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Dirty Picture

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"Dirty Picture"
Dirty Picture (Taio Cruz single - cover art).jpg
Single by Taio Cruz featuring Kesha
from the album Rokstarr
ReleasedApril 5, 2010
FormatDigital download
  • Cruz
  • Smith
Taio Cruz singles chronology
"No Other One"
"Dirty Picture"
Kesha singles chronology
"Blah Blah Blah"
"Dirty Picture"
"My First Kiss"

"Dirty Picture" is a song by British R&B singer Taio Cruz, released from his second studio album, Rokstarr (2009). The song was written and produced by Cruz alongside Fraser T Smith, and later released as the album's third single on April 5, 2010. Originally, Cruz wanted the female vocals to be done by Lady Gaga but opted to switch to Kesha due to heavy influence by Dr. Luke and for finding her voice unique. The song was later re-recorded as an album bonus track for Kesha's debut album, Animal (2010), and dubbed the "Kesha edit" or "Dirty Picture Pt. 2". Lyrically, the song is about sending a dirty picture to a significant other whom you miss.

Critical reception of the song was generally positive. Kesha and Cruz's collaboration and vocal work on the track were generally praised, although some critics noted that Kesha overtook the track, outshining Cruz. The song's simple but effective lyrics were also positively received by music critics. Commercially, "Dirty Picture" fared well on the music charts. The song peaked at number six on the UK Singles Chart, and at number ten in Ireland. The song also reached the top forty in Europe and Australia. The song's accompanying music video was filmed in Los Angeles and London and is presented as taking place in a house party.

Background and composition

"Dirty Picture" was written and produced by Taio Cruz, in collaboration with Fraser T Smith.[1] While creating the track Cruz stated that he originally had wanted American singer Lady Gaga to feature on the track alongside himself.[2] Following a meeting with Dr. Luke, Cruz agreed to switch to then upcoming singer Kesha. Luke had been working with Kesha and Cruz found Kesha's voice to be distinctive and opted to switch to her featuring on the track. Cruz commented on his decision, stating: "I was thinking about Lady Gaga at first, then I went to a meeting with Dr. Luke and he was telling me about this new girl he was working with. She hadn't done 'Tik Tok' or anything like that at that point. But I just thought she sounded really cool. A very unique-sounding voice. I like that with artists, that as soon as you hear them on a song on the radio, you know immediately who that is without having to be told. She looked really sexy, and I just thought she was talented. Her voice was awesome. It had this — I hope she won't mind me saying this, but her voice has this kind of yodely quality to it, the way that she does things and the way that she ends words. I just loved that quality about it."[2]

"Dirty Picture" is song composed in the dance genre, that encompasses a techno beat infused in its backing, as well as synthesizers.[3] The song features auto-tuned vocals by Kesha.[3][4] According to Robert Cospey of Digital Spy, the song's chorus contains "trancey" elements and is reminiscent of Benny Benassi's song, "Satisfaction".[5] Lyrically, Cruz explained the song's message saying, "the song is actually about sending sexy pictures to your significant other, if you miss each other and you can't see each other, you're far away from each other, you send pictures to remind each other of how sexy you are."[6] According to sheet music published at by EMI Music Publishing, "Dirty Picture" is written in the time signature of common time, with a moderate beat rate of 125 beats per minute. The song is written in the key of F Minor; Cruz' vocal range spans from the note of Eb4 to the note of F5.[7]


Critical reception

Kesha's performance on the track was generally praised by music critics for her lyrical delivery.

