It’s fairly well-known that there are many songs written for K-Pop artists that never end up being released, or that get sold and bought among companies before an artist takes them on. Some fans might not know, however, that some of the biggest and most successful K-Pop hits were initially rejected by the artist they were originally intended for! Here are 5 such songs.
1. “UP&DOWN” by EXID
EXID had several songs released before their popularity exploded with “UP&DOWN” when a fancam of Hani went viral, and it was that song that seemed to end up shaping the rest of their career. And it’s no wonder, because even though the song wasn’t a hit right away, once it did get attention from netizens, it went on to not only give EXID their first music show win, but a total of six altogether!
Some fans might not know, however, that the song almost wasn’t theirs. It was actually Jessi that was originally going to have the song on her album, but she ended up letting it go after telling EXID’s LE that she thought the song suited them better! Who knows where EXID’s career would have gone if they hadn’t released “UP&DOWN”?
2. “La Vie en Rose” by IZ*ONE
When K-Pop fans think of the temporary but highly successful group IZ*ONE, they oftentimes think of “La Vie en Rose”, their stunning and iconic debut song. It ended up winning the group three music show awards right away, and the music video itself has over 150 million views!
However, the song was originally meant for someone else, but was rejected by the artist’s company and sold instead. And just who was the company and the artist? It was CUBE Entertainment‘s CLC! There’s even a demo version of it that has been posted, and it’s interesting to think about if the song would have been as successful if they had released it.
3. “Lucky One” by EXO
While “Monster” may have ended up being a bigger hit during this era of EXO’s career, “Lucky One” was still a major hit as well. It may be hard to imagine someone else performing the song, but EXO actually only received it after it was rejected by another group!
It was their senior labelmates SHINee that the song was originally intended for, but the group ended up turning it down because they just didn’t feel like it fit their vibe. In the end, fans can decide if they think the right decision was made!
4. “Chewing Gum” by NCT DREAM
“Chewing Gum” was a debut song that some K-Pop fans loved and others weren’t so sure about, but regardless of how you felt about it, the song did incredibly well! the music video has over 65 million views, and the members of NCT DREAM were praised for their unique and incredibly difficult choreography featuring hoverboards.
Not only was it not originally meant for them, however, but it was actually supposed to be released by a girl group instead! None other than their seniors at SM Entertainment, Red Velvet, were the original idols that the song was intended for, and really if you think about it, it does suit their more playful concepts! NCT DREAM definitely nailed it themselves, though.
5. “Into the New World” by Girls’ Generation
Finally, Girls’ Generation’s legendary debut song is one that every K-Pop fan should know, and most already do. It became a major staple in the Korean music industry, and for good reason — it’s a total bop! However, there was a possibility at one point that it wouldn’t have ended up being their song.
The song was originally made for an older group in SM Entertainment’s sister label, BM Entertainment, named M.I.L.K. The song was going to be released on a 2002 album by the girl group, but they ended up disbanding around this time instead, and thus the song was put into the company vault until 2007 when Girls’ Generation came out with it. And thus, history was made!