Selena Gomez's self-love anthem 'Who Says' almost went to another artist

A woman with long, brown hair posing in a gray blazer
Selena Gomez says she fought to release her 2011 song "Who Says." (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

Selena Gomez almost didn't sing her boppy 2011 self-love anthem, "Who Says."

The "Only Murders in the Building" star revealed Wednesday during Twilio’s Signal conference that she was in tears about it and pushed Disney to let her sing the empowering track because she believed it was important to her fans at the time.

"I was working with Disney at the time, and they were actually giving the song to another artist," the "Wizards of Waverly Place" alum said (via Elle).

"I cried because I loved the song so much. I basically said to my label, 'I feel like my fans are young and they need it. That's all I kept saying because I was 16 at the time. I was like, 'I think my fans really need it; tell [them] my fans really need the song.'"

The song, with lyrics that champion inner beauty and self-worth, was written by Priscilla Renea and produced by Emanuel Kiriakou. It was the lead single from Selena Gomez & the Scene's third album, "When the Sun Goes Down," which was released in 2011 by Disney Music Group-owned Hollywood Records.

The track's encouraging words, which also take a stand against cyberbullying, also became a guiding light for the Rare Beauty founder during her evolving career — one that has been punctuated by plenty of ups and downs, including public struggles with relationships and health, a raw and personal documentary about the latter, two Grammy Award nominations and two Emmy nods.

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"Maybe it just didn't work out with the other artist, but that was a gift to me that I did not know I needed," the 31-year-old said. "I love that song, and it has carried with me through my whole career, and I fought for it. To be honest, I, to this day, need to hear it."

The "My Mind & Me" singer told Billboard in 2011 that the platinum record was "probably my favorite I’ve ever recorded" and gave her "a big boost" during her fledgling pop star days.

Gomez's revelation comes as she gears up to release her upcoming single, "Single Soon," at 9 p.m. Pacific on Thursday.

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.