Ariana Grande Almost Passed on 2014 Hit ‘Bang Bang’
Ariana Grande teamed up with Jessie J and Nicki Minaj back in 2014 to release "Bang Bang," one of the year's most infectious and popular hits. But the track nearly failed to come to fruition, as Grande almost passed on it when an initial recording left her unimpressed.
Wendy Goldstein, the Executive VP/Head of Urban A&R of Republic Records, explained during a recent Billboard roundtable that while ‘Bang Bang’ was written with Grande in mind, the “Into You” singer didn’t like what she heard upon first listen.
“It’s very rare that you sit on something for a long time — two, three, four years — and pull it back out again," Goldstein said. "If I think a song is strong, I try to flip it really quick. The best example of that was 'Bang Bang.' It was written for Ariana [Grande]. She cut it, and she hated it.
"So I sent it to [Republic executive vp Rob Stevenson], got Jessie J on it and then sent it to Nicki Minaj. I made them finish the record anyway," she continued. "And then I was scared to send it to Ari. So I sent it to [Republic Records chairman/CEO] Monte Lipman and said, 'Play this for Ariana.' When she heard it, she was like, 'I want it back.'"
Grande admitted as much during a 2014 interview with Revolt, where she noted she wasn't sure where to take the song upon first listen.
"I didn't know what to do with that song," Grande said. "I had a meeting with my label and I went to Monte’s office and he was like, 'Sit down, I wanna play you something.'
"'Bang Bang' started playing and it was Jessie and I was like, ‘No way,’" she continued. "And then I heard Nicki come in and I was on the floor. It was a surprise to me, I was like this is insane."
Praise be to insistent record executives, right?
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