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Natasha Bedingfield on anthem Unwritten finding new life 20 years on: 'I'm excited'

Natasha Bedingfield at the premiere for Anyone But You (Getty Images)
Natasha Bedingfield at the premiere for Anyone But You (Getty Images)

Some songs have the extraordinary ability to transcend time, connecting with audiences across generations and Natasha Bedingfield's 2004 hit Unwritten is undeniably one such anthem.

Fast forward to 2024, and the track is making waves again, catapulting into the UK Top 20 after its feature in rom-com, Anything But You, starring Sydney Sweeney and Glenn Powell.

When it was initially released in November 2004, the song peaked at number six on the UK chart. Now almost two decades on, the song, which was written about her younger brother Josh, is experiencing a second wind and has re-entered the charts at number 18.

Bedingfield, who was just 23 when Unwritten was released, admitted that she can finally get “excited” about the song’s success and enduring legacy.

“I just remember my first manager when I got my first hit saying, ‘Don't get too excited’,” she told The Standard.

“It was a very British [thing to say], ‘Don't get too excited’, like, ‘You got to have a few more hits’ but I think I'm allowed to get excited now after 20 years.”

Bedingfield's track Unwritten was featured as the theme tune for The Hills (cast pictured above) between 2006 and 2010 (MTV)
Bedingfield's track Unwritten was featured as the theme tune for The Hills (cast pictured above) between 2006 and 2010 (MTV)

For the millennials among us, Bedingfield’s anthem for self-discovery is synonymous with reality TV series, The Hills, acting as the show’s theme tune for the course of its run from 2006 to 2010.

“Unwritten wasn’t really a hit in England so that's the funny thing that everyone knows it for,” she recalled, before adding: “But that song is about how your life could go any way so you know, maybe that's why it was such a good match for the show?”

Despite the song being the show’s silent character, Bedingfield admitted she never watched any of the drama unfold on the beloved MTV series.

The 42-year-old said: “I didn't really watch the show actually. I don’t really watch reality TV. But I was happy. It's always good as a songwriter when a big show or movie uses your song.”

While the song is enjoying its newfound relevance in 2024 thanks to Anyone But You, it’s not the first time film director, Will Gluck, has featured one of Bedingfield’s tracks in his films.

2010’s Easy A starring Oscar winner Emma Stone famously included the artist’s track, Pocket Full of Sunshine.

In one memorable scene, Stone’s character Olive receives a birthday card from her grandmother which when opened continually plays the 2007 hit - what viewers think is a fleeting moment turns into a whole musical interlude based on the song.

Interestingly, Bedingfield revealed how the track almost never saw the light of day after her record label urged her to re-write it.

She shared: “The funny thing is that my label thought that [Pocketful of Sunshine] wouldn’t work… they thought that people would think that it was weird that the verse is a chorus as well, so they actually made me write a new verse, so I tried, it just didn't work.

“So, I was like, ‘No, this is how it's going to be and we’re going to release it like that’.

“But it was funny because in [Easy A] Emma goes, ‘it’s the most annoying song ever’, which really is what every kind of hit song ends up being because it ends up being played so much.”

With Stone forever associated with her song, has Bedingfield ever met the La La Land star – and perhaps asked for a duet? No, but if someone can hook Bedingfield up with a contact, she'd appreciate it.

“I've never met her, you know, and I love would to so much,” the singer admitted. “Could TikTok help me help me meet Emma Stone? Because she's not even on TikTok so, I don't know how to get to her but I would love to meet her.”