Lovebird (song)

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A brunette woman sits in an open convertible looking into the distance, wearing a polka dot red top. It says the name of the artist "Leona Lewis" in the Century Schoolbook type-face followed by the title of the song, "Lovebird".
Single by Leona Lewis
from the album Glassheart
Released 16 November 2012 (2012-11-16)
Format Digital download
Length 3:30
Leona Lewis singles chronology
  • "Lovebird"
  • (2012)

"Lovebird" is a song recorded by British singer-songwriter Leona Lewis for her third studio album Glassheart (2012). It was written by Bonnie McKee, Joshua Coleman and Dr. Luke, and produced by Josh Abrahams, Ammo and Oligee. "Lovebird" was recorded at Pulse Recording in Los Angeles and is a power ballad, incorporating a piano and synth-driven melody. The lyrics consist of Lewis informing her past lover that enough time has passed since their relationship for her to have moved on and to have developed as a person. Critics praised Lewis' vocal performance, likening the her technical abilities to those of Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston. The musical structure of the song was heavily compared to one of her previous singles, "Bleeding Love", along with songs performed by Adele. The accompanying music video shows Lewis trying to escape from a giant bird cage.

To promote "Lovebird", Lewis performed the song on talk shows Daybreak and Loose Women in the United Kingdom, in addition to singing competition La Voz in Spain. Nonetheless, "Lovebird" sold fewer than 600 copies upon its release, failing to attain one of the top 200 chart positions on the UK Singles Chart; however, two weeks after the release of Glassheart, "Lovebird" peaked at number 22 on the South Korea Gaon Single Chart due to strong digital download sales.


Bonnie McKee (pictured) co-wrote "Lovebird"[1]

Lewis began working on her third album Glassheart in late 2010, shortly after completing her first headlining tour, The Labyrinth.[2][3] Glassheart was due to be released in November 2011 after the release of the first single, "Collide" (with Avicii).[4] However, in September 2011, Lewis posted a message on her official Facebook page writing that the album would no longer come out in 2011 as planned, explaining that she was "inspired" to continue making new music and was, therefore, personally pushing back the release to early 2012.[5] In December 2011, Lewis released Hurt: The EP, a collection of cover songs to bridge the gap between Echo (2009) and Glassheart (2012). In January 2012, the album was pushed back again, this time to November 2012, following announcements that Lewis had worked on a track with Scottish DJ Calvin Harris, and that Fraser T Smith would be producing for the album.[6]

On New Years Day 2012, a low quality snippet of "Lovebird" leaked under the title "Love Birds".[7] After the song leaked, Lewis expressed her frustration at the song being available for listening to on the Internet, stating: "I'm sad that one of my songs leaked. As an artist that holds music dear to my heart I would've liked to share it with u [sic] when it's ready. I hope that you feel it like I do and when it's time to be released you'll still support it in the right way. Thank u [sic] for the love."[8] That same month, it was announced that the album was expected to be released on 26 March 2012.[9] Record executive Simon Cowell later publically give his support for Glassheart, saying to Lewis that, although there had been a lengthy wait of two years for new music, the album was "sensational", and that Lewis had "never sounded better."[10]


In October 2012, "Trouble" was released as Glassheart's lead single. Lewis then announced that "Fireflies" would serve as the album's second single; a lyric video for the song was uploaded to Lewis' official VEVO account on 26 October 2012.[11][12] However, when Lewis appeared as a special guest performer at the London Oxford Street Christmas light switch-on event on 5 November 2012, she introduced "Lovebird" as the second single and performed it for the first time.[13] It was later confirmed by Sony Music that "Lovebird" had replaced "Fireflies" as the album's second single, and that it would be released as the lead single for the album in Europe.[14] "Lovebird" was made available for download in Finland, the Netherlands, Portugal and Switzerland on 16 November 2012.[15][16][17][18] It was released in France, Italy and Spain a few days later on 19 November 2012.[19][20][21] In the United Kingdom, "Lovebird" was not released as a standalone digital download; occasionally record labels will select a song to be a single and promote the release for a particular date ("impact date"), without the single being listed separately from the album in digital download stores.[22] The song was available to purchase as an individual album track and was given an impact date of 9 December 2012.[22] It was released in Germany on 12 April 2013.[23]

Production and composition[edit]

