Pharrell, ‘Happy‘ – originally offered to Cee-Lo Green: The musician and producer sent the song to Cee-Lo Green, who rejected it, before recording it himself and sending his career stratospheric. It does indeed sound like a Cee-Lo Green song, but we’ve very glad Pharrell ended up recording it.

Pharrell Williams – Happy (Official Video) (2013)

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Kelis, ‘Milkshake‘ – originally offered to Britney Spears: Poor Britney. The Neptunes wrote the provocative R&B jam in the early 2000s and suggested it for Britney, but her label didn’t want it. It was then recorded by Neptunes affiliate Kelis for her third LP Tasty, and was the singer’s first commercial hit. It was nominated for a Grammy and certified Gold in the US. It’s still Kelis‘ biggest hit to date – and we can’t imagine Britney singing it.

Kelis – Milkshake (Official Video) (2003)

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Justin Timberlake – ‘Rock Your Body‘ – originally offered to Michael Jackson: The Neptunes originally crafted the futuristic disco jam for Jackson’s final album, Invincible, but the superstar passed on the track along with several other songs the production duo had made with him in mind. ‘Rock Your Body‘, and the other songs, would eventually be recorded by former N’ Sync member Justin Timberlake, and helped launched his career as a massive solo artist.

Justin Timberlake – Rock Your Body (Official Video) (2002)


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Jay-Z and Kanye West, ‘N****s In Paris‘ – originally offered to Pusha T.: Signed to Kanye’s GOOD Music label in 2010, former Clipse member Pusha T. had a large array of beats to choose from for his debut solo album. One particular beat, produced by Hit-Boy, didn’t take his fancy at all. “It sounds like a video game. Get that shit out of here!” was Pusha’s reaction, according to his manager. Jay-Z and Kanye took it for their collaborative LP Watch The Throne, and it was a mega hit.

Jay-Z & Kanye West – N****s In Paris (Official Video) (2011)

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