Alicia Keys has 15 Grammys, and two of them are for her classic single If I Ain’t Got You. Those two wins for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance and Song of the Year could’ve never happened if it wasn’t for someone at her record label.
In a recent interview with Stereogum, the New York native revealed that she almost gave the song to pop star Christina Aguilera. She said that Aguilera asked her to write a song for her, and at the time, she had just penned If I Ain’t Got You.
“I think we were on the same label at the time,” the 39-year-old said. “She reached out and was like, ‘Would you write something for me?’ And then it came through so many emails. What a voice! I know I could write something fire for her. So time passed, and I hadn’t written the song yet. And [the label] was like, ‘Do you have anything for Christina?’ I remember I had just recently written If I Ain’t Got You.”
She said that the A&R executive at her label stopped her before she could let Aguilera hear the song, and she instead wrote, produced, and collaborated with her on Impossible.
“He said, ‘Are you f–king crazy? We’re not giving her that song. Are you out your mind?’” she said. “I was like, ‘Why not? I’ll write a hundred more of those. It’s fine. I think she should hear it. I don’t really think it’s a big deal.’ But I thought, ‘Fine, I’ll go write another song.’ So I went off and wrote, Impossible. I went to cut it with her, and I love how she sounded on it. It was such a cool vibe for us to be able to work together during those times. But I will never forget that I would have given away, If I Ain’t Got You.
Keys recently released a new album titled ALICIA.
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