Dumb Blonde (song)

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"Dumb Blonde"
Avril Lavigne featuring Nicki Minaj - Dumb Blonde.png
Single by Avril Lavigne featuring Nicki Minaj
from the album Head Above Water and The Hustle soundtrack
ReleasedFebruary 12, 2019 (2019-02-12)
Format
Genre
Length3:34
3:09 (solo version)
LabelBMG
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)
Avril Lavigne singles chronology
"Tell Me It's Over"
(2018)
"Dumb Blonde"
(2019)
"I Fell in Love with the Devil"
(2019)
Nicki Minaj singles chronology
"Touch Down (Remix)"
(2018)
"Dumb Blonde"
(2019)
"Wobble Up"
(2019)
Lyrics video
Dumb Blonde on YouTube

"Dumb Blonde" is a song recorded by Canadian singer Avril Lavigne for her sixth studio album, Head Above Water (2019). It was released as the third single from the album on February 12, 2019, by BMG. While originally intended to be a solo song, it instead features guest vocals by American rapper Nicki Minaj. Additionally, the version of the song included on the CD and vinyl releases of Head Above Water is the original solo version.

"Dumb Blonde" was written by Lavigne, Minaj, Mitch Allan, and Bonnie McKee; while its production was done by Allan alongside McKee, Chris Baseford, and Scott Robinson. It is a pop punk, power pop and hip hop song that is about self-love and female empowerment. Several music critics labeled it a "feminist anthem".[5][6][7]

Background and release[edit]

On December 7, 2018, Lavigne revealed the final tracklist for her sixth studio album, Head Above Water, that included a solo song titled "Dumb Blonde" as the track number five.[8] On February 7, 2019, the album's track listing on Amazon was updated, confirming that the song features American rapper Nicki Minaj. In fact, the song was 26-seconds longer than when it first originally appeared on music platforms (3:08 to 3:34) – which suggests that Minaj’s verse was added in the last minute.[9] That day, Lavigne teased the track by unveiling a nine-second long snippet along with a statement detailing themes that inspired the concept. On February 11, Chinese streaming service Xiami confirmed that the joint track is set to be released the following day as the album's third single.[10] The official cover art, that features Lavigne sucking a lollipop, plays up a "dumb blonde" stereotype.[11]

Composition and production[edit]

"Dumb Blonde" is a pop punk, power pop, and hip-hop song,[12][13] written by Lavigne with Minaj, Mitch Allan, and Bonnie McKee; while its production was done by Allan alongside McKee, Chris Baseford, and Scott Robinson. The track is three minutes and thirty-four seconds long.[14] Lavigne described it as "the most uptempo song on the album."[15] The song features rock heavy-guitar riffs, reminiscent of Lavigne early works, and has similarities between Joan Jett and Sleigh Bells with M.I.A. inspired-vocals.[16][17][18]

About the song's concept and idea, Lavigne told Entertainment Weekly: "It’s something I actually went through where I had an experience with someone calling me a dumb blonde. I was like, 'Ooh that’s a good concept and title.' It started as a misogynist intimidated by my independence. I just thought that was really unfair."[19] In an Instagram post, she continues: "I brought it to Bonnie McKee and Mitch Allan, who helped me bring it to life. [...] I was belittled and made to feel bad for who I was: A leader, someone with a vision and opinions, someone who has strength, desire, passion and goals. [...] Fuck stereotypes. [...] Yes, women should build each other up, but so should men and women."[10]

Critical reception[edit]

Brittany Spanos from Rolling Stone complimented the song's "empowerment" theme and described it as "the power pop kiss-off" track.[20] Nick Levine from NME, while reviewing Head Above Water, called the song "a sassy clap-back to a man who underestimated her."[21] Allison Bowsher from Much considered that the song is "the rock pop sensibilities of the early ’90s, with an infectious drum line backing and call and answer chorus that is begging to be blasted from every radio station." She also praised Lavigne's decision to collaborate with Minaj and said that "[Minaj] is the perfect collaborator for the new single, bringing her own style of bravado and badassness (we’re making it a word) that could make “Dumb Blonde” a huge hit for both artists."[22]

