Tennessee (Arrested Development song)

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Arrested Development - Tennessee.jpg
Single by Arrested Development
from the album 3 Years, 5 Months & 2 Days in the Life Of...
Released March 24, 1992
Format 7-inch single, 12-inch single, CD, Vinyl
Genre Alternative hip hop[1]
Label EMI/Chrysalis Records
Arrested Development singles chronology
"People Everyday"
Music video
"Tennessee" on YouTube

"Tennessee" is the title of a number-one R&B single by alternative hip hop group, Arrested Development, from their album 3 Years, 5 Months & 2 Days in the Life Of.... The song contains a sample of Prince's "Alphabet St.". The music video for the song was directed by Milcho Manchevski and shot in Georgia, with friends of the group and people from the local area appearing in the clip. The song won the Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group in 1993. A recent poll of VH1 viewers placed the song at number 71 on the list of the "Greatest Songs of the 90s" and is listed as one of the 500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It was ranked number 78 on VH1's 100 Greatest Songs of Hip Hop. The song also served as the theme to the short-lived Malcolm-Jamal Warner sitcom Here and Now.


Speech was inspired to write the song after meeting up with his brother at his grandmother's funeral in Tennessee. Shortly afterwards, his brother died suddenly from a bad asthma attack,[2] and Speech wrote the song about the experience of losing two loved ones so close together[3] The song uses a sample from Prince's "Alphabet Street" which was not cleared ahead of time. Prince's lawyers waited until after the song sold well and then charged the group $100,000 for the use of said sample.[3] Speech later said he felt Prince gave him "a break" by demanding a single payment instead of co-writing credit on the song, which would have entitled Prince to a share of all royalties in the future. [4]

Track listings[edit]

[5] US Maxi-CD

  1. Tennessee (The Mix) 4:33
  2. Tennessee (Remix) 4:40
  3. Tennessee (For DJs Only) 2:15
  4. Tennessee (Dubb Mix) 4:40
  5. Natural 4:19


  1. Tennessee (Edit)
  2. Tennessee (Remix)
  3. Fishin 4 Religion (Live)
  4. Mama's Always On Stage

Australia Maxi-CD

  1. Tennessee (Remix) 4:48
  2. Tennessee (For DJs Only) 2:18
  3. Tennessee (Dubb Mix) 4:45
  4. Natural 4:19

Chart performance[edit]

"Tennessee" topped the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks for one week and peaked at number six on the Billboard Hot 100.

In the United Kingdom, the song spent a seven-week run on the UK Singles Chart, peaking at number forty six, but after the top ten successes of both "People Everyday" and "Mr. Wendal" on the chart, it was re-released in 1993, charting for a further six weeks and peaking at number eighteen.


Peak positions[edit]

Chart Peak
Australia (ARIA)[6] 14
Canada Dance (RPM)[7] 3
Germany (Official German Charts)[8] 27
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[9] 31
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[10] 12
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[11] 24
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[12] 25
US Billboard Hot 100 6
US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks 1
US Billboard Hot Rap Singles 1
US Billboard Hot Dance Music/Club Play 34

End of year charts[edit]

End of year chart (1992) Position
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[13] 40

See also[edit]


External links[edit]