Beautiful People (Chris Brown song)

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"Beautiful People"
Single by Chris Brown featuring Benny Benassi
from the album F.A.M.E.
Released March 11, 2011 (2011-03-11)
Format
Recorded The Record Plant
(Los Angeles, California)
Genre
Length 3:45
Label Jive
Writer(s)
Producer(s)
  • Benny Benassi
  • Alle Benassi
Chris Brown chronology
  • "Beautiful People"
  • (2011)
Benny Benassi chronology
  • "Electroman"
  • (2011)
  • "Beautiful People"
  • (2011)
F.A.M.E. track listing

"Beautiful People" is a song by American recording artist Chris Brown featuring Italian DJ Benny Benassi, released as the third single from Brown's fourth studio album F.A.M.E. on March 11, 2011. It was written by Brown, Jean Baptiste, Marco Benassi and Allessandro Benassi, and was produced by the latter two. Musically, "Beautiful People" is an uptempo song which draws from the genres of electro house, dancehall and Europop, and contains influences of R&B. The song's lyrics revolve around Brown encouraging "everyone on the dance floor to keep their heads up and discover the beauty inside."[1]

"Beautiful People" received generally positive reviews from critics, who praised its production and lyrics. In the United States, the song peaked at number one on the Hot Dance Club Songs chart, and became the first number-one single for both Brown and Benassi. It also reached the top ten in Australia, Ireland, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, and the top twenty in Belgium and Denmark. The accompanying music video was released on March 22, 2011, and features personal footage of Brown's everyday life. The video also features appearances from several of Brown's famous friends, including Diddy, Bow Wow, T-Pain, Nelly, Timbaland, among others. Brown promoted the song with live performances on Dancing with the Stars (U.S.), the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards, and the 54th Grammy Awards. It was also included on the set list of his 2011 F.A.M.E. Tour.

Background and composition[edit]

"Beautiful People" was written by Brown, Jean Baptiste, Benny Benassi and Alle Benassi, with the latter two also handling its production.[2] It was recorded at The Record Plant—a studio in Los Angeles, California.[2] Before the release of F.A.M.E., the song leaked online on January 16, 2011.[1] The single cover was unveiled on February 2, 2011, showing Brown strapping a gas mask onto his face as he peers up at the camera. The song's title is spelled out in ransom note effect, with Brown's name graffitied onto the bottom right corner.[3] "Beautiful People" was released for digital download on March 11, 2011.[4] An extended play, featuring additional remixes of the song, was made available for download in the United Kingdom and the United States on April 19, 2011.[5][6] "Beautiful People" was later included on Benassi's fifth studio album, Electroman (2011), as track four.[7]

A 21-second sample of "Beautiful People", featuring positive and uplifting lyrics.

Problems playing this file? See media help.

"Beautiful People" is an uptempo electro house,[8] dancehall[9] and Europop[10] song with R&B influences.[9] According to James Dean Wells from AOL Radio, the song is "comprised of pulsing synths that build under Benassi and Brown's staccato and auto-tuned melodies."[8] "Beautiful People" is set in common time with a moderate tempo of 126 beats per minute. It is composed in the key of Eb major with Brown's vocal range spanning from the note of Eb4 to the note of F5.[11] The song is positive and uplifting with lyrics such as: "Everywhere that I've been / The only thing that I see is beautiful people ... / Don't you know / Don't you know / You're beautiful."[8] According to Rap-Up, on the song, Brown encourages "everyone on the dance floor to keep their heads up and discover the beauty inside."[1] When speaking about "Beautiful People", Brown told Jayson Rodriguez from MTV News that "it wasn't a selfish record, it wasn't me bragging or boasting or talking about cars or money or girls. It was me being able to inspire people with dance music. We have a lot of tragic things going on and the world needs to come together as a whole and stop the negativity."[12]

Critical reception[edit]

"Beautiful People" received generally positive reviews from music critics. Margaret Wappler from Los Angeles Times wrote that "Beautiful People" sounds almost like a Kylie Minogue song "with its powdered-sugar synths and dance floor positivity".[13] Jon Caramanica from The New York Times wrote that the song "has the clanging, swelling synths that are the hallmark of megaclubs."[14] Editors from Idolator wrote "We like the song, though we don't see anything inherently 'Chris Brown' about this track — it really could have been recorded by anybody with similar results."[15] Ed Easton Jr. from WNOW-FM wrote that the song "is a softer and sensitive side of Chris Brown as its lyrics are supposed to be meant to inspire others."[16] Joanne Dorken from MTV UK wrote that "Brown's vocals are unrecognisable on this Ibiza-dance scene floor filler, which you can’t help but move to."[10] James Montgomery from MTV News praised Benassi's production skills, and wrote "It's not a stretch to call 'Beautiful People' not only one of the year's most unexpected singles, but also one of the best."[17] Robert Copsey from Digital Spy awarded "Beautiful People" five out of five stars, and called it a "dancehall thumper about equality and believing in yourself."[9]

