Don't Stop the Music (Rihanna song)

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"Don't Stop the Music"
Single by Rihanna
from the album Good Girl Gone Bad
Released September 7, 2007 (2007-09-07)
Format
Recorded 2007; Battery Studios (New York City); Westlake Recording Studios (Los Angeles)
Genre
Length 4:27
Label
Writer(s)
Producer(s) StarGate
Rihanna singles chronology
"Hate That I Love You"
(2007)
"Don't Stop the Music"
(2007)
"Take a Bow"
(2008)

"Don't Stop the Music" is a song by Barbadian recording artist Rihanna recorded for her third studio album, Good Girl Gone Bad (2007). It was written by Tawanna Dabney, Michael Jackson, Mikkel S. Eriksen and Tor Erik Hermansen, and produced by the latter two under their stage-name StarGate. The song was released as the album's fourth single on September 7, 2007 worldwide. "Don't Stop the Music" is a dance-pop and techno song that features a wide variety of rhythmic devices used mainly in hip hop music. The song samples the line, "Mama-say, mama-sa, ma-ma-ko-ssa" which is taken from Jackson's 1983 single "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'". For using the line, both Rihanna and Jackson faced a lawsuit from the Cameroonian musician Manu Dibango, who claimed that the hook is originally from his 1972 song "Soul Makossa".

"Don't Stop the Music" received generally positive reviews from contemporary music critics with many of them praising the interpolation of the "Mama-say, mama-sa, ma-ma-ko-ssa" hook into the song. It was nominated for several accolades, eventually winning the award for Best International Song at the 2008 NRJ Music Awards. "Don't Stop the Music" was a commercial success, reaching number one in over ten countries worldwide including Australia, Austria, France, Germany and Switzerland. The single peaked at number three on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number one on the US Hot Dance Club Songs chart. It has been certified triple platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), selling over 3.5 million copies in the US.

Anthony Mandler shot the music video for the song in Prague, the Czech Republic. It features Rihanna together with two of her friends sneaking into the back of a candy store where there is a secret club. Other scenes include Rihanna partying with the people in the club. Since its release, "Don't Stop the Music" has become a staple in Rihanna's live performances. It was part of the set lists of her four major tours, Good Girl Gone Bad (2007–09), Last Girl on Earth (2010–11), Loud (2011) and the Diamonds World Tour (2013). English recording artist Jamie Cullum recorded a jazz version of the song for his 2009 studio album The Pursuit.

Background and release[edit]

Cameroonian musician Manu Dibango sued both Rihanna and Jackson for using the "Mama-say, mama-sa, ma-ma-ko-ssa" line, without his permission. According to him the line originates from his single "Soul Makossa".

"Don't Stop the Music" was composed and produced by the Norwegian production duo StarGate, with additional writing by Tawanna Dabney and Michael Jackson.[1] StarGate had produced Rihanna's previous singles "Unfaithful" (2006) and "Hate That I Love You" (2007). "Don't Stop the Music" was recorded at Battery Studios in New York City and Westlake Recording Studios in Los Angeles, and was mixed by Phil Tan.[2] The song samples the hook "Mama-say, mama-sa, ma-ma-ko-ssa", which is from Michael Jackson's 1983 single from Thriller, "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'".[3][page needed] In February 2009, Cameroonian musician Manu Dibango filed a lawsuit claiming that both "Don't Stop the Music" and "Wanna Be Startin' Something" used the hook without his permission.[4] Dibango said that the line is from his 1972 single "Soul Makossa". According to Agence France-Presse, Jackson admitted that he borrowed the line and settled the case with Dibango out of court.[4] However, when Rihanna had asked Jackson in 2007 for permission to sample the hook, he had approved the demand without contacting Dibango. His lawyers brought the case before a Parisian court, demanding 500,000 in damages that should have been paid by Sony BMG, EMI and Warner Music until the issue was resolved.[4]

The song was released as the fourth single from Rihanna's third studio album Good Girl Gone Bad (2007). Before its official single release, two separate promotional remixes of the song were added to digital outlets on August 7, 2007 in both Canada and United States; the Solitaire's More Drama and The Wideboys Club Mix.[5][6] On September 7, 2007, an extended play of "Don't Stop the Music" was released via iTunes in certain territories including Australia, Austria, Italy, Japan, New Zealand and Spain.[7] It contains The Wideboys Club Mix, the album version of the song, and its instrumental version.[7] On the same date, "Don't Stop the Music" was released as a CD single in Germany containing the same material as the extended play together with the music video of the song.[8] In October 2007, it was also released as a CD single in France.[9] Def Jam Recordings sent the song for airplay on contemporary hit radio in the United States on January 13, 2008.[10] On January 20, 2008, it was also sent to rhythmic contemporary radio stations.[11] Nine remixes, including the album version of "Don't Stop the Music", were released to digital outlets in some territories on May 14, 2008.[12]

Composition[edit]

A 23 second sample of the song which instrumentation includes a bass drum that provides every single beat as Rihanna intersperses the melody. The line, "Mama-say, mama-sa, ma-ma-ko-ssa",sampled from Michael Jackson's 1983 song "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'" can be heard in the background.[3][page needed]

Problems playing this file? See media help.

