Primadonna (Marina and the Diamonds song)

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Marina and the Diamonds - Primadonna.png
Single by Marina and the Diamonds
from the album Electra Heart
Released 20 March 2012 (2012-03-20)
Recorded October 2011
Length 3:38
Marina and the Diamonds singles chronology
"Power & Control"

"Primadonna" is a song by Welsh singer-songwriter Marina and the Diamonds from her second studio album, Electra Heart (2012). It was released on 20 March 2012 as the album's official lead single.[1][2] It was an international success, reaching the top five in Austria, Ireland and New Zealand.

Background and concept[edit]

Diamandis first came up with the title for the track in July 2011.[3] Recorded in October 2011, "Primadonna" was the last song to be recorded for Electra Heart and in her words, 'picked itself as the first single off the album.'[3]

Diamandis has said of the song:

It's about not needing anybody when it comes to love—your raison d'être is to live for adoration. Girls usually feel like this when they are not appreciated in a relationship. The inspiration for the song came from an ex-boyfriend. He thought it was funny that I was a mega drama queen always talking "global love" this, "global love" that! He called me a prima donna. I love it but I also kind of hate it. Like they say, "You only hate in others what you hate in yourself", so I thought I'd channel this well-known but kind of undesirable character type into a pop song. As the saying goes (that I just made up): You've either been one or dated one at least once in your life.[4]


"Primadonna" has a length of three minutes and thirty-eight seconds.[5] It is a dance-pop song that blends grinding disco and electropop beats with elements of Europop.[6][7][8][9] Diamandis' vocals in the song have been described as operatic.[10] Revolving around an anti-chorus song structure, the chorus is sung in a high tone over sparkly instrumentation before the beat drops to grinding four on the floor verses, where she sings in the gravelly tones of her lower register. The song is composed in the key of A minor, with a tempo of 128 beats per minute, and it follows the chord progression Am-D-G-Em through the whole song.[11][12]

Critical reception[edit]

Robert Copesy of Digital Spy rated the track four out of five stars, writing that in the line "Got you wrapped around my finger babe/You can count on me to misbehave", Diamandis "play[s] out one of many female archetypes that feature on her forthcoming LP—though we suspect it's one she identifies with best."[10] Sam Lansky of MTV Buzzworthy described it as "a monster song" and "a muscular uptempo joint", concluding, "Evoking Kate Bush on the high notes and then cascading down to the gravelly tones of her lower register, Marina's voice packs the track with verve and personality."[12] Katherine St Asaph of Popdust gave the song three-and-a-half stars "edging toward 4", referring to it as "a big ball of irony sprinkled with mockery and shoved beneath a blonde wig, roots be damned".[13] On the other hand, Luke Turner of the NME wrote that in the wake of Madonna's contributions, "plonkers like Marina have got empowerment wrong, coming up with this: Europop fart beats and cloying vocals. Marina would do well to learn that ego needs something to back it up, which you won't find in this giant guff of saccharine nothing."[6] Also, Elizabeth McGeown, writing for Irish webzine State, dismissed "Primadonna" as a "wannabe feminist [anthem] disguised in a Mean Girls-esque dialogue. Admittedly, it doesn't take itself seriously. Heavily pop culture laden, it contains a tongue-in-cheek superficiality."[14]

"Primadonna" was well received within the first hours of its release to radio by fans and new listeners alike, especially on the social networking site Twitter where it was a worldwide trending topic.[15]

Chart performance[edit]

"Primadonna" debuted at number eleven on the UK Singles Chart with 25,337 copies sold in its first week, giving Diamandis her highest-charting single in the United Kingdom to date.[16] As of March 2014, the song had sold 205,000 copies in the UK.[17] In its third week on the Irish Singles Chart, "Primadonna" rose to a new peak of number three, becoming Diamandis's highest-charting single in Ireland as well. The song peaked at number four in New Zealand, her first single to chart in that country.

