Artwork for European release
|Single by Diana King|
|from the album Tougher Than Love and Bad Boys: Music From The Motion Picture|
7 March 1995 (CD, LP)|
14 March 1995 (cassette)
|Diana King singles chronology|
"Shy Guy" is a song by Jamaican recording artist and songwriter Diana King for the movie soundtrack album Bad Boys. It also appeared on King's debut studio album Tougher Than Love (1995). The song was written by King herself with the help of Andy Marvel and Kingsley Gardner. It was produced by Marvel. The song was released by Sony Music worldwide in 1995 as the lead single on the Tougher Than Love album. The song received positive reviews from music critics. Many said it was a definite highlight of the album and some said it was one of the best reggae fusion songs of its time. Allmusic said the song was a highlight of both the soundtrack and King's debut album. The song also received charting success, but was mostly known as a one hit wonder. The song peaked at number thirteen in the United States and went to number two in the UK. It topped the charts in Finland and Sweden. The song contains a sample from “School Boy Crush” by Average White Band.
"Shy Guy" was released as the lead single on both King's album and the soundtrack of Bad Boys. The song received charting success worldwide. The song debuted at number thirty-five on the Australian Singles Chart, but later peaked at number three there, and staying there for three consecutive weeks. The song later debuted at number twenty-eight on the New Zealand Singles Chart. After seventeen weeks, it peaked at number three for one week. It is currently the 75th Best Selling Single in New Zealand's history. The song peaked at number thirteen on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and number twenty-one on the U.S. Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. It was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), selling over 500,000 copies there.
The song also had success in Europe. It debuted at number six on the Swiss Singles Chart, then peaked at number five for three consecutive weeks. It debuted at number thirty on the Austrian Singles Chart, and rose to peak at number six for one week. The song later debuted at number twenty-seven on the French Singles Chart, and rose to peak at number four, staying there for two consecutive weeks. The song was certified silver in France, selling over 125,000 copies there. The song also reached number one on two charts. It debuting at number twenty-seven in Sweden, before rising to peak at number one for one week, while in Finland, the song was at number one for four non-consecutive weeks. It also peaked at number two in Norway, staying there for seven consecutive weeks. The song debuted at number four on the UK Singles Chart, before peaking at number two. It was certified Silver in the United Kingdom.
Music & Media wrote about the song: "Miss King provides prospect for the no-hopers. Move over fly guys, Diana wants a shy guy. Within the context of a mix of ragga and swingbeat, she joyfully sings and raps about the timid type."
The Gavin Report wrote: "Diana's artistry will be discovered by the masses who hear this song via the airwaves and the soundtrack of the new Will Smith and Martin Lawrence film, Bad Boys. Hot tune, hot movie and a lot of airplay—that'll work!"
Network 40 wrote: "Reggae flava with ultra-smooth vocals lead us to a hook we can't forget."
Two music videos were made: one in black and white, directed by Marcus Nispel, for the Tougher Than Love album; the other, directed by Michael Bay, for the Bad Boys soundtrack with Will Smith and Martin Lawrence appearing in it. That video features King dancing and singing to the song in a very cold-looking environment, but through the chorus she is seen dancing on a runway looking stage.
Covers and samples
In December 2008, Mýa recorded a cover version of "Shy Guy" with the words in English rather than in the patois that King's version was recorded in. This was included on Mýa's 2008 Japan-only album Sugar & Spice but was not released as a single.
In 2016, the Belgian singer Unicq released her own bilingual French / English version under the title "Mercy (Shy Guy)". The single reached number 76 on the SNEP chart, the French official singles chart.
Charts and sales
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