Jai Ho! (You Are My Destiny)

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"Jai Ho! (You Are My Destiny)"
Single by A. R. Rahman and The Pussycat Dolls featuring Nicole Scherzinger
from the album Doll Domination
Released February 23, 2009 (2009-02-23)
Format
Recorded 2009
Genre Pop[1]
Length 3:44
Label Interscope
Writer(s)
Producer(s)
  • Rahman
  • Fair
  • Scherzinger
The Pussycat Dolls singles chronology
  • "Jai Ho! (You Are My Destiny)"
  • (2009)
Nicole Scherzinger singles chronology
  • "Jai Ho! (You Are My Destiny)"
  • (2009)

"Jai Ho! (You Are My Destiny)" is a song performed by American girl group The Pussycat Dolls for their second studio album Doll Domination (2008). It was released on February 23, 2009 by Interscope Records as the fourth single from the record. After watching Slumdog Millionaire record executives Jimmy Iovine and Ron Fair wanted to turn "Jai Ho!" into a "pop record without deviating from the original melody" and asked Scherzinger to do her own interpretation of the song. The song was credited as "A. R. Rahman and The Pussycat Dolls featuring Nicole Scherzinger" which caused the eventual split of the group.

Upon its release, the song received generally positive reviews from music critics, applauding it as a great adaption. "Jai Ho! (You Are My Destiny)" was commercially successful. On the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, the song debuted at number 100. The following week it peaked at number 15, experiencing one of the largest upward movements on the chart. Internationally, the song charted strongly, topping the charts in countries including in Australia, Finland, Israel and Ireland, as well as peaking within the top ten of the charts in countries such as New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

The music video was shot in Vienna, Austria at a Tramway Museum, recreating the last scene from the movie Slumdog Millionaire. In the United Kingdom, the English-language version of the song was sung by various voice actors of British children's shows during the 2009 Children in Need Promotional dance video. It was also sung in The Official BBC Children in Need Medley, which topped the UK Singles Chart for two weeks in late-2009. The Pussycat dolls has performed "Jai Ho! (You Are My Destiny)" during several live performances, including the Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, and an episode of One Life to Live.

Background and development[edit]

"It's crazy how the whole thing came about, [...] I'm a writer, and I've been fortunate enough to write for the Dolls, but when they asked me to look at the movie and do my own version, I was really afraid to take on the task of rewriting the lyrics, [...] because I thought the movie was so profound, I didn't know how to make sure I kept the integrity of the movie and the love story, but also make it cool enough for the Pussycat Dolls and for people all over the world to connect to."

— Scherzinger on the process of recreating "Jai Ho!"[2]

At the top of 2009, Billboard magazine stated that Doll Domination failed to make a commercial impact on the Billboard 200, unlike their previous effort, PCD which sold 3 million copies in the United States.[3] Subsequently, Scherzinger confirmed that the current album would be re-released with new songs. In the interview she said: "it's a new life, a new push for Doll Domination. In this industry these days, that's what we're trying to do, always put new music out there and get people to pay attention. So this is a way for people to get new songs of ours and for people who haven't picked up the album so far to get another spin of our music."[4]

After watching Slumdog Millionaire record executives Ron Fair and Jimmy Iovine wanted to turn "Jai Ho" into a "pop record without deviating from the original melody".[5] Fair and Iovine were successful from getting a green-light from Rahman, they asked Scherzinger, the leader singer of the Pussycat Dolls, to write an interpretation of the song. Scherzinger was hesitant at first, stating in an interview that: "[...] I was scared to death to touch it [and] afraid for people to hear it before I even wrote it".[2] Scherzinger put her "heart into writing the lyrics and put in themes from the film Slumdog Millionaire. Love and destiny were elements from the movie that she put into the track". She stated that she "prayed every night to do this right".[6] Fair and Iovine additionally hired Brick & Lace, The Writing Camp and Ester Dean to write their own interpretation of the song.[7]

E. Kidd Bogart, a member of The Writing Camp, stated that: "They [Fair and Iovine] wanted to get a bunch of different versions to see who could nail a version for the Pussycat Dolls." Once all interpretations were complete, "they [Fair and Iovine] took parts of The Writing Camp version, parts of Ester Dean's version, and parts of another version, and they put them together, and then Nicole [Scherzinger] and Ron [Fair] filled in the blanks that they thought were missing". Bogart additionally stated that it was a "a very unique and awkward way of writing a song".[7] Scherzinger, Fair, Dean, Bogart, Erika Nuri, David Quiñones, Candace Thorbourne, Nailah Thorbourne and Nyanda Thorbourne are credited for writing the track, while its production was handled by Fair and Scherzinger.[8] The song was recorded in London, while Scherzinger and Rahman corresponded via webcam.[5]

Scherzinger's version replaces the original tune's Hindi words with English lyrics, including the chorus, "You are the reason that I breathe/ You are the reason that I still believe/ You are my destiny/ Jai ho."[9]

Critical reception[edit]

A 29-second sample of "Jai Ho! (You Are My Destiny)", a pop song that "stays true" to the original melody of "Jai Ho".[5]

Problems playing this file? See media help.

