Primadonna (Marina and the Diamonds song)

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Single by Marina and the Diamonds
from the album Electra Heart
Released 20 March 2012 (2012-03-20)
Recorded October 2011
Length 3:41
Marina and the Diamonds singles chronology
"Power & Control"

"Primadonna" is a song by Welsh recording artist Marina and the Diamonds from her second studio album, Electra Heart (2012). It was released on 20 March 2012 as the album's official lead single.[1][2] It was an international success, reaching the top five in Austria, Ireland and New Zealand.

Background and concept[edit]

Diamandis first came up with the title for the track in July 2011.[3] Recorded in October 2011, "Primadonna" was the last song to be recorded for Electra Heart and in her words, 'picked itself as the first single off the album.'[3]

Diamandis has said of the song:

"It's about not needing anybody when it comes to love—your raison d'etre is to live for adoration. Girls usually feel like this when they are not appreciated in a relationship. The inspiration for the song came from an ex-boyfriend. He thought it was funny that I was a mega drama queen always talking 'global love' this, 'global love' that! He called me a prima donna. I love it but I also kind of hate it. Like they say, 'You only hate in others what you hate in yourself', so I thought I'd channel this well-known but kind of undesirable character type into a pop song. As the saying goes (that I just made up): You've either been one or dated one at least once in your life."[4]


"Primadonna" has a length of three minutes and forty-seven seconds.[5] It is a dance-pop song that blends grinding disco and electropop beats with elements of Europop.[6][7][8][9] Diamandis' vocals in the song have been described as operatic.[10] Revolving around an anti-chorus song structure, the chorus is sung in a high tone over sparkly instrumentation before the beat drops to grinding four on the floor verses, where she sings in the gravelly tones of her lower register.[11][12]

Critical reception[edit]

Robert Copesy of Digital Spy rated the track four out of five stars, writing that in the line "Got you wrapped around my finger babe/You can count on me to misbehave", Diamandis "play[s] out one of many female archetypes that feature on her forthcoming LP—though we suspect it's one she identifies with best."[10] Sam Lansky of MTV Buzzworthy described it as "a monster song" and "a muscular uptempo joint", concluding, "Evoking Kate Bush on the high notes and then cascading down to the gravelly tones of her lower register, Marina's voice packs the track with verve and personality."[12] Katherine St Asaph of Popdust gave the song three-and-a-half stars "edging toward 4", referring to it as "a big ball of irony sprinkled with mockery and shoved beneath a blonde wig, roots be damned".[13] On the other hand, Luke Turner of the NME wrote that in the wake of Madonna's contributions, "plonkers like Marina have got empowerment wrong, coming up with this: Europop fart beats and cloying vocals. Marina would do well to learn that ego needs something to back it up, which you won’t find in this giant guff of saccharine nothing."[6] Also, Elizabeth McGeown, writing for Ireland's State dismissed Primadona as "wannabe feminist anthems disguised in a Mean Girls-esque dialogue. Admittedly, it doesn’t take itself seriously. Heavily pop culture laden, it contains a tongue-in-cheek superficiality. Pretending towards philosophy for today it reads like a teenage diary".[14]

"Primadonna" was well received within the first hours of its release to radio by fans and new listeners alike, especially on the social networking site Twitter where it was a worldwide trending topic.[15]

Commercial performance[edit]

On 22 April 2012, "Primadonna" debuted at number eleven on the UK Singles Chart, selling 25,337 copies, giving Diamandis her highest-charting single in the UK to date. The following week it slipped to number thirteen but in its third week the single climbed to number eleven, its second week at that position. "Primadonna" became Diamandis's first single to spend five consecutive weeks inside the UK top twenty. In its third week on the Irish Singles Chart, "Primadonna" rose to a new peak of number three, becoming Diamandis's highest-charting single in Ireland as well. In Ireland on the end of year chart of 2012 "Primadonna" was the 20th biggest selling single in the country. The song has peaked at number four in New Zealand, her first single to chart in that country.

"Primadonna" also saw success on pop radio formats in the United States, bubbling under the respective Billboard Pop Songs chart.[16] The song also saw a certain amount of club play, almost charting on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs chart.[16]

Music video[edit]

The music video was directed by Casper Balslev and shot in Copenhagen.[17] It serves as the fourth part of the Electra Heart series, for which Balslev also directed the videos for part 1 ("Fear and Loathing") and part 2 ("Radioactive"). The video premiered on 12 March 2012, the same day as the song's release to UK radio.[18] Two days prior to the video's release, Diamandis released a fifteen-second preview of the video.[19]

Acoustic version[edit]

On 20 April 2012, Diamandis offered for download an acoustic version of "Primadonna" and two other acoustic song versions, packaged as a digital EP.[20] Earlier she released a video on her YouTube channel featuring an acoustic version.

