katy perry passenger

Who Sang It Better? Hear Katy Perry Perform ‘Passenger,’ A 2013 Britney Spears Ballad

Performer and songwriter Sia once gave pop singer Katy Perry first dibs of a tune she penned entitled “Passenger,” a song that went on to land in the lap of fellow pop performer Britney Spears, who retouched the “Swish Swish” starlet’s version of the tune for her 2013 Britney Jean album.

Katy’s recorded take of “Passenger” appeared to cruise its way to the internet sometime Sunday evening, according to Idolator.

As the site goes on to explain regarding the leak of the Perry demo, the version of the song “Passenger” that appeared on Britney Jean, was claimed as not really suiting the sound or theme of Britney Jean, despite the disc being touted by Spears herself as being one of her “most personal,” by music listeners.

“The track always sounded somewhat out of place on [the] much-maligned [Britney Jean],” Idolator writers explain of “Passenger,” an introspective ballad themed on “letting go” of the heartbreaks of life and “letting the universe take the wheel,” as the site further says, “for the simple fact that it has more to say about the human condition [than the more upbeat] ‘Work B***h,’ ‘Tik Tik Boom’ and [the will.i.am-produced] ‘It Should Be Easy.'”

As it came to pass, Britney Jean would become Spears’ lowest-selling album of her entire career at that point, with the November 2013 effort only shipping 265,000 copies, compared to Britney’s previous release, 2011’s Femme Fatale, shipping nearly three times that amount (788,000), as Billboard notes, in America.

Said to have been recorded around the time of Katy’s fourth studio album, Prism, in 2013, Perry’s performance of “Prisoner” is specified by Idolator as being full of life and energy, two traits that appeared to be sorely missing when Britney was steering the proverbial wheel of the song for her album.

“Surprisingly, there isn’t a lot of [difference] between the demo and the finished version,” Idolator says about Katy’s recording of “Passenger,” which can be heard in full here.

“Katy’s version sounds less robotic and organic, but that could have more to do with it being a work in progress. It also sounds more alive, vulnerable and hopeful. Having heard Katy’s demo, it’s odd that ‘Passenger’ didn’t end up on Prism. The track would have fit into the second half of the album perfectly.”

Despite its omission, Perry’s Prism still managed to perform pretty well without the assistance of “Passenger” on its track listing with the album’s first single, “Roar,” bellowing its way to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart on September 13, 2013, with the Prism LP, also debuting at No. 1 on the album chart the week of October 30.

katy perry passenger
A demo recording of Katy Perry singing ‘Passenger,’ a song written by Sia that ended up on an album by Britney Spears, leaked to the internet on Sunday night. [Image by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images]

Perry’s latest LP, Witness, like its predecessor, Prism, will additionally premiere in the No. 1 Billboard album spot later this week, according to Rolling Stone.

Feel free to listen to both Katy Perry and Britney Spears’ versions of the song “Passenger” and sound off in the comments on who you think sang it best.

[Featured Image by Timothy Norris/Stringer/Getty Images & Kevin Winter/Getty Images]

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