This year marks the 15th anniversary of Britney Spears’ “…Baby One More Time.” And while it put the former Mouseketeer on the map, the song wasn’t written with Britney’s vocals in mind. Turns out, the pop anthem was actually penned for ’90s hitmakers TLC.
While the trio was coming off of the success of their single “Baby-Baby-Baby,” songwriters Max Martin and Rami Yacoub thought the lyrics of “…Baby One More Time” would be right on par with TLC’s sound and style. But apparently they thought wrong.
When MTV News caught up with the group, while promoting the biopic “Crazy Sexy Cool: The TLC Story,” Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins and Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas explained exactly why they passed on the pop princess’ debut single.
“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,” T-Boz replied when asked what she originally thought of the song. “It’s good for her. But was I going to say ’hit me baby one more time’? Hell no!”
TLC rose to fame spreading a message of female empowerment with singles like “Hat 2 Da Back” and “Unpretty.” And while they knew the track would blowup — “Understand we’re not just passing up hits,” Chilli said — they didn’t feel it represented the band appropriately.
“That’s not even my subject of conversation, so you know, it worked for her, I’m happy for her, I like Britney,” T-Boz explained. “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.”
To learn more about TLC, tune into “Crazy Sexy Cool: The TLC Story” Monday, October 21 at 9 p.m. on VH1. You won’t want to miss it.