Superstar songwriter NE-YO had Shania Twain and Faith Hill in mind when he wrote Beyonce Knowles' biggest hit IRREPLACEABLE. The song became the biggest hit of 2007 and is a favourite to land the coveted Record Of The Year at Sunday night's (10Feb08) Grammy Awards - but it almost became a country anthem. Ne-Yo wrote the tune with Norway's Stargate duo Tor Hermansen and Mikkel Eriksen, and now Hermansen has spoken out about their initial plans for the hit. He tells VH1.com, "Nobody expected it to be the phenomenon it was, it surprised everyone. For one, it crosses every boundary... and it's a song people from all walks of life can enjoy. "When we wrote it with Ne-Yo it was done first with a male vocal, and we thought, 'This is more of a female vocal part.' We liked it and so did Ne-Yo, but he said, 'Who will cut this?'" Ne-Yo, who felt the song could be a massive country hit, favoured Twain or Hill, but Hermansen suggested Knowles because he'd recently been penning tunes for her. The rest, as they say, is history.