Counting Stars

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For other uses, see Counting Stars (disambiguation).
"Counting Stars"
Single by OneRepublic
from the album Native
Released June 14, 2013
(see Release history)
Format CD single, digital download
Recorded August 2012[1]
Genre Pop[2]
Length 4:17
Label Mosley, Interscope
Writer(s) Ryan Tedder
Producer(s) Ryan Tedder, Noel Zancanella
OneRepublic singles chronology
"If I Lose Myself"
(2013)
"Counting Stars"
(2013)
"Something I Need"
(2013)
Audio sample
file info · help
Music video
"Counting Stars" on YouTube

"Counting Stars" is a song by American pop rock band OneRepublic from their third studio album, Native (2013). The song was written by lead singer Ryan Tedder, and produced by Tedder and Noel Zancanella. Musically, it is a pop song with strong elements of folk music.[2] It was released as the album's third single on June 14, 2013 in Austria, Germany, and Switzerland.

The song has been one of the band's most successful singles, reaching No. 1 in many countries including Canada and the United Kingdom, number two in the United States, and top ten in 20 countries.

The song's accompanying music video, directed by James Lees, features the band performing in the ground floor of a building (there are few basements in New Orleans) beneath an ongoing church congregation on the upper floor.[3]

Background[edit]

Ryan Tedder started writing this song while waiting for Beyoncé to turn up to a studio session, about a month after starting to write "Love Runs Out".[4] In an interview with the Official Charts Company, Tedder said, "On the second day I woke up early and I started combing through the internet, searching for stuff that would inspire me for Beyoncé. I ended up coming across this weird song that had this indigenous folk sound to it that just struck me like lightning. I didn't like the verses or lyrics, but I loved the feel and movement of it. That ended up inspiring Counting Stars." He added: "I debated playing it for Beyonce and putting it forward for her album, but it didn't feel like a song Beyonce would record. I immediately came up with the chorus idea, went home and for the next three months finished the Native album"[5]

Music video[edit]

The music video was filmed on May 10, 2013, in New Orleans, Louisiana, and premiered on May 31, 2013. The video features the band performing the song in a gloomy ground floor of a building surrounded by hanging light bulbs – which is interspersed with scenes of several people in a religious revival service on the upper floor. At the end of the video, one of the people in the service falls through the floor, coming through the ceiling of the room the band is performing in. The video also shows clips of an alligator crawling through the ground floor.[6]

Commercial performance[edit]

"Counting Stars" peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 on January 18, 2014, and stayed there for two weeks, behind "Timber" by Pitbull featuring Kesha. It is tied with "Apologize" as their highest peaking single in the United States,[7] and is their third US top-ten hit. It has spent 25 consecutive weeks in the top ten and is currently fifth for the most total weeks on the Hot 100, with 68. It has topped the charts in Canada, Finland, Israel, Poland, Slovakia and the United Kingdom,[8] and charted within the top ten in 20 countries, including attaining top five placements in Australia, Germany, Ireland and New Zealand. The song has sold over 5.3 million copies in the US as of December 2014.[9] In the United Kingdom, "Counting Stars" spent 34 consecutive weeks inside the top 40 before exiting.[10] In Canada, the song set the record for the longest climb to number one on the Canadian Hot 100, reaching number one on its 34th week on the chart on February 8, 2014. On October 11, 2014, The Official Charts Company confirmed that Counting Stars has sold one million copies in the UK.[11]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Counting Stars" – 4:17
  2. "Counting Stars" (Lovelife remix) – 3:55

Credits and personnel[edit]

Recording[13]
Personnel[13]

Covers[edit]

In June 2013, Ryan Tedder and Michelle Chamuel performed the song on the season finale of The Voice.[14] The song was covered by Skylar Astin, on the 2014 episode "City of Angels" of popular musical series Glee, as a medley with the Styx song "Mr. Roboto.".

It also was covered by Secondhand Serenade and included on the covers album The Cover Up, released by Brandon Metcalf's Destiny Nashville on April 22, 2014.[15] The Voice contestant Christina Grimmie and Sam Behymer sang the song during the sixth season of the show.[16] It was also covered by the pop-rock band R5 during a concert in London to their upcoming video album. It was featured the band The Vamps.[17]

Uses in Popular Culture[edit]

"Counting Stars" was used in the end credits for the 2014 sci-fi film Earth to Echo.

The song was also featured in the international trailer for Xavier Dolan's 2014 film, Mommy.

Charts and certifications[edit]

Release history[edit]

Regions Dates Format(s) Label(s)
Austria[12] June 14, 2013 CD single Mosley Music Group, Interscope Records
Germany[12]
Switzerland[12]
United States[79] October 8, 2013 Radio (Top 40)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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