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Don't Stop the Music (Rihanna song)

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"Don't Stop the Music"
A Caribbean woman with dark hair is standing on a spotlight, wearing a white dress. The words 'RIHANNA' is on the top of the cover written in green letters. Under it are the words 'DON'T STOP THE MUSIC' in a white color.
Single by Rihanna
from the album Good Girl Gone Bad
Released September 7, 2007 (2007-09-07)
Format
Recorded
Genre
Length 4:27
Label
Writer(s)
Producer(s) StarGate
Rihanna singles chronology
"Hate That I Love You"
(2007)
"Don't Stop the Music"
(2007)
"Take a Bow"
(2008)

"Don't Stop the Music" is a song recorded by Barbadian singer Rihanna for her third studio album, Good Girl Gone Bad (2007). It was written by Tawanna Dabney and Michael Jackson with producers StarGate. The song was released as the album's fourth single on September 7, 2007 worldwide. "Don't Stop the Music" is a dance-pop and techno song that features various rhythmic devices used mainly in hip hop music. The song samples the line, "Mama-say, mama-sa, ma-ma-ko-ssa" which is taken from Jackson's 1983 single "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'". For using the line, both Rihanna and Jackson faced a lawsuit from the Cameroonian musician Manu Dibango, who claimed that the hook originates from his 1972 song "Soul Makossa".

"Don't Stop the Music" received critical acclaim from music critics with many of them praising the sampling of the "Mama-say, mama-sa, ma-ma-ko-ssa" hook into the song. It received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Dance Recording, among other accolades and nominations. "Don't Stop the Music" reached number one in over ten countries worldwide including Australia, France, Germany and Switzerland. It reached number four on the UK Singles Chart and received a gold certification from the British Phonographic Industry (BPI). The single also peaked at number three on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number one on the US Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs chart. It has been certified triple platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and sold over 3.5 million copies in the US.

Anthony Mandler shot the accompanying music video for the song in Prague. It features Rihanna together with her friends sneaking into the back of a candy store where is a secret club. Other scenes include the singer partying with the people in the club. Rihanna performed "Don't Stop the Music" at the 50th Annual Grammy Awards and the NRJ Music Awards in 2008. She also included it on the Good Girl Gone Bad, Last Girl on Earth, Loud and the Diamonds World Tour set lists. The American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) recognized it as one of the most performed songs of 2009. English recording artist Jamie Cullum recorded a cover version of the song and released it as a second single from his 2009 studio album The Pursuit.

Development and release[edit]

An African man wearing glasses is smiling
Manu Dibango sued both Rihanna and Jackson for using the "Mama-say, mama-sa, ma-ma-ko-ssa" line, without permission.

"Don't Stop the Music" was written and produced by the Norwegian production duo StarGate, with additional writing from Tawanna Dabney and Michael Jackson.[1] Tim Sturges and Phillip Ramos provided additional production for the song. "Don't Stop the Music" was recorded at the Battery Studios in New York City and the Westlake Recording Studios in Los Angeles by Mikkel S. Eriksen and Al Hemberger. Phil Tan mixed the single with Josh Houghkirk, who was the mixing assistant. Additionally, StarGate provided the vocal production and all the instrumentation.[1]

The song samples the line "Mama-say, mama-sa, ma-ma-ko-ssa", taken from Jackson's 1983 single "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'".[2] In February 2009, Cameroonian musician Manu Dibango filed a lawsuit with a claim that both "Don't Stop the Music" and "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'" used the hook without his permission. According to Dibango, the line is originally from his 1972 single "Soul Makossa". Agence France-Presse reported that Jackson had admitted that when the recording of "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'" came to fruition, he borrowed the line and settled the case with Dibango out of court. However, when Rihanna had asked Jackson in 2007 for permission to sample the line, he had approved the demand without contacting Dibango beforehand. His lawyers brought the case in front of a Parisian court, demanding 500,000 in damages that Sony BMG, EMI and Warner Music should have paid until the issue was resolved.[3]

