Acapella (Kelis song)

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Kelis - Acapella.jpg
Single by Kelis
from the album Flesh Tone
Released February 23, 2010
Format CD single, digital download
Length 4:28
Label, Interscope
Writer(s) Kelis, David Guetta, Frédéric Riesterer, Jean Baptiste, Makeba Riddick
Producer(s) David Guetta, Frédéric Riesterer
Kelis singles chronology
"Lil Star"
"4th of July (Fireworks)"

"Acapella" is a song performed by American recording artist Kelis, taken from her fifth studio album Flesh Tone (2010). The song is a departure from her past singles in that it is a dance/electronic track rather than hip hop/R&B influenced.[1] The song was first premiered on her Twitter page and her official website in November,[1] but was digitally released February 23, 2010 as the lead single from the singer's fifth studio album Flesh Tone.[2]

The song's co-writer Makeba Riddick revealed that the song had previously been called "Majestic".[3] Kelis stated that she wrote the song "with love and life in my mind"[4] and as a tribute to her son, Knight.[5] It has received positive reviews from critics many of whom praise the song for its inspirational lyrics and for its uptempo feel-good vibe which includes angelic harmonies. The song was listed at #20 on the NME's best tracks of 2010, which they describe it "her most thrilling tune since ‘Milkshake’".[6]


The single has so far received universally positive reviews. Pitchfork Media gave the song a positive review, rating the track an 8 [out of a possible 10] and saying: "'Acapella' is a smooth, Donna Summer-style track with Kelis as an icy electro queen, a robotic embrace of house's metronomic bliss."[7]'s "Dance Music" section reviewed the track favorably, calling the song "majestic" and named it its "Song of the Day".[8] Entertainment Weekly called the song a "feathery dance-floor delight"[4] and placed the song on its "The MustList" for 2010 whilst Billboard magazine added the song to its 2010's "Best Bits" listing.[4] NME magazine also loved the song calling it "the most thrilling tune since "Milkshake"[9] whilst Heat said the "banger" deserves four stars.[9]

Nick Levine of Digital Spy was more than impressed by the song. He said "'s been a busy boy lately, but what's the best thing he's done for us – the new Usher single ['OMG']? Nah. 'Meet Me Halfway'? Hmm... maybe. Signing Kelis... Bingo! We say this because 'Acapella' is quite possibly the most sublime slice of club pop we'll hear all year. Over tub-thumping beats ... Kelis delivers a heartfelt tribute to her baby son, Knight. "Before you my whole life was acapella," she gushes on the near-hymnal chorus, "Now a symphony is the only song to sing". The result is so uplifting, so full of energy and emotion, it doesn't just make you want to dance – it makes you want to dance with everyone who's a little bit special to you."[5] Fraser McAlpine of BBC Chart Blog was also gushing with praise for the song, saying it's "a song which is itself so sparkling and loveable as to make other pop songs seem un-inspired and un-glorious, even the really good ones. [The] melody has been launched from a throat of pure devotion, and is borne aloft by a host of angelic harmonies."[10]

Chart performance[edit]

"Acapella" is Kelis's third solo U.S. dance chart-topper and first since 2003's "Milkshake", not including her 2004 feature on Enrique Iglesias's "Not in Love" that also reached the top of the dance chart.[11] It remained at number one for one week, but the single did fail to chart on the Billboard Hot 100.

On 15 April 2010, "Acapella" debuted on the Irish Singles Chart at number 30, and climbed two places to 28 the following week. On its third week in the chart, the single rose a further 6 places to its current peak of 22. By the fifth week the single rose to number 17 on the Irish music charts breaking into the top 20. In the United Kingdom, the song debuted on the UK Singles Chart at number five making it the singer's sixth top-five hit and ninth top-ten hit on the chart. In its second week it fell to number seven, however on the UK Dance Chart it went to number one for two consecutive weeks.

