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|Single by Prince|
|from the album 3121|
|B-side||"Beautiful, Loved and Blessed"|
|Released||February 7, 2006|
|Recorded||Paisley Park Studios, 2005|
|Prince singles chronology|
"Black Sweat" is a song by Prince that was released as the second single from his 2006 album 3121. The music video to accompany the single was released on February 2, 2006. At the 49th Annual Grammy Awards, it was nominated for Best R&B Song and Best Male R&B Vocal Performance.
The song showcases minimalist funk alongside hip hop elements. Similar to "When Doves Cry" and "Kiss", a bassline is absent from the mix, which is an unusual occurrence in a pop song.[according to whom?] Essentially, the only instruments are drum machines and a high-pitched synthesizers. Prince delivers most of the song in his trademark falsetto.
The video is as minimalist as the song itself, presented in black and white. It consists of just one scene of a blank background and a 1970s-styled chair placed in the center. The video stars Prince and features Celestina Aladekoba (a dancer featured heavily in Jennifer Lopez's TV reality show, DanceLife), who is dancing seductively to the music, occasionally leaning over the chair as Prince sings. In a nod to the "Kiss" video, Prince humorously makes a disgusted expression when Celestina screams "like a white lady" (which is actually the keyboard riff). The video was directed by Sanaa Hamri.
- Video version
- TSMV edit by Tommie Sunshine
For the week ending March 11, 2006, "Black Sweat" debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 at number 60 (Prince's highest debut in years), and at number 83 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles and Tracks chart. It also debuted at number one on Billboard's Hot 100 Singles Sales chart, which tabulates both physical and digital sales.
The song's initial surge of 11,500 digital singles sales was prompted by a month-long promotion with iTunes, in which four consumers would win a private concert performance by Prince. "Black Sweat" was bundled with a second track from 3121, "Beautiful, Loved and Blessed". The song's lofty Hot 100 debut was attributed to this promotional tactic. As is typical with songs whose chart position is predominantly attributed to initial sales (with little or no radio airplay), "Black Sweat" dropped off the Hot 100 the following week.
"Black Sweat" debuted at number two on the Canadian Singles Chart for sales. The track was released March 27, 2006 in the UK, and charted relatively low at #43 on the UK Singles Chart, meaning Prince has not had a top 40 hit since the re-release of "1999" in (aptly) the year 1999. In Italy the single peaked at #24.
Overall, "Black Sweat" appeared on the pop charts in a number of countries in 2006, including the U.S., and went Top 40 on the charts in Greece, Italy, Latvia, Netherlands, and Spain. In addition, the song was a hit on Japanese radio, staying at high rotation for several weeks on stations throughout the country.