A few weeks ago a new version of La’Porsha Renae’s coronation song was used during the U.S women’s gymnastics Olympic trials. Now, according to Billboard, the song will be used next month at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio as the women’s gymnastics team theme song.
The path the song took to get there is very similar to when season 11 winner, Phillip Phillips‘ “Home” served as the women’s gymnastics team theme at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. And if you all remember, the song exploded on the charts afterward and went on to become the most downloaded song by any American Idol.
“Battles,” written by Who is Fancy, was brought to NBC’s attention by American Idol producer Megan Michaels, whose father, David, is NBC’s producer for women’s gymnastics.
“He was watching the finale and saw me perform ‘Battles’ and thought that it may be a good song for the Olympics,” the American Idol runner-up told Billboard. “He just wanted it more Olympic sounding.” The song is expected to be televised at least a dozen times!
“I wasn’t even the winner of the show,” said La’Porsha, “so I felt very honored to be afforded this opportunity.” The song will appear on the singer’s debut album, set for release in November.
Big Machine songwriter Fancy described how he learned the song might be used in the Olympics: I got a phone call a couple weeks ago from Big Machine, from the same person who pitched the song to La’Porsha originally for Idol,” he said. “She was like, ‘Don’t say anything, but I think ‘Battles’ might be [used] for the Olympic gymnastics trials.’ I was thinking to myself: ‘That literally could not get any bigger.’”
The song has a tragic backstory. Fancy wrote is as a tribute to the late Simone Battles, an X Factor contestant and former G.R.L. member who committed suicide in September 2014.
“He wrote it from a very sad and deep place,” La’Porsha told Billboard. “When people use their hurt and make a triumph in their song, that helps other people. There was a girl who messaged me and said she was on the verge of taking her life, then ‘Battles’ came on just in the nick of time. That’s the impact the song has on people, and it ministers to me as well. I love ‘Battles,’ and I love what it’s doing for people.”
Check out “Battles” airing during the recent NBC Summer Olympic trials.
— Margaret R. Twitty (@margarettwitty6) July 11, 2016