Ignition (Remix)

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"Ignition (Remix)"
Single by R. Kelly
from the album Chocolate Factory
B-side "Apologies of a Thug"
"What Do I Do"
Released January 22, 2003
Recorded 2002
Genre R&B
Length 3:16 (original version)
3:09 (remix)
Label Jive
Writer(s) R. Kelly
Producer(s) R. Kelly
Certification Platinum (BPI)
Platinum (ARIA)
Platinum (RIANZ)
R. Kelly singles chronology
"The World's Greatest"
"Ignition (Remix)"

"Ignition (Remix)" is a song written and produced by American R&B singer R. Kelly. It was released on January 22, 2003 as the lead single from his sixth studio album Chocolate Factory (2003). It is viewed as one of his most well-known songs and has been popular in the United States, Europe and Oceania.

"Ignition (Remix)" became Kelly's second number-one single in the UK Singles Chart, following "I Believe I Can Fly" in 1997.[1] It was later included on the updated version of Rolling Stone '​s 500 greatest songs of all time in 2010 at number 494. The song was listed at #19 on Pitchfork Media's top 500 songs of the 2000s.

Song structure[edit]

The song is sometimes called simply "Ignition" colloquially and for marketing purposes, including as the title of one of its releases as a single and on the Billboard charts. While it shares the song title with the original version of "Ignition", the remix version is most commonly referred to in writing to avoid confusion with the original. The two songs share some instrumental elements (guitars and percussion) but are otherwise completely different.

The original "Ignition" was released first to urban contemporary radio stations although it never officially charted on Billboard in this manner at first. At the end of the song, Kelly gives the listeners "a lil' preview of the remix", which includes only the first verse then fades out. The "remix to Ignition" was released weeks later to urban and top 40 pop stations which gained the most attention. While many stations never played the original but opted for the remix only, others played both "Ignition"(s) merged at six minutes total; it was structured that way on the Chocolate Factory album.

Music video[edit]

The music video was shot in a club where Kelly is seen wearing a Celtics jersey. The club is meant to be the inside of a stretch Club Jeep limousine. He is also seen in a different part of the club wearing a white fur coat. Nick Cannon is also featured in the music video as the DJ. David N. Feldman also makes a cameo as the dancing white hipster.

Chart performance[edit]

"Ignition (Remix)" was a huge success for Kelly. It peaked at #2 for five consecutive weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 behind 50 Cent's In da Club and became his most successful song in the United States in the 2000s. It held the #1 spot in the United Kingdom for four weeks, becoming his second number-one hit there.[1] In April 2013, the song re-entered the UK charts at #43. It also reached #1 in Australia and New Zealand.


A portion of Michael Jackson's Private Home Movies, a 2003 compilation of home movies which Jackson recorded throughout his life and narrated, showed him dancing to "Ignition (Remix)" in the back of Brett Ratner's car during a 2003 vacation in Miami, Florida.[2] Kelly, who claimed to have been unsuccessfully asked by Jackson to write a song similar to "Ignition (Remix)" for Jackson's use, later stated in 2009 after having seen the clip on the Web that "I cried when I first saw it on YouTube[...]I've written a lot of songs, I've been around the world, and I've won all kinds of awards and everything else, but[...]nothing told me, I didn't know I had made it until I saw Michael Jackson in the back of that car singing and dancing to my song 'Ignition'. That's when it became official. I've been in the business for over 20 years, but that's when it became official to me that Kels is here, baby.[3] "

The popular comedy central sketch comedy show Chappelle's Show had a famous skit featuring a parody of the song called "Piss On You" which made fun of the R. Kelly sex tape and legal trials that were making headlines at the time.

In March 2013, a petition was launched on We the People requesting that the U.S. national anthem be changed from "The Star-Spangled Banner" to "Ignition (Remix)",[4] stating that "We, the undersigned, would like the Obama administration to recognise the need for a new national anthem, one that even a decade after its creation, is still hot and fresh out the kitchen."[5]

In 2014, British singer Robbie Williams featured an acapella version of Ignition (Remix) as part of his 'Swing Both Ways' arena tour. Beside Robbie Williams, countless of other artist have covered this song like for example Ed Sheeran and Bruno Mars.


Cover versions[edit]

  • In 2012, Young the Giant covered "Remix to Ignition."[20]
  • In 2013, Jake Roche and his band Rixton covered the song and released an official music video of the band performing it.[21]
  • In 2014, Darren Criss covered this song for the 'Fox Fanfronts 2014".


  1. ^ a b c Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. pp. 685–6. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  2. ^ swtchell (June 30, 2009). "Michael Jackson dancing to Ignition". YouTube. 
  3. ^ GeniusOfRKelly (July 30, 2012). "R. Kelly Speaks On Michael Jackson Dancing To 'Ignition (Remix)'". YouTube. 
  4. ^ "Sign This Petition to Make R. Kelly's "Ignition (Remix)" Our National Anthem". Idolator. 
  5. ^ "Pictures of 13 Petitions Started By Music Fans". NME. 
  6. ^ "Australian-charts.com – R. Kelly – Ignition Remix". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  7. ^ "Lescharts.com – R. Kelly – Ignition Remix" (in French). Les classement single.
  8. ^ "Die ganze Musik im Internet: Charts, News, Neuerscheinungen, Tickets, Genres, Genresuche, Genrelexikon, Künstler-Suche, Musik-Suche, Track-Suche, Ticket-Suche – musicline.de" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  9. ^ "Ultratop.be – R. Kelly – Ignition Remix" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  10. ^ "Charts.org.nz – R. Kelly – Ignition Remix". Top 40 Singles.
  11. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – R. Kelly – Ignition Remix". Singles Top 60.
  12. ^ "ARIA Charts – End of Year Charts – Top 100 Singles 2003". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved January 3, 2012. 
  13. ^ "2003 Year End Charts". Irish Recorded Music Association. Retrieved January 3, 2012. 
  14. ^ "Top Selling Singles of 2003". Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Retrieved January 2, 2013. 
  15. ^ "End of Year Charts: 2003" (PDF). UKChartsPlus. 
  16. ^ "2003 Year End Charts – The Billboard Hot 100 Singles & Tracks". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved January 3, 2012. 
  17. ^ "2003 Year End Charts – R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved January 3, 2012. 
  18. ^ Radio 1 Chart of the Decade, as presented by Nihal on Tuesday 29th December 2009
  19. ^ "The Billboard Hot 100 Singles & Tracks - Decade Year End Charts". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved April 18, 2011. 
  20. ^ ""Young The Giant covers R. Kelly" on YouTube". Retrieved April 4, 2014. 
  21. ^ ""Ignition" cover by Rixton on YouTube". Retrieved April 3, 2014. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"Bridge over Troubled Water" by Clay Aiken
RIANZ (New Zealand) number-one single
6 July – 10 August 2003
Succeeded by
"Where Is the Love?" by The Black Eyed Peas
Preceded by
"Innocent Eyes" by Delta Goodrem
ARIA (Australia) number-one single
July 13 – 17 August 2003
Preceded by
"Loneliness" by Tomcraft
UK Singles Chart number-one single
May 11 – June 7, 2003
Succeeded by
"Bring Me to Life" by Evanescence