"Lovebird" was written by Bonnie McKee, Joshua Coleman and Dr. Luke, and produced by Josh Abrahams, Oligee, and Coleman (under his production name, Ammo).[1] The song was engineered by Ryan Williams, assisted by Daniela Rivera.[1] "Lovebird" was mixed by Phil Tan at the Ninja Beat Club in Atlanta, Georgia and mastered by Colin Leonard at SING Mastering using SING Technology, both located in Atlanta.[1] The song was recorded at Pulse Recording in Los Angeles.[1] "Lovebird" is a power ballad of three minutes and thirty seconds.[15][24] The song's musical structure bears strong resemblances to one of Lewis' previous singles, "Bleeding Love", from her début studio album Spirit (2007).[25] The track opens with a piano introduction similar to that on "Bleeding Love", and features an "instantly hummable chorus".[25] Lewis informs her lover in the lyrics – with the lines "But the time went on, the wind has blown, and I have grown" – that enough time has passed since their relationship started for her to have developed as a person.[24] As power ballad beats and "airy synths" play, she sings "Your lovebird's flying away/ Cos my heart's been stuck in a cage".[24] The hook consists of Lewis singing "I've got to sing my song, so pretty/ Dum, dum, diddy".[24]

Critical reception[edit]

Hermoine Hoby for The Observer thought that Lewis' vocal performance on "Lovebird" is just as "technically irreproachable" as Whitney Houston's (pictured, left) and Mariah Carey's (pictured, right) voices.[26]

Mike Wass, a writer for Idolator, wrote that "Lovebird" was one of the two best songs on Glassheart, along with the title track.[25] He further commented that it had strong radio potential, and that it would be successful if it were to be released in the United States, as it sounds like a "clone" of "Bleeding Love".[25] Digital Spy critic Lewis Corner felt that the song was reminiscent of "Bleeding Love" as well as "Better in Time".[24] Although he noted that Lewis' vocal performance on "Lovebird" is very impressive, as with all her material, he was unsure of why it was included on the final cut of the album due to Glassheart having "bigger" songs on it, which were likely to chart better.[24] The Mirror's Clemmie Moodie thought that although the recording is a "catchy" song, it does not compare to "Bleeding Love", but noted that it does contain "lyrical gems", including “Your lovebird's flyin’ away, ’cos my heart's been stuck in a cage".[27] Hermoine Hoby, writing on behalf of The Observer, wrote that Lewis appears to be following in the footsteps of singer-songwriter Adele, due to the inclusion of "big heartfelt ballads" such as "Lovebird" and "Fireflies" on Glassheart.[26] For Hoby, Lewis' vocals are just as "technically irreproachable" as Whitney Houston's and Mariah Carey's.[26]

Live performances and music video[edit]

Lewis performed "Lovebird" for the first time at the switching-on of the Christmas lights at Oxford Street in London on 5 November 2012;[28] she also performed "Trouble".[28] The singer performed the song live on Daybreak on 23 November 2012,[29][30] on Loose Women on 29 November 2012[31] and again on 8 December 2012 at the National Lottery Awards.[32] To promote the song in Spain, Lewis sung "Lovebird" on La Voz in December 2012.[33]

The song's accompanying music video was filmed in November 2012 and premiered on 5 December 2012.[34] The video has a metaphorical theme, and features Lewis in a giant bird cage in a dimly lit room,[35] wearing the long ivory sleeved dress and "jewelled eye decorations".[36] Some scenes show the singer in a shadow and darker settings, while others are light and colourful.[35] For most of the video, Lewis ponders about being able to escape her cage and experience freedom. At the end of the video, she realises that the cage is in fact unlocked and she is able to leave her confine, and leaves.[35][36] Lucy Buckland for the Daily Mail felt that Lewis looks "positively mournful" in the video, and that while it may not be the best advert for feminism, she looks "beautiful".[36]

Track listing[edit]

Digital download[15]
  1. "Lovebird" – 3:30
Digital single[23]
  1. "Lovebird" – 3:30
  2. "Lovebird" (music video) – 3:29

Credits and personnel[edit]

  • Songwriting – Bonnie McKee, Joshua Coleman, Lukasz Gottwald
  • Production – Josh Abrahams, Oligee, Ammo
  • Engineering – Ryan Williams
  • Additional/assistant engineering – Daniela Rivera
  • Mixing – Phil Tan
  • Mastering – Colin Leonard

