, it’s little wonder she’s turned down other projects besides Miley Cyrus’s “We Can’t Stop.”
Do you remember when everyone was trying (and failing) to croon to Sia’s “Chandelier” in 2014? Well, this absolute banger was rejected by Rihanna, according to Sia in an interview with Good Morning America:
“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.”
The Chainsmokers’ “Don’t Let Me Down” was one of the biggest songs of 2016. Yet, did you know Rihanna was offered a chance to collaborate with electropop’s dynamic duo but turned it down? In an interview with Rolling Stone, the EDM artists revealed they were OK with it and instead went a different route with the young up-and-comer, Daya, of the “Hide Away” fame.
Insider reports that in a 2013 interview, Pitbull revealed he meant to feature Rihanna, not Kesha, in Global Warming: Meltdown‘s track “Timber.” However, RiRi’s prior arrangements with Shakira stood in the way of that collaboration.
“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.”