Beyonce Passed on Meghan Trainor's "All About That Bass", But Was That Really for the Best?
As fans of Meghan Trainor might have heard by this point, the Nashville native got her start writing songs for other musicians before she launched her own career. In fact, her name was this close to not being as well-known as it is now. Trainor's "All About That Bass" is currently the song for which she is best known, the song and video having gone viral to such a point that it is currently the number one song in the country on the Billboard charts, but it almost wasn't her single. According to Vanity Fair, Beyoncé passed on "All About That Bass", although Trainor says, in Queen Bey's defense, that she probably never actually got a chance to listen to it.
"I’ll bet some of them didn’t even know the song was being pitched to them,” said Trainor, speaking of the multiple artists that "All About That Bass" was pitched to, a list that included Beyoncé. “Some artists get thousands of songs pitched and they never know, so Beyoncé herself probably never heard it." If Beyoncé had gotten a chance to listen to the song — or if she heard it and decided to take it instead of passing on it — would that have been a good call? It might be hard to imagine anyone but Trainor singing the song now, but Beyoncé's name attached to this track would have made this a whole new ball game. Should Beyoncé have passed on "All About That Bass"? Let's study the pros and cons.
PRO: The song's message would have reached more people.
Let's just be frank here. Beyoncé is a superstar on an international level. She's also a card-carrying goddess with her own shadowy organization called the Beygency, devoted to taking her detractors down. If "All About That Bass" by Beyoncé had hit iTunes, her first single since the release of her 2013 album Beyoncé, then everyone in the world would have shut down iTunes trying to listen to it first. "All About That Bass" would have probably debuted on Billboard in the number one spot. There would have been rioting in the streets as everyone tried not to be the last to tell their neighbors that they're all about that bass, no treble.
CON: That message is problematic.
However, Trainor's song has been accused of skinny shaming in its effort to spread body confidence to the girls of the world who aren't a size two. (So, most American women.) That message of skinny shaming coming from Beyoncé's mouth would have reached a lot more ears and thus caused a lot more backlash, especially since Beyoncé is a self-proclaimed feminist who told us all that we wake up ***Flawless. Plus, Beyoncé herself is probably a size two and has been repeatedly accused of photoshopping her thigh gap in her Instagram photos, so some might have found the song hard to take seriously coming from her.
PRO: It would have been a new sound for her.
Beyoncé has been experimenting with the boundaries of R&B and pop since roughly the era of "Run the World (Girls)". Jukebox/Doo-Wop would be an entirely new genre for her, one that I'm more than sure would suit her vocal range perfectly. How do I know? Well, you saw that "Bang Bang"/On the Run Tour promo ad, right? When Beyoncé does it old school, she really does it old school.
CON: Would it have been a new sound for her?
But that is assuming that she would have performed "All About That Bass" exactly as Trainor wanted it performed, rather than putting her own musical spin on it. One of the most lovable things about "All About That Bass" is the fact that it sounds different from anything else out there, so it might not have had as much impact if it sounded like just another Beyoncé song. In making it her own, Beyoncé might have taken away some of what was so great about it.
PRO: It would have been another hit for Beyoncé.
Beyoncé sneezes on the beat and the beat gets sicker. And she basically lives at the top of the Billboard charts. "All About That Bass" would have been no different.
CON: We still wouldn't know Meghan Trainor.
However, if Beyoncé hadn't passed on this one, then it's possible that we still wouldn't know who Meghan Trainor is at this point. And that, I think, would be the real tragedy in this alternate universe.