Waking Up in Vegas

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"Waking Up in Vegas"
Single by Katy Perry
from the album One of the Boys
Released April 7, 2009 (2009-04-07)
Recorded 2007–08; Rocket Carousel Studio (Los Angeles)
Length 3:19
Label Capitol
Katy Perry singles chronology
"Thinking of You"
"Waking Up in Vegas"
Music video
"Waking Up In Vegas" on YouTube

"Waking Up in Vegas" is a song by American recording artist Katy Perry, taken as the fourth and final single from her second studio album, One of the Boys (2008). Perry wrote the song with Desmond Child and Andreas Carlsson. It is produced by Perry and Greg Wells. Wells is credited with playing all the instruments on the song. It was officially released to US radio stations on April 21, 2009 (2009-04-21).[1]

The song received generally positive reviews from music critics, many calling it a "catchy" tune. The song had peaked at number nine on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming Perry's third top ten single on the charts. The song also had top ten success, peaking at number one in Hungary and some U.S. sub charts, while scoring the top ten in Canada, New Zealand, Ireland, Slovakia and other countries. The music video was released for the single, which features Perry and actor Joel David Moore where it features the couple in Vegas partying and gambling. The video was a success worldwide, scoring around 37 million views, but 17 pre-vevo. There is also an alternative music video, which features bonus footage of Perry in a large martini glass with multi-colored candy, and using the Manhattan Clique Remix instead.

Background and composition[edit]

According to A&R, Chris Anokute, the song played a significant role in initiating Perry's pivotal move to Capitol Records. Having been recorded while still under contract with Columbia Records for an album that was then shelved, Anokute later heard the song on a three-song demo and, convinced it was a number 1 single and its singer a star talent, set about trying to convince his employers at Capitol to sign Perry.[2] Before "Waking Up in Vegas" was released, "If You Can Afford Me" and "Fingerprints" were considered for release, but Perry chose Vegas instead. Musically, the song has been described as power pop and pop rock.[3][4] Perry, Carlsson, and Child all worked on the song together. In an interview with HitQuarters, Carlsson said that two of the first aspects of the song to be composed were the main guitar riff - which he already had pre-prepared - and the phrase “put your money where your mouth is”, which they were very keen to use and which for a time was almost used as the song's title.[5]

Writing and inspiration[edit]

Perry said that the song has some real-life inspiration,[6][7] in a chat with PopEater.com, Perry revealed that she and her then-boyfriend "decided to get fake married".

"I was 21. We took all the pictures with the minister, with the fake cake, in the fake chapel and got a fake marriage certificate. We went and bought a wedding dress and a suit at a thrift store, and scanned the pictures and the certificate to my family members, my manager at the time [and] totally freaked the crap out of them. It was the most hilarious, stupid prank I've ever pulled, I still have the wedding dress and the certificate."

Perry added that the song is not about apologizing: "[It's] basically a song about getting into trouble with your best friend or your boyfriend or your girlfriend - or whoever you're with - and not having any 'I'm sorry for what I did'."

Chart performance[edit]

Perry performing at Campo Pequeno

The song debuted on the UK Singles Chart at number 107 following her performance on Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway, and peaked at number 19 on the UK Singles Chart. In the US, it debuted at number 65 on the Billboard Hot 100. "Waking Up in Vegas" also went on to become Perry's second number one hit on Mainstream Top 40, matching the airplay success of "I Kissed a Girl" and "Hot n Cold". In Canada, the song was driven all the way to number five and then number two thanks in part to her performance on Idol, but also due to increasing sales and airplay. On the Irish Singles Chart it peaked at number eight.[8] Ultimately, the song's success was considered a rebound for Perry after "Thinking of You" failed to ignite the charts. The single also helped One of the Boys return to the top 50 of the Billboard 200 albums chart. "Waking Up In Vegas" was the 33rd most purchased song on iTunes in the US during 2009. As of August 2013, the song has sold 2,211,000 copies in the U.S.[9] The song also peaked at number nine in New Zealand, being certificated Gold.