Nick Levine from BBC Music wrote that Brown is at his most ingratiating when he unites with Benassi "for the electronic throb of "Beautiful People"".[18] Jamie Horne of The Border Mail wrote that the song "is another thumping four-on-the-floor anthem."[19] Tom Howard from Yahoo! Music called the song "cheesily euphoric... a single just in time to gain some momentum before the high season in Ibiza."[20] Sean Fennessey from The Washington Post gave "Beautiful People" a mixed review, writing, "When Brown dabbles in shamelessly au courant Eurohouse, such as in 'Beautiful People' featuring and produced by the Italian pop-house staple Benny Benassi, that voice is nearly swallowed whole by wall-to-wall production."[21] James Montgomery from MTV News placed "Beautiful People" at number 18 on his list of the "25 Best Songs of 2011". He wrote that "this single represents his biggest reinvention to date. A slippery, shiny club track helmed by Benny Benassi, like most of Breezy's work it is undeniably sexy, but it's also subtly smart too. And that's where he made his biggest strides."[22] "Beautiful People" was nominated for Best R&B/Urban Dance Track at the 27th Annual International Dance Music Awards.[23]

Chart performance[edit]

In the issue dated March 12, 2011, "Beautiful People" debuted at number 37 on the US Hot Dance Club Songs chart.[24] The song peaked at number one in the issue dated May 21, 2011,[25] and became the first number-one single for both Brown and Benassi. In the issue dated September 17, 2011, "Beautiful People" debuted and peaked on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart at number 43.[26] In Canada, the song debuted at number 90 on the Canadian Hot 100 chart dated May 7, 2011.[27] It later peaked at number 22, and spent 10 weeks on the chart.[28] On the Australian Singles Chart, "Beautiful People" debuted at number 14 on March 21, 2011, and peaked at number seven on May 2, 2011.[29] The song was certified double platinum by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA), denoting sales of 140,000 copies.[30]

On the New Zealand Singles Chart, "Beautiful People" debuted at number 40 on March 21, 2011, and peaked at number six on April 18, 2011.[31] It was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand (RIANZ), denoting sales of 7,500 copies.[32] In Ireland, "Beautiful People" debuted at number 39 on March 31, 2011,[33] and peaked at number three on May 5, 2011.[34] In the United Kingdom, "Beautiful People" debuted at number 95 on the UK Singles Chart dated April 9, 2011.[35] After several weeks of climbing up the chart, it peaked at number four on May 7, 2011, where it remained for two consecutive weeks.[35] Overall, it is Brown's fifth UK top ten single as a lead artist.[36] "Beautiful People" also charted on the UK Dance Chart at number two.[37] As of January 2012, the song has sold 588,000 copies in the UK.[38]

Music video[edit]

The accompanying music video for "Beautiful People" premiered on MTV's The Seven on March 22, 2011.[39] The video features cameo appearances from Brandy, Tyga, Game, Big Sean, Ryan Leslie, Bow Wow, Pharrell Williams, Swizz Beatz, T-Pain, Estelle, Teyana Taylor, Omarion, Diddy, Kevin McCall, Nelly, and Timbaland.[39][40] The video opens showing Brown and his dance crew, The Rej3ctz, riding scooters during the night in the streets,[39] before switching to various scenes of Brown singing and dancing in the backseat of a car and hanging out in a recording studio with several famous friends listening to "Beautiful People". The video is also intercut with scenes of Brown and Benassi performing at separate concerts, and Brown in the studio dancing with T-Pain. More scenes feature Brown at the club with Teyana Taylor, Brandy, and Omarion. The video ends by showing Brown standing in front of a wall that has the words 'Beautiful People' graffitied on it.

