Tears Always Win

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"Tears Always Win"
Alicia Keys - Tears Always Win.jpg
Single by Alicia Keys
from the album Girl on Fire
Released May 7, 2013 (2013-05-07)
Format Digital download
Recorded The Oven Studios (New York City)
Length 3:59
Label RCA Records
  • Alicia Keys
  • Jeff Bhasker
Alicia Keys singles chronology
"Fire We Make"
"Tears Always Win"
"I Will Pray (Pregherò)"
"Fire We Make"
"Tears Always Win"
"I Will Pray (Pregherò)"
"Tears Always Win (Single Mix)" on YouTube
Music video
"Tears Always Win" on YouTube

"Tears Always Win" is a song recorded by American singer-songwriter Alicia Keys for her fifth studio album, Girl on Fire (2012). It was written by Keys, along with Bruno Mars, Jeff Bhasker and Phillip Lawrence, and produced by Keys and Bhasker. It was digitally released on May 7, 2013, as the fifth single from Girl on Fire. Keys debuted the single during a performance on American Idol on May 9, 2013. The song has been met with general critical acclaim from critics. Keys included the song in the setlist for her fifth concert tour, the Set the World on Fire Tour. It is being released as the second Top 40/Mainstream single following the lead single "Girl on Fire". Keys also performed the song on the May 9, 2013 episode of American Idol.[1]

Background and release[edit]

Girl on Fire is Keys' fifth studio album and a follow-up to The Element of Freedom (2009).[2] It is her first release under RCA Records, after a re-organization at parent company Sony Music Entertainment led to her previous label J Records roster being absorbed into RCA.[3] After 2009, Keys got married to record producer and rapper Swizz Beatz, became a mother, began co-managing her own career, produced and directed both a Broadway Play and short film, in addition to designing a line of trainers for Reebok.[3] Keys revealed the inspiration behind the song during one of her live performances while on tour, stating, "Some things don't always work out the way that you wish that they would, but [...] you have to give it a try, and at the very least, I have a song for that too." [4] It was digitally released on May 7, 2013, through the iTunes Store and serves as the fifth single from Girl on Fire.[5] Keys officially debuted the single during her performance of the song on American Idol on May 9, 2013.[6] The single was supposed to impact Top 40/Mainstream radio in the U.S. on July 1, 2013, however, its release was scrapped at the last minute.[7] This is the third push back of the song to radio, it previously had two impact dates: May 21, 2013 and June 11, 2013.

Critical reception[edit]

The song was met with general critical acclaim. While Allmusic did not name it one of the standout tracks on the album, they reacted positively to it.[8] Billboard said of the song, "In Keys' hands alone, this missing-my-baby ballad might have fallen victim to overly sappy platitudes about life on the road without her man by her side. But with a little help from Bhasker and songwriting partners Bruno Mars and The Smeezingtons, "Tears Always Win" becomes an anthemic, soaring winner worthy of Keys' heroes Prince and Stevie Wonder." [9] Rap-Up also reacted positively to the track and deemed it a highlight of the album.[10] The co-writing credits shared partially by Bruno Mars and Philip Lawrence was met positively, with some critics, BET in particular, saying, "this song has a nice doo-wop touch, a welcome turn with the album sometimes threatening to veer towards Alicia's middle-of-the-road R&B comfort zone." [11]

Music video[edit]

The official video for "Tears Always Win" was filmed in May 2013 by director Robert Hales.[12] The video was released June 13, 2013.

Chart performance[edit]

Upon release the album Girl on Fire, "Tears Always Win" debuted at the top of the South Korean Gaon Chart for international singles. That same week, every song on the album charted in South Korea.[13] Following Keys' announcement that the song would be a single and its debut live performance on season twelve of American Idol, "Tears Always Win" sold 15,000 copies in the United States.[14]

Chart (2012–13) Peak
Belgium (Ultratip Flanders)[15] 67
Belgium (Ultratip Wallonia)[16] 26
South Korean International Singles (Gaon)[13] 1
U.S. Bubbling Under R&B/Hip-Hop (Billboard)[17] 3
U.S. R&B/Hip-Hop Digital Songs (Billboard)[17] 28

See also[edit]

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format
United States May 7, 2013[5] Digital download
Italy June 14, 2013[18] Contemporary hit radio


  1. ^ "Alicia Keys Performs ‘Tears Always Win’ on ‘American Idol’". Rap-Up.com. Retrieved June 26, 2013. 
  2. ^ Martinovic, Paul (August 15, 2012). "Alicia Keys reveals new album title 'Girl on Fire' in message to fans". Digital Spy. Hachette Filipacchi UK. Retrieved November 21, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b Mitchell, Gail (November 2, 2012). "Alicia Keys' 'Girl on Fire': The Billboard Cover Story". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved November 19, 2012. 
  4. ^ "Alicia Keys-tears always win live". YouTube. March 15, 2013. Retrieved June 26, 2013. 
  5. ^ a b "iTunes – Music – Tears Always Win – Single by Alicia Keys". Itunes.apple.com. May 7, 2013. Retrieved June 26, 2013. 
  6. ^ Loading... (May 7, 2013). "Mariah Carey To Unveil Her Brand New Video '#Beautiful' Featuring Miguel During This Weeks American Idol – Celebrity Gossip, News & Photos, Movie Reviews, Competitions". Entertainmentwise. Retrieved June 26, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Radio Industry News, Music Industry Updates, Arbitron Ratings, Music News and more!". FMQB. Retrieved June 26, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Tears Always Win – Alicia Keys : Listen, Appearances, Song Review". AllMusic. November 26, 2012. Retrieved June 26, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Alicia Keys, 'Girl On Fire': Track-By-Track Review". Billboard. November 26, 2012. Retrieved June 26, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Review Roundup: Alicia Keys – ‘Girl on Fire’". Rap-Up.com. November 27, 2012. Retrieved June 26, 2013. 
  11. ^ "The Rundown: Alicia Keys, Girl on Fire | Music". BET. Retrieved June 26, 2013. 
  12. ^ "Alicia Keys "Tears Always Win" (Robert Hales, dir.)". VideoStatic. June 18, 2013. Retrieved June 26, 2013. 
  13. ^ a b "South Korea Gaon International Chart (Week: November 25, 2012 to December 1, 2012". Gaon Chart. November 25, 2012. Retrieved December 6, 2012. 
  14. ^ "'Idol' sales: Seven singers in the Billboard 200". Usatoday.com. May 15, 2013. Retrieved June 26, 2013. 
  15. ^ "Ultratop.be – Alicia Keys – Tears Always Win" (in Dutch). Ultratip.
  16. ^ "Ultratop.be – Alicia Keys – Tears Always Win" (in French). Ultratip.
  17. ^ a b http://www.billboard.com/biz/search/charts?f[0]=ts_chart_artistname%3A%2AAlicia%20Keys%2A&f[1]=ts_chart_search_title%3A%2ATears%20Always%20Win%2A&f[2]=ss_bb_type%3Achart_item&type=1&artist=Alicia%20Keys&title=Tears%20Always%20Win
  18. ^ http://www.radioairplay.fm/RadioDate/PublicDetails/20865

External links[edit]