Waiting for Tonight
|"Waiting for Tonight"|
|Single by Jennifer Lopez|
|from the album On the 6|
|Released||November 15, 1999|
|Format||CD single, cassette single, 12"|
|Writer(s)||Maria Christensen, Michael Garvin, Phil Temple|
|Jennifer Lopez singles chronology|
"Waiting for Tonight" is a song recorded by American singer Jennifer Lopez for her debut studio album On the 6 (1999). It was released on November 15, 1999 by Epic Records as the second single from the album, and has since been recognized as one of her signature songs. The song was originally recorded by American female pop trio 3rd Party, taken from their only studio album Alive (1997).
Upon its release, "Waiting for Tonight" peaked at number eight on the US Billboard Hot 100, earning Lopez her second top ten success on the chart. It also peaked at number five in the United Kingdom. Moreover, the track earned Lopez a nomination for Best Dance Recording at the 2000 Grammy Awards. A Spanish version of the song, entitled "Una Noche Más" ("One More Night"), is also included on the album On the 6.
From a young age, Lopez's Puerto Rican parents stressed the importance of work ethic and being able to speak English. They encouraged their three daughters to put on performances at home, singing and dancing in front of each other and their friends so that they would stay "out of trouble". While attending her final year of high school, Lopez learned about a film casting that was seeking several teenage girls for small roles. She auditioned and was cast in My Little Girl (1986), an low-budget film co-written and directed by Connie Kaiserman. After she finished filming her role in the film, Lopez knew that she wanted to become a "famous movie star". She told her parents this, but they ensisted that it was a "really stupid" idea and that "no Latinos did that". Their disagreements led Lopez to move out of their family home and into an apartment in Manhattan. During this period, Lopez performed in regional productions of several musicals, before being hired for the chorus in a musical that toured Europe for five months. She was unhappy with the role, as she was the only member of the chorus not to have a solo. From there, she got a job on the show Synchronicity in Japan, where she acted as a dancer, singer and a choreographer. Lopez then gained her first regular high-profile job as a Fly Girl dancer on the television comedy program In Living Color. She moved to Los Angeles with then-boyfriend David Cruz to film the series and remained a regular cast member until 1993 when she booked a spot as a dancer for Janet Jackson. She appeared in the video for Jackson's "That's The Way love Goes", but shortly after, Jackson allowed Lopez to be released from her contract early to pursue her acting career.
After a series of co-starring film roles, Lopez received her big break came in 1996, when she was cast to play the title role in Selena, a biopic of the late American singer-songwriter Selena. In the film, Selena's real voice is used for the musical sequences in Selena, but Lopez would nonetheless sing the lyrics during the scenes instead of lip syncing. When asked by an interview if Selena inspired her to launch a music career, Lopez stated: "I really, really became inspired, because I started my career in musical theater on stage. So doing the movie just reminded me of how much I missed singing, dancing, and the like..." After filming Selena, Lopez was "really feeling [her] Latin roots" and cut a demo in Spanish. Lopez's manager then sent the song, entitled "Vivir Sin Ti", to Sony Music Entertainment's Work Records, who showed an interest in signing Lopez. Tommy Mottola, the head of the label suggested to her that she sing in English instead. She complied and began recording her debut studio album On the 6. During production of the On the 6, Lopez was aware of the fact that she received her recording contract on the premise of her looks and having an already established name in the entertainment industry, and wanted to prove that she had musical talent. Prior to the debut of her music, critics wondered why she would take the risk of launching a music career. It was noted that: "If the album was a flop, not only would it embarrass Lopez, but it might even damage her career."
"Waiting for Tonight" is a song with a length of four minutes and seven seconds (4:07). It was composed by Michael Garvin, Maria Christiansen and Phil Temple; Lopez's version of the song was produced by Ric Wake. Lopez recorded her vocals for the song in various locations including the Hit Factory and The Dream Factory in New York; the song was later mixed by Dan Hetzel at Cove City Sound Studios, NYC. According to the digital music sheet published at musicnotes.com, the song is written in the key of Bb Minor. The instrumentation of "Waiting for Tonight" consists of a piano and guitar. Lopez's vocals in the song span from the lower note of Ab♯3 to the higher note of Db♯5. The song has a tempo of 112 beats per minute. Aaron Beierle of DVD Talk commented that "Waiting for Tonight" hits a "rich groove."
David Browne of Entertainment Weekly, in a review of On the 6, gave a positive review of the song, stating that "[from On the 6] At least one track, the club-hopping 'Waiting for Tonight,' is worthy of a dance-floor diva, and the inevitable remix should sound even better". Matthew Turner of Crosswalk.com called "Waiting for Tonight" an "infectious tune." Richard Harrington of The Washington Post noted the song to be a "generic dance" track.
