Speaking in a new interview, the Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter discussed her time working with Aguilera on the pop star’s 2002 album ‘Stripped’.
“She reached out and was like, ‘Would you write something for me?’ And then it came through so many emails. What a voice! I know I could write something fire for her,” Keys told Stereogum.
“So time passed and I hadn’t written the song yet. And [the label] was like, ‘Do you have anything for Christina?’ I remember I had just recently written ‘If I Ain’t Got You.'”
Keys suggested to her A&R the idea of sending the record over to Aguilera, to which he replied: “Are you fucking crazy? We’re not giving her that song. Are you out of your mind?”
“What’s the big deal?” Keys thought, assuming she would simply write “a hundred more” songs just like it. However, she listened to the advice of her A&R and, instead of sending her soon-to-be signature hit from her ‘The Diary of Alicia Keys’ album, she wrote ‘Impossible’ for Aguilera.
“It was such a cool vibe for us to be able to work together during those times,” Keys said of the ‘Dirrty’ hitmaker. “But I will never forget that I would have given away ‘If I Ain’t Got You’. Isn’t that crazy? So that’s a good story.”
Speaking on the first episode of her newly launched Apple Music Hits show ‘Level Up Radio’, Ciara said that the Petey Pablo-assisted hit almost went to the ‘Toxic’ pop star after switching labels from Arista Records to Jive Records in the early 2000s.