Sia Reveals the Behind-the-Scenes Drama With Song 'Pretty Hurts'

Rihanna and Beyonce both wanting the song created a "really awkward situation."

July 23, 2014, 6:29 PM

— -- Long before Sia recorded her album “1,000 Forms of Fear” and shot to the top of the charts with the unconventional hit single, “Chandelier,” the Australian pop singer established herself as one of pop music’s most successful songwriters.

Sia, whose full name is Sia Furler, has penned songs for a lengthy list of music’s A-listers, including Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears and Beyonce. Some of the 38-year-old’s recent songs to hit the charts are Flo Rida’s “Wild Ones,” DJ David Guetta’s “Titanium” and Rihanna’s “Diamonds.”

Sia said it took her “around 40 minutes” to write “Titanium.”

“You know a lot of people have their thing and mine is that I am productive,” she told “Nightline” in a sitdown interview with ABC News' Chris Connelly. “The melody is channeling, is more the gift part and the intuition and the lyrics feel more like craft.”

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To get the creative juices flowing, Sia said sometimes all it takes it seeing something on “crap television” or an object in a room, such as a chandelier.

“Well I usually choose a word. One solid concept, so say I’m looking around ... and in this case I see a chandelier and think ‘oh, how can I use that?’” she said. "['Chandelier'] is a strong title because [record] labels want things that people can Google. ... There’s a lot of stuff that goes into it, strategy that goes into it.”

But sometimes, Sia’s songs pass through more than one artist’s hands before they are recorded and things can get complicated, such as with the song “Pretty Hurts.”

“I wrote it on the sofa three years ago for Katy Perry, sent it to Katy Perry she never heard it,” Sia said. “Then I sent to Beyonce's people and Rihanna’s people and Rihanna heard it and she had it on hold for eight months and her management forgot to secure it by paying for the track and Beyonce just slid into home base and threw the money down and it was a really awkward situation.”

With Beyonce having secured “Pretty Hurts,” Sia said Rihanna’s engineer suggested sending her another song Sia had written.

“Rihanna’s engineer said, ‘Why don’t you play her ‘Diamonds’ because I think it’s a better song for her and maybe that will make her less bummed.’ Rihanna was like ‘I love this song. ‘Diamonds,’ it’s mine' and so that’s what we did,” she said.

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Though Sia is becoming a pop star in her own right, being famous is not something she is interested in. In fact, she won’t show her face in interviews, including with “Nightline.”

“I don’t want to be famous, or recognizable,” she said. “I don’t want to be critiqued about the way that I look on the Internet. ... I’ve been writing pop songs for pop stars for a couple years and see what their lives are like and that’s just not something I want.”

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