The single became the second top 10 single from R.O.O.T.S., reaching number five on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, fueled by high sales from digital downloads. The single has also been successful in other countries, reaching the top ten in Canada, and on other Billboard subcharts. Following the song's success in the U.S., the song was released May 25, 2009, in the United Kingdom.
On reviews for the album, the song received a mixed reception, due to criticism on the use of the sample of "Blue (Da Ba Dee)". Billboard magazine reviewed the single positively, said "'Sugar', rides an unlikely interpolation of 'Blue (Da Ba Dee)' by Eiffel 65", but consider it one of the highlights of the album. However, Allmusic said that the song is "shameless enough to incorporate elements of Eiffel 65's Euro-trash earworm 'Blue (Da Ba Dee)'", but chose it as a track pick. Meanwhile, in the UK noted urban writer Pete Lewis of the award-winning 'Blues & Soul' stated "Flo Rida finally proves once-and-for-all that he's no one-trick-pony, with the melodic uptempo single 'Sugar' effectively relying on a familiar Euro-dance sample to bring the party". This song is also included on the albums Now That's What I Call Music! 73 and Now: The Hits of Spring 2009.
Flo Rida beside his imaginary girl portrayed by Wynter in the music video for "Sugar."
Flo Rida on the set of "Sugar".
A music video for the song was filmed on April 10, 2009 in South Beach, Florida. It opens with a female doctor followed by Flo Rida walking into an operation room with a quick shot of Wynter then Wynter and Flo Rida standing beside one another. It then cuts to Wynter performing set choreography interspersed with female dancers then her dancing solo with flashes of Flo Rida in the operation room with the same female doctor spotted earlier in the music video. The next primary scene showcases Flo Rida in front of other men each seated in a hut on the beach as they spot the doctor in a white bikini walking out from the water. Flo Rida moves out of his seat and progresses forward to greet the doctor but then confusingly realises that she is not actually there. Next Flo Rida and the doctor are seen to be next to each other on the same beach, she following with her arms on him as he raps. They walk to a store in the shape of another hut where Flo Rida purchases ice cream for the both of them. He turns around, confused again as the doctor doesn't appear anywhere in sight. The next scene displays the pair with the doctor seducing Flo Rida then comforting him with food. He then turns her way and once again, she doesn't appear. The final vision incorporates Flo Rida woken up by the doctor in the operation room & being escorted out, yet she then raises her arm and directs him to follow her back into the room by seductively holding up a bunch of grapes. Flo Rida looks at the camera, smiles and closes the door as the video comes to a close.
"Sugar" made a "Hot Shot Debut" at number twenty-five on the Billboard Hot 100, making it Flo Rida's highest debut on the chart. The song made a jump to number seven in its sixth week on the chart, selling 127,000 downloads, a 61% increase from the previous week and has reached a peak position of #5. In Canada it made a "Hot Shot Debut" at #8 on the Canadian Hot 100. It debuted on the UK Singles Chart at number thirty-five from album downloads alone and has so far peaked at number eighteen. This makes "Sugar" Flo Rida's third highest charting single in the UK, and with 18 weeks inside the top 100 UK singles chart, it is his fourth longest chart runner behind only "Low" (75 weeks), "Right Round" (24 weeks) and "Elevator" (20 weeks). It has so far peaked at number twenty in Australia.