The song was released as the fourth single from Rihanna's third studio album Good Girl Gone Bad (2007). Before its official single release, two separate promotional remixes of the song were added to digital outlets on August 7, 2007 in Canada and United States; the Solitaire's More Drama and The Wideboys Club Mix.[4][5] On September 7, an extended play of "Don't Stop the Music" was released via the iTunes Store in certain territories including Australia, Italy, New Zealand, and Spain. It contains The Wideboys Club Mix, the album version of the song, and its instrumental.[6] On the same date, "Don't Stop the Music" was released as a CD single in Germany and contained the same material as the extended play together with the music video of the song.[7] In October 2007, it was also released as a CD single in France.[8] Def Jam Recordings sent the song for airplay on contemporary hit radio in the United States on January 13, 2008.[9] On January 20, it was also sent to rhythmic contemporary radio stations.[10] Nine remixes, including the album version of "Don't Stop the Music", were released to digital outlets in some territories including Australia, Germany, New Zealand and Spain, on May 14.[11]

Composition[edit]

A sample of the song whose instrumentation includes a bass drum that provides every beat as Rihanna intersperses the melody. The line, "Mama-say, mama-sa, ma-ma-ko-ssa", sampled from Jackson's song "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'" can be heard in the background.

Problems playing this file? See media help.

"Don't Stop the Music" is a dance-pop and techno song with a length of four minutes and twenty-seven seconds.[2][11][12] According to Sony/ATV Music Publishing's digital sheet music for the song, "Don't Stop the Music" is composed in the key of F minor and set in common time, with a moderate groove of 123 beats per minute.[13] Rihanna's vocal range spans from the low note of F3 to the high note of A4.[13] From the beginning, the single utilizes syncopation and samples many different rhythms, which are layered on top of each other.[2] Various rhythmic devices used mainly in hip hop music are featured throughout the song.[2] Its instrumentation also includes a bass drum that provides every beat as Rihanna intersperses the melody.[2] The sampled line, "Mama-say, mama-sa, ma-ma-ko-ssa", was added to the song's arrangement to create a "pulsating musical structure".[2]

Sal Cinquemani of Slant Magazine compared the song's composition to the one on Rihanna's 2006 single "SOS".[14] Fraser McAlpine of BBC's Chart Blog noted that Rihanna's vocals on the song sound like they have been recorded to different backing track, "then gave them to some nerdy beatmatcher with an extensive collection of dark electro and classic pop."[15] He compared the vocal melody of the verses to those of Aaliyah's 2000 single "Try Again", while the chorus resembled the one on Madonna's 1987 single, "La Isla Bonita". McAlpine concluded, "the backing track is pure four-to-the-floor trance. It's like Eric Prydz all over again."[15] Following the release of Rihanna's single "Only Girl (In the World)" in 2010, multiple critics compared the song's composition and structure to the one of "Don't Stop the Music".[16][17][18]

Critical reception[edit]

A man wearing blue cap and red shirt is smiling
The song was praised for the interpolation of the "Mama-say, mama-sa, ma-ma-ko-ssa" hook from Jackson's single "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'".

"Don't Stop the Music" received generally positive reviews from music critics with many of them praising the interpolation of the "Mama-say, mama-sa, ma-ma-ko-ssa" hook. Tom Breihan of Pitchfork Media called the song "an amazing bit of euroclub insanity combined with synth and bass."[19] He further commented that the hook from Jackson's 1983 song "come[s] in and seamlessly blur into the track's overpowering beat".[19] Nick Levine of Digital Spy also praised the song and called it "brilliant and unwitting".[20] He felt that "Don't Stop the Music" is the best single that has a Jackson writing credit since his 1997 single "Blood on the Dance Floor".[20]

