Don't Cha

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"Don't Cha"
Single by The Pussycat Dolls featuring Busta Rhymes
from the album PCD
Released April 26, 2005 (2005-04-26)
Format
Recorded 2005
Genre
Length 4:32
Label
Writer(s)
Producer(s) Cee-Lo Green
The Pussycat Dolls chronology
Sway
(2004)
"Don't Cha"
(2005)
"Stickwitu"
(2005)
Busta Rhymes singles chronology
"What's Happenin'"
(2004)
"Don't Cha"
(2005)
"Touch It"
(2008)

"Don't Cha" is a song performed by American girl group The Pussycat Dolls for their debut self-titled studio album PCD (2005). The song was written and produced by Cee-Lo Green and features American rapper Busta Rhymes. The song samples "Swass" by Sir Mix-a-Lot. The song was originally recorded by American recording artist Tori Alamaze, and was released as her debut single in March 2005, on Universal Records. After Universal Records dropped her from the label, Cee-Lo Green gave the track to the Pussycat Dolls. The song was released in 2005 as the lead single from the Dolls' debut studio album PCD. "Don't Cha" is about a girl who teases a man that she is more attractive than his girlfriend.

The song received positive reviews from most music critics who praised its R&B grooves and it high dose of energy. "Don't Cha" was a commercial success in the United States, peaking at number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for three consecutive weeks, and number one on the pop chart for seven consecutive weeks. It also went number one across Europe and Oceania where it reached the top position in 15 countries including Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. "Don't Cha" had sold more than six million copies worldwide, becoming one of the one of the best-selling singles of all time worldwide. It has since been considered one of the biggest pop hits,[1][2] and best selling songs of the digital era.[3][4] "Don't Cha" also remains the best selling song by a female group in the United States with 2,260,000 paid downloads.[5]

The song's accompanying music video features the group in various dance sequences. Since 2005, "Don't Cha" has been a staple in lead member Nicole Scherzinger's live performances and concert tours. Other artists have covered the song, and it has been used in various television shows and other media. It became the best-selling single by a female group.

Background[edit]

In January 2004, in a basement studio in Atlanta, Cee Lo Green (then still known as a member of Goodie Mob) finished producing the song "Don't Cha" which revolved around the hook from Sir Mix-a-Lot's "Swass" taken from album of the same name.[6] The song was originally written for Tori Alamaze, a former backing vocalist for the hip hop duo OutKast.[6] In November, Alamaze signed with Universal Records and decided to release the song as her first single from her debut album which was due to release that same year. However, months later, Alamaze decided to part ways with the label as she was "unhappy" and felt that she "got caught up in the middle of egos and favors."[6] Thus she agreed to give up her rights to the song to get out of her contract.[6] The song was still playing on radio while copies were available at stores.[6] Her version of the song received minor success reaching number 53 on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.[7]

After Universal Records dropped Almaze, the label was still very much interested in "Don’t Cha". Record executives asked Green to rerecord "Don't Cha" with The Pussycat Dolls. Initially Green was skeptical saying, "I didn't know too much about them [...], but when I found out that [Universal-owned] Interscope Records was involved, that was an alliance I didn't hesitate to make."[7] The Pussycat Dolls version was recorded around March adding two verses from rapper Busta Rhymes. Lead singer Nicole Scherzinger admitted that two records sounded identical. "I had [Alamaze's] version as a guide. But ours is just a bit fresher."[6] This song was initially offered to both Sugababes and Paris Hilton, but both declined.[8] In 2006, Hilton claimed that she was presented with the track, but was not impressed with it, commenting. "I think I did hear the song, but not in the format that we all came to know and love. If I'd heard that, of course I'd have jumped at the chance".[9]

Critical reception[edit]

A 30-second sample of the Pussycat Dolls' version of "Don't Cha" from PCD featuring the hook "Don't cha wish your girlfriend was hot like me?"

Problems playing this file? See media help.

"Don't Cha" received mainly positive reviews. Lisa Haines from BBC described the track as "memorable". She continued saying "[it's] a groovy R&B duet with Busta Rhymes, is easily the best."[10] Sal Cinquemani from Slant Magazine said that, "[...] The Pussycat Dolls have certainly carved a niche for themselves in 21st century pop history. Their brassy, sassy debut single, 'Don't Cha', featuring Busta Rhymes, stormed the charts with its various incarnations, held from the pole position on Billboard's Hot 100 only by Mariah Carey's monster comeback 'We Belong Together'."[11] Isaac McCalla from About.com praised the song. "This single is a serious dose of high energy, wickedly fun and slammin' house music."[12]

