Don't Let Go (Love)
|"Don't Let Go (Love)"|
Artwork for US CD editions
|Single by En Vogue|
|from the album EV3 and Set It Off: Music From the New Line Cinema Motion Picture|
|Released||October 22, 1996|
|Format||CD single, Cassette single|
|Length||4:52 (Album/Soundtrack Version)
4:04 (Radio Edit)
|Songwriter(s)||Andrea Martin; Ivan Matias; Marqueze Ethridge; Organized Noize|
|En Vogue singles chronology|
"Don't Let Go (Love)" is a song by American R&B group En Vogue. It was written by Ivan Matias, Andrea Martin, Marqueze Etheridge and produced by Organized Noize and Ivan Matias for the Set It Off soundtrack (1996), also appearing on the group's third album, EV3 (1997). The song was the band's last released single to feature former band member Dawn Robinson, and became En Vogue's biggest international single, peaking in the top ten of many countries. According to Billboard, the single ranked as the #83rd most successful single of the 1990s.
In June 2017, original member of En Vogue, Maxine Jones released a brand new version of "Don't Let Go (Love)" as a duet with Australian singer Greg Gould after songwriter Ivan Matias saw Gould's cover version online and introduced them. Gould's version reached number 5 on the Australian pop charts and the accompanying music video was a viral hit, reaching over 15 million views. 
The worldwide popularity of this song compelled Elektra mogul Sylvia Rhone to place En Vogue back in the studio to record their album EV3 for release in 1997. However, Dawn Robinson felt a solo career was not feasible while she was still a member of En Vogue, while the other group members plus the record producers and label executives were focused on the new En Vogue album. Forced to choose, Robinson decided to leave En Vogue for a solo career with Dr. Dre's Aftermath Records. The turn of events following the success of "Don't Let Go (Love)" was the beginning of a long and tumultuous era for En Vogue as member changes became quite frequent.
"Don't Let Go (Love)" became the third En Vogue track to peak at #2 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 where it was the group's fifth and final Top Ten hit. It was blocked from the top spot by Toni Braxton's "Un-Break My Heart." The song was a #1 R&B song for 1 week becoming En Vogue's sixth and final #1 R&B Hit to date. It hit #5 in the UK in early 1997 and spent 13 weeks in the UK top 40, eight of those weeks in the top ten. The single re-entered the UK chart at number 23 in 2011 after girl group Little Mix performed the song on the eighth series of British television talent contest The X Factor on November 19, 2011: the En Vogue track reached #23 on the UK chart and also returned to the Irish charts at #50. In 1997 Don't Let Go (Love) went to number one on the Norwegian top 20 singles chart (VG-Lista Topp 20) and stayed at the top spot for six consecutive weeks. In total it stayed in the top 20 for 16 weeks.
The single sold 1.3 million copies in the United States and was certified platinum by the RIAA. In October 2011, NME placed it at number 127 on its list "150 Best Tracks of the Past 15 Years". The song was notable in the 1996 movie Set It Off.
A music video was released to promote the single in which they sang in front of an audience in black outfits while some clips of the "Set it Off" movie were inserted. A second video was released using the same footage of En Vogue singing in front of an audience, but the scenes from Set it Off were replaced with images that followed a new storyline. In this version, Mekhi Phifer plays a man who has been secretly dating all four members of En Vogue. The four women find out about each other and confront Phifer's character at a party.
During promotion of the single, several versions surfaced. The main album version was essentially used for the music video, but with a slightly different ending where Terry Ellis ad libs as the final chorus fades. An edit version which cut out several seconds in the beginning, as well as the instrumental following Cindy's ad libbing towards the end, was mainly spun at radio stations.
Charts and certifications
- American rock band Deepfield covered this song on their debut album, Archetypes and Repetition.
- British girl group Sugababes covered this song during their Change Tour in 2008.
- The song was sampled in the 2009 recording, also titled "Don't Let Go", by British hip-hop artist Professor Green.
- Korean girl group Bella covered this song in Korean Language as their debut single in 2011.
- On November 19, 2011, girl group contestants Little Mix performed the song on the eighth season of British television talent contest The X Factor, resulting in En Vogue's version to re-enter the UK chart at number 23. On the final, Little Mix performed the song for the second time and they won the show on 11 December. The song features as a bonus track on the group's "winner's single". Following the group's win, and featuring it on their single, the song re-entered the charts again a few weeks later at Number 27. On 25 January 2012, they performed this song on The National Television Awards.
- On June 15, 2013, contestant Cleo Higgins performed the song on the second season of British television talent contest The Voice.
- Australian singer Delta Goodrem performed the song on her 2016 Wings of the Wild Tour.
- Australian singer Greg Gould released an acoustic version of the song on his EP 'Don't Let Go' on February 10, 2017. In June 2017, he released a duet version of the song, featuring newly recorded vocals from original En Vogue member Maxine Jones.
- House music producer James Hype released a house cover of the song titled "More Than Friends", with vocals provided by south London artist Kelli-Leigh. "More Than Friends" reached #8 on the UK Singles Chart in August 2017.
Awards and nominations
|1997||Grammy Award for Best R&B Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group||Nominated|
|1997||Soul Train Lady of Soul Award for Best R&B, Rap or Soul Single by Group, Band or Duo||Won|
|1997||Billboard Music Award for Top Soundtrack Single||Nominated|
- "Best-Selling Records of 1996". Billboard. BPI Communications Inc. 109 (3): 61. January 18, 1997. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved May 9, 2015.
- "Best-Selling Records of 1997". Billboard. BPI Communications Inc. 110 (5): 76. January 31, 1998. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved May 9, 2015.
- "American single certifications – En Vogue – Don%27t Let Go". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH
- 150 Best Tracks Of The Past 15 Years | NME.COM
- ARIA charts. Discography-En Vogue Singles
- "AUT Charts > En Vogue". Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 2011-08-16.
- "Image : RPM Weekly - Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved July 4, 2016.
- Billboard, April 3, 1997: Hits of the World Section
- NZ Charts. charts.org.nz - En Vogue - Don't Let Go (Love) Archived January 11, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
- "NLD Charts > En Vogue". MegaCharts. Retrieved 2011-08-16.
- "GER Charts > En Vogue". GfK Entertainment. Retrieved 2011-08-16.
- "FIN Charts > En Vogue". The Official Finnish Charts. Retrieved 2011-08-16.
- Norwegian Chart Top20.VG-lista - En Vogue / Don't Let Go (Love). lista.vg.no
- "SWI Charts > En Vogue". Swiss Music Charts. Retrieved 2011-12-18.
- "UK Charts > En Vogue". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2011-08-16.
- "Artist Chart History - En Vogue". Billboard.
- "Billboard Top 100 - 1997". Archived from the original on 2009-06-11. Retrieved 2010-08-28.
- Geoff Mayfield (December 25, 1999). 1999 The Year in Music Totally '90s: Diary of a Decade - The listing of Top Pop Albums of the '90s & Hot 100 Singles of the '90s. Billboard. Retrieved October 15, 2010.
- "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 1997 Singles". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 2011-09-28.
- "Ultratop 50 Albums Wallonie 1997". Ultratop. Retrieved 2012-01-05.
- "Top 50 Singles Chart, 4 May 1997". Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Retrieved 2012-01-05.
- "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (En Vogue)". IFPI Switzerland. Hung Medien. Retrieved 2011-09-28.
- "British single certifications – En Vogue". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 2016-06-24. Enter En Vogue in the search field and then press Enter.