McAlpine described Rihanna's vocals on the song as "emotionally removed, a little distant and naughty, but also a smidge melancholy and tearful".[15] In a review of Good Girl Gone Bad, Jackie Hayden of Hot Press initially added that Jackson's ghost from "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'" could be heard all over the single.[12] According to a reviewer of The New York Times in "Don't Stop the Music", Rihanna finds the exuberance in a rather severe techno beat.[21] Quentin B. Huff of PopMatters, concluded "the song that follows, the Michael Jackson-sampling 'Don't Stop the Music', inspires the type of tail feather shaking you can only produce when you're chanting, 'Mama-say, mama-sa, ma-ma-ko-ssa'."[22]

"Don't Stop the Music" won the accolade for Best International Song at the 2008 NRJ Music Awards.[23] At the 2008 Teen Choice Awards, "Don't Stop the Music" got a nomination for Single of the Year, but lost to Jonas Brothers' 2008 song "When You Look Me in the Eyes".[24] It received a nomination for Best Dance Recording at the 50th Grammy Awards, however, lost to the 2007 single "LoveStoned/I Think She Knows" by American singer Justin Timberlake.[25] The song was also nominated at the Best Favorite Song at the 2009 Kids' Choice Awards.[26] However, it lost to Beyoncé's 2008 single "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)".[27] At the ASCAP Pop Music Awards, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) recognized it as one of the most performed songs of 2009.[28] "Don't Stop the Music" was one of the winning songs at the 2009 BMI Pop Awards.[29] In 2012, Billboard placed it at number 13 on their list of 'Rihanna's 20 Biggest Billboard Hits' of all-time.[30]

Commercial performance[edit]

"Don't Stop the Music" debuted at number 94 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart for the issue dated December 8, 2007.[31] After two months on the chart, the song reached its peak of number three on February 16, 2008 and became Rihanna's fourth single to reach the top three on the chart.;[32] It topped the US Hot Dance Club Songs chart, becoming Rihanna's sixth number one single,[33] reached number two on the Pop Songs chart,[32] and charted at number 74 on the Hot R&B/Hip Hop Songs chart.[34] As of June 2015, the song has sold 3.7 million digital copies in the country and received a triple platinum certification from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).[35] The song reached number two on the Canadian Hot 100, remaining on the chart for a period of 52 weeks overall. It became Rihanna's second song to reach the top three on the chart, following "Umbrella".[36]

In Australia, "Don't Stop the Music" debuted at number 22 on February 3, 2008.[37] After two weeks, on February 24, 2008, the song peaked at number one, and stayed on the position for four non-consecutive weeks. It became Rihanna's third number one single in the country, after "SOS" and "Umbrella".[37] The song stayed on the chart for overall period of 27 weeks. The song charted at number 12 on the 2008 year-end Australian Singles Chart.[38] In 2008, "Don't Stop the Music" was certified platinum by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) for shipping more than 70,000 digital copies.[39] The single debuted at number 31 in New Zealand, on October 12, 2007. After four weeks of fluctuation on the chart, it reached its peak of three and stayed there for one week, and stayed 22 weeks on the chart overall.[40] "Don't Stop the Music" was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand (RIANZ) in April 2008 and it sold over 7,500 digital copies.[41]

In the United Kingdom, "Don't Stop the Music", debuted at number 68 on December 15, 2007.[42] After seven weeks on the chart, the song the reached its peak of four.[43] In July 2013, the song was certified gold by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) and sold more than 400,000 digital copies.[44] It was placed at number 24 on the year-end UK Singles Chart for 2008.[45] "Don't Stop the Music" debuted at number one on the French Singles Chart on October 27, 2007 and became Rihanna's first number one single on the chart. It stayed on the top position for two weeks, and additional 34 weeks on the chart overall.[46] On the German Singles Chart, it debuted at number two on September 24, 2007. After two weeks it reached number one and stayed on the position for two consecutive weeks.[47] "Don't Stop the Music" was certified gold by the Bundesverband Musikindustrie denoting shipments of 100,000 copies.[48] The single was also successful on Swiss Singles Chart where it reached number one and stayed on the position for five weeks.[49] Furthermore, it reached number one in Austria,[50] Belgian Flanders and Wallonia,[51][52] Hungary[53] and Netherlands.[54]

Music video[edit]

A screenshot of Rihanna dancing in a club
In the music video Rihanna is seen dancing in a club; VH1's Chris Rosa, described her as an "undisputed queen of the clubs".