In Germany, it's her most successful single since "Trick Me" from the year 2004, reaching #21.[12]

Music video[edit]

The clip was filmed in the first week of March 2010, led by a British team consisting of portrait and fashion photographer John "Rankin" Waddell and musical director Chris Cottam.[13] It was released to the singer's official Vevo account on March 29, 2010. An Making video was made April 29, 2010.

Technical credits

Adapted from Video Static.[14]

  • Directors – John "Rankin" Waddell, Chris Cottam, Nicole Ehrlich
  • Producers – Coleen Haynes, Ron Mohrhoff, Nicole Ehrlich
  • Production company – HSI
  • DP – Christopher Probst
  • Editor – Zuk
  • Production designer – Charles Infante
  • Stylist – Paula Bradley
  • Hair – Anthony Dickey
  • Make-up – Kathy Yeung
  • Body painter – Nelly Recchia

The clothing of the video shown aload of string sewed onto her others.


The video begins with Kelis walking in a jungle as a huntress and then putting on a crown made out of peacock skin and singing. This scene was filmed in black and white. Another scene shows her in front of a fabric and the next shows her on the floor, demonstrating her breathing. The chorus shows Kelis on a chair with a black background with glitter falling down. The next verse shows the chorus scene in a lion's mouth and then in gold body paint. The chorus shows Kelis in a yellow dress that fills half of the scene, and then the final verse shows her on a desert island dressed in brown. The chorus shows Kelis shooting an arrow in the black and white scene and then the video's ending shows Kelis on the desert island and with something holding a baby boy.

Track listing[edit]


"Acapella" was recorded at Casa de Kelis and mixed at Gum Prod Studios in Paris.[22]


Procession and succession[edit]

Preceded by
"The Power of Music" by Kristine W
U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs number-one single
March 20, 2010
Succeeded by
"Fancy Free" by Sun
Preceded by
"Hot" by Inna
UK Dance Chart number-one single
18 April 2010 - 2 May 2010
Succeeded by
"Good Times" by Roll Deep

Release history[edit]

Country Date Format Label
United States February 23, 2010 Digital download music
France April 5, 2010[44] Polydor Records
United Kingdom April 11, 2010
Germany May 7, 2010 CD single Universal Music[45]
United Kingdom May 10, 2010 Polydor Records[46][unreliable source?]


