Don't Let Go (Love)

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"Don't Let Go (Love)"
Single by En Vogue
from the album EV3 and Set It Off Soundtrack
Released October 22, 1996
Format CD single, Cassette single
Recorded August 1996
Genre R&B, pop, urban contemporary
Length 4:52 (Album/Soundtrack Version)
4:04 (Radio Edit)
Writer(s) Andrea Martin; Ivan Matias; Marqueze Ethridge; Organized Noize
Producer(s) Organized Noize
En Vogue singles chronology
"Whatta Man"
(1993)
"Don't Let Go (Love)"
(1996)
"Whatever"
(1997)

"Don't Let Go (Love)" is a song by American R&B group En Vogue. It was written by Ivan Matias, Andrea Martin, Marqueze Etheridge and produced by Organized Noize and Ivan Matias for the Set It Off soundtrack (1996), also appearing on the group's third album, EV3 (1997). The song was the band's last single to feature former band member Dawn Robinson, on lead vocals, and became En Vogue's biggest international single, peaking in the top ten of many countries. It hit #5 in the UK in early 1997 and spent 13 weeks in the UK top 40, eight of those weeks in the top ten. "Don't Let Go (Love)" became the third En Vogue track to peak at #2 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 where it was the group's fifth and final Top Ten hit. The song was a #1 R&B song for 1 week becoming En Vogue's sixth and final #1 R&B Hit to date. The single re-entered the UK chart at number 23 in 2011 after girl group Little Mix performed the song on the eighth series of British television talent contest The X Factor on November 19, 2011: the En Vogue track reached #23 on the UK chart and also returned to the Irish charts at #50.

It has been certified platinum by the RIAA for shipments of over 1,000,000 units. In October 2011, NME placed it at number 127 on its list "150 Best Tracks of the Past 15 Years".[1] The song was notable in the 1996 movie Set It Off.

This song compelled Elektra mogul Sylvia Rhone to place En Vogue back in the studio to record their EV3 for release in 1997. However, Dawn Robinson felt a solo career was not feasible while she was still a member of En Vogue, while the other group members plus the record producers and label executives were focused on the new En Vogue album. Forced to choose, Robinson decided to leave En Vogue for a solo career with Dr. Dre's Aftermath Records. The turn of events following the success of "Don't Let Go (Love)" was the beginning of a long and tumultuous era for En Vogue as member changes became quite frequent.

Music video[edit]

A music video was released to promote the single in which they sang in front of an audience in black outfits while some clips of the "Set it Off" movie were inserted. A second video was released using the same footage of En Vogue singing in front of an audience, but the scenes from Set it Off were replaced with images that followed a new storyline. In this version, Mekhi Phifer plays a man who has been secretly dating all four members of En Vogue. The four women find out about each other and confront Phifer's character at a party.

Versions[edit]

During promotion of the single, several versions surfaced. The main album version was essentially used for the music video, but with a slightly different ending where Terry Ellis ad libs as the final chorus fades. An edit version which cut out several seconds in the beginning, as well as the instrumental following Cindy's ad libbing towards the end, was mainly spun at radio stations.

In 1997 Don't Let Go (Love) went to number one on the Norwegian top 20 singles chart (VG-Lista Topp 20) and stayed at the top spot for six consecutive weeks. In total it stayed in the top 20 for 16 weeks.

Charts[edit]

Cover versions[edit]

  • American rock band Deepfield covered this song on their debut album, Archetypes and Repetition.
  • British girl grop Sugababes covered this song during their Change Tour in 2008.
  • The song was sampled in the 2009 recording, also titled "Don't Let Go", by British hip-hop artist Professor Green.
  • On November 19, 2011, girl group contestants Little Mix performed the song on the eighth season of British television talent contest The X Factor, resulting in En Vogue's version to re-enter the UK chart at number 23. On the final, Little Mix performed the song for the second time and they won the show on 11 December. The song features as a bonus track on the group's "winner's single". Following the group's win, and featuring it on their single, the song re-entered the charts again a few weeks later at Number 27. On 25 January 2012, they performed this song on The National Television Awards.
  • On June 15, 2013, contestant Cleo Higgins performed the song on the second season of British television talent contest The Voice.

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Result
1997 Grammy Award for Best R&B Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group Nominated
1997 Soul Train Lady of Soul Award for Best R&B, Rap or Soul Single by Group, Band or Duo Won
1997 Billboard Music Award for Top Soundtrack Single Nominated

See also[edit]

Sources[edit]

External links[edit]