"Waiting for Tonight" debuted on the Australian Singles Chart at number 35 on October 31, 1999. It rose steadily and reached a peak of four on January 9, 2000; it charted in the top ten for a total of six weeks, and was certified Platinum by the Australian Recording Industry Association for shipments of 70,000 units. In Belgium, the song peaked at four in Wallonia and fifteen in Flanders. In New Zealand, the song debuted at 42 on the week ending October 31, 1999; it peaked at five on December 5. It was certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand for shipment of 7,500 units. In Finland, the song charted for three weeks, peaking at eight. "Waiting for Tonight" also peaked at nine in Canada, and ten in France. It was certified Silver in France by the Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique for shipments of 50,000 units.
On the week ending October 16, 1999, "Waiting for Tonight" debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 at 56 as the "Hot Shot Debut of the Week." As airplay and sales increased, the song rose strongly, jumping to 37 on the Hot 100 the next week with the "Greatest Gainer in Sales" title. On the week ending October 30, 1999, "Waiting for Tonight" topped the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart and jumped to 25 on the Hot 100. "Waiting for Tonight" entered the top ten of the Hot 100 on the week ending November 27, 1999, reaching a new peak of nine. On December 4, 1999, the song peaked at eight on the Hot 100. It also peaked at four on the US Hot 100 Airplay Chart.
Two versions of the video were made—the original and the Hex Hector Remix Version—directed by Francis Lawrence. In the original, the video begins with the sun setting, while Lopez and her friends are preparing for a New Year's Eve party. Intercut are scenes of Lopez in the jungle, dancing with green lasers flashing behind her and with sparkling crystals covering her body. The females are on a canoe over a river, travelling to a party which is being held in the middle of a jungle area. After the end of the Bridge of the song, the music cuts off, and the party is waiting for the clock to count down to the year 2000. There is a 6-second power outage (referring to the then-Y2K problem), until the power is back on, and the beginning of the new year is celebrated with the party dancing. There is inter-cut scenes of Lopez dancing on top of the crowd and playing in the water wearing a black bikini. In the Hex Hector Remix version, the video intercuts new scenes of Lopez dancing in a jungle with green lasers flashing behind her with the original footage. The video also incorporates a green laser strobe effect.
On the video, Lopez stated "Francis Lawrence is just a great director [...] He's done a lot of videos that I like and I just love his work. I wanted it to be fun and have a certain type of energy and he came back with the treatment of the video where it was this millennium party in the jungle. Just the way he described it, it sounded perfect, the kind of thing I really wanted to do so we just went with it."
Lopez performed "Waiting for Tonight" for the first time at the 1999 Billboard Music Awards, where she opened the show. She also sang the song along with "Feelin' So Good" during an appearance at Saturday Night Live on May 2, 2000. She also sang the song at her set of Let's Get Loud Concerts in Puerto Rico; a performance in which she got down on "all fours" while singing. The performance was televised on NBC on November 20, 2001. In 2009, Lopez performed it at Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve in a "revealing" catsuit. The catsuit provoked a mixed reaction from the public; The host of the show Ryan Seacrest praised the outfit, saying that it "made my year"—while others weren't so admirable. Alicia Lundgren, a 24-year-old dancer from Philadelphia, told the New York Daily News: "There's too many wrinkles. It looks like elephant skin." Lopez wore a glittery bodysuit for her performance of the song at Mohegan Sun's 15th anniversary celebration concert; green lasers swept across the arena ceiling as her dancers "whirled" around her. It was included on the setlist for her Dance Again World Tour in 2012. During her European leg at her concert in Italy, Lopez supposedly had a wardrobe malfunction according to various sources during her performance of "Waiting for Tonight". She was wearing a "plunging skintight cat suit".
"Waiting For Tonight" has been considered her best song and video. The song was used frequently as a celebratory anthem for the dawn of the new millennium. The music video was well known for featuring a Y2K dance party. After Lopez's appointment as judge on American Idol, former contestant Adam Lambert said "I remember when I was a kid graduating high school and 'Waiting for Tonight' came out. Remember that video? And she had all the rhinestones on her face and she just looked like just dewy and stunning and amazing."
"Waiting for Tonight" won Lopez several awards and nominations. In 2000, the song received a MTV Video Music Award nomination for music video with Best Choreography and won Best Dance Video. It also won "Best Pop Video Clip" at the Billboard Music Awards. Lopez also earned her first Grammy Award nomination for Best Dance Recording. The music video won "Best Dance Video" at the International Dance Music Awards.
- UK CD single
- "Waiting for Tonight" — 4:06
- "Waiting for Tonight" (Hex's Momentous Radio Mix) — 3:52
- "Waiting for Tonight" (Futureshock Midnight at Mambo Remix) — 4:06
- Australian Maxi single
- "Waiting for Tonight" (Hex's Momentous Club Mix) — 11:15
- "Waiting for Tonight" (Hex Hector Dub) — 6:31
- "Waiting for Tonight" (Metro Club Mix) — 5:54
- "Waiting for Tonight" (Pablo Flores Miami Mix - English) — 10:01
- "Waiting for Tonight" (Hex's Momentous Video Remix) — 4:34
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