It’s hard to imagine anyone other than Selena Gomez singing her empowering 2011 hit “Who Says,” but it turns out that the song almost went to someone else. At Twilio’s SIGNAL conference on Aug. 23, per Elle, Gomez revealed that she had to fight to be able to record the track.
“It’s actually a funny story: I was working with Disney at the time, and they were actually giving the song to another artist,” Gomez said. “And I cried — I remember, I was with my mom — because I loved the song so much. I basically said to my label, ‘I feel like my fans are young and they need it.’ That’s all I kept saying because I was 16 at the time. I was like, ‘I think my fans really need it; tell [them] my fans really need the song.’ And so maybe it just didn’t work out with the other artist, but that [getting “Who Says”] was a gift to me that I did not know I needed.”
Gomez’s account of the situation holds up on inspection. In a 2011 interview with MTV, Gomez opened up about the inspiration behind the song, saying, “I felt like my fans need this song right now . . . With bullying, with cyberbullying, with all the negativity that is in high school and dealing with things, you’re already trying to figure out who you are; it doesn’t help when people are constantly trying to tear you down. And I’m dealing with it, of course. I’m going through it as well.”
Gomez went on in her recent Twilio SIGNAL interview to discuss how the song has impacted her over the years. “I love, love that song, and it has carried with me through my whole career, and I fought for it,” she continued. “So to be honest, I, to this day, need to hear it. Not by me. Like I don’t want to hear myself sing it. I’m just saying, the message it will last and last because it’s the truth. It’s such a special song.”
Of course, Gomez has released many other hit songs over the years, and she’s now gearing up to release music once again. Her latest single, “Single Soon,” dropped on Aug. 25, and more music is ostensibly on the way.
Watch the “Who Says” video below.