Ian Gavan, in his review for Nylon, wrote that "Dumb Blonde" was "a new feminist pep rally anthem". He praised commercial and public appeal of the song, as well as Minaj's rap section: "Just because she's cute and sweet, doesn't mean she incompetent".[23] Lucas Villa out AXS also complemented Minaj's performance and characterized her verse as "explosive".[24] Alex Darus of Alternative Press praised the overall composition and saw that "Minaj's feature feels like a perfect fit".[25]

Madelin Roth of MTV proclaimed Lavigne and Minaj "the hottest power pop duo today".[26] Katherine Gillespie of Paper praised "Dumb Blonde" and added that "it somehow manages to combine every genre Lavigne has ever dabbled in over the course of a prolific pop-punk career."[27] In a review for Complex, Tara Mahadevan claimed that the song and the lyrics were "uplifting" and "empowering".[28] Exclaim!'s Josiah Hughes published a rave review and called the song "punk pop banger".[29] Rap Up applauded track's encouraging lyrical message.[30]

Ming Lee Newcomb of Consequence of Sound described "Dumb Blonde" as "cheeky, drum-heavy track". She noted that "song solidifies the sk8er girl’s effort to make a cultural comeback".[31] Israel Daramota of Spin praised "anthemic" nature of the composition.[32] He felt that "['Dumb Blonde']'s percussion-based track owes a lot more to Gwen Stefani’s "Hollaback Girl" mold, but it also captures the sneering attitude found on Lavigne’s best known tracks." Glenn Rowley from Billboard called the song a "fiery collaboration".[33] While reviewing "Dumb Blonde", Melody Lau from CBC Music complemented the idea of challenging 'dumb blonde' stereotypes.[34] Mike Nied from Idolator made the observation that "Dumb Blonde" was one of the "sort of fiery banger that deserves plenty of radio play."[35]

Alex Zidel of HotNewHipHop gave a positive review and expected "Dumb Blonde" to be "iconic as both the artists behind it". He considered the song was "a definitely a feel-good joint" between Lavigne and Minaj.[36]

Live performances[edit]

On February 15, 2019, Lavigne released on her YouTube channel her first live performance of the song on the Honda Stage at Henson Recording Studios, from a partnership between iHeartRadio and Honda.[37]

In other media[edit]

The song was included on The Hustle soundtrack and was officially used as the theme song for the second trailer.

Credits and personnel[edit]

Credits and personnel adapted from Head Above Water album liner notes.[14]

Management

Personnel

  • Avril Lavigne – main vocals, songwriting
  • Nicki Minaj – featured vocals, songwriting
  • Mitch Allan – songwriting, production, vocal production
  • Bonnie McKee – songwriting, additional production
  • Chris Baseford – vocal production
  • Scott Robinson – vocal production
  • Chantry Johnson – vocal engineering
  • Caleb Hulin – vocal engineering
  • Tony Maserati – mixing engineering
  • Chris Gehringer – mastering engineering
  • Will Quinnell – mastering assistance

Charts[edit]

Chart (2019) Peak
position
Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[38] 92
Czech Republic (Rádio Top 100)[39] 63
Japan Hot Overseas (Billboard Japan)[40] 14
New Zealand Hot Singles (RMNZ)[41] 16
UK Indie (Official Charts Company)[42] 22
US Pop Digital Songs (Billboard)[43] 24