"Primadonna" also saw success on pop radio formats in the United States, bubbling under the respective Billboard Pop Songs chart.[18] The song also saw a certain amount of club play, almost charting on the Hot Dance Club Songs chart.[18]

Music video[edit]

The music video was directed by Casper Balslev and shot in Copenhagen.[19] It serves as the fourth part of the Electra Heart series, for which Balslev also directed the videos for part 1 ("Fear and Loathing") and part 2 ("Radioactive"). The video premiered on 12 March 2012, the same day as the song's release to UK radio.[20] Two days prior to the video's release, Diamandis released a fifteen-second preview of the video.[21]

Formats and track listings[edit]



Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Australia (ARIA)[47] Platinum 70,000^
Austria (IFPI Austria)[48] Gold 15,000*
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[49] Platinum 30,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[50] Platinum 15,000*
United Kingdom (BPI)[51] Silver 200,000^

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

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format Label Ref.
United States 20 March 2012 Digital download Elektra [5]
Australia 6 April 2012 Digital EP (remixes) Warner [52]
United States 14 April 2012 Elektra [24]
United Kingdom 15 April 2012 [23]
16 April 2012 CD single (HMV exclusive) [22]
Germany 18 May 2012
  • CD single
  • digital download
Warner [25][26]


  1. ^ "Marina And The Diamonds debut new single 'Primadonna' online – listen". NME. Time Inc. UK. 13 March 2013. Retrieved 17 May 2013. 
  2. ^ Thanh (19 June 2012). "Video Remake of Marina and the Diamond's "Primadonna" Featured on Perez Hilton". Elektra Records. Archived from the original on 18 December 2013. Retrieved 17 May 2013. 
  3. ^ a b "Cup Of Coffee: MARINA & THE DIAMONDS". YouTube. wotyougot. Retrieved 29 January 2013. 
  4. ^ Stern, Claire (19 April 2012). "Marina of Marina And The Diamonds Says New Album Personifies Heartbreak". Elle Girl. Hearst Corporation. Archived from the original on 25 April 2012. Retrieved 20 April 2012. 
  5. ^ a b "Primadonna – Single by Marina & the Diamonds". iTunes Store (US). Apple. Archived from the original on 14 April 2012. Retrieved 30 March 2012. 
  6. ^ a b Turner, Luke (13 April 2012). "Marina And The Diamonds – 'Primadonna'". NME. Time Inc. UK. Retrieved 17 April 2012. 
  7. ^ Tan, Young (14 March 2012). "Marina and the Diamonds release teaser video for Primadonna". So So Gay. Retrieved 9 June 2014. 
  8. ^ Carr, Eamon (21 April 2012). "Diamond girl gives more glittering pop". Evening Herald. Independent News & Media. Retrieved 9 June 2014. 
  9. ^ Young, Martyn (30 April 2012). "Interview: Marina And The Diamonds". musicOMH. Retrieved 9 June 2014. 
  10. ^ a b "Marina and the Diamonds: 'Primadonna' – Single review". Digital Spy. 4 April 2012. Retrieved 12 April 2015. 
  11. ^ Stern, Bradley (17 April 2012). "MuuMuse Approved: Marina And The Diamonds – "Primadonna"". MuuMuse. Retrieved 9 June 2014. 
  12. ^ a b Lansky, Sam. "New Video: Marina & The Diamonds, 'Primadonna'". MTV Buzzworthy. Viacom. Retrieved 5 April 2012. 
  13. ^ St Asaph, Katherine (12 March 2012). "Marina And The Diamonds' "Primadonna" Isn't Really A Pop Song — It Just Sounds Like One". Popdust. Retrieved 5 April 2012. 
  14. ^ McGeown, Elizabeth (3 May 2012). "Marina & The Diamonds – Electra Heart". State. Retrieved 12 April 2015. 
  15. ^ Renshaw, David (12 March 2012). "Marina and The Diamonds Premiere New 'Primadonna' Video". Entertainment Wise. Retrieved 5 April 2012. 
  16. ^ "Official Charts Analysis: Adele needs just 17k album sales for 23rd week at No.1". Music Week. Intent Media. 23 April 2012. Retrieved 12 April 2015. 
  17. ^ Myers, Justin (29 March 2014). "Official Charts Pop Gem #51: Marina And The Diamonds – Hollywood". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 28 February 2015. 
  18. ^ a b "Bubbling Under: Marina & the Diamonds Shine". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 8 June 2012. Retrieved 12 April 2015. 