Becky Bain from Idolator stated that the video was "basically a four-minute statement that Brown still has a bunch of friends on his side."[41] Ann Lee from Metro thought his dancing in the video was "better than his singing but it's still pleasant enough."[42] Tanner Stransky from Entertainment Weekly wrote that the video had a "nice concept", and noted it was "a departure from Brown’s trademark glossy clips".[43] Ed Easton Jr. from WXRK called it a "feel-good journey through his everyday life", and wrote "the visuals [in the video] are supposed to show the human side of Chris and his friends enjoying themselves and leaving the stresses of the world behind to be free from criticism."[44]

Live performances and cover versions[edit]

A pre-taped performance of Brown performing a medley of "Beautiful People" and "Forever" was shown on the American version of Dancing with the Stars on March 29, 2011.[45] For the performance Brown wore a black and white suit, and was accompanied by a group of robotic dancers dressed in all-white suits adorned with LED lighting for a futuristic Tron-like affect.[46] Prior to the performance some of the show's cast were unhappy that Brown was going to perform because of the domestic violence assault that occurred with his then-girlfriend Rihanna in 2009.[46] Brown was sentenced to five years of probation, ordered to complete more than 1,400 hours of community service and was given a restraining order which required him to stay away from Rihanna.[46] Professional dancer Cheryl Burke told Extra, "As a victim of domestic violence, I don't agree with him coming on the show, but it's out of my control",[46] while host Tom Bergeron told the On Air with Ryan Seacrest radio show that, "I did tell the producers it may be to their advantage to not have me interview him, because my natural tendency would be to say something. So don't put me in a position where you are asking me to not say something, because I really won't do that."[47]

On August 28, 2011, Brown performed a medley of "Beautiful People" and "Yeah 3x" at the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards.[48] He opened the performance with "Yeah 3x" and was dressed in a white formal suit, accompanied by "full-skirted dancers". Brown was eventually joined onstage by tuxedo-clad dancers and began dancing to the 1993 Wu-Tang Clan single "Protect Ya Neck". His dance routine then moved into 1991, where he danced to Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit". Brown's performance then came back to the future, where he began to sing "Beautiful People". While performing the song, he was suspended in the air, and then lowered to another stage where he continued to perform the song. Brown then went back in the air, where he did splits and back-flips.[48] "Beautiful People" was also added to the set list of Brown's F.A.M.E. Tour in Australia and North America.[49][50] On October 8, 2011, Nu Vibe sang "Beautiful People" on the eighth series of The X Factor (UK).[51] On December 3, 2011, British singer-songwriter Labrinth covered "Beautiful People" during his set at the Jingle Bell Ball, which was held at the O2 Arena in London.[52]

On February 12, 2012, Brown performed a medley of "Beautiful People" and "Turn Up the Music" at the 54th Grammy Awards, which took place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.[53] He was dressed in a white and gray varsity jacket, white pants and sparkling sneakers. Brown and his backup dancers performed heavily-choreographed routines to "Turn Up the Music" atop a collection of blocks, which changed from red to blue to yellow and green. He then sang "Beautiful People" as he jumped across the blocks, while his backup dancers followed in a high-flying routine. The performance ended when Brown saluted to the audience before he took a bow. Rob Markman from MTV News noted that the blocks "resembled the 1980s arcade game Q*bert",[53] while Evelyn McDonnell from Los Angeles Times noted that Brown lip-synched his performance.[54] Andrew Martin from Prefix magazine wrote that it was one of the worst performances at the Grammy Awards due to the fact that he lip-synched.[55] The performance was made available for download via the iTunes Store in the United States on February 15, 2012.[56]

Track listing[edit]

  • Digital download[4]
  1. "Beautiful People" featuring Benny Benassi (Main version) – 3:45
  2. "Beautiful People" featuring Benny Benassi (Club version) – 5:57
  • Digital Remix EP[5]
  1. "Beautiful People" (Felix Cartal Club Remix) – 4:31
  2. "Beautiful People" (The Knocks Club Remix) – 4:38
  3. "Beautiful People" (Ultimate High Radio Remix) – 3:45
  4. "Beautiful People" (Lenny B Radio Mix) – 3:19
  5. "Beautiful People" (Cosmic Dawn Club Remix) – 6:20
  6. "Beautiful People" (Tonal Radio Remix) – 4:03

Credits and personnel[edit]

Source: [2]

Charts and certifications[edit]

Radio and release history[edit]

Country Date Version Format Label
Australia[86] February 28, 2011 Single version Contemporary hit radio Sony Music Entertainment
Australia[4] March 11, 2011 Digital download
Canada[87]
Ireland[88]
New Zealand[89]
France[90] March 22, 2011
United States[91] April 5, 2011 Urban contemporary radio Jive Records
Norway[92] April 8, 2011 Digital download Sony Music Entertainment
Belgium[93] April 11, 2011
Netherlands[94]
United Kingdom[5] April 19, 2011 Digital Remix EP RCA Records
United States[6] Jive Records
Germany[95] May 27, 2011 Single version CD single Sony Music Entertainment

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]