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Avril Lavigne: Head Above Water". Punk News. Retrieved February 13, 2019. Dumb Blonde”; a blend of punk rock and urban carries the track on an easygoing instrumental journey.
  2. ^ Hughes, Josia. "Avril Lavigne Teams Up with Nicki Minaj for Punk Pop Banger "Dumb Blonde"". Exclaim. Retrieved February 12, 2019. "Dumb Blonde" sees Avril join forces with Nicki Minaj, and the final result is a pop-punk/hip-hop blend
  3. ^ Spanos, Brittany. "Avril Lavigne And Nicki Minaj's 'Dumb Blonde' Is The Collaboration We Didn't Know We Wanted". Rolling Stone. Retrieved February 12, 2019. Avril Lavigne has recruited Nicki Minaj for the power pop kiss-off “Dumb Blonde.”
  4. ^ Hughes, Josia. "Avril Lavigne Teams Up with Nicki Minaj for Punk Pop Banger "Dumb Blonde"". Exclaim. Retrieved February 12, 2019. "Dumb Blonde" sees Avril join forces with Nicki Minaj, and the final result is a pop-punk/hip-hop blend
  5. ^ "Avril Lavigne And Nicki Minaj Just Made A New Feminist Pep Rally Anthem". NYLON. February 12, 2019. Retrieved February 14, 2019.
  6. ^ Carlin, Shannon. "You Need To Listen To Avril Lavigne & Nicki Minaj's New Collab "Dumb Blonde"". Bustle. Retrieved February 14, 2019.
  7. ^ "Avril Lavigne Teams Up With Nicki Minaj For "Dumb Blonde"". guardian.ng. Retrieved February 14, 2019.
  8. ^ Hannan, Devon (December 7, 2018). "Here's Avril Lavigne Shares Tracklist, Cover Art For Head Above Water". Alternative Press. Archived from the original on December 8, 2018. Retrieved December 8, 2018.
  9. ^ Miller, Jordan (February 7, 2019). "Nicki Minaj Reportedly Takes Shots At Cardi B On Avril Lavigne Collab, "Dumb Blonde"". Breathe Heavy. Retrieved February 11, 2019.
  10. ^ a b "Avril Lavigne Gets Cheeky For Nicki Minaj-Featured "Dumb Blonde" Cover Art". HotNewHipHop. February 11, 2019. Retrieved February 11, 2019.
  11. ^ Nied, Mike (February 11, 2019). "New Single? Avril Lavigne Links Up With Nicki Minaj On "Dumb Blonde"". Idolator. Retrieved February 11, 2019.
  12. ^ Spanos, Brittany. "Avril Lavigne And Nicki Minaj's 'Dumb Blonde' Is The Collaboration We Didn't Know We Wanted". Rolling Stone. Retrieved February 12, 2019. Avril Lavigne has recruited Nicki Minaj for the power pop kiss-off “Dumb Blonde.”
  13. ^ Hughes, Josia. "Avril Lavigne Teams Up with Nicki Minaj for Punk Pop Banger "Dumb Blonde"". Exclaim. Retrieved February 12, 2019. "Dumb Blonde" sees Avril join forces with Nicki Minaj, and the final result is a pop-punk/hip-hop blend
  14. ^ a b Head Above Water (CD). Avril Lavigne. BMG Rights Management. 2019. 4050538441789.CS1 maint: others (link)
  15. ^ Lavigne, Avril (December 12, 2018). "Dumb Blonde is the most up tempo song on the album #AskAvril⁠⁠". Twitter. Retrieved February 11, 2019.
  16. ^ Bardají, Jordi. "Nicki Minaj rapea para Avril Lavigne en 'Dumb Blonde', entre Joan Jett, M.I.A. y Sleigh Bells". jenesaispop (in Spanish). Retrieved February 12, 2019. La noticia de la canción no es el rap de Nicki Minaj con sus esperables autorreferencias, sino el sonido rockero de la grabación, a medio camino entre Joan Jett y Sleigh Bells, con algunos puntos en que la voz de Avril lleva todo un filtro con el copyright de M.I.A.
  17. ^ Bowsher, Allison. "Avril Lavigne And Nicki Minaj's 'Dumb Blonde' Is The Collaboration We Didn't Know We Wanted". Much. Retrieved February 12, 2019. Lavigne has captured the infectious energy and raw emotion that helped make her a household name back in the early 2000s with her debut album Under My Skin. A self-empowerment anthem that works for people with any hair colour, “Dumb Blonde” has the rock pop sensibilities of the early ’90s, with an infectious drum line backing and call and answer chorus that is begging to be blasted from every radio station.
