Bang Bang (Jessie J, Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj song)

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"Bang Bang"
Jessie J - Bang Bang (featuring Ariana Grande & Nicki Minaj) Cover Art.png
Single by Jessie J, Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj
from the album Sweet Talker and My Everything
ReleasedJuly 28, 2014
Format
Recorded2014
StudioMetropolis Studios
(London)
Conway Recording Studios
(Los Angeles, California)
Glenwood Place Studios
(Burbank, California)
Genre
Length3:19
Label
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)
  • Max Martin
  • Rickard Göransson
  • Ilya
Jessie J singles chronology
"Calling All Hearts"
(2014)
"Bang Bang"
(2014)
"Burnin' Up"
(2014)
Ariana Grande singles chronology
"Break Free"
(2014)
"Bang Bang"
(2014)
"Love Me Harder"
(2014)
Nicki Minaj singles chronology
"She Came to Give It to You"
(2014)
"Bang Bang"
(2014)
"Anaconda"
(2014)
Music video
"Bang Bang" on YouTube

"Bang Bang" is a song recorded by English singer Jessie J, American singer Ariana Grande and American rapper Nicki Minaj.[3] It was written by Max Martin, Savan Kotecha, Rickard Göransson and Minaj, and produced by Martin, Göransson and Ilya, with Kuk Harrell serving as a vocal producer. The song was first sent to hot adult contemporary radio on July 28, 2014 through Republic Records and released as a digital download the next day by Lava and Republic Records as the lead single from Jessie J's third studio album Sweet Talker (2014). It is also included on the deluxe version of Ariana Grande's second studio album My Everything (2014), serving as the third single from that album.[4]

"Bang Bang" debuted at number six and later reached number three on the US Billboard Hot 100. It debuted at number one in the United Kingdom becoming Grande's second top ten single and second number one debut that year. The song also reached the top ten in fourteen countries including Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand and the Netherlands. The single was nominated for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance at the 57th Grammy Awards (2015), and won Favorite Song of the Year at the 2015 Kids' Choice Awards. In November 2017, "Bang Bang" was certified six-times platinum by the RIAA,[5] and has sold 3.4 million copies in the US since its release.[6]

Background[edit]

The song was written by Savan Kotecha, Max Martin, and Carolina Liar guitarist Rickard Göransson, while the latter two co-produced it with Ilya Salmanzadeh. Minaj added her rap later. Martin had already previously collaborated with Jessie J ("Domino"), Grande ("Problem", "Break Free"), and Minaj ("Va Va Voom", "Masquerade").

Jessie J played a demo of the song, which she decided to record. Following her recording, Martin informed her that Grande wanted to record a verse. Minaj later heard the song and decided to "jump right on it". Jessie later said that "It was like a real females, coming together, empowering, supportive [vibe], and then Nicki jumping on it was like the icing on the cake."[7]

On various dates in July 2014, each of the artists uploaded a snippet of the song on her Instagram profile: Jessie J on July 9,[8][9] Minaj on July 23,[10] and Grande on July 4.[11]

Composition[edit]

"Bang Bang" is an up-tempo, "soulful" song, that features a "clap-heavy" production, built over "big bouncy beats and horn blasts."[12][13] It's in the key of C Dorian mode, with the vocals making use of the C blues scale. The tempo is 150 BPM (Allegro). The melody of the chorus has been compared to that of "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" by Wham!.[14]

Critical reception[edit]

Rob Sheffield of Rolling Stone called the song a "perfect Max Martin throwdown" that "fuses Nelly's 'Country Grammar' with Wham!'s 'Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go,' which is some truly twisted pop archaeology."[15] Carolyn Menyes from Music Times called the song "[a] Huge successful hit of Summer 2014" and thought that "[the] song is going straight to the top of the charts".[14] Zach Frydenlund from Complex praised Jessie J's and Ariana's heavenly vocals in the song but concentrated more on Nicki's "catchy killer verse" stating that "it's Nicki who really steals the show with her verse".[16] Jason Lipshutz from Billboard responded positively to the song, saying that the song itself "[is] composed of piercing vocals courtesy of two contemporary crooners, as well as rapid-fire spitting from the hottest female MC on the planet, "Bang Bang" rests tidily upon the Jessie J assertion, "See anybody could be good to you/You need a bad girl to blow your mind."[17]

