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Cannon Balls

Unreleased | 2011

“Cannon Balls” is an unreleased song by Justin Bieber featuring Taylor. It was written in August 2011 and meant for his third studio album, Believe (2012). In the end, it didn’t make the cut.
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Background and Recording

In August 2011, Justin Bieber invited Taylor over to his Malibu beach house “to do a writing session.” He actually ended up pranking her for a TV series called Punk’d. He pushed her to help “try out some fireworks from a Japanese promoter,” which supposedly set a yacht on fire, ruining a wedding. However, after everything was revealed, Justin and Taylor still ended up writing a song together.

Guitartist Tom Strahle revealed in 2020 what happened afterwards. A few days after the songwriting session, Justin was back in the studio to work on “Cannon Balls.” Vocal producer Kuk Harrell called Tom up to replace Taylor’s guitars because the song used the same three chords for the verse, chorus and the bridge. The next day, Tom got called and was told they loved what he did, but they liked the way it was before better after all. They then wanted Tom to add a guitar solo.

In the end, the song was never released, probably because Justin and Selena Gomez broke up and Taylor stuck by her best friend’s side. Justin’s camp simply said that “Cannon Balls” didn’t fit the final vibe of the album: “It didn’t go on Believe, because there’s another record they want to work on. So, it just didn’t make sense at this time, and the song they did just didn’t make sense on this album.”

Taylor and Justin aren’t on good terms, so the song will likely never be released.


There was a time I was on your side
But not anymore
You left like a cannonball

General Information
LeakedMarch 2020
RecordedAugust 26-31, 2011
SongwritersTaylor Swift
Justin Bieber
ProducerJosh Gudwin