Britney Spears’ Debut Hit Nearly Went To This 90’s Boy Band

Following the release of her explosive memoir, it feels like everybody’s talking about Britney Spears again. Whether we’re looking back on her friendship with Paris Hilton, her sister Jamie Lynn being in the I’m A Celebrity... jungle or even her links to Taylor Swift, Britneymania has well and truly returned.

Of course, this means that TikTok is thriving with all things Britney and one TikToker, ‘Adamtheflop’ took to the app to discuss her breakout single ‘Baby One More Time’ and how it almost didn’t go to the pop star at all.

In fact, before landing in Britney’s lap, the song took a little bit of a journey.

First of all, the song was offered to R&B group TLC before being offered to Spears but according to TLC’s T-Boz, “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. It’s good for her. But was I going to say ‘hit me baby one more time’? Hell no!”.

The song’s journey didn’t end there, though, because industry giant Simon Cowell also had his eye on the catchy track.

Simon Cowell tried to nab ...Baby One More Time

Next up, after hearing TLC’s version of the track, Simon Cowell tried to buy the song for upcoming UK boyband Five. In fact, he wanted it so badly that he offered an incentive to the song’s writer, Max Martin. He offered to send Max a Mercedes 500SL.

Unfortunately for Simon, the song had already been promised to a brand new, yet-to-debut singer Britney Spears. On Howie Mandel’s podcast “Howie Mandel Does Stuff”, Simon Cowell admitted that he didn’t take the knockback very well and offered some, in retrospect, poor advice.

“I went, ‘Who?’ And he went, ‘Britney Spears.’ I went, ’Max, let me give you some advice. No one is going to have a hit with a name called Britney Spears.”

Of course, the music mogul couldn’t have been more wrong as the song is still one of the biggest selling singles of all time, according to official chart data. It sold more singles than hits such as Oasis’s track Wonderwall, Daft Punk - Get Lucky and even the Spice Girls’ breakout single Wannabe.