Stephen Thomas Erlewine also favored the song saying "there has never been a sex song quite as knowingly ironic yet undeniably sexy as this, and for a while the album keeps the momentum up."[13] John Murphy said that, [...] the single "Don't Cha" is rather good – a silky, sexy little number with a refrain of "don't you wish your girlfriend was hot like me" that will become ubiquitous by the end of the month." However he said that Busta Rhymes is annoying. "It's a shame that Busta Rhymes is as typically annoying as ever, but he doesn't spoil the song too much."[14] Azeem Ahmad also from musicOMH in a separate review commented: "Strangely enough 'Don't Cha' isn't purely eye candy." However he was critical stating: "not even Busta Rhymes' cameo appearance can prevent Don't Cha from seeming like nothing more than a promo for some generic product aimed at young males."[15] A reviewer from Contactmusic.com gave the song 4 out 5 stars favoring the "serious dose of high energy and raunchy message," while criticized the song for not having "any vocal talent."[16]

Recognition and accolades[edit]

Chris Kal of WKNS ranked "Don't Cha" at number four in his list of "Top 10 Summer Songs From 2005".[17] Bill Lamb writing for About.com ranked the song at number thirty on his list of the Top 100 Pop Songs 2005,[18] and at two on his list of the Top 10 Most Memorable Pop Song Lyrics 2005 for the line ""Don't cha wish your girlfriend was hot like me? Don't cha wish your girlfriend was a freak like me?".[19] In August 2013, Billboard ranked "Don't Cha" third best song of the Summer of 2005.[20] In September 2009, The Official Charts Company listed "Don't Cha" at number five, as of the most downloaded song since its launch, respectively.[21] In September 2011, VH1 ranked "Don't Cha" at number ninety-six on its list of The 100 Greatest Songs of the 2000s.[22] In June 2013, Fuse included the song on the list of "50 Girls Who Run The World"[23] and the "Top 100 Pop Breakthroughs".[24] In July 2013, The Huffington Post ranked the song at number 29 on its list of the top fifty number ones of the last ten years.[25]

Year Ceremony Award Result
2005 Billboard Music Awards Top Selling Single of the Year[26] Nominated
2006 Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Awards Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs Sales[27] Won
BMI Awards BMI Pop Awards - Song List[28] Won
BMI Urban Award - Song List[29] Won
International Dance Music Awards Best R&B/Urban Dance Track[30] Won
Best Pop Dance Track[31] Nominated
Best Dance Video[30] Nominated
MTV Australia Video Music Awards Best R&B Video[32] Nominated
MuchMusic Video Awards Best International Video - Group Nominated
People's Choice: Favorite International Group Nominated
Soul Train Music Awards Best R&B/Soul Single, Group, Band or Duo[33] Nominated

Chart performance[edit]

Mariah Carey (pictured) blocked "Don't Cha" from the top position in the U.S. with "We Belong Together" (2005).

In the United States, "Don't Cha" debuted at number 95 on the Billboard Hot 100 on the issue dated May 7, 2005.[34] In its sixteenth week on the chart, the track reached number two becoming their highest charting single in the country.[35] The song stayed there for three consecutive weeks, being held off of the top spot by Mariah Carey's "We Belong Together", which spent a total of 14 non-consecutive weeks at number one.[36] Despite the song not reaching the top position on the Billboard Hot 100, it reached number one spot on the Pop 100 and Hot Dance Club Play charts for seven and three consecutive weeks respectively.[37][38] "Don't Cha" is the second longest-charting song on the Hot Digital Songs chart spending 68 weeks behind Kelly Clarkson's "Since U Been Gone" and Usher's "Yeah!" which both spent 74 weeks.[39] "Don't Cha" took three-and-a-half years to reach the two million mark in paid downloads and by January 2010 the song has sold 2,226,000 copies according to Nielsen Soundscan.[40][5] The song was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), for shipment of a million copies of the single.[41]

"Don't Cha" charted strongly throughout Europe. In the United Kingdom, before officially being released as a single, "Don't Cha" debuted at number 44 only on import.[42] Following it's single release, the track peaked at number one UK Singles Chart. It sold 85,021 that week, becoming the second-highest single sales week of 2005 behind Crazy Frog's Alex F which moved 120,246 units. With "Don't Cha" debuting atop the singles chart, the group became the first all-American female group to top the singles chart in the UK since Destiny's Child's single "Survivor" in 2001.[42] As of June 22, 2009, "Don't Cha" is the groups best-selling single in the United Kingdom, with 521,872 copies.[43] It was certified Gold by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI).[44] "Don't Cha" is the 147 best-selling single of the 21st Century.[45] In Ireland, the song debuted at number one on the Irish Singles Chart and stayed for four consecutive weeks.[46] The song has also reached the peak in a number of European countries including Belgium (Flanders), Germany, Norway and Switzerland.[46] Across Oceania, the song topped on its first week at number one in both Australia and New Zealand, where in Australia it stayed there for seven non-consecutive weeks.[46] It was certified two-times platinum certification by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA),[47] and in New Zealand it was certified gold, selling over 7,500 copies, according to the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand (RIANZ).[48] Across Europe, the song reached number one on the European Hot 100 Singles.

