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May 15, 2001

'What A Girl Wants' Wins BMI Award

what a girl wantsSongwriter Shelly Peiken, who co-wrote Christina's chart-topping single 'What A Girl Wants' with Guy Roche, was honored on Tuesday (May 15, 2001) when the performing rights organization BMI saluted the writers and publishers of the year's 50 most performed songs at the 49th BMI Pop Awards.

Peiken told Launch at the event that the track was not even originally intended for Christina, but she eventually got her hands on it with the help of producer, arranger, musician, and veteran A&R executive Ron Fair, who discovered and signed Christina for RCA Records. 'We weren't thinking of Christina when we wrote 'What A Girl Wants,' and, God bless her, she found it, and Ron Fair came to the table.'

Christina recorded 'What A Girl Wants' and it ended up being the first Number One hit of the millennium. Peiken recalled that the day she first had the idea for the song she decided to call it 'What A Girl Needs,' but the title was eventually changed to 'What A Girl Wants.' 'I recorded it on a little Walkman that day and I ran home that night and I said to my husband, 'Listen to this--there's something here!' And it was under all the garble of all the noise, and there was something really special in that little thing,' she said. 'Actually, it was called, 'What A Girl Needs,' and Ron Fair said, 'You've got to put the 'wants' up front. You've just got to do it.''

Peiken added that she's still unsure if she'll work with Christina on her next studio albums. 'She has a lot of ideas about what she wants to do,' said Peiken. 'And I'm sure she'll want to be creative and call her own shots. I'll be happy if I can participate, but if not, I'm just trying to write good songs and find homes for them.'

-- Jason Gelman,

'What A Girl Wants' single remix

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Christina recorded 'What A Girl Wants' and ended up having the first Number One hit of the millennium.

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