PEOPLE has a first listen to the new version of the song, which turns 25 this year. Grant and her label were trying to come up with a fun way to commemorate the No. 1 hit when they decided to tap recent best new artist Grammy nominee Kelly, 23.
“I was thrilled to hear that Tori was on board to record it,” Grant, 55, tells PEOPLE. “Although I had not met Tori at that point, my 15-year-old daughter, Corrina, is a big fan of Tori’s and so I was very aware of her incredible talent and was honored she would sing this song.”
In the end, producer Dave Garcia paired Kelly’s newly recorded version with Grant’s 25-year-old vocals.
“Tori is such an incredible vocalist, one of the most effortless singers I have ever heard, and once she starts singing it is like a rocket engine has been strapped on to the song and she takes us all on a ride,” adds Grant. “I really think she knocked it out of the park.”
The inspiration for the track came about when Grant, suffering from a bout of writer’s block, was trying to write a song about her daughter Millie, now 26.
“I had played with a few lyric ideas but nothing was working,” she says. “And then one day I looked down at my new daughter and thought ‘Oh baby, baby,’ and the lyric just poured out of me in about 10 minutes.”
With the new track dropping everywhere Friday, Grant hopes it’ll give fans old and new a boost of nostalgia.
“I have heard from so many people who say they grew up singing the song, or that they sang ‘Baby, Baby’ to their children when they were young and they are excited to hear a new version,” she says.
“My hope is that those who loved the original will enjoy the breath of fresh air that Tori puts into the song and that perhaps the song will find a brand new audience of younger listeners who weren’t even born when the original was on the radio.”