  1. ^ a b "Kelis "Flesh Tone" Album Preview". 2009-09-14. Archived from the original on 14 April 2013. Retrieved 2010-03-12. 
  2. ^ a b "Acapella: Kelis: MP3 Downloads". Retrieved 2010-03-12. 
  3. ^ "Makeba Riddick 'Change Up' album". Archived from the original on 2012-03-18. Retrieved 2010-03-12. 
  4. ^ a b c ""Acapella," Lead Single From Grammy-Nominated Singer-Songwriter Kelis' New Album, Available Now On The Itunes Music Store". Hip Hop Press. 2010-02-23. Archived from the original on 1 March 2010. Retrieved 2010-03-12. 
  5. ^ a b Levin, Nick (2010-04-16). "Music Reviews: Kelis Acapella". Digital Spy. Archived from the original on 18 April 2010. Retrieved 2010-04-17. 
  6. ^ NMe's List of the best tracks of 2010 NME Retrieved 2010-12-02
  7. ^ "Track Reviews: Kelis - "Acapella"". Pitchfork. Archived from the original on 12 February 2010. Retrieved 2010-03-12. 
  8. ^ "Song of the Day: Kelis - "Acapella"". Retrieved 2010-03-12. 
  9. ^ a b "UK press loves Acapella". 2010-04-26. Retrieved 2010-04-28. 
  10. ^ McAlpine, Fraser (2010-04-15). "BBC Chart Blog: Kelis is back with Acapella (review)". BBC Chart Blog. Retrieved 2010-04-28. 
  11. ^ "Chart Beat Thursday: Taio Cruz, Ludacris, Peter Gabriel – Chart Beat". 2009-09-14. Retrieved 2010-03-12. 
  12. ^ / PhonoNet GmbH. "Die ganze Musik im Internet: Charts, News, Neuerscheinungen, Tickets, Genres, Genresuche, Genrelexikon, Künstler-Suche, Musik-Suche, Track-Suche, Ticket-Suche". Retrieved 2011-02-27. 
  13. ^ "Music – News – Kelis reveals new album details". Digital Spy. Archived from the original on 13 March 2010. Retrieved 2010-03-12. 
  14. ^ Gottlieb, Steve (2010-04-09). "Official video credits". Archived from the original on April 20, 2010. Retrieved 2010-04-20. 
  15. ^ "Music CDs, DVDs, Games & More". 2005-12-15. Retrieved 2011-02-27. 
  16. ^ "Acapella by Kelis – Download Acapella on iTunes". 2010-05-06. Retrieved 2011-02-27. 
  17. ^ "Acapella (2-Track): Kelis: Musik". 2009-09-09. Retrieved 2011-02-27. 
  18. ^ "Acapella: Kelis: MP3-Downloads". Retrieved 2011-02-27. 
  19. ^ "Acapella: Kelis: Téléchargements MP3". 1970-01-01. Retrieved 2011-02-27. 
  20. ^ "Acapella (The Remixes) by Kelis – Download Acapella (The Remixes) on iTunes". 2010-03-29. Retrieved 2011-02-27. 
  21. ^ "Acapella – The Remixes by Kelis – Download Acapella – The Remixes on iTunes". 2010-04-06. Retrieved 2011-02-27. 
  22. ^ Flesh Tone (Booklet). Kelis. Music Group (Interscope-Geffen-A&M). 2010. p. 5. 
  23. ^ " – Kelis – Acapella" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  24. ^ " – Kelis – Acapella" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  25. ^ " – Kelis – Acapella" (in French). Ultratop 50.
  26. ^ Czech Airplay Chart
  27. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 22, 2010" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40
  28. ^ "Kelis – Chart history" European Hot 100 for Kelis.
  29. ^ " – Kelis Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  30. ^ "Chart Track: Week 17, 2010". Irish Singles Chart.
  31. ^ "Kelis – Acapella Media Forest". Israeli Airplay Chart. Media Forest.
  32. ^ FIMI - Top Digital Download WK22
  33. ^ "EHR top 40". Retrieved 22 August 2012. 
  34. ^ Slovakian Airplay Chart
  35. ^ " – Kelis – Acapella". Swiss Singles Chart.
  36. ^ "Archive Chart: 2010-04-24" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved 2010-10-06.
  37. ^ "Archive Chart: 2010-04-24" UK Dance Chart.
  38. ^ "Kelis – Chart history" Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs for Kelis.
  39. ^ " – Dutch charts portal". (in Dutch). Hung Medien / Archived from the original on 22 November 2010. Retrieved 2011-01-03. 
  40. ^ "FIMI – Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana – Ricerche e dati di mercato". 2011-01-17. Retrieved 2011-02-27. 
  41. ^ "End Of Year Charts: 2010" (PDF). UkChartsPlus. Retrieved 2011-08-10. 
  42. ^ "Dance Club Songs, Best of 2010, 21-30". 
  43. ^ "British single certifications – Kelis – Acapella". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved January 10, 2015.  Enter Acapella in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select single in the field By Format. Select Silver in the field By Award. Click Search
  44. ^ Amazon France
  45. ^ "Kelis – Produktdetails – Acapella – (CD Single)". Retrieved 2011-02-27. 
  46. ^ Praxis Media. "Radio1 Rodos Greece ::: UK Forthcoming Singles ::: Charts, DJ Promos, Dance, Lyrics, Free Mp3 Samples Downloads". Retrieved 2011-02-27.