Hummingbird Heartbeat

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"Hummingbird Heartbeat"
Single by Katy Perry
from the album Teenage Dream
Released September 17, 2012 (2012-09-17)
Recorded 2010; The Boom Boom Boom (Burbank), Henson Recording Studios (Los Angeles)
Length 3:32
Label Capitol
Katy Perry singles chronology
"Wide Awake"
"Hummingbird Heartbeat"

"Hummingbird Heartbeat" is a song recorded by American singer Katy Perry for her third studio album, Teenage Dream (2010). It was written by Perry, Christopher "Tricky" Stewart, Stacy Barthe, and Monte Neuble. Stewart handled the production of the song, while Kuk Harrell produced Perry's vocals. "Hummingbird Heartbeat" was inspired by Perry's boyfriend at the time, Russell Brand.[1] Musically, the song contains a mixture of elements from electronica and rock. Lyrically, the song compares the feeling of being in love to the speed of a hummingbird's heartbeat.

"Hummingbird Heartbeat" was serviced to Australian radio as a promotional single from Teenage Dream on the week of September 17, 2012. The song received generally positive reviews from music critics, many of whom labeled it as a potential single choice. Upon the release of Teenage Dream, "Hummingbird Heartbeat" charted on the lower regions of the South Korea Gaon International Chart, peaking at 124.

Background and composition[edit]

Perry was inspired to write "Hummingbird Heartbeat" after she began dating Russell Brand

In an interview with YouTube about Teenage Dream in August 2010, Perry revealed that "Hummingbird Heartbeat" was one of the first songs she wrote for the album after she finished her Hello Katy Tour (2009). When speaking about the song, Perry said she first had the idea for the song while she was in her hometown of Santa Barbara, California:

"I was at breakfast when I saw this hummingbird, and hummingbird was having breakfast as well..... and I don't know if you know but hummingbirds are supposedly good luck and I was just thinking about hummingbirds. I was thinking 'How fast does their heart beat?' , like 'how many beats per minute?' And using that idea as an idea for someone making you feel, instead of those butterflies, making your heart beat really, really fast."[2]

"Hummingbird Heartbeat" contains a mixture of elements from rock and electronica.[3] It is written in the key of F major, and the tempo moves at 122 beats per minute over a moderate beat. Perry's vocal range in the song spans from the lower note of A3 to the higher note of D5.[4] The intro and chorus follow a chord progression of F/B–C–Am7–Bmaj9, while the verses follow one of Dm7–C–F7–Bmaj9.[5] The song encompasses electric guitars, acoustic drums, a piano, and synthesizers in its production.[6]

Release and reception[edit]

Upon the release of the Teenage Dream album, "Hummingbird Heartbeat" charted on the lower regions of the South Korea Gaon International Chart, peaking at 124.[7] The song was sent to radio in Australia on the week of September 17, 2012. Hummingbird Heartbeat" debuted at number 59 on the Australia Hot 100 Airplay Chart on the issue dated September 24, 2012.[8] The following week it reached its peak position of 34.[9]

"Hummingbird Heartbeat" received generally positive reviews. Tom Thorogood from MTV gave a positive review of the song, labeling it a strong single choice and calling it a: "nice companion to Teenage Dream, 'the story of the birds and the bees' is more grown up with proper guitars."[10] Jeb Inge of The Journal called "Hummingbird Heartbeat" the strongest song on the album,[3] while Michael Gallucci of Cleveland Scene declared the song an album highlight and compared it to "Teenage Dream", adding that they were both "top-down bangers."[11] Gary Trust from Billboard compared "Hummingbird Heartbeat" to the first five Teenage Dream singles, and felt that if released as a single, would help Perry become the first artist with six number-one singles on the Billboard Hot 100.[12] In July 2013, Robert Copsey and Lewis Corner of Digital Spy said "a full music video and worldwide push would have been more satisfactory".[13]

From February 20, 2011 to January 22, 2012, Perry embarked on the California Dreams Tour, where she performed "Hummingbird Heartbeat". For most of its shows, the song was the second track performed. It preceded "Waking Up in Vegas" and followed "Teenage Dream".[14]


Chart (2010–12) Peak
Australia Hot 100 Airplay (The Music Network)[9] 34
South Korea (Gaon Download Chart)[7] 124


  1. ^ "Brand Inspired Perry's Teenage Dream". Contactmusic. July 16, 2010. Retrieved August 6, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Katy Perry talks 'Hummingbird Heartbeat'". Katy Perry Music. YouTube. August 3, 2010. 
  3. ^ a b Inge, Jeb (September 2, 2010). "Katy Perry smacks her gum, drops sonic napalm". The Journal. Ogden Newspapers. Retrieved August 8, 2012. 
  4. ^ "Katy Perry – Hummingbird Heartbeat Sheet Music (Digital Download)". Sony-ATV Music Publishing. Retrieved August 8, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Hummingbird Heartbeat By Katy Perry – Digital Sheet Music". Retrieved February 25, 2013. 
  6. ^ Teenage Dream (liner notes). Katy Perry. Capitol Records. 2010. 
  7. ^ a b "Gaon Digital Chart" (in Korean). Gaon Chart. Retrieved August 8, 2012. 
  8. ^ Gilmore, Thomas (September 24, 2012). "Chart wrap-up: Pink debuts at #1..... again — Music Industry". The Music Network. Archived from the original on September 26, 2012. Retrieved February 25, 2013. 
  9. ^ a b Gilmore, Thomas (October 2, 2012). "Chart wrap-up: Gangnam Style goes #1 – Music Industry". The Music Network. Archived from the original on October 5, 2012. Retrieved February 25, 2013. 
  10. ^ Thorogood, Tom (August 27, 2010). "Katy Perry Teenage Dream Track By Track". MTV. Viacom Media Networks. Retrieved August 8, 2012. 
  11. ^ Gallucci, Michael (August 24, 2010). "Out Today: Katy Perry". Cleveland Scene. Times-Shamrock Communications. Retrieved August 8, 2012. 
  12. ^ Trust, Gary (August 23, 2011). "Can Katy Perry Pass Michael Jackson For Hot 100 History?". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved August 8, 2012. 
  13. ^ Corner, Lewis; Copsey, Robert (July 17, 2013). "Lady GaGa, Robbie, Kylie: 19 pop singles that should have been". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines. Retrieved October 26, 2013. 
  14. ^ Mitchell, John (June 18, 2011). "Katy Perry Satisfies New York Fans' Sweet Tooth — Music, Celebrity, Artist News". MTV. Retrieved November 11, 2011. 

External links[edit]