Singer Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland and Singer Beyonce on stage at the 2007 American Music Awards at the Nokia Theatre on November 18, 2007 in Los Angeles, California.
Photo by Michael Caulfield/WireImage

This Beyoncé Hit Was Almost a Country Song

Everyone has heard Beyoncé's beloved 2006 hit, "Irreplaceable," but did you know that it was almost a country song?

The song was written by singer-songwriter Ne-Yo, who's best known for R&B, pop and hip hop. He first heard his song out loud accompanied by an acoustic guitar. He thought it would sound perfect as a country song recorded by country artists Faith Hill or Shania Twain. Now I almost feel like this information is a total tease. The song would sound completely different recorded by one of these powerhouse women, so I wish they could cover it (maybe even as a duet?) and save all of us from wondering what could have been and what that music video would have entailed. Perhaps a future remix would satisfy country fans? It's not too far-fetched. Reba McEntire released a cover of one of Beyoncé's best songs 'If I Were A Boy," a song about how a woman sees life from a male perspective. The song rose to the No. 6 spot on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart.

"When I first heard the track, produced by Norwegian production team Stargate, they just played the guitar. There were no drums to it and sounded like country-western music, and when they put the drums on it, it brought it back to the R&B side of things," Ne-Yo told BlackFilm.

"If you listen to any country music, there's always a story... it's always empowering or get your bags and leave or whatever case may be," Ne-Yo said. The truth of the matter, that's how country music is. So, I just basically did my version of how an R&B country western song would sound like in my opinion."

After hearing the drum beats with the lyrics, they decided to give Beyoncé first dibs on the song, and the rest is history. The Houston native ended up getting songwriting credits for the hit, helping to finalize the melodies. It was released on the Destiny's Child alum's second solo studio album B'Day in 2006 and was her fourth No. 1 hit. The song debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 as the album's second single, and after rapidly climbing to the top 10, ended up spending ten consecutive weeks at the top. It was even nominated at the 2008 Grammy Awards for Record of the Year.

What's next? I am going to find out that Carrie Underwood almost recorded a Lady Gaga song? Luckily, we were able to get a country music twist on the song when Sugarland and Beyoncé teamed up for an incredible duet at the 2007 American Music Awards. Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush perfectly complement Beyoncé's powerful vocals.

This article was originally published on Jan. 4, 2020. 


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