Chart and commercial performance[edit]

Upon the release of Glassheart, "Lovebird" debuted on the South Korean international singles chart at number 68 for the week ending 1 December 2012, due to digital download sales of 10,413.[37] In its second week on the chart, "Lovebird" jumped 46 positions to number 22 after selling another 10,000 copies.[38] In the UK "Lovebird" was given an impact date of 9 December 2012, meaning it was only available to purchase as an album track rather than a traditional separate single release.[22] In the chart week immediately after, "Lovebird" sold fewer than 600 copies, meaning it failed to attain one of 200 chart positions on the UK Singles Chart.[22] As a result, "Lovebird" became Lewis' lowest selling single of her career thus far, and her first release to not chart in the UK. According to the The Mirror there was "no real marketing force" behind the single and it "failed to capture the imagination of radio bosses". The newspaper concluded that "most people, unless they have the album, have never heard the song" and this was due to a lack of airplay.[22]

Chart (2012) Peak
South Korea International Singles (Gaon)[37] 22

Release history[edit]

List of countries, showing release dates, formats, and record labels
Country Release date Format Label
Finland[15] 16 November 2012 Digital download Sony Music
France[19] 19 November 2012
United Kingdom[22] 9 December 2012 Impact day Syco Music, Sony Music
Germany[23] 12 April 2013 Digital download Sony Music