The accompanying music video for "Don't Stop the Music" was directed by Rihanna's regular collaborator, American director Anthony Mandler.[55] It was shot in a nightclub in Prague, the Czech Republic.[56] The video was digitally released on iTunes on July 26, 2007.[57]

The video begins with Rihanna and two of her friends arriving at a nightclub in a yellow taxi. After they get out of the car, they enter a candy store where a boy is standing with his mother. As Rihanna tells the boy not to tell anyone where they are going, the singer and her two friends sneak into the back of the candy store where there is a secret entrance to a nightclub. This is intercut with scenes of Rihanna chanting the song's lyrics against a wall and dancing in the club. As she enters the club, Rihanna is shown in a restroom, checking her make-up as she sings the lyrics.

The singer then leaves the restroom, and returns to the dance-floor as the chorus begins to play. As the video progresses, the singer is shown dancing with her friends and singing the song. The people in the club clap to the beat of Jackson's "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'"'s music sample. VH1's Chris Rosa placed the video at number 18 on his list of Rihanna's 20 Sexiest Videos and wrote, "this dance-by-numbers song gets a facelift with its brisk, energetic video featuring R as the undisputed queen of the clubs."[58]

Live performances[edit]

A woman wearing a white stripped revealing outfit is dancing
Rihanna performing "Don't Stop the Music" in Zurich, Switzerland, during her Last Girl on Earth Tour, 2010.

"Don't Stop the Music" was the fourteenth song on the set list of Rihanna's Good Girl Gone Bad Tour (2007–09), her first world tour.[59] Her performance in Manchester was released in the United Kingdom through iTunes[60] and is featured on the Good Girl Gone Bad Live DVD.[61] Rihanna performed "Don't Stop the Music" at the 2008 NRJ Music Awards, held in Cannes, France on January 26, 2008.[62] Rihanna also performed the song at the 50th Grammy Awards on February 10, 2008 in a medley with "Umbrella". For the performance, she was joined by American funk band, The Time.[63] On June 20, 2008, Rihanna was a guest on NBC's Today Concert Series held at the Rockfeller Center in New York City. She performed "Don't Stop the Music", together with "Umbrella" and "Take a Bow".[64]

Following the release of her fourth studio album, Rated R (2009), in the United Kingdom, Rihanna performed a Nokia promotional concert at the Brixton Academy in London.[65] She performed songs from the new release including "Russian Roulette", "Wait Your Turn" and "Hard", the latter of which Rihanna performed with Young Jeezy.[65] Rihanna performed "Don't Stop the Music", and songs from her previous releases, including "Disturbia", "Unfaithful" and "Take a Bow", during this set.[66] On December 4, 2009, Rihanna performed on the MySpace Music’s urban music concert series, titled The Release. Rihanna performed her new material, mashed up with other songs including "Don't Stop the Music", "Live Your Life" and "Run This Town". During her performance, stacked vintage televisions and silver mannequins were featured on the stage.[67]

On February 1, 2010, Rihanna performed "Don't Stop the Music" at The Ellen DeGeneres Show together with "Hard".[68] Rihanna performed at the 2010 Kids' Choice Awards on March 27, 2010, held in Pauley Pavilion, UCLA campus, Los Angeles. She performed "Don't Stop the Music" together with "Hard" and her 2010 single "Rude Boy".[69] In 2010, to further promote Rated R, Rihanna embarked upon her second worldwide tour, Last Girl on Earth Tour (2010–11), on which she also performed the song.[70] In June 2011, Rihanna embarked upon the Loud Tour, her third major worldwide tour. The single was the twentieth song on the tour's set list.[71] Rihanna performed "Don't Stop the Music" at Radio 1's Hackney Weekend on May 24, 2012, as the thirteenth song on the set list.[72] The performance featured a giant sphinx on the stage.[73] It was part of the set list of Rihanna's 2013 Diamonds World Tour; she performed it in a medley with "S&M" and "Only Girl (In the World)".[74]