Music critics responded generally favorably to "Jai Ho! (You Are My Destiny)". Bill Lamb from About.com gave the song 4.5 out of five stars. "The addition of the Pussycat Dolls to the song may have seemed a questionable decision at first glance, but it is this move that is likely to get the joyful explosion on to pop radio playlists. "Jai Ho!" abundantly deserves its place, and the vocals of head Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger will have pop fans singing as well as dancing along. Look for this song to set up a long residency scaling pop charts around the world."[10] Lamb from About.com also ranked the song number 56th on his Top 100 Pop Songs of 2009.[11] Newsround praised the song by saying "[Nicole Scherzinger] sounds right at home – making the most of her soulful R&B voice and hitting all the (incredibly) high notes on this Eastern-themed piece of pop!"[1] Nick Levine from Digital Spy wrote that, "The Hindi original, which soundtracks the Bollywood dance routine at the end of the movie, is far more urgent and atmospheric, but this remake works nicely enough as a slick, shamelessly opportunistic PCD single. Well, that hollered "JAI HO!" makes for a pretty sweet pop hook, you have to admit."[12] MuchMusic ranked the song at number 2 on their Top 10 Soundtracks Songs in 2012.[13]

Commercial reception[edit]

In the United States, "Jai Ho! (You Are My Destiny)" was combined with "Jai Ho" entering the Billboard Hot 100 at number 100 on the issue dated March 7, 2009.[14] The following week, downloads for both versions were up nearly 500% making the largest weekly leap from number 100 jumping 85 places to number 15.[15][16] On the Hot Digital Songs the two versions are listed separately to see which version was more popular. The original soundtrack version sold 103,000 digital downloads while the adaption sold 27,000 digital downloads with the latter one receiving more radio airplay.[17] The song also became the first Academy Award winner for Best Original Song in six years to enter the Mainstream Top 40 chart since Eminem's "Lose Yourself", entering and peaking at number 37.[18] The track peaked at number four on the Canadian Hot 100.[19]

On 23 March 2009, the song debuted at number ten in Australia on the official ARIA Singles Chart,[20] It ultimately peaked at number one, and became their second number one for two straight weeks.[21] "Jai Ho! (You Are My Destiny)" was certified platinum by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) for shipment of 70,000 copies of the single.[22] The song debuted at seventeen on the New Zealand Top 40 on 23 March 2010.[23] It has peaked at number two.[24]

In the United Kingdom, the song entered at number twenty on the UK Singles Chart. Two weeks later, it rose to number three based only on digital downloads,[1] giving the Pussycat Dolls their sixth top three ― and eighth top ten ― single there.[25] On 6 September 2009, The Official Charts Company listed the song as the thirty-ninth most downloaded song in British music history.[26] Across Europe, the song reached the top five in Belgium (Flanders and Wallonia), Finland, France and Italy.[27]

Music video[edit]

Background and synopsis[edit]

An accompanying music video for "Jai Ho! (You Are My Destiny)" was directed by Thomas Kloss, in a railway station in Vienna, Austria. The video premiered through VH1's Top 20 Countdown on March 21, 2009. The clip recreates the last scene from the movie, Slumdog Millionaire. The video starts off where Scherzinger is followed by a mystery man through the marketplace, while her band mates record him. On the second, verse Scherzinger, is separated from the rest of the group and sings and dances. The remainder of the video focuses on dance routines inspired by Bollywood.[28][29]

Reception[edit]

DesiHits praised the video. "The rhythmic beats of the drums, coupled with the scintillating dance moves is sure to get you on your feet. You've already heard the remix of the song, but the video adds another dimension thanks to the captivating scenes in it."[30] Marcus Barnes from The Sun wrote that "With huge spectacular dance routines inspired by the glitz and grandeur of Bollywood flicks, this new track is set to be a massive hit."[31] Daniel from MTV Buzzworthy agreed with Banes. "The video is an elaborate dance extravaganza, the kind made famous by suddenly super-hip Bollywood movies. And you know what? It fits. Like a midriff-revealing sari, it fits."[32] On 4 August 2009, it was announced that the video was nominated for Best Choreography at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards.[33]

Live performances[edit]

The Pussycat Dolls first performed "Jai Ho! (You Are My Destiny)" for the first time on television on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon on March 10, wearing Indian-inspired outfits.[34] The Pussycat Dolls later performed the track as part of their set list on the North American leg of The Circus Starring Britney Spears.[35] The group went on to perform on MuchOnDemand on March 18 along with "I Hate This Part",[36] a medley with "When I Grow Up" on the 2009 Kids' Choice Awards on March 28 and on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on April 20.[37] They performed the song on the TV show One Life to Live, during the episode called "Driving Miss Destiny". The performance took place at the prom of the fictional Llanview High School as reward for winning a radio contest. The episode was aired on May 13.[38] The song was included as one of the encore songs on the set list the Pussycat Dolls' Doll Domination Tour (2009) before ending with "When I Grow Up".[39] Lead singer Nicole Scherzinger performed "Jai Ho! (You Are My Destiny)" as part of a Pussycat Dolls medley during her first solo tour, Killer Love Tour (2012).[40]

Track listing[edit]

Credits and personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from the liner notes of Doll Domination.[44]

Personnel

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Sales/shipments
Australia (ARIA)[84] Platinum 70,000^
Finland (Musiikkituottajat)[85] Gold 7,382[85]
New Zealand (RMNZ)[86] Platinum 15,000*
United Kingdom (BPI)[87] Gold 400,000^

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

Release history[edit]

Country Date Format Label Ref
Canada February 23, 2009 Digital download Universal Music
[41]
United States Interscope
[88]
Sweden March 9, 2009 Universal Music
[89]
Spain March 10, 2009
[90]
Ireland March 12, 2009
[91]
United Kingdom March 15, 2009 Polydor
[92]
France March 16, 2009 Universal Music
[93]
Germany March 27, 2009
[42]
April 24, 2009 CD single
[94]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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