David Guetta and Sia‘s nearly inescapable “Titanium” not only defined 2011 in electronic dance music, but the song is really emblematic of dance music’s global boom out of the underground and into the mainstream. The smash hit collaboration, up there with Avicii‘s “Levels” and essentially everything on Swedish House Mafia‘s Until Now, to name a few, soundtracked dance music’s cataclysmic intersection with pop, and effectively turned DJs into the new archetypal rockstars. And while “Titanium” launched both Guetta and vocalist Sia to a new echelons of fame, the song almost turned out to be entirely different, had Katy Perry initially signed on to provide the track’s anthemic vocals.
During the recent Tomorrowland Around The World press conference, Perry, who topped a virtual bill that attracted more than a million viewers, admitted she had passed on “Titanium” back in 2011, which peaked at No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 that year. During the interview, Perry asks Guetta,
“Do you remember when, like almost 10 years ago, you sent me ‘Titanium?’ This is when you had Sia, obviously from Zero 7, you know, who had already had the coolest success—she had demo’d that record. And you’d sent it to me and I remember specifically listening to it on the plane, I was like, ‘Oh my god, this song is so good. Who is the person on the record? They should stay on the freakin’ record. This is a hit record; don’t put me on the record! Keep Sia on this record!’”
The Australian vocalist wound up providing one of the most powerful, memorable toplines in modern dance-pop history. And while the chart-dominating Guetta-assisted hit would turn up the volume on Sia’s career after more than a decade, she would further up the ante later that same year with 2011’s chart-topping Flo Rida feature, “Wild Ones,” though things may have played out a little differently if Perry had landed on “Titanium.” Watch Katy Perry’s full interview below.