"Dirty Picture" received generally positive reviews from music critics upon its release. Brad Wete of Entertainment Weekly compared the song to Cruz' prior single "Break Your Heart", noting that Cruz had "struck gold" with the song and that "Dirty Picture" was the only song on the album with "equal caliber."[8] In a review of the album, Mike Diver of BBC wrote that the song was "the kind of track Sugababes should be patching up their every difference ever for."[9] In a separate publication from BBC, Fraser McAlpine wrote that although the song's lyrics were dumb, silly and crude, "none of [these] are bad things in themselves."[10] McAlpine complimented the overall sound of Kesha and Cruz's vocal work together on the song commenting that "the jarring clash between Taio's supersmooth soul-gentleman image and Kesha's sloppy drunken nonsense is genuinely fascinating. The song actually transforms from one kind of a thing to another, depending who has their hand on the microphone."[10]

The Guardian's Caroline Sullivan first criticized Cruz for his evident "facelessness" in his music while reviewing his album; she, however, wrote that the song "saves the day" and wrote that it exemplified "British humour by impersonating a camera ('Snap, snap, click!')."[11] Sara Anderson from AOL Radio was positive in her review of the song. Anderson wrote, "Building from strobing, techno back beats, Taio melodically, and bluntly, asks his muse to take a few, er, risque pictures for him, before transitioning into speaking voice with the help of party queen Kesha."[3] David Jeffries of Allmusic listed the song as one of the album's three best tracks, alongside "Break Your Heart" and "Take You Back."[12] Melanie Bertoldi of Billboard praised Cruz' vocal delivery, calling it the "most impressive" on the album.[4]

Robert Copsey of Digital Spy gave the single three out of a possible five stars. Copsey wasn't convinced with Cruz's vocal work on the song commenting that Kesha takes over the track, "Cruz's vocals soar over the verses, his delicate tones fails to dent that deliciously trashy chorus. Luckily, guest star Kesha more than steps up to the mark [...] it's a bit of a shame that it's not her version of the song".[5] Ken Capobianco from The Boston Globe was negative in his review of the song. Capobianco called the song "salacious", writing that it "features that notorious no-talent, Ke$ha, but with its galloping percussion it makes for salacious nonsense."[13] Ash Dosanjh from NME wrote that Cruz' downfall on his album was when he acted as the "player", citing "Dirty Picture" as an example.[14]

Chart performance

In the United Kingdom, "Dirty Picture" entered at number 20 on the UK Singles Chart on 18 April 2010 ― for the week ending dated 24 April 2010. After weeks of steadily ascending the charts, the single reached an eventual peak of number 6 on the chart on 9 May 2010 ― for the week ending dated 15 May 2010.[15] The single also peaked at number 3 on the UK R&B Chart.[16]

In Australia, "Dirty Picture" entered at number 31 on the ARIA Singles Chart. On the song's third week on the chart it reached its peak position of 16, where it remained for three weeks.[17] It has since been certified gold by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) for sales of 35,000 units.[18]

In New Zealand the single entered at number 38 on the New Zealand Singles Chart. The following week, it rose to position 21 and then proceeded to fall off the charts.[19] The song re-entered the charts on the week titled 14 June 2010 at 12; the single reached its peak the following week at position 11.[19] It has since been certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand (RIANZ) for sales of 7,500 units.[20] In the United States, "Dirty Picture" entered and peaked on the Billboard Hot 100 at position 96, the same week Rokstarr was released.[21]

In Canada, the song similarly reached its peak on its first week ― number 49 on the Canadian Hot 100.[22]

Music video

The music video for "Dirty Picture" was directed by Alex Herron[23] and it premiered online on May 24, 2010.[2] Recording of the video was done in both Los Angeles and in London. Cruz explain the video's simplistic theme and recording saying, "It was shot in this really cool basement in LA. We wanted it to look like a party scene, but not in a typical club, and it was really good fun. Kesha's shots were recorded in London because our schedules were all over the place, and then I shot the rest in LA."[24]

