Michael Bolton might not seem like a fixture in hip-hop, but he just explained how he became a key piece on a seminal rap album. Writing for the website Genius, the famous singer explained how lines he sung ended up in the chorus of Kanye West's Jay Z- and J. Ivy-featuring "Never Let Me Down," a stellar album cut from his 2004 debut, The College Dropout. The song samples "Maybe It's the Power of Love," a 1980 Blackjack single that features Bolton on lead vocals. Bolton told Genius he was "surprised and flattered" when reps for the Roc-A-Fella rappers reached out about securing the publishing rights. "I wrote this song in the early 80s," Bolton recalls. "If you told me back then that 20 years later it would have a second life in the work of two great hip hop artists, I would have called you crazy!"

Still, the pop legend didn't give his blessing right away. "Happy as I was, I wanted to make sure that I was cool with the content of the song before giving the go-ahead," Bolton says. West's people sent over the lyrics, which Bolton read immediately. He replied, “I love this. It’s great. What a positive message.” On the final version of the song, Bolton's lyrics are sung by John Legend and Tracie Spencer.

This isn't the first time Genius has reached out to major stars for their inputs. In addition to the smattering of "verified annotations" from rappers on their own lyrics, Rick Rubin recently provided histories of a handful of his productions for the iconoclastic tech startup.

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