Vulture's Lindsey Weber thought the song was "no Lady Marmalade" but praised it saying "it's catchy enough to make a huge splash in the music history".[18] Chris Martins from Spin stated that the song is "powerful", and credits Minaj for the song's noteworthy energy. "What makes the track so big? Well, um, ask Nicki Minaj." He goes on to further praise Minaj's performance on the song, affirming that "The "Anaconda"-taming MC rips a few mics on the loud and proud pop-soul song".[19] Lewis Corner from Digital Spy gave the song four and a half stars out of five and said that is "one of the year's most electrifying pop anthems".[20]

Accolades[edit]

Year Organization Award Result Ref.
2015 Grammy Awards Best Pop Duo/Group Performance Nominated [21]
iHeartRadio Music Awards Best Collaboration Won [22]
MTV Video Music Awards Nominated [23]
Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards Song of The Year Won [24]
People's Choice Awards Favorite Song Nominated [25]
Teen Choice Awards Choice Song: Female Artist Nominated [26]

Commercial performance[edit]

In the United States, "Bang Bang" debuted atop the Billboard Digital Songs chart selling 230,000 digital downloads on the week ending August 3, 2014, becoming Grande's and Minaj's second chart topper there, and Jessie J's first. Its first week sales also marked the third-largest sales debut for a song in 2014, behind Grande's own "Problem" and Taylor Swift's "Shake It Off", both of which were co-written by Max Martin.[27] The song launched on the US Billboard Hot 100 at number six, making it the second highest new entry of 2014 on that chart at the time, also behind Grande's "Problem".[28] The song marked Jessie J's second, Grande's fourth, and Minaj's tenth top ten single in the United States. It also became Grande's second consecutive top ten hit of 2014, after "Problem" peaked at number two. In its second week on the Hot 100, "Bang Bang" fell to number nine selling an additional 141,000 digital downloads. The song rebounded following the release of its music video and reached a peak of number three, holding that position for 3 non-consecutive weeks, being kept off the top spot by Meghan Trainor's "All About That Bass" and Taylor Swift's "Shake It Off". Overall, "Bang Bang" spent sixteen consecutive weeks in the top ten, and a total of 31 weeks charting on the Hot 100.

On Billboard's Mainstream Top 40 (Pop Songs) chart, the song debuted at number 19 and reached a peak of number two, becoming Minaj's highest charting single on that chart equaling the position her and Canadian singer Justin Bieber's 2012 single "Beauty and a Beat", and Jessie J's highest since her 2012 single "Domino" also peaked at number two there. The song became Grande's second-highest peak at the time, after "Problem" topped the chart. On the Streaming Songs chart, the song debuted at number 21 registering 3 million streams in its first week, and reached the top position on the issue dated September 13, 2014.[29] In Canada, the single peaked at number three on the Canadian Hot 100, equaling "Problem" as Grande's highest peak in the country at the time. The song was later certified triple platinum in March 2015 for selling over 240,000 units there.

In the United Kingdom, "Bang Bang" debuted at number one on the UK Singles Chart with 92,000 downloads, becoming Jessie J's third, Grande's second, and Minaj's first number one single in country. The single has since been certified double platinum by the BPI for shipments of over 1.2 million copies in the country. On the Irish Singles Chart, the track reached number three. In Australia, "Bang Bang" peaked at number four on the Australian ARIA Charts, her third consecutive top-five single there. It also peaked at number one on the Urban Singles Chart and was certified triple platinum by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) for shipments of over 210,000 copies. Internationally, the song has also peaked within the top ten of the charts in Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Israel, Netherlands, New Zealand, Scotland, and South Korea.

Music video[edit]

The song's accompanying video was shot over two days in Los Angeles, California and was directed by Hannah Lux Davis.[30] The video was officially previewed and teased in a Beats by Dr. Dre commercial that aired on August 20, 2014.[31] Following the ad's airing, it was announced that the music video would arrive shortly after the trio's performance at the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards. On August 24, 2014 the official video was uploaded on MTV's website and was available for international viewing.[32] On August 25, 2014, the video was released via Jessie J's Vevo account, and was Vevo-certified on November 5, having surpassed 100 million views.[33] As of November 2018, it has accumulated more than 1.2 billion views.[34]

Live performances and media appearances[edit]

Jessie J, Ariana Grande, and Nicki Minaj performed the song together at the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards on August 24, 2014 in Inglewood, California alongside Grande's song Break Free and Minaj's single Anaconda, and at the 2014 American Music Awards on November 23, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.[35]

Jessie J performed the song by herself on The Ellen Degeneres Show on October 17, 2014, on The X Factor UK on 19 October, at The Concert for Valor in Washington, D.C. on November 11, 2014, and the Nickelodeon HALO Awards on November 30, 2014. She also performed "Bang Bang" with Demi Lovato on her tour in San Jose, California and with fellow coaches Delta Goodrem, Ricky Martin and The Madden Brothers on The Voice Australia in 2015.