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Lewis, Leona (2012). Glassheart (Liner Notes) (Compact Disc). Leona Lewis. London, England: Syco Music, Sony Music. 
  2. ^ Lewis, Leona (28 February 2010). Under the Skin of Leona Lewis (Television). Interview with Rick Edwards. London: 4 Music. Retrieved 19 April 2010. 
  3. ^ Sheridan, Emily (12 September 2012). "Leona Lewis becomes a lady in red for intimate gig in London nightclub as she prepares for return to the charts". Daily Mail. Daily Mail and General Trust. Retrieved 12 September 2012. 
  4. ^ "Leona Lewis – Leona Lewis' Album Pushed Back Again". 25 January 2012. Retrieved 1 September 2012. 
  5. ^ Lewis, Leona (26 September 2011). "Just wanted to...". Facebook. Retrieved 18 November 2011. 
  6. ^ Corner, Lewis (25 January 2012). "Leona Lewis delays release of third album 'Glassheart' – Music News". Digital Spy (Hearst Corporation). Retrieved 29 April 2012. 
  7. ^ Daw, Robbie (1 January 2012). "Leona Lewis’ New Song "Love Birds" Flies Online". Idolator (Buzz Media). Retrieved 29 April 2012. 
  8. ^ "Leona Lewis Angry Over Song Leak". 25 January 2012. Retrieved 2 December 2012. 
  9. ^ Corner, Lewis (30 September 2011). "Leona Lewis album Glassheart release date announced". Digital Spy. (Hearst Corporation). Retrieved 18 November 2011. 
  10. ^ Pakinkis, Tom (13 September 2012). "Simon Cowell: Leona Lewis saved X Factor". Music Week. Intent Media. Archived from the original on 13 September 2012. Retrieved 13 September 2012. 
  11. ^ Nissim, Mayer (22 October 2012). "Leona Lewis announces new single 'Fireflies': 'It's really powerful'". Digital Spy (Hearst Corporation). Retrieved 22 October 2012. 
  12. ^ Leona Lewis VEVO (19 October 2012). "Leona Lewis – Fireflies (Lyric Video)". YouTube. Retrieved 6 April 2013. 
  13. ^ "Leona Lewis- Oxford Street Xmas Lights Switch on 2012 – Trouble and LoveBird". YouTube. 5 November 2012. Retrieved 6 April 2013. 
  14. ^ "Leona Lewis, Una de las Voces Mas Carismaticas y Respetadas del pop mundial, anuncia su nuevo album "Glassheart" el proximo27 de Novembre" (in Spanish). Sony Music Entertainment. Retrieved 6 April 2013. 
  15. ^ a b c d "iTunes – Music – Lovebird – Single by Leona Lewis" (in Finnish). Finland iTunes Store (Apple). 16 November 2012. Retrieved 6 April 2013. 
  16. ^ a b "iTunes – Music – Lovebird – Single by Leona Lewis". Netherlands iTunes Store (Apple). 16 November 2012. Retrieved 6 April 2013. 
  17. ^ a b "iTunes – Music – Lovebird – Single by Leona Lewis" (in Portuguese). Portugal iTunes Store (Apple). 16 November 2012. Retrieved 6 April 2013. 
  18. ^ a b "iTunes – Music – Lovebird – Single by Leona Lewis" (in Swiss-German). Switzerland iTunes Store Apple. 16 November 2012. Retrieved 6 April 2013. 
  19. ^ a b "Leona Lewis – Lovebird" (in French). Amazon MP3 ( Retrieved 5 December 2012. 
  20. ^ a b "Leona Lewis – Lovebird" (in Italian). Amazon MP3 ( Retrieved 5 December 2012. 
  21. ^ a b "Leona Lewis – Lovebird" (in Spanish). Amazon MP3 ( Retrieved 5 December 2012. 
  22. ^ a b c d e f Corner, Lewis (21 December 2012). "Leona Lewis Fails to Make Top 200 with New Single Lovebird". Digital Spy (Hearst Corporation). Retrieved 21 December 2012. 
  23. ^ a b c "Leona Lewis – Lovebird (Digital Single)" (in German). Amazon MP3 ( Retrieved 12 April 2013. 
  24. ^ a b c d e f Corner, Lewis (30 November 2012). "Leona Lewis – Lovebird (Single Review)". Digital Spy (Hearst Corporation). Retrieved 21 December 2012. 
  25. ^ a b c d Wass, Mike (23 October 2012). "Leona Lewis’ ‘Glassheart’: Album Review". Idolator (Buzz Media). Retrieved 6 April 2013. 
  26. ^ a b c Hoby, Hermione (13 October 2012). "Leona Lewis: Glassheart – review". The Observer (London). The New Review section, p. 33. Retrieved 21 October 2012. 
  27. ^ Moodie, Clemmie (21 December 2012). "Bleeding hell! New single from Leona Lewis fails to make the top 200". The Mirror. Trinity Mirror. Retrieved 21 December 2012. 
  28. ^ a b "Leona Lewis- Oxford Street Xmas Lights Switch on 2012 – Trouble and LoveBird video" (video). NME. IPC Media. Retrieved 1 February 2013. 
  29. ^ "Leona is a Lovebird". Daybreak. ITV. 23 November 2012. Retrieved 6 April 2013. 
  30. ^ Corner, Lewis (23 November 2012). "Leona Lewis performs new single 'Lovebird' – watch". Digital Spy (Hearst Corporation). Retrieved 6 April 2013. 
  31. ^ "Leona Lewis shows off her lady in red look in a figure-hugging dress as she performs on Loose Women". Daily Mail (Daily Mail and General Trust). 29 November 2012. Retrieved 6 April 2013. 
  32. ^ "Leona Lewis – Lovebird on the National Lottery Awards. video" (video). NME. IPC Media. Retrieved 1 February 2013. 
  33. ^ Hernández, Nuria (12 December 2012). "'La Voz': Carly Rae Jepsen, Alejandro Sanz y Leona Lewis acompañarán a los 8 semifinalistas". Qué! (in Spanish). Retrieved 23 December 2012. 
  34. ^ Corner, Lewis (5 December 2012). "Leona Lewis premieres new single 'Lovebird' music video – watch". Digital Spy (Hearst Corporation). Retrieved 7 April 2013. 
  35. ^ a b c "Leona Lewis v. Girls Aloud / Music Video Fight Club". The Metro. Associated Newspapers. 7 December 2012. Retrieved 10 December 2012. 
  36. ^ a b c Buckland, Lucy (5 December 2012). "Don't lose the key! Behind the scenes with a caged Leona Lewis on her Lovebirds video shootk". Daily Mail (Daily Mail and General Trust). Retrieved 7 April 2013. 
  37. ^ a b "South Korea Gaon International Chart (Week: 2013.11.25 to 2012.12.01)". Gaon Chart. 24 November 2012. Retrieved 6 December 2012. 
  38. ^ "South Korea Gaon International Chart (Week: November 25, 2012 to December 1, 2012". Gaon Chart. 25 November 2012. Retrieved 6 December 2012. 

External links[edit]