  18. ^ Bowen, Sesali. "Avril Lavigne And Nicki Minaj Just Made A New Feminist Pep Rally Anthem". Retrieved February 12, 2019. But Lavigne has not turned her back on rock as heavy guitar riffs set "Dumb Blonde" apart.
  19. ^ Kaplan, Ilana (February 11, 2019). "Avril Lavigne on Head Above Water, near-death experiences, and that crazy conspiracy theory". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved February 12, 2019.
  20. ^ Spanos, Brittany; Spanos, Brittany (February 12, 2019). "Hear Avril Lavigne, Nicki Minaj Prove Haters Wrong on 'Dumb Blonde'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved February 14, 2019.
  21. ^ Levine, Nick. "Avril Lavigne – 'Head Above Water' review". NME. Retrieved February 14, 2019.
  22. ^ "Avril Lavigne And Nicki Minaj's 'Dumb Blonde' Is The Collaboration We Didn't Know We Wanted". Much.com. Retrieved February 14, 2019.
  23. ^ "Avril Lavigne And Nicki Minaj Just Made A New Feminist Pep Rally Anthem". NYLON. February 12, 2019. Retrieved February 14, 2019.
  24. ^ "Listen: Avril Lavigne drops bombshell single 'Dumb Blonde' with Nicki Minaj". AXS. Retrieved February 14, 2019.
  25. ^ "Avril Lavigne drops new track with Nicki Minaj". Alternative Press. February 12, 2019. Retrieved February 14, 2019.
  26. ^ Roth, Madeline. "Avril Lavigne And Nicki Minaj's 'Dumb Blonde' Is Like The Sassy Sister Of 'Hollaback Girl'". MTV News. Retrieved February 14, 2019.
  27. ^ "Listen to Nicki Minaj and Avril Lavigne Raise Hell". PAPER. February 12, 2019. Retrieved February 14, 2019.
  28. ^ "Hear Nicki Minaj on Avril Lavigne's New Song "Dumb Blonde"". finance.yahoo.com. Retrieved February 14, 2019.
  29. ^ "Avril Lavigne Teams Up with Nicki Minaj for Punk Pop Banger "Dumb Blonde"". exclaim.ca. Retrieved February 14, 2019.
  30. ^ "New Music: Avril Lavigne feat. Nicki Minaj – 'Dumb Blonde'". Rap-Up. Retrieved February 14, 2019.
  31. ^ "Avril Lavigne joined by Nicki Minaj on new track "Dumb Blonde": Stream". Consequence of Sound. February 12, 2019. Retrieved February 14, 2019.
  32. ^ "Avril Lavigne - "Dumb Blonde" (Ft. Nicki Minaj)". Spin. February 12, 2019. Retrieved February 14, 2019.
  33. ^ "Avril Lavigne & Nicki Minaj Drop Fiery Collaboration 'Dumb Blonde': Listen". Billboard. Retrieved February 14, 2019.
  34. ^ "Avril Lavigne and Nicki Minaj challenge 'dumb blonde' stereotypes on new collaboration: listen". CBC Music. Retrieved February 14, 2019.
  35. ^ "Avril Lavigne & Nicki Minaj Drop Sassy New Single "Dumb Blonde"". idolator. February 12, 2019. Retrieved February 14, 2019.
  36. ^ "Nicki Minaj Laces Avril Lavigne's "Dumb Blonde" With Her Signature Style". HotNewHipHop. Retrieved February 14, 2019.
  37. ^ "Avril Lavigne "Dumb Blonde" (Live from Honda Stage at Henson Recording Studios)". YouTube. February 15, 2019. Retrieved February 16, 2019.
  38. ^ "Avril Lavigne Chart History (Canadian Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved February 26, 2019.
  39. ^ "ČNS IFPI" (in Czech). Hitparáda – Radio Top 100 Oficiální. IFPI Czech Republic. Note: Change the chart to CZ – RADIO – TOP 100 and insert 201917 into search. Retrieved April 29, 2019.
  40. ^ "Billboard Japan Hot Overseas : Mar 2, 2019". Billboard Japan. Retrieved March 3, 2019. (subscription required)
  41. ^ "NZ Hot Singles Chart". Recorded Music NZ. February 25, 2019. Retrieved February 22, 2019.
  42. ^ "Official Independent Singles Chart Top 50". Official Charts Company. Retrieved May 5, 2019.
  43. ^ "Pop Digital Song Sales : Mar 2, 2019". Billboard. Retrieved March 3, 2019. (subscription required)