For the final time: Christina Milian has no beef with Jennifer Lopez over “Play.” The 41-year-old singer who co-wrote the 2001 JLo hit in 15 minutes when she was just 19-years-old told New York Post gossip site Page Six that the persistent rumors that she has a problem with how she was credited on the song that appeared on the singer/actress’ sophomore album, J.Lo.
Milian said she originally recorded the dance pop track that hit No. 18 on the Billboard Hot 100 for her own album during the same week she penned her debut single “AM to PM” at a songwriting camp in Sweden with Bloodshy & Avant, Anders Bagge and some other early 2000s songwriting aces.
“Hands down, she killed it. She’s so good. I love that song,” Milian said of Lopez’s version. “And I couldn’t believe at 19 years old I wrote a song for J.Lo.” In fact, Milian said she wrote the track in around 15 minutes after a late night of partying. “I went to bed late that night, woke up the next morning and had to go to the studio. I had the track and I didn’t write anything [to it],” she said. “So I sat down in the bed, I had this track, I was really tired and I played the track and I was like… ‘This sounds too easy.'”
Milian said she really liked both “Play” and “AM to PM,” but thought her then-label, Def Soul, wouldn’t want two party songs on her 2002 self-titled debut. The decision was made for her, though, she said, when former Sony Music Entertainment chairman/CEO Tommy Mottola heard “Play” and claimed it for Lopez, who was signed to his label Epic Records at the time.
“The guy comes in and he hears ‘Play,’ loves it and is like, ‘I want this as her single,’” Milian said. “And the next thing I know, she’s in New York, she’s recording the song and I came in to help rewrite some of the stuff.”
The Post claimed that there are still rumblings today from Milian fans who call out Lopez for including Milian’s sultry backing vocals on the track but not giving her a feature credit. Milian, though, said she doesn’t sweat it. “It’s funny when people talk about this being kind of a thing about me singing on the song with Jennifer. I mean, I have background singers on some of my songs,” she said. “It’s no different than Michael Jackson having background singers on songs or Britney Spears. This is what music is made of. You want a blend of voices. It makes songs better, to me.”
Milian said she doesn’t need the feature credit on top of the songwriting and backing vocal credits because, frankly, she’s just happy that Lopez recorded the song, “because she’s an icon, she’s amazing.”
Lopez is slated to release her ninth studio album, and first as a solo artist in nine years, This Is Me… Now, later this year.