Grande performed the song by herself at the 2014 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show in London, UK on December 9, 2014 and during her international tour, The Honeymoon Tour. She also performed the song with Minaj at the NBA All-Star Game halftime show on February 15, 2015,[36] as well as at the iHeartRadio Music Festival. Since the start of the Dangerous Woman Tour, Grande has also performed the song herself throughout her international tour that started in early February.

Freeform teen drama show Pretty Little Liars featured this song in the episode "Pretty Isn't the Point". It uses the Jessie J's version choreograph and performed by the characters Hanna Marin (Ashley Benson) and Emily Fields (Shay Mitchell).

The 2015 musical comedy Pitch Perfect 2 also featured this song as its soundtrack, as heard in the opening sequence (during the news reports about the Bellas' misconducts). This song also made it to the movie's special edition soundtrack album.

The song has been featured in the short-lived CBS TV drama series Stalker,[37] an episode of British sitcom Drifters and in the video game Just Dance 2015.

The song became a recurring joke on the podcast Comedy Bang! Bang! when House of Lies actor Ben Schwartz began singing the song with altered lyrics to be about the show itself.[38]

The song was performed in the seventh episode of the South Korean music reality program Produce 101; the performance became a trending topic on social media with Jessie J sharing its video on her Facebook page. Jessie J's response later made the program's executive producer Han Dong-chul proud in an interview on March 10, 2016, saying: "It’s such an honor that the original singer of the song has mentioned our show. And I’m also proud that our contestants performed it so well."[39][40]

On May, 2016 Jessie J opened 3rd Indonesian Choice Awards with this song.

The song is also used for the commercial of Nestea in the Philippines in early 2018.

In October 2018 the song was used by Cadillac in an advertisement for its 2019 XT4 vehicle. A lyric in the song uses the company's name.[41]

Formats and track listings[edit]

Credits and personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from My Eveyrthing deluxe edition liner notes.[46]

Recording
Management
Personnel
  • Jessie J – lead vocals
  • Ariana Grande – lead vocals
  • Nicki Minaj – lead vocals, songwriting
  • Max Martin – songwriting, production for MXM Productions, programming, keyboards
  • Rickard Göransson – songwriting, production for MXM Productions, programming, guitars, bass, keyboards, percussion, background vocals
  • Savan Kotecha – songwriting
  • Ilya – production for Wolf Cousins Productions, programming, background vocals
  • Peter Carlsson – vocal engineering, drums, percussion
  • Johan Carlsson – keyboards
  • Kuk Harrell – vocal production, vocal engineering for Suga Wuga Music, Inc.
  • Jonas Thander – horns
  • Joi Gilliam – background vocals
  • Taura Stinson – background vocals
  • Chonita Gillespie – background vocals
  • Paul Norris – vocal production assistant, vocal engineering assistant
  • Sam Holland – engineering
  • Cory Bice – engineering assistant
  • Serban Ghenea – mixing
  • John Hanes – mixing assistant
  • Tom Coyne – mastering
  • Aya Merrill – mastering

Charts[edit]

Certifications and sales[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Australia (ARIA)[113] 3× Platinum 210,000^
Canada (Music Canada)[114] 5× Platinum 400,000^
Germany (BVMI)[115] Gold 200,000^
Italy (FIMI)[116] 2× Platinum 60,000*
Japan (RIAJ)[117] Gold 100,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[118] 2× Platinum 30,000*
Norway (IFPI Norway)[119] 2× Platinum 20,000*
South Korea (Gaon) 1,171,000[120]
Sweden (GLF)[121] 2× Platinum 80,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[122] 2× Platinum 1,200,000double-dagger
United States (RIAA)[123] 6× Platinumdagger 3,400,000[6]
Streaming
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[124] Platinum 60,000^
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[125] Gold 20,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
double-daggersales+streaming figures based on certification alone

dagger Since May 2013 RIAA certifications for digital singles include on-demand audio and/or video song streams in addition to downloads.[126]

Radio and release history[edit]

Country Date Format Label Ref.
United States July 28, 2014 Hot adult contemporary Republic [127]
July 29, 2014 Digital download [43]
Contemporary hit radio Republic [128]
Rhythmic contemporary [129]
Germany August 22, 2014 Digital download
  • Lava
  • Republic
[130]
Italy August 29, 2014 Contemporary hit radio Universal [131]
Ireland September 19, 2014 Digital download
  • Lava
  • Republic
[132]
United Kingdom September 21, 2014 [133]
Germany September 26, 2014 CD single [42]

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