"Don't Stop the Music" is a dance-pop and techno song that runs for 4 minutes and 27 seconds.[3][12][13] A reviewer of Seattle Post-Intelligencer commented that in the song Rihanna "finds the exuberance in a rather severe techno beat".[14] It is written in the key of F minor and set in common time, with a moderate groove of 123 beats per minute.[15] Rihanna's vocal range spans from the low note of F3 to A4.[15] The song features a wide variety of rhythmic devices used mainly in hip hop music.[3][page needed] Its instrumentation includes a bass drum that provides every single beat as Rihanna intersperses the melody. From the very beginning, the song utilizes syncopation and samples many different rhythms, which are layered on top of each other.[3][page needed] Sal Cinquemani of Slant Magazine, compared the song's composition to Rihanna's 2006 single "SOS".[16]

The line, "Mama-say, mama-sa, ma-ma-ko-ssa", was sampled from Michael Jackson's 1983 post-disco song "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'", to create a "pulsating musical structure".[3][page needed] Lyrically, "Don't Stop the Music" is about mutual attraction between a woman and man who meet each other on the dance-floor.[17] Shaun Newport of British music website musicOMH, concluded that the song is actually about Rihanna's affair with the music, which can be seen during the lines "DJ let it play, I just can't refuse it, like the way you do this. Keep on rockin' to it".[17]

Reception and accolades[edit]

The song was praised for the interpolation of the "Mama-say, mama-sa, ma-ma-ko-ssa" hook, from Jackson's (pictured) 1983 single "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'".

"Don't Stop the Music" received generally positive reviews from contemporary music critics with many of them praising the interpolation of the "Mama-say, mama-sa, ma-ma-ko-ssa" hook. Tom Breihan of Pitchfork Media called the song "an amazing bit of euroclub insanity combined with synth and bass."[18] He further commented that the hook from Jackson's 1983 song "come[s] in and seamlessly blur into the track's overpowering beat".[18] Nick Levine of Digital Spy also praised the song while calling it brilliant and unwitting. He continued that the "Don't Stop the Music" is the best single that has a Jackson writing credit since his 1997 single "Blood on the Dance Floor".[19]

MusicOMH's Shaun Newport also stated that the "ethno-centric 'Mama-say, mama-sa, ma-ma-ko-ssa' hook, as well as his idiosyncratic, explosive yelps provide backing vocals and bring a little retro magic to the proceedings."[17] In a review of Good Girl Gone Bad, Jackie Hayden of Hot Press initially added that Jackson's ghost from "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'" could be heard all over the single.[13] According to a reviewer of The New York Times in "Don't Stop the Music", Rihanna finds the exuberance in a rather severe techno beat.[20] Quentin B. Huff of PopMatters, concluded "the song that follows, the Michael Jackson-sampling “Don’t Stop the Music”, inspires the type of tail feather shaking you can only produce when you’re chanting, 'Mama-say, mama-sa, ma-ma-ko-ssa'."[21]

"Don't Stop the Music" won the accolade for Best International Song at the 2008 NRJ Music Awards.[22] At the 2008 Teen Choice Awards, "Don't Stop the Music" got a nomination for Single of the Year, but lost to Jonas Brothers' 2008 song "When You Look Me in the Eyes".[23] It received a nomination for Best Dance Recording at the 50th Grammy Awards, held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California on February 10, 2008. "Don't Stop the Music" lost to "LoveStoned/I Think She Knows Interlude" (2007) by American recording artist Justin Timberlake.[24] The song was also nominated at the Best Favorite Song at the 2009 Kids' Choice Awards.[25] However, it lost to Beyoncé Knowles' 2008 single "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)".[26]

Chart performance[edit]

"Don't Stop the Music" debuted at number 94 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart in the issue dated December 8, 2007.[27] After two months on the chart, the song reached its peak of number three on February 16, 2008,[28] thus becoming Rihanna's fourth single to reach the top three on the chart. It also topped the US Hot Dance Club Songs chart, becoming Rihanna's sixth number one single,[29] reached number two on the Pop Songs chart,[28] and charted at number 74 on the Hot R&B/Hip Hop Songs chart.[30] As of June 2013, the song has sold 3,521,000 digital copies in the country, receiving a triple-platinum certification from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).[31] The song reached number two on the Canadian Hot 100, remaining on the chart for a period of 52 weeks overall. It became only Rihanna's second song to reach the top three on the chart, following "Umbrella" reaching number one in 2007.