The video opens with Cruz driving a car speeding through the desert. It then cuts to a new scene where Cruz is at a house party where everyone is drinking and sending dirty text messages. Throughout the scenes Cruz is seen taking pictures with different women and singing karaoke. Kesha's vocals cut in and she is seen standing in a bathroom stall standing on top of a toilet "asking that her man do the same [and send a dirty picture]."[2] Once again the video then cuts to scenes of Cruz standing next to his car in the desert singing his verses. The video then cuts back to the party where all of the party goers are seen "sexting, kissing, touching and bumping and grinding as the flashes flash."[2] Kesha's vocals once again cut in and this time she is seen laying on top of the bathroom sink singing her verses. The video ends with Cruz and Kesha standing next to each other telling their loved ones to "click, click, snap" that dirty picture their way.[2]

Kesha version

Kesha re-recorded "Dirty Picture" for her debut studio album, Animal.[24] The song was selective in its release only being sold as an album bonus track in United Kingdom and Ireland, and was dubbed "Kesha edit"[25] or "Dirty Picture, Pt. 2".[26] The song is similar to the original recording of the song with the only noticeable change being that Kesha now sings the song's first verse. While being interviewed by Digital Spy Cruz explained how the cover initially came about and his view on the cover, "she asked me if she could do a version of the song where she sang the first verse and I thought that was a really cool idea. I really like both versions, and it's good that there are these two different versions out there, because fans of me get more of me on mine and [Kesha] fans get more of her on hers."[24]

Track listing

Credits and personnel

  • Songwriting – Taio Cruz, Fraser T Smith
  • Production – Taio Cruz, Fraser T Smith
  • Engineering – Beatriz Artola
  • Mixing – Fraser T Smith, Neil Tucker
  • Mastering – Tom Coyne

Credits adapted from the liner notes of Rokstarr, via Photo Finish Records.[1]

Charts and certifications

Release history

Region Date Format
Australia[28] 5 April 2010 Digital download
New Zealand[40]
United Kingdom[41] 3 May 2010
Netherlands[42] 21 June 2010
Canada[30] 14 September 2010
United States[43]