Cover versions[edit]

On the sixth season of dance reality television series America's Best Dance Crew, the dance crew Phunk Phenomenon performed a Chaplin dancehall movement on "Don't Stop the Music".[75] In 2011 the Californian indie pop duo The Bird and the Bee also recorded a cover and published it on SoundCloud.[76] South Korean recording artist Hyoyeon, part of girl group Girls' Generation, performed a cover of the song during their 2011 tour.[77] The cover version was included on their second live album 2011 Girls' Generation Tour,[78] released on April 11, 2013. In October 2011, Rihanna joined L.A. Reid, at his home in The Hamptons to help him judge the male contestants for the first season of America's version of The X Factor. One of the contestants, Philip Lomax, performed a stripped down version of "Don't Stop the Music" in front of Rihanna and Reid.[79] "Don't Stop the Music" was performed by The Treblemakers in the 2012 film Pitch Perfect and was later included on its official soundtrack.[80]

Jamie Cullum version[edit]

"Don't Stop the Music"
The top features a white background and the words 'JAMIE CULLUM' and 'DON'T STOP THE MUSIC' in black letters. The under is a picture of a blowing-up piano.
Single by Jamie Cullum
from the album The Pursuit
Released January 22, 2010 (2010-01-22)
Format Digital download
Length 4:49
Label
Writer(s)
  • Mikkel S. Eriksen
  • Tor Erik Hermansen
  • Frankie Storm
  • Michael Jackson
Producer(s) Martin Terefe
Jamie Cullum singles chronology
"I'm All Over It"
(2009)
"Don't Stop the Music"
(2010)
"Wheels"
(2010)

English singer and songwriter Jamie Cullum recorded a cover of "Don't Stop the Music" for his 2009 album, The Pursuit.[81] Produced by Swedish record producer Martin Terefe, it was digitally released as the second single from the album on January 20, 2010.[82] Cullum's version substituted the electro-house groove of the original song with a "sinuous" acoustic bass and "brushed" drum kit.[83] "Don't Stop the Music", as recorded by Cullum, is composed in the key of C major and set in common time, 100 beats per minute. His vocal range spans from the low note of C4 to the high note of F5.[13]

According to PopMatters' Will Layman, the piano builds the groove from low to loud, a musical technique practiced by American musician Herbie Hancock in the 1960s.[83] Adrian Edwards of BBC Music wrote, "Cullum's take on Rihanna's Don't Stop the Music is best of all, where the novel production techniques and his broken voiced pleading to his girl on the dance floor would blend well in any night club with strobe lighting and the clink of glasses at the bar."[84] Cullum's version of "Don't Stop the Music" peaked at number two on the Ultratip chart in Belgium,[85] number 28 in Netherlands[86] and number 58 in Germany.[87] An accompanying music video for the song was released on December 2, 2009 via Cullums' Vevo channel on YouTube.[88]

Credits and personnel[edit]

  • Production – Martin Terefe
  • Mixing – Thomas Juth
  • Engineer – Dyre Gormsen
  • Vocals, Piano and Arrangement – Jamie Cullum
  • Bass – Christopher Hill
  • Drums – Brad Webb
  • Electric piano – Martin Terefe

Credits adapted from the liner notes of The Pursuit, Decca Records.[89]

Charts[edit]

Chart (2010) Peak
position
Belgium (Ultratip Flanders)[85] 2
Germany (Official German Charts)[87] 58
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[86] 28
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[90] 79

Release history[edit]

Country Date Format Label Ref.
Ireland January 22, 2010 Digital download [82]
Norway January 25, 2010 [91]
United Kingdom [92]
Sweden March 3, 2010 [93]
Belgium March 15, 2010 Digital download (EP) [94]
Luxembourg [95]
Norway [96]
Spain March 16, 2010 [97]
Germany April 2, 2010 [98]

Track listing and formats[edit]

Notes
  • a^ Released as separate digital singles in both United States and Canada via iTunes.

