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Jennifer Lopez’s music pulls from eclectic influences, like reggae, dance hall, and various Latin music genres. “Ain’t Your Mama” fits right in. Which is exactly why it’s so surprising that the song was written without any involvement from her. It turns out that one of the main contributors to the track was none other than Meghan Trainor. So how did this catchy song end up in Lopez’s hands? And how did Trainor feel about giving it up?
“Ain’t Your Mama” was written as a Trainor song from the start, Mic reports. The future Lopez hit was written as a feminist anthem, about preferring romantic partners who can take care of themselves. The plan was for the track to find a place on the “All That Bass” singer’s album Thank You.
Ultimately, it didn’t fit into the flow of the album. Instead of letting the track languish, Epic Records encouraged Trainor to find it a home with other artists on the roster. She texted Lopez, who was working on an album. She wanted to lay vocals down as soon as possible.
The track became a club hit during the summer of 2016. It peaked at 76 on the Billboard Hot 100. But that success, as well as the themes of the song itself, was overshadowed by controversy from the moment it dropped.
Trainor, by this point a major pop star for several years, was the biggest name connected to “Ain’t Your Mama” besides Lopez herself. Unfortunately, as ET Online reports, the other credits on the track became a major problem. Six songwriters were credited, including the controversial producer Dr. Luke.
For the uninitiated, Dr. Luke was notorious for a sexual abuse scandal involving Kesha and several other women. Within hours of “Ain’t Your Mama” debuting, there was a major backlash brewing. The demand: an explanation for why Lopez would work with the tarnished producer.
“I texted her the song and [Lopez] had no idea, [about Dr. Luke’s involvement],” Trainor explained. “She thought I did it alone by myself at my house, which a lot of people think because I do do that.”
Thanks to Trainor, the “Love Don’t Cost a Thing” singer was protected from the growing backlash. There was no studio time with both Lopez and Dr. Luke present. The producer had his hands in many pop songs through the mid-2010s, so by 2016, it was still not uncommon that unreleased tracks had his name attached.
Trainor got her start in the music industry as a professional songwriter. And even when her career pivoted to her own pop stardom, she continued to write a diverse array of songs. Sometimes she would snap up a track that took her out of her comfort zone. But her habits mostly meant having lots of extra material she couldn’t use herself.
Billboard reports that this is why Trainor continues to be credited on others’ Billboard Hot 100 hits, despite having her own career to worry about. She even makes a point of hanging around while her songs are recorded by other artists.
Trainor penned “Sledgehammer,” the first top 40 hit for Fifth Harmony. She indulged her country music fandom by writing “Road Less Traveled” alongside Lauren Alaina. And she contributed both songwriting and a vocal appearance on Jason Derulo’s “Painkiller.”
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