Christina Milian, the multi-talented singer, songwriter, and actress, recently spoke exclusively to Page Six about her admiration for the iconic Jennifer Lopez. Milian, who co-penned Lopez’s hit song “Play” in 2001, expressed her appreciation for how J.Lo took the song and made it her own, even though it was originally intended for Milian’s own album. The 41-year-old artist praised Lopez, saying, “Hands down, she killed it. She’s so good. I love that song. And I couldn’t believe at 19 years old I wrote a song for J.Lo.”
Milian recalled a serendipitous moment in her career when she wrote the song “Play” during a songwriting camp in Sweden. The same week she crafted her defining debut single, “AM to PM,” the melody for “Play” came to her in a matter of minutes. Despite feeling tired after a late night of partying, Milian found herself effortlessly writing the lyrics within just 15 minutes. Reflecting on the experience, she shared, “It was just too easy to write at that moment. I wrote the song in, like, 15 minutes, and it was a joke to me because I had just started to become a writer.”
While Milian was proud of “Play,” she admitted favoring “AM to PM,” another lively track she had written. However, she believed that her record label, Def Soul, would not want to include two party songs on her self-titled album, released in January 2002. As fate would have it, Tommy Mottola, the former Chairman and CEO of Sony Music Entertainment, heard “Play” and immediately claimed it for Jennifer Lopez, who was signed to Epic Records at the time. Milian reminisced, “The guy comes in and he hears ‘Play,’ loves it and is like, ‘I want this as her single.’ 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.”
Uncredited Contribution and Persistent Speculation
Even in 2023, years after the release of “Play,” there is still speculation and online chatter surrounding the absence of credit for Milian’s vocals on the final cut. Fans often express disappointment that Milian’s sultry voice, notably heard on the chorus, wasn’t given a feature credit. However, Milian dismisses these claims, comparing her background vocals to those of other iconic artists like Michael Jackson and Britney Spears. She firmly states, “This is what music is made of. You want a blend of voices. It makes songs better, to me.”
Despite the ongoing debate, Milian remains content with her contribution to “Play” and her behind-the-scenes role in supporting Jennifer Lopez. She firmly declares, “I don’t need a feature credit.” Milian is credited as a writer and for singing background vocals, roles she is proud of. She emphasizes that her involvement in the creation process is recognition enough.
Christina Milian’s collaboration with Jennifer Lopez on the hit song “Play” is a testament to the talent and relationship between artists. Milian’s admiration for J.Lo’s interpretation of the song and her willingness to support Lopez’s success shines through. The story serves as a reminder that while credits and recognition are important, true artistry lies in the genuine collaboration and mutual appreciation between artists.