It’s one of Britney Spears’ most iconic tracks, but it turns out that ‘Toxic’ was actually written for Janet Jackson, prior to it being offered to Australia’s own Kylie Minogue.
According to the hit’s songwriter Cathy Dennis, who spoke to Ivors Academy in a new interview, ‘Toxic’ was written during a 7-day stint in Sweden and was intended for Jackson.
“That was written in Sweden with Bloodshy & Avant [Christian Karlsson and Pontus Winnberg] and Henrik Jonback. I went over there to write with Janet Jackson in mind,” Dennis said.
“I was there for about ten days in total. I’d had a meeting with Janet, I think in London, but it may have been in New York. I thought I’d have a go at writing something that would work for her and it didn’t come out at the time.”
“We did have this song ‘Toxic,’ though,” she continued.
“It was started on day one of seven… then took part of day two to try to finish it. And because I couldn’t quite finish it, I said, ‘Look, let’s start on something else.’ So we wrote another three songs that week and in my spare time while I was in my hotel room I was very busy editing my lyrics on ‘Toxic.’ Eventually on day seven, which was the day I was flying back to England, I had run out of time.”
“I knew that it was D-Day and I had to sing and that was what I came up with after a lot of editing.”
Lucky for Britney!
Spears has previously spoken out with her take on the song back in 2003, telling MTV: “It’s basically about a girl addicted to a guy. I really like ‘Toxic.’ It’s an upbeat song. It’s really different, that’s why I like it so much. This villain girl, she’ll do anything to get what she wants. She goes through different obstacles.”