A pretty famous piece of Britney Spears trivia is that one of her biggest hits, “Toxic,” was originally offered to Kylie Minogue. Minogue has confirmed that story and commented on the song’s success, saying, “I wasn’t at all angry when it worked for her. It’s like the fish that got away. You just have to accept it.” However, it turns out Minogue wasn’t the artist for whom songwriter Cathy Dennis initially created the track.
In a recently shared interview, Dennis told the story of how she and the song’s co-writers penned the track for Janet 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. 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. 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.”
Spears previously shared her take on the song 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.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Dennis discusses a track that she actually wrote for Minogue and that Minogue ended up releasing, so read more here.