Critical reception[edit]

Billboard gave the song a positive review: "most radio-friendly song yet."[10] Digital Spy gave "Waking Up in Vegas" 3/5 stars, calling the song "a giddy pop-rock romp featuring an ace sing-along chorus."[4]

Live performances[edit]

Perry performing "Waking Up in Vegas" during the California Dreams Tour.

Perry performed "Waking Up in Vegas" on Later... with Jools Holland in March 2008. She was also a guest on Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway in March 2009 where she performed "Waking Up in Vegas" instead of her then-current single, "Thinking of You". which had been released that month. She performed on a Las Vegas-themed stage with her backing band dressed as Elvis Presley. The single was released to Australian radio on March 23, where it became the fourth most added song in its release week.[11] Perry performed the song on American Idol on May 13, 2009. During the performance, she was dressed in an Elvis-themed outfit and a cape emblazoned with Adam Lambert's name on it. The video stars Grandma's Boy actor, Joel David Moore. Perry performed the song on July 24, 2009 on NBC's Today show in New York's Rockefeller Plaza.[12][13] The song was a part of the former's set list on Warped Tour 2008, Hello Katy Tour, Summer Tour 2009, and California Dreams Tour.

Music video[edit]

The music video for "Waking Up in Vegas" showcasing Perry in a Lamborghini Murciélago as she is about to race down the streets of Las Vegas.

The music video was directed by Joseph Kahn, and was shot in Las Vegas, Nevada on March 26, 2009. It made its premiere when released on April 28, 2009 on the Australian, UK, and U.S. iTunes Store.

It begins with Perry holding hands with her love interest played by Joel David Moore. They are in a laundromat, standing in front of a slot machine. It is the morning after the night before, setting the theme of the song's lyric "That's what you get for waking up in Vegas". Moore drops one coin into the slot machine and pulls the handle. Three "blazing 7" symbols land on the payline, and the machine delivers a jackpot in quarters. Moore and Perry look at each other in astonishment. The next scene shows them winning at roulette the night before. They then head to the hotel room where they kick out Penn and Teller. Subsequent scenes show the couple playing various casino games and parlaying their winnings into millions, defeating poker legend Daniel Negreanu, being welcomed into to the Palms Hotel, by the owners Gavin and George J. Maloof, Jr.. As the winning streak continues Perry and Moore enjoy a lavish lifestyle, racing through the streets of Las Vegas in his-and-hers Lamborghini Murciélagos. At the height of the streak they are dressed in show costumes riding in chariots down Fremont Street, accompanied by a fire breather and an elephant. Then they are feasting at a Roman-style banquet, in a manner reminiscent of the Last Supper.

Perry and Moore kiss in a money booth. After the kiss, the couple's luck changes. They begin to argue. They lose all their winnings, but save a single coin and are ejected from their hotel suite, which Penn and Teller reclaim (even performing a card trick before slamming the door on the couple). Perry steals food from a room service tray. The video ends in the laundromat where it began. The couple is broke. Moore places a single coin in the slot machine and pulls the handle. Three "blazing 7" symbols land on the payline, and the machine delivers a jackpot in quarters. Moore and Perry look at each other in astonishment as the screen goes to black.

Track listing[edit]

Charts and certifications[edit]

Chart precession and succession[edit]

Preceded by
"Hush Hush" by Pussycat Dolls
U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs number-one single
August 22, 2009
Succeeded by
"Crazy Possessive" by Kaci Battaglia
Preceded by
"LoveGame" by Lady Gaga
U.S. Billboard Pop Songs number-one single
August 8, 2009–August 15, 2009
Succeeded by
"I Gotta Feeling" by The Black Eyed Peas
Preceded by
"Cry Cry" by Oceana
Hungarian Airplay Chart number-one single
September 21, 2009–October 4, 2009
Succeeded by
"Cry Cry" by Oceana

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format
Worldwide April 7, 2009[46] Digital download - Radio Edit
United States April 21, 2009[47] Airplay
Worldwide June 2, 2009[48] Digital Remixes EP
United Kingdom June 8, 2009[49] CD single
Germany June 19, 2009[50] CD Single


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External links[edit]