In an alternate universe, Superman landed on the outskirts of Mexico City and went on to become a super-powered club promoter called Los Ojos Calientes, Golden Girls was called Golden Guys, Steve Urkel was a Swedish exchange student no one in the Winslow family could understand, TLC recorded “...Baby One More Time,” and Britney Spears lived in harmonious anonymity.
Since we don’t live in a reality where there are infinite Earths and crises on every one of them, we’ll never know what would have happened if T-Boz, Left-Eye, and Chilli decided to record “...Baby One More Time.” They were offered the song back in 1999, but passed, according to MTV News, in no small part because the lyrics were a little...well, let T-Boz explain:
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. It's good for her. But was I going to say 'hit me baby one more time'? Hell no!
...That's not even my subject of conversation, so you know, it worked for her, I'm happy for her, I like Britney. 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.
The group agreed that “...Baby One More Time” would be a hit, but also that it was not AT ALL something TLC would (or should) perform. And even though the trio had already had success before “...Baby One More Time,” it does take a lot of guts in the fickle music industry to turn down something you, as a music professional, believe could be a hit single.
Image via AP, Paul Hurschmann