Music video[edit]

An accompanying music video for "Don't Cha" was directed by Paul Hunter during the the week of April 11, 2005.[49] Nicole Scherzinger told MTV News that the video was all about having fun. "Busta Rhymes is pretty phat, man. He is so much fun. He's so humble and he just makes you feel good. When you're around him, you feel magical. The lyrics are, 'Don't cha wish your girlfriend was hot like me.'... But if you see the video, it's all about being who you are, having fun and being confident — and feeling hot. It's not so much about looking hot ... although looking hot is important."[50]

MTV's Brandee J. Tecson commented, "leave it to the Pussycat Dolls to cast someone in their music video who can actually steal attention away from six gyrating half-naked chicks."[50] Billy Johnson, Jr. of Yahoo! Music said, "front and center, the stunning Nicole Scherzinger, surrounded by good company, pranced around in tank tops and short shorts while drag racing in convertible jeeps. They raised the bar."[51] VH1 listed "Don't Cha" at number fourteen on its Top 40 Videos of 2005.[52] At the 2006 International Dance Music Awards the music video was nominated for Best Dance Video.[30] At the 2006 MTV Australia Video Music Awards the video was nominated for the Best R&B video but lost to Chris Brown's Run It!.[32]

Live performances[edit]

The Pussycat Dolls were the last performers of KIIS-FM's Wango Tango music festival which was held in Los Angeles, on May 14, 2005. Prior the performance Scherzinger said, "We are so psyched [to play tonight]. We can't wait. It's going to be amazing." While closing their set with "Don't Cha", MTV's Brandee J. Tecson commented, "Like a lot of the day's performers, the Dolls were newcomers to the Wango stage, but ended the night like veterans."[53] On August 14, 2005 The Pussycat Dolls performed "Don't Cha" at the 2005 Teen Choice Awards.[54] On December 2005 the group performed for the annual KIIS-FM Jingle Ball wearing "festive candy-cane-striped belly shirts and red-and-green capri pants." The set list included "Don't Cha", 'Stickwitu" and "Wait a Minute".[55] On June 30, 2006, The Pussycat Dolls performed on Good Morning America as part of its Summer Concert Series along with "Buttons" and "Stickwitu".[56]

On July 7, 2007, The Pussycat Dolls together with other artists performed at the Live Earth Concerts, which were held to raise awareness of global warming. They performed "Don't Cha", "Stickwitu", and "Buttons".[57] The group then performed the song at the Walmart Soundcheck, along with "I Hate This Part", "Takin' Over the World", "When I Grow Up" and "Buttons".[58] The Pussycat Dolls also performed "Don't Cha" at the Doll Domination Tour (2009). Maureen Ellis of the Evening Times said that the "high-energy encore of 'Don't Cha' and 'When I Grow Up' ensured the Dolls reigned supreme."[59]

Use in media[edit]

The song is featured in Disney's 2009 animation movie G-Force,[60] and also in Date Movie and Norbit. It was also used in the 2010 comedy film Easy A.[61]

"Weird Al" Yankovic included the song in his polka medley "Polkarama!" from his 2006 album, Straight Outta Lynwood.

Credits and personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from the liner notes of PCD, A&M Records, Interscope Records.[62]

Sample
Personnel
  • Songwriting – Anthony Ray, Thomas Callaway, Trevor Smith
  • Production – Cee-Lo Green
  • Engineering – Ethan Mates
  • Mixng – Steve Baughman
  • Trumpet/Horn contractor – Chris Tedesco
  • Trumpet – Bill Churchville
  • Trombone – Nick Lane
  • Saxophone – Ray Herrmann
  • Guitar – John Goux

Track listings[edit]

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Sales/shipments
Australia (ARIA)[106] 2× Platinum 140,000^
Austria (IFPI Austria)[107] Gold 15,000x
Germany (BVMI)[108] Gold 150,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[109] Gold 7,500*
Sweden (GLF)[110] Gold 10,000x
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[111] Gold 20,000x
United Kingdom (BPI)[112] Gold 521,872[43]
United States (RIAA)[113] Platinum 2,260,000[5]
Ringtone
United States (RIAA)[113] Platinum 1,000,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
xunspecified figures based on certification alone

Radio and release history[edit]

Country Date Format Label
United States[114][115] April 19, 2005 Contemporary hit radio
Rhythmic radio
July 19, 2005 Digital remixes

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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