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

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"Bang Bang"
Single by Jessie J, Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj
from the album Sweet Talker and My Everything
Released 29 July 2014
Format
Recorded Metropolis Studios, London (Jessie J vocals), Conway Studios, Hollywood, CA (Ariana Grande vocals), Glenwood Place Studios, Burbank, CA (Nicki Minaj vocals)
Genre
Length 3:52
Label
Writer(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)

"Bang Bang" is a song recorded by British singer Jessie J, American singer Ariana Grande, and Trinidadian[4] rapper Nicki Minaj. The song was released on 29 July 2014 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.

"Bang Bang" became a commercial success, debuting at number one in the United Kingdom and reaching the top ten of record charts of numerous countries including Canada, Australia, Ireland, New Zealand and the United States. It was also favourably reviewed by music critics, who praised the song's composition. The single was nominated for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance at the 57th Annual Grammy Awards (2015), and won Favorite Song Of The Year at the 2015 Kids' Choice Awards.

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 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 added 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."[5]

On various dates in July 2014, each of the artists uploaded a snippet of the song on their Instagram profiles: Jessie J on July 9,[6][7] Minaj on 23 July,[8] and Grande on 27 July.[9]

Composition[edit]

Sample of the song, depicting Jessie J hitting the high notes and the chorus

"Bang Bang" is an up-tempo, "soulful" song, that features a "clap-heavy" production, built over "big bouncy beats and horn blasts."[10][11] The lyrics of the chorus have been compared to those of "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" by Wham![12]

Critical reception[edit]

"Bang Bang" received universal acclaim from music critics and audiences. 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".[12] 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".[13] 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 Ariana Grande assertion, "See anybody could be good to you/You need a bad girl to blow your mind."[14]

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".[15] 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".[16] Simon Cowell praised the song via his Twitter account, writing, "The best pop single I have heard this year is Bang Bang. It is going to be huge". Lewis Corner form 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".[16]

Commercial performance[edit]

The song debuted on the US Billboard Hot Digital Songs chart at number one with 230,000 digital downloads sold in its first week. This marked the third-largest sales debut for a song in 2014, following Grande's "Problem" and Taylor Swift's "Shake It Off".[17] The song debuted on the US Billboard Hot 100 at number 6, making it the third highest new entry of 2014 on that chart, also following Grande's "Problem" and Swift's "Shake It Off".[18] The song is Jessie J's second, Grande's fourth, and Minaj's tenth top 10 single in the United States, peaking so far at number 3. (It was kept off the top spot by Meghan Trainor's "All About That Bass" and Taylor Swift's "Shake It Off.") Internationally, the song has since peaked within the top ten in Australia, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Israel, Netherlands, New Zealand, and South Korea. In the UK, "Bang Bang" went to number 1 on the iTunes charts in less than 40 minutes upon its debut release and debuted at number 1 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 the UK.[19]

On Billboard's Mainstream Top 40 (Pop Songs) chart, the song reached number two, becoming Minaj's highest charting single on that chart since her appearance on Canadian artist Justin Bieber's 2012 single "Beauty and a Beat" peaked at two, Jessie J's highest since her 2012 single "Domino" also peaked there, and Grande's second-highest peak after "Problem".

Music video[edit]

The song's accompanying video was shot over two days in Los Angeles, California and was directed by Hannah Lux Davis.[20] The video was officially previewed and teased in a Beats by Dr. Dre commercial that aired on August 20, 2014.[21] 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.[22] On August 25, 2014, the video was released via Jessie J's VEVO account.

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 and at the 2014 American Music Awards on November 23, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.[23] 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. Nicki Minaj also performed the song at the iHeartRadio Music Festival with Ariana Grande. Ariana Grande performed the song by herself at the 2014 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show in London, UK on December 9, 2014, and with Minaj at the NBA All-Star Game halftime show on February 15, 2015.[24] Jessie also performed the song with fellow coaches Delta Goodrem, Ricky Martin and The Madden Brothers on The Voice Australia in 2015.

The song has been featured in the hit CBS TV series Stalker,[25] as well as in the video game Just Dance 2015.

Formats and track listings[edit]

Credits and personnel[edit]

Adapted from album liner notes.[30]

Recording locations
  • Metropolis Studios, London (Jessie J vocals)
  • Conway Studios, Hollywood, CA (Ariana Grande vocals)
  • Glenwood Place Studios, Burbank, CA (Nicki Minaj vocals)
Vocal credits
  • Lead vocals – Jessie J, Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj
  • Background vocals – Joi Gilliam, Taura Stinson, Chonita Gillespie, Rickard Goransson, Ilya
Technical credits
  • Songwriting – Max Martin, Savan Kotecha, Rickard Goransson, Onika Maraj
  • Production – Max Martin, Rickard Goransson
  • Engineering – Sam Holland, Cory Brice (assistant)
  • Vocal engineering (for Ariana Grande) – Peter Carlsson
  • Vocal engineering (for Jessie J) – Kuk Harrell, Paul Norris (assistant)
  • Mixing – Serban Ghenea (at Mixstar Studios, Virginia Beach, VA)
  • Mixing engineer – John Hanes
  • Mastering – Tom Coyne, Aya Merrill (at Sterling Sound)
  • Programming – Max Martin, Rickard Goransson, Ilya
  • Guitars and bass – Rickard Goransson
  • Keyboards – Max Martin, Rickard Goransson, Johan Carlsson
  • Drums – Peter Carlsson
  • Percussion – Peter Carlsson, Rickard Goransson
  • Horns – Jonas Thander

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Sales/shipments
Australia (ARIA)[89] 3× Platinum 210,000^
Canada (Music Canada)[90] 3× Platinum 240,000^
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[91] Platinum 60,000^
Italy (FIMI)[92] Platinum 30,000*
New Zealand (RMNZ)[93] 2× Platinum 30,000*
Norway (IFPI Norway)[94] 2× Platinum 20,000*
Sweden (GLF)[95] 2× Platinum 80,000x
United Kingdom (BPI)[96] Platinum 600,000double-dagger
United States (RIAA)[97] 4× Platinumdagger 4,300,000[98]
Streaming
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[99] Platinum 2,600,000^
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[100] Gold 4,000,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
xunspecified 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.[101]

Release history[edit]

Country Date Format Label
Worldwide[27] July 29, 2014 Digital download
Germany[102] August 22, 2014
Ireland[103] September 19, 2014
United Kingdom[104] September 21, 2014
Germany[26] September 26, 2014 CD single

References[edit]

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External links[edit]