In Australia, "Don't Stop the Music" debuted at number 22 on February 3, 2008.[32] After two weeks, on February 24, 2008, the song peaked at number one, and stayed on the position for four non-consecutive weeks. It became Rihanna's third number one single on the Australian Singles Chart, after "SOS" and "Umbrella".[32] The song stayed on the chart for overall period of 27 weeks. The song charted at number 12 on the 2008 year-end Australian Singles Chart.[33] "Don't Stop the Music" was certified platinum by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) for shipping more than 70,000 digital copies.[34] The single debuted at number 31 in New Zealand, on October 12, 2007. After four weeks of fluctuation on the chart, it reached its peak of three and stayed there for one week, while also staying 22 weeks on the chart overall.[35] "Don't Stop the Music" was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand (RIANZ), after it 7,500 digital copies.[36]

In the UK, "Don't Stop the Music", debuted at number 68 on December 15, 2007.[37] After seven weeks on the chart, the song the reached its peak of four.[38] The next week it fell to number five, before again climbing to number four.[37] The song was certified silver by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) for shipping more than 200,000 digital copies. It was placed at number 24 on the year-end UK Singles Chart for 2008.[39] "Don't Stop the Music" debuted at number one on the French Singles Chart on October 27, 2007, becoming Rihanna's first number one single on the chart. It stayed on the top position for two weeks, while also staying 34 weeks on the chart overall.[40] On the German Singles Chart, it debuted at number two on September 24, 2007. After two weeks it reached number one and stayed on the position for two consecutive weeks.[41] "Don't Stop the Music" was certified gold by the Bundesverband Musikindustrie denoting shipments of 100,000 copies.[42] The single was also successful on Swiss Singles Chart where it reached number one and stayed on the position for five weeks.[43] The song also reached number one in Austria,[44] Belgian Flanders and Wallonia,[45][46] Hungary[47] and Netherlands.[48] The song reached number two in the Czech Republic, but was held off from the top spot by Sugababes' "About You Now".[49]

Music video[edit]

Anthony Mandler shot the music video for "Don't Stop the Music" in Prague, Czech Republic

The accompanying music video for "Don't Stop the Music" was directed by Rihanna's regular collaborator Anthony Mandler.[50] It was shot in a nightclub in Prague, Czech Republic.[51] The choreography in the video is done by Tina Landon, who also worked with artists like Janet Jackson and Ricky Martin.[52] The "Don't Stop the Music" video was digitally released on iTunes, July 26, 2007.[53] It reached number two on MTV's former video countdown show Total Request Live.[51]

The video begins with Rihanna and two of her friends arriving at a nightclub in a yellow taxi. After they get out of the car, they enter a candy store where a boy is standing with his mother. As Rihanna tells the boy not to tell anyone where they are going, the singer and her two friends sneak into the back of the candy store where there is a secret entrance to a nightclub. This is intercut with scenes of Rihanna chanting the song's lyrics against a wall and dancing in the club. As she enters the club, Rihanna is shown in a restroom, checking her make-up as she sings the lyrics. The singer then leaves the restroom, and returns to the dance-floor as the chorus begins to play. As the video progresses, the singer is shown dancing with her friends and singing the song. The people in the club clap to the beat of Jackson's "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'"'s music sample. Latifah Muhammad from The Boom Box placed the song on her list of Rihanna Best 15 music videos at number three, behind "Pon de Replay" and "Only Girl (In the World)".[51]

Live performances[edit]

Rihanna performing "Don't Stop the Music" in Zurich, Switzerland, during her Last Girl on Earth Tour, 2010.

Since its release, "Don't Stop the Music" has been a staple in Rihanna's performances. The song was the fourteenth song on the set list of Rihanna's Good Girl Gone Bad Tour (2007–09), her first major world tour.[54] Her performance in Manchester was released in the UK through iTunes[55] and is featured on the Good Girl Gone Bad Live DVD.[56] Rihanna performed "Don't Stop the Music" at the 2008 NRJ Music Awards, held in Cannes, France on January 26, 2008.[57] Rihanna also performed the song at the 50th Grammy Awards on February 10, 2008 in a medley with her 2007 single "Umbrella". For the performance, she was joined by American funk band, The Time.[58] On June 20, 2008, Rihanna was a guest on NBC's Today Concert Series held in Rockfeller Center, New York City. She performed "Don't Stop the Music", together with "Umbrella" and Take a Bow".[59]