Credits and personnel[edit]

Recording
  • Recorded at Battery Studios, New York City; Westlake Recording Studios, Los Angeles], California.
Personnel

Credits adapted from the liner notes of Good Girl Gone Bad, Def Jam Recordings, SRP Records.[1]

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Sales/shipments
Australia (ARIA)[128] Platinum 70,000^
Belgium (BEA)[129] Gold 25,000*
Brazil (ABPD)[130] Platinum 100,000*
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[131] Platinum 15,000^
Finland (Musiikkituottajat)[132] Gold 6,194[132]
Germany (BVMI)[133] Gold 150,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[41] Gold 7,500*
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[134] 6× Platinum 120,000^
Sweden (GLF)[135] Platinum 20,000x
United Kingdom (BPI)[44] Gold 400,000^
United States (RIAA)[136] 4× Platinum 3,700,000dagger[35]

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
xunspecified figures based on certification alone

dagger Since May 9, 2013 RIAA certifications for digital singles include on-demand audio and/or video song streams in addition to downloads.[137]

Release history[edit]

Country Date Format Label Ref (s).
Canada August 7, 2007 Promotional remixes Def Jam [4][5]
United States [138][139]
Australia September 7, 2007 EP [6]
Austria [140]
Germany
CD single Universal [7][141]
Italy EP Def Jam [142]
Netherlands [143]
New Zealand [144]
Norway [145]
Spain [146]
Sweden [147]
France October 22, 2007 CD single Universal [8]
United States January 13, 2008 Contemporary hit radio Def Jam [9]
January 20, 2008 Rhythmic contemporary [10]
United Kingdom February 4, 2008 CD single Mercury [148]
Australia May 14, 2008 Digital remixes Def Jam [11]
Denmark [149]
Finland [150]
France [151]
Germany [152]
Netherlands [153]
New Zealand [154]
Norway [155]
Spain [156]
Sweden [157]
Switzerland [158]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Good Girl Gone Bad (inlay cover). Rihanna. The Island Def Jam Music Group. 2007. p. 3. 6-009143-327931. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Wright, Craig (May 2010). Listening to Western Music. Cengage Learning. p. 20. ISBN 978-1-4390-8347-5. 
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  17. ^ Wete, Brad (September 7, 2010). "Rihanna released new single 'Only Girl (In The World)', gets us excited about upcoming album". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved March 8, 2015. 
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  28. ^ "The ASCAP Pop 2009 Music Awards". ASCAP. Retrieved March 9, 2015. 
  29. ^ "2009 BMI Pop Awards Award Winning Songs". BMI. Retrieved March 9, 2015. 
  30. ^ Ramirez, Erika; Letkemann, Jessica (February 20, 2012). "Rihanna's 20 Biggest Billboard Hits". Billboard. Retrieved March 12, 2015. 
  31. ^ "Hot 100 – Biggest Jump". Billboard. Retrieved January 23, 2012. 
  32. ^ a b c d Nielsen Business Media, Inc (March 1, 2008). Billboard - 1 Mar 2008. Billboard. 
  33. ^ a b "Rihanna - chart history". Billboard. Retrieved September 13, 2013. 
  34. ^ a b Nielsen Business Media, Inc (March 1, 2008). Billboard - 15 Mar 2008. Billboard. 
  35. ^ a b Trust, Gary (June 23, 2015). "Ask Billboard: Rihanna's Best-Selling Songs & Albums". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved June 23, 2015. 
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  44. ^ a b "British single certifications – Rihanna – Don't Stop the Music". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved March 11, 2015.  Enter Don't Stop the Music in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select single in the field By Format. Select Gold in the field By Award. Click Search
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External links[edit]