Christina Milian shuts down Jennifer Lopez speculation on song ‘Play’

Christina Milian is a fan of Jennifer Lopez “from morning to night” and beyond.

Milian, 41 – who co-wrote Lopez’s 2001 hit “Play” – exclusively tells Page Six that she has nothing to worry about the song being placed on J.Lo’s second album, even if she originally recorded it for her own LP.

“Hands down, she k**led it.” She’s so good. I love this song,” the singer says while promoting her partnership with Lysol Air Sanitizer.

“And I couldn’t believe that at 19 I wrote a song for J.Lo.”

Milian says she wrote “Play” the same week she premiered her first single, “AM to PM,” during writing camps in Sweden with Bloodshy & Avant, Anders Bagge and other music luminaries from the early 2000s.

Christina Milian exclusively tells Page Six why she’s not mad that Jennifer Lopez landed her song “Play” in 2001.

The unique cover of “Play” by Jennifer Lopez
The track, co-written by Milian and featured on Lopez’s second album, was a defining hit for the latter artist.
Jennifer Lopez

The pop star recalls that “Play” came to her within minutes – a delightful surprise after a night of partying.

“I went to bed late at night, woke up the next morning and had to go to the studio. I had the song and I didn’t write anything [to it]. So I sat in bed, I had this song, I was really tired and I played the song and I was like…,” she says, pausing to hum the melody of the first verse.

“And I was like, ‘That looks so easy.’ It was just too easy to write at that point. I wrote the song in about 15 minutes and it was a joke to me because I had just started becoming a writer.

Jennifer Lopez
“Hands up, she k**led it,” Milian enthused about Lopez’s performance.

Although Milian was proud of “Play,” she preferred “AM to PM” and thought her then-label, Def Soul, wouldn’t want to include “two party songs” on her self-titled record, which was finally released internationally in January. 2002.

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Long before “Christina Milian” was finalized, Tommy Mottola – former chairman and CEO of Sony Music Entertainment – ​​heard “Play” and immediately requested it for his artist Lopez, who was then signed to Epic Records.

Christine Milian
Milian was just 19 when she wrote “Play” in “about 15 minutes,” she tells Page Six.

Christine Milian
The same week she wrote “Play,” the pop star penned her breakthrough debut single, “AM to PM.”

“The guy comes in and he hears ‘Play,’ and he loves it and says, ‘I want that as his single,’” Milian recalls. “And the next thing I know, she’s in New York, she’s recording the song and I’ve come to help her rewrite some things.”

Even in 2023, speculation about a feud persists online when fans often call out Lopez for leaving Milian’s vocals on the final cut of “Play” — her sultry tone is distinctly heard on the chorus — without giving the latter a feature film credit.

“It’s funny when people say it’s kind of the fact that I sing on the song with Jennifer. I mean, I have backup singers on some of my songs,” admits Milian.

Christine Milian
Milian’s vocals are clearly heard on the final cut of Lopez’s “Play.”
Christina Milian / Instagram

Jennifer Lopez and Christina Milian
Milian, pictured here with Lopez this year, is proud of her behind-the-scenes work on the song.
Getty Images for Revolution

“It’s no different than Michael Jackson having backup singers on his songs or Britney Spears. This is what music is made of. You want a mix of voices. For me it makes the songs better.

Milian, she says, is happy to have helped Lopez behind the scenes.

“I don’t need a feature film credit,” she insists. “I’m in the credits, whatever my nature is, as a writer and as a singer. There is merit to that. I’m also very happy that she did it because she’s an icon, she’s incredible.

The mother of three — who shares Violet, 13, with ex-husband The-Dream and Isaiah, 3, and Kenna, 2, with current husband, French musician Matt Pokora — still sings “Play,” as well as his own hits, during karaoke evenings with his family.

Christine Milian
Page Six caught up with Milian before throwing karaoke at Lysol Air Sanitizer’s Air-Aoke pop-up at Music Midtown in Atlanta.
Michael Simon

Milian put her singing talents to good use this Saturday at Lysol’s Air-aoke booth at Music Midtown in Atlanta, where she educated festival-goers on ways to prevent the spread of germs, viruses and bacteria.

“Because we are such a crazy, fun family and we sing at home, I found out that one minute of singing produces 1,000 bacteria and virus-filled droplets in the air, so knowing that, I have to spray it circulates in the air and I can at least know that we can k**l these airborne diseases,” she says, excited about the Lysol Air Sanitizer.

“It’s a simple way to help keep your family healthy.”

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