  19. ^ Knight, David (14 March 2012). "Marina and the Diamonds 'Prima Donna' by Casper Balslev". Promo News. Retrieved 12 April 2015. 
  20. ^ Corner, Lewis (12 March 2012). "Marina and the Diamonds premieres 'Primadonna' music video". Digital Spy. Retrieved 13 April 2012. 
  21. ^ "Watch the trailer for Marina & The Diamonds' new single 'Primadonna' – video". NME. Time Inc. UK. 10 March 2012. Retrieved 13 April 2012. 
  22. ^ a b "Marina & The Diamonds: Primadonna: Hmv Exclusive". HMV. Archived from the original on 13 April 2012. Retrieved 12 April 2012. 
  23. ^ a b "Primadonna: Marina and The Diamonds: MP3 Downloads". Retrieved 12 April 2015. 
  24. ^ a b "Primadonna: Marina and The Diamonds: MP3 Downloads". Retrieved 12 April 2015. 
  25. ^ a b "Primadonna (2track)" (in German). Retrieved 12 April 2015. 
  26. ^ a b "Primadonna: Marina and The Diamonds: MP3-Downloads" (in German). Retrieved 12 April 2015. 
  27. ^ " – Marina and the Diamonds – Primadonna". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved 16 September 2012.
  28. ^ "ARIA Report: Issue 1165" (PDF). ARIA. Retrieved 25 June 2012. 
  29. ^ " – Marina and the Diamonds – Primadonna" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  30. ^ " – Marina and the Diamonds – Primadonna". Tracklisten.
  31. ^ "Marina and the Diamonds – Chart history" Billboard Euro Digital Songs for Marina and the Diamonds. Retrieved 12 April 2015.
  32. ^ " – Marina and the Diamonds – Primadonna". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 12 April 2015.
  33. ^ "Archívum – Slágerlisták – MAHASZ" (in Hungarian). Rádiós Top 40 játszási lista. Magyar Hanglemezkiadók Szövetsége.
  34. ^ "Chart Track: Week 20, 2012". Irish Singles Chart.
  35. ^ " – Marina and the Diamonds – Primadonna" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  36. ^ " – Marina and the Diamonds – Primadonna". Top 40 Singles.
  37. ^ "Archive Chart: 2012-04-28". Scottish Singles Top 40. Retrieved 12 April 2015.
  38. ^ "SNS IFPI" (in Slovak). Hitparáda – Radio Top 100 Oficiálna. IFPI Czech Republic. Note: insert 201221 into search.
  39. ^ " – Marina and the Diamonds – Primadonna". Swiss Singles Chart.
  40. ^ "Archive Chart: 2012-04-28" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved 12 April 2015.
  41. ^ "Jahreshitparade Singles 2012" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 4 March 2015. 
  42. ^ "MAHASZ Rádiós TOP 100 – 2012" (in Hungarian). MAHASZ. Retrieved 18 January 2013. 
  43. ^ "Best of 2012 – Top 20 Singles". Irish Recorded Music Association. Retrieved 12 April 2015. 
  44. ^ "Top Selling Singles of 2012". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved 17 March 2013. 
  45. ^ "End Of Year Charts: 2012" (PDF). UKChartsPlus. p. 4. Retrieved 22 April 2015. 
  46. ^ "Итоговый хит-парад Европы Плюс 2012". 
  47. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2012 Singles". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 10 April 2013. 
  48. ^ "Austrian single certifications – Marina and the Diamonds – Primadonna" (in German). IFPI Austria. 8 July 2014. Retrieved 10 March 2017.  Enter Marina and the Diamonds in the field Interpret. Enter Primadonna in the field Titel. Select single in the field Format. Click Suchen
  49. ^ "Marina and the Diamonds "Primadonna" (WMG)" (in Danish). IFPI Denmark. 20 December 2012. Retrieved 20 May 2013. 
  50. ^ "New Zealand single certifications – Marina and the Diamonds – Primadonna". Recorded Music NZ.  line feed character in |title= at position 52 (help)
  51. ^ "British single certifications – Marina and the Diamonds – Primadonna". British Phonographic Industry. 2 August 2013. Retrieved 10 September 2013.  Enter Primadonna in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select single in the field By Format. Select Silver in the field By Award. Click Search
  52. ^ "Primadonna (Remixes) – EP by Marina & the Diamonds". iTunes Store (AU). Apple. Retrieved 12 April 2015. 

External links[edit]