Following the release of her fourth studio album, Rated R (2009), in the UK, Rihanna performed a Nokia promotional concert at the Brixton Academy in London.[60] She performed songs from the new release including "Russian Roulette", "Wait Your Turn" and "Hard", the latter of which Rihanna performed with Young Jeezy.[60] Rihanna performed "Don't Stop the Music", and songs from her older releases, including "Disturbia", "Unfaithful" and "Take a Bow", during this set.[61] On December 4, 2009, Rihanna performed on the MySpace Music’s urban music concert series, titled The Release. Rihanna performed her new material, mashed up with other songs including "Don't Stop the Music", "Live Your Life" and "Run This Town". During her performance, stacked vintage televisions and silver mannequins were featured on the stage.[62]

On February 1, 2010, Rihanna performed "Don't Stop the Music" at The Ellen DeGeneres Show together with "Hard".[63] Rihanna performed at the 2010 Kids' Choice Awards on March 27, 2010, held in Pauley Pavilion, UCLA campus, Los Angeles. She performed "Don't Stop the Music" together with "Hard" and her 2010 single "Rude Boy".[64] In 2010, to further promote Rated R, Rihanna embarked upon her second worldwide tour, Last Girl on Earth Tour (2010–11). For the performance of "Don't Stop the Music" black lights were featured across the concert venues to reveal glowing costumes and sets in geometric shapes.[65] In June 2011, Rihanna embarked upon the Loud Tour, her third major worldwide tour. "Don't Stop the Music" was the nineteenth song on the tour's set list.[66] Rihanna performed the song while wearing a rainbow colored feathered coat, denim bra and short shorts.[66] Rihanna performed "Don't Stop the Music" at Radio 1's Hackney Weekend on May 24, 2012, as the thirteenth song on the set list.[67] The performance featured a giant sphinx on the stage.[68]

Other versions and covers[edit]

English jazz pop singer and songwriter Jamie Cullum recorded a jazz cover of "Don't Stop the Music" for his 2009 album The Pursuit.[69] Cullum's version charted and peaked at number 28 on the Netherlands Singles Chart on February 13, 2010.[70] On the sixth season of dance reality television series America's Best Dance Crew, the dance crew Phunk Phenomenon performed a Chaplin dancehall movement on "Don't Stop the Music".[71] In 2011 the Californian indie pop duo The Bird and the Bee also recorded a cover and published it on SoundCloud.[72] South Korean recording artist Hyoyeon, part of girl group Girls' Generation, performed a cover of the song during their 2011 tour.[73] The cover version was also included on their second live album 2011 Girls' Generation Tour,[74] released on April 11, 2013. In October 2011, Rihanna joined the former Def Jam executive producer L.A. Reid, at his home in The Hamptons to help him judge the male contestants for the first season of America's version of The X Factor. One of the contestants, Philip Lomax, performed a stripped down version of "Don't Stop the Music" in front of Rihanna and Reid, to which Rihanna positively reacted.[75] "Don't Stop the Music" was performed by The Treblemakers in the 2012 film Pitch Perfect and was later included in its official soundtrack.[76]

Track listing and formats[edit]

Notes
  • a^ Released as separate digital singles in both United States and Canada via iTunes.

Credits and personnel[edit]

Recording
Personnel

Credits adapted from the liner notes of Good Girl Gone Bad, Def Jam Recordings, SRP Records.[2]

Charts and certifications[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Sales/shipments
Australia (ARIA)[105] Platinum 70,000^
Belgium (BEA)[106] Platinum 30,000*
Brazil (ABPD)[107] Platinum 100,000
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[108] Platinum 15,000^
Finland (IFPI)[109] Gold 5,000
Germany (BVMI)[110] Gold 150,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[111] Gold 7,500*
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[112] 6× Platinum 120,000^
Sweden (GLF)[113] Platinum 20,000x
United Kingdom (BPI)[114] Gold 400,000^
United States (RIAA)[115] 3× Platinum 3,521,000[31]

*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
Canada[5][6] August 7, 2007 Promotional remixes Def Jam Recordings
United States[116][117]
Australia[7] September 7, 2007 EP
Austria[118]
Czech Republic[119]
Finland[120]
Germany[8][121]
CD single Universal Music
Italy[122] EP Def Jam Recordings
Japan[123]
Netherlands[124]
New Zealand[125]
Norway[126]
Poland[127]
Romania[128]
Spain[129]
Sweden[130]
France[9] October 22, 2007 CD single Universal Music
United States[10][11] January 13, 2008 Contemporary hit radio Def Jam Recordings
January 20, 2008 Rhythmic contemporary
United Kingdom[131] February 4, 2008 CD single Mercury Records
Australia[12] May 14, 2008 Digital remixes Def Jam Recordings
Brazil[132]
Czech Republic[133]
Denmark[134]
Finland[135]
France[136]
Germany[137]
Hungary[138]
Japan[139]
Netherlands[140]
New Zealand[141]
Norway[142]
Poland[143]
Spain[144]
Sweden[145]
Switzerland[146]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]