Radioactive (Kings of Leon song)

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Single by Kings of Leon
from the album Come Around Sundown
Released September 14, 2010 (2010-09-14)
Recorded 2010
Genre Alternative rock
Length 3:27
Label RCA
Writer(s) Caleb Followill
Nathan Followill
Jared Followill
Matthew Followill
Producer(s) Angelo Petraglia
Jacquire King
Kings of Leon singles chronology

"Radioactive" is a song by American rock band Kings of Leon, and was the first single released from their 2010 album Come Around Sundown.

The song, along with its accompanying music video, premiered on September 8 on the Kings' website. The following day, it received its official radio premiere on Australian radio, and debuted on US Alternative Radio on September 13. The song was released on US iTunes on September 14, and released at a later date in remaining countries.

The song was nominated for the 53rd Grammy Awards in two categories: Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals and Best Rock Song.

The song is used during a jet ski sequence in the film I Am Number Four.

Music video[edit]

The music video was released on September 8, 2010 on the Kings of Leon's website. The video that was made in a sepia-tone refers to the band's southern origins.[1] It shows the band at a barbecue with a Gospel children's choir. Drummer Nathan Followill said, "Gospel music was a big part of us growing up, so to be able to come back and revisit that part of our lives at this stage in our lives is a pretty special thing."[2]

NME named Radioactive's music video the second worst music video ever, commenting, "The music industry gasped in disbelief as the Oklahoma boys leapt into a muddled mise-en-scene of questionable racial subtext."[3]

Live performances[edit]

Kings of Leon performed the song on Saturday Night Live on October 23, 2010 and on Late Show with David Letterman on October 25, 2010.[4][5] On November 25, 2010, the band gave a mini-concert in New York for The Today Show during which they performed a three-song set including "Radioactive".[6] They also sang it on May 13, 2011 on VH1 Storytellers.[7]

Track listings[edit]

Digital download
  1. "Radioactive" - 3:27
UK 2-track CD single
  1. "Radioactive" - 3:27
  2. "Radioactive (Remix Featuring West Angeles Mass Choir)" - 3:33


"Radioactive" debuted and peaked at #37 on the Billboard Hot 100. It has since re-entered the chart at #65 upon the release of the album.

Chart (2010) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[8] 19
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[9] 36
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[10] 22
Belgium (Ultratip Wallonia)[11] 15
Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[12] 19
Denmark Airplay (Tracklisten)[13] 15
European Hot 100 Singles[14] 24
Germany (Media Control Charts)[15] 41
Ireland (IRMA)[16] 5
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[17] 36
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[18] 10
Polish Singles Chart[19] 1
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[20] 53
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[21] 7
US Billboard Hot 100[22] 37
US Adult Alternative Songs (Billboard)[23] 1
US Alternative Songs (Billboard)[24] 1
US Hot Rock Songs (Billboard)[25] 3

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Peter de Saint Phalle (September 8, 2010). "Kings Of Leon 'Radioactive' Video Pays Tribute To Band's Southern Roots". MTV. Retrieved February 9, 2012. 
  2. ^ Goodman, William (September 8, 2010). "WATCH: Kings of Leon Debut 'Radioactive' Video!". Spin. Retrieved February 9, 2012. 
  3. ^ "50 Worst Music Videos Ever". NME. IPC Media. Retrieved February 9, 2012. 
  4. ^ McGee, Ryan (October 24, 2010). "Recap: 'Saturday Night Live' - Emma Stone and Kings of Leon". HitFix. Retrieved February 9, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Kings of Leon bring "Radioactive" to Letterman". Retrieved February 9, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Kings of Leon perform "Radioactive" on the Today Show". Nova. December 1, 2010. Retrieved February 9, 2012. 
  7. ^ Becque, Elien (May 11, 2011). "Video: First Look at 'Radioactive'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved February 9, 2012. 
  8. ^ " – Kings Of Leon – Radioactive". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  9. ^ "Kings Of Leon – Radioactive –" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  10. ^ " – Kings Of Leon – Radioactive" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  11. ^ " – Kings Of Leon – Radioactive" (in French). Ultratip.
  12. ^ "Kings of Leon Album & Song Chart History" Canadian Hot 100 for Kings of Leon.
  13. ^ "{{{artist}}} – {{{song}}}" (in Danish). Tracklisten.
  14. ^
  15. ^ "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.
  16. ^ "Chart Track: Week 38, 2010". Irish Singles Chart.
  17. ^ " – Kings Of Leon – Radioactive" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  18. ^ " – Kings Of Leon – Radioactive". Top 40 Singles.
  19. ^ "Polish Singles Chart |". 
  20. ^ " – Kings Of Leon – Radioactive". Singles Top 60.
  21. ^ "Archive Chart" UK Singles Chart.
  22. ^ "Kings of Leon Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot 100 for Kings of Leon.
  23. ^ "Kings of Leon Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Adult Alternative Songs for Kings of Leon.
  24. ^ "Kings of Leon Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Alternative Songs for Kings of Leon.
  25. ^ "Kings of Leon Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot Rock Songs for Kings of Leon.

External links[edit]