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
Released July 28, 2014
Format
Recorded 2014
Studio Metropolis Studios
(London)
Conway Recording Studios
(Los Angeles, California)
Glenwood Place Studios
(Burbank, California)
Genre
Length 3:19
Label
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)
Jessie J singles chronology
"Calling All Hearts"
(2014)
"Bang Bang"
(2014)
"Burnin' Up"
(2014)
"Calling All Hearts"
(2014)
"Bang Bang"
(2014)
"Burnin' Up"
(2014)
Ariana Grande singles chronology
"Break Free"
(2014) Break Free2014
"Bang Bang"
(2014) Bang Bang2014
"Love Me Harder"
(2014) Love Me Harder2014
Nicki Minaj singles chronology
"She Came to Give It to You"
(2014) She Came to Give It to You2014
"Bang Bang"
(2014) Bang Bang2014
"Anaconda"
(2014) Anaconda2014
Music video
"Bang Bang" on YouTube

"Bang Bang" is a song recorded by British singer Jessie J, American singer Ariana Grande, and Trinidadian rapper Nicki Minaj.[3] It was written by Minaj, Max Martin, Savan Kotecha and Rickard Göransson, 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] In August 2015, "Bang Bang" was certified 5× platinum by the RIAA.[5] As of 2016, the song has sold 3.2 million copies in the US.[6]

"Bang Bang" debuted at number one in the United Kingdom and reached the top ten in fourteen countries including Canada, Australia, Ireland, New Zealand and the United States. The single was nominated for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance at the 57th Grammy Award (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").

Jess 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."[7]

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,[8][9] Minaj on July 23,[10] and Grande on July 27.[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 minor, 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 Ariana Grande 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] 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".[citation needed] 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]

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, behind Ariana Grande's "Problem" and Taylor Swift's "Shake It Off", both of which were co-written by Max Martin.[21] 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 behind Grande's "Problem" and Swift's "Shake It Off".[22] The song is Jessie J's second, Grande's fourth, and Minaj's tenth top 10 single in the United States, peaking at number 3. It became Grande's second consecutive top ten hit of 2014, after Problem peaked at number two. 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" 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.

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" hit number one.

Music video[edit]

The song's accompanying video was shot over two days in Los Angeles, California and was directed by Hannah Lux Davis.[23] The video was officially previewed and teased in a Beats by Dr. Dre commercial that aired on August 20, 2014.[24] 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.[25] 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.[26] As of August 2017, it has accumulated more than 970 million views.[27]

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.[28]

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,[29] as well as at the iHeartRadio Music Festival.

The song has been featured in the short-lived CBS TV drama series Stalker,[30] an episode of British sitcom Drifters and in the video game Just Dance 2015. The song has also been featured in an episode of "Pretty Little Liars"

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.[31]

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."[32][33]

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

Formats and track listings[edit]

Credits and personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from My Eveyrthing deluxe edition liner notes.[38]

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.
  • Paul Norris –
  • 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)[100] 3× Platinum 210,000^
Canada (Music Canada)[101] 3× Platinum 240,000^
Italy (FIMI)[102] 2× Platinum 60,000*
New Zealand (RMNZ)[103] 2× Platinum 30,000*
Norway (IFPI Norway)[104] 2× Platinum 20,000*
South Korea (Gaon) 1,171,000[105]
Sweden (GLF)[106] 2× Platinum 80,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[107] Platinum 600,000double-dagger
United States (RIAA)[108] 5× Platinumdagger 3,200,000[6]
Streaming
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[109] Platinum 2,600,000^
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[110] Gold 4,000,000^

*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.[111]

Radio and release history[edit]

Country Date Format Label
United States July 28, 2014 Hot adult contemporary[112] Republic
July 29, 2014 Digital download[35]
Contemporary hit radio[113] Republic
Rhythmic contemporary[114]
Germany[115] August 22, 2014 Digital download
  • Lava
  • Republic
Italy[116] August 29, 2014 Contemporary hit radio Universal
Ireland[117] September 19, 2014 Digital download
  • Lava
  • Republic
United Kingdom[118] September 21, 2014
Germany[34] September 26, 2014 CD single

References[edit]

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