Rihanna’s 2007 single “Umbrella” marked the turn of a good girl gone bad. The song shot her to superstardom and became one of the most iconic records in her entire catalog. It’s crazy to think what would’ve happened if the song went to Mary J. Blige, who the song was originally recorded for but she passed.

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In an appearance on Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live the singer talked about why she turned the song down. “It was during Grammy time for me, it was a big Grammy time. I was nominated for eight Grammys and I was trying to get myself together for that,” she explained. “And during that time, that’s when ‘Umbrella’ came to me and I couldn’t do anything with it because I was so busy with my own life and I was like, you know what? It doesn’t even sound like me anyway.”

Mary J. Blige isn’t the only one who passed on “Umbrella.” The-Dream and Christopher “Tricky” Stewart, who wrote the song, said the song was written for Britney Spears but it “wasn’t meant to be.”


Rihanna took the record and made it her own with the blunt bob cut and latex looks.