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Primadonna" – 3:41
  2. "Primadonna" (Kat Krazy Remix) – 3:39
  3. "Primadonna" (Walden Remix) – 6:21
  4. "Primadonna" (Burns Remix) – 4:29
  • Digital remix EP[22]
  1. "Primadonna" – 3:41
  2. "Primadonna" (Benny Benassi Remix) – 7:05
  3. "Primadonna" (Riva Starr Remix) – 5:45
  4. "Primadonna" (Burns Remix) – 4:29
  5. "Primadonna" (Evian Christ Remix) – 3:44
  • US digital remix EP[23]
  1. "Primadonna" (Walden Remix) – 6:20
  2. "Primadonna" (Benny Benassi Remix) – 7:05
  3. "Primadonna" (Kat Krazy Remix) – 4:52
  4. "Primadonna" (Burns Remix) – 4:29
  5. "Primadonna" (Evian Christ Remix) – 3:44
  6. "Primadonna" (Riva Starr Remix) – 5:45
  7. "Primadonna" (Until the Ribbon Breaks Remix) – 3:47
  • Exclusive acoustic EP (MP3)[20]
  1. "Primadonna" (acoustic)
  2. "Starring Role" (acoustic)
  3. "Lies" (acoustic)



Region Certification Sales/shipments
Australia (ARIA)[42] Platinum 70,000^
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[43] Platinum 30,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[44] Platinum 15,000*
United Kingdom (BPI)[45] Silver 200,000^

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

Release history[edit]

Country Date Label Format
United States[5] 20 March 2012 Atlantic Records Digital download
Australia[46] 6 April 2012 Warner Music
United Kingdom[22][47] 15 April 2012 679 Artists, Atlantic Records
16 April 2012 CD single
Sweden[48] Warner Music Digital download
Germany[49] 18 May 2012 CD single


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  3. ^ a b "Cup Of Coffee: MARINA & THE DIAMONDS". YouTube. wotyougot. Retrieved 29 January 2013. 
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  11. ^ Stern, Bradley (April 17, 2012). "MuuMuse Approved: Marina And The Diamonds – “Primadonna”". MuuMuse. MuuMuse Inc. Retrieved June 9, 2014. 
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  13. ^ St Asaph, Katherine (12 March 2012). "Marina And The Diamonds' "Primadonna" Isn't Really A Pop Song — It Just Sounds Like One". Popdust. Retrieved 5 April 2012. 
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  15. ^ Renshaw, David (12 March 2012). "Marina and The Diamonds Premiere New 'Primadonna' Video". Entertainment Wise. Retrieved 5 April 2012. 
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  18. ^ Corner, Lewis (12 March 2012). "Marina and the Diamonds premieres 'Primadonna' music video". Digital Spy. Retrieved 13 April 2012. 
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  20. ^ a b,primadonna-exclusive-acoustic-ep-mp3_62.htm
  21. ^;0;-1;-1;-1&sku=671190
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  28. ^ "Marina & The Diamonds – Primadonna EURODS". Billboard. Retrieved 23 maggio 2012. 
  29. ^ "Marina & The Diamonds – Primadonna EURODT". Billboard. Retrieved 23 maggio 2012. 
  30. ^ "Die ganze Musik im Internet: Charts, News, Neuerscheinungen, Tickets, Genres, Genresuche, Genrelexikon, Künstler-Suche, Musik-Suche, Track-Suche, Ticket-Suche –" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  31. ^ "Archívum – Slágerlisták – MAHASZ – Magyar Hanglemezkiadók Szövetsége" (in Hungarian). Rádiós Top 40 játszási lista. Magyar Hanglemezkiadók Szövetsége.
  32. ^ "Chart Track". Irish Singles Chart.
  33. ^ " – Marina and the Diamonds – Primadonna" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
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  35. ^ "Archive Chart". Scottish Singles Top 40.
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  41. ^ "Top Selling Singles of 2012". Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Retrieved 17 March 2013. 
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  47. ^ "Marina & The Diamonds: Primadonna: Hmv Exclusive". HMV. Retrieved 12 April 2012. 
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