  1. ^ a b Rokstarr (liner notes). Taio Cruz. Photo Finish Records. 2009.CS1 maint: others (link)
  2. ^ a b c d e f Vena, Jocelyn (24 May 2010). "Taio Cruz Sexts With Kesha In 'Dirty Picture' Video The clip ends with the two together at a sexy house party". MTV News. MTV Networks (Viacom). Retrieved 14 May 2012.
  3. ^ a b c Anderson, D. Sara (14 September 2010). "Taio Cruz, 'Dirty Picture' Feat. Kesha – New Song". AOL Radio. Retrieved 15 May 2012.
  4. ^ a b Bertoldi, Melanie (18 June 2010). "Taio Cruz, "Rokstarr"". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 15 May 2012.
  5. ^ a b Copsey, Robert (3 May 2010). "Taio Cruz ft. Kesha: 'Dirty Picture'". Digital Spy. Hachette Filipacchi UK. Retrieved 17 October 2010.
  6. ^ Bhansali, Akshay (31 March 2010). "Kesha's Singing Is 'Awesome,' Taio Cruz Says 'Tik Tok' singer has a 'very unique-sounding voice,' Cruz says". MTV News. MTV Networks (Viacom). Retrieved 17 October 2010.
  7. ^ "Taio cruz, 'Dirty Picture' – Composition Sheet Music". EMI Music Publishing. Missing or empty |url= (help)
  8. ^ Wete, Brad (26 May 2010). "Music Review - Rokstarr (2010) - Taio Cruz". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 15 May 2012.
  9. ^ Diver, Mike (9 October 2009). "Taio Cruz Rokstarr Review". BBC. Retrieved 15 May 2012.
  10. ^ a b McAlpine, Fraser (23 April 2010). "Taio Cruz ft. Kesha – 'Dirty Picture'". BBC. Retrieved 17 October 2010.
  11. ^ Sullivan, Caroline (15 October 2009). "Taio Cruz: Rokstarr (Island)". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media. Retrieved 15 May 2012.
  12. ^ Jeffries, David. "Rokstarr Taio Cruz". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 15 May 2012.
  13. ^ Capobianco, Ken (31 May 2010). "Album Review 'Taio Cruz,' Rokstarr'". The Boston Globe. NY Times Co. Retrieved 15 May 2012.
  14. ^ "Album review: Taio Cruz - 'Rokstarr'. He thinks he's a bad boy, but he's more suited to soppiness". NME. 9 October 2009. Retrieved 15 May 2012.
  15. ^ a b "Taio Cruz Ft Kesha: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2010-10-17.
  16. ^ a b "Official R&B Singles Chart Top 40". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2010-10-17.
  17. ^ a b " – Taio Cruz feat. Ke$ha – Dirty Picture". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved 2010-10-17.
  18. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2010 Singles". Australian Recording Industry Association. 31 December 2010. Archived from the original on 25 January 2012. Retrieved 2011-04-11.
  19. ^ a b c " – Taio Cruz feat. Ke$ha – Dirty Picture". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 2010-10-17.
  20. ^ "Latest Gold / Platinum Singles". RadioScope. Archived from the original on 14 October 2008. Retrieved 2011-04-04.
  21. ^ a b "Taio Cruz Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 2010-10-17.
  22. ^ a b "Taio Cruz Chart History (Canadian Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 2010-10-17.
  23. ^ "Taio Cruz's Dirty Picture by Alex Herron". Promo News. 23 April 2010. Archived from the original on 27 June 2010. Retrieved 28 April 2010.
  24. ^ a b c Copsey, Robert (21 April 2010). "Taio Cruz". Digital Spy. Hachette Filipacchi UK. Retrieved 15 December 2010.
  25. ^ "Animal". iTunes. Apple Inc. Retrieved 15 December 2010.
  26. ^ Jeffries, David (5 January 2010). "Animal [Clean] - Ke$ha | AllMusic". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 5 January 2010.
  27. ^ "Dirty Picture [Single]". Amazon. Retrieved 13 August 2011.
  28. ^ a b "Dirty Picture (Feat. Kesha) – EP". iTunes. Apple Inc. Retrieved 17 October 2010.
  29. ^ "Dirty Picture (The Remixes) (Feat. Kesha) – EP". iTunes. Apple Inc. Retrieved 17 October 2010.
  30. ^ a b "Dirty Picture (The Remixes) (Feat. Kesha)". iTunes. Apple Inc. Retrieved 17 October 2010.
  31. ^ "Brazil" (PDF). ABPD. 6 October 2001. Retrieved 1 April 2014.
  32. ^ "Taio Cruz – Chart history" European Hot 100 for Taio Cruz. Retrieved 2010-10-17.[dead link]
  33. ^ "Chart Track: Week 18, 2010". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 2010-10-17.
  34. ^ "Taio Cruz Chart History (Dance Club Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 2010-10-17.
  35. ^ "Taio Cruz Chart History (Pop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 2010-10-17.
  36. ^ "Taio Cruz Chart History (Rhythmic)". Billboard. Retrieved 2010-10-17.
  37. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2010 Singles". Australian Recording Industry Association.
  38. ^ "Latest Gold / Platinum Singles – RadioScope New Zealand". Archived from the original on 14 October 2008. Retrieved 28 August 2011.
  39. ^ "British single certifications – Taio Cruz feat. Ke$ha – Dirty Picture". British Phonographic Industry. Select singles in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Type Dirty Picture in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  40. ^ "Dirty Picture (New Zealand)". iTunes. Apple Inc. Retrieved 23 November 2010.
  41. ^ "Dirty Picture (Feat. Kesha) – EP (United Kingdom)". iTunes. Apple Inc. Retrieved 17 October 2010.
  42. ^ "Dirty Picture (Netherlands)". iTunes. Apple Inc. Retrieved 23 November 2010.
  43. ^ "Dirty Picture (United States)". iTunes. Apple Inc. Retrieved 23 November 2010.

External links