The digital release of “Umbrella” had the biggest debut in the history of iTunes, but it was almost Britney Spears who got to sing this worldwide Number One song, “ella-ella-ella” hook and all. With Spears’ career spiraling out of control at the time, songwriter and co-producer The-Dream said, “We thought, 'Let's save our friend.' ” But Spears' management brushed them off, and then second choice Mary J. Blige also passed on it, much to the unabashed delight of the Bahamian singer born Robyn Rihanna Fenty. “I'm so thankful for it,” she said. “I prayed for this song.”
Indie-rock trio Menomena use a collaborative approach to song-writing. So when multi-instrumentalist Justin Harris came up with "TAOS," a slacker anthem of faux-confidence and an anacronym for "The Art of Seduction," drummer Danny Seim admitted he was a bit unsure about it. "I'm doing my best to pad the fact that the song was hard for me to listen to at first," Seim said. But the track eventually grew on him. "Suddenly his voice has become this weapon," he said about Harris. "It’s so emotionally supercharged, and almost laughingly over the top."