Unwritten (song)

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Unwrtten Single 1.jpg
Single by Natasha Bedingfield
from the album Unwritten
Released29 November 2004 (2004-11-29)
RecordedFall 2003
  • 4:18 (UK album version)
  • 4:15 (US album version)
  • 3:52 (radio edit)
Natasha Bedingfield singles chronology
"These Words"
"I Bruise Easily"
Music video
"Unwritten" on YouTube

"Unwritten" is a song by English singer Natasha Bedingfield for her debut studio album of the same name. It was released in 2004 as the third single from the record. The song was written by Bedingfield, Danielle Brisebois, and Wayne Rodrigues and produced by Rodrigues and Brisebois. The single was released as the album's third UK single and second US single (in September 2005). In 2006, "Unwritten" became the theme song for the reality television series The Hills. It reached number five on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming her first top-ten hit in the United States.


"Unwritten" was the most played song on US radio during 2006 as confirmed before her performance at the Concert for Diana,[citation needed] and as of March 2006, was certified platinum in the U.S. The song is Bedingfield's most successful single in the US, along with "Pocketful of Sunshine"; both songs peaked at number five on the Billboard Hot 100. The song earned Bedingfield a Grammy nomination in Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance at the 49th Grammy Awards and she was also included in the Grammy Nominees album of that year. She lost that nomination to Christina Aguilera's "Ain't No Other Man".

Commercial performance[edit]

Peaking at number five for two weeks in the United States, "Unwritten" charted at number six on the 2006's Hot 100-year-end chart. "Unwritten" stayed in the Hot 100 for 38 weeks, thirteen of those inside the top ten. Estimated sales in the United States for "Unwritten" are 2,731,000 as of June 2011.[1] This was the third highest ranking for a female artist for 2006 behind "Hips Don't Lie" by Shakira and Wyclef Jean, and "Promiscuous" by Nelly Furtado and Timbaland.

The song also proved to be very popular in other radio formats in the United States. The Johnny Vicious and Hani Club Mixes peaked at number one on the Dance Club Play and number two on the Dance Radio Airplay chart, while the original version went to number two on the Adult Top 40 and spent ten weeks at number one on the Adult Contemporary chart. "Unwritten" was not as successful in the United Kingdom as her previous chart-topping hit "These Words", but made an impressive showing on the charts, peaking at number six. It is one of her few singles to peak higher in the U.S. than in the UK.

Music videos[edit]

Two different music videos were made for the promotion of the song: one was shot in 2004 in the UK to promote it internationally; the other one was shot in New York in 2006 to promote the single in North America. Both versions received airplay in Latin America.

Original version[edit]

The original version of the video, directed by Michael Gracey, shows Bedingfield as the cover of a small animated book in a large library as it climbs an amazingly large bookshelf. As it gets higher the shelf becomes more like a cliff, even snowing at the top. At the top the book sees a dove and falls off. As the small book is torn apart in the fall, people pick up the pages and look up into the sky. The video may be seen to elaborate the lyric as an oblique spiritual narrative of striving to ascend (and reach a heavenly dove), while the lyric also reflects Bedingfield's concerns at this time with the process of writing, concerns perhaps more clearly expressed in "These Words", another song featured on the "Unwritten" album.

North American version[edit]

The North American version, directed by Chris Applebaum, shows Bedingfield in an elevator. As the elevator stops at each floor, she experiences different things, including running into a park from the elevator where she sings to the camera as the sun shines brightly behind her, comforting a crying woman who kisses the wall of the elevator with red lipstick before she leaves, dancing on a street with a group of children as they are sprayed by water, watching a janitor throw away his money and watches, singing with a church choir, standing next to a couple kissing madly, and finding a potential romance with a man (portrayed by Keith Carhill) who enters the elevator and follows her after she exits. According to a TRL interview, Bedingfield chose to make the scene where she gets wet because while filming the North American version of her "These Words" video it was a very hot and sunny day in Rio de Janeiro. This scene occurs during the second chorus.


Bedingfield performed this song at the Concert for Diana. Bedingfield performed this, along with "Pocketful of Sunshine" in the season 7 finale of Degrassi: The Next Generation. It is the theme song to the globally popular MTV series, The Hills.[2] Bedingfield later re-recorded another, slower version of "Unwritten" with production team Carney for use in the final episode of The Hills. A 2019 remix version appears as the theme song in The Hills sequel series, The Hills: New Beginnings. "Unwritten" has been featured in the following motion pictures: Ice Princess, Because I Said So and The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. 2006 World Champion figure skater Kimmie Meissner has done multiple exhibition programs to the song as well.[citation needed] It is featured on the episode "Welcome to the Dollhouse", from the series Pretty Little Liars. In 2006, the Bratz released a cover of the song on a special edition of their soundtrack album, Bratz: Forever Diamondz.

The song appears in the video games Karaoke Revolution Presents: American Idol Thrillville: Off the Rails and as downloadable content for Rock Band 4, while the Johnny Vicious remix appears in Dance Dance Revolution SuperNova 2 along with its original video. The song was used for the Pantene television and radio advertisements[3] in English-speaking and other markets between 2006 and 2008, and in France, Spain, Poland, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam and the Philippines.

Unwritten has become a common song used to celebrate graduation due to its uplifting message about the future.[4][5]

Track listings[edit]

These are the formats and track listings of major single releases of "Unwritten".

UK 2-track CD

(Released 29 November 2004)

  1. "Unwritten" (album version)
  2. "Wild Horses" (live in Sydney)
UK maxi CD

(Released 29 November 2004)

  1. "Unwritten" (album version)
  2. "The Scientist" (live at BBC Radio One Live Lounge)
  3. "If You're Gonna Jump" (Paul Oakenfold Remix 7" Remix)
  4. "Unwritten" (video)
International single

(Released 7 February 2005)

  1. "Unwritten" (radio edit)
  2. "The Scientist" (live at BBC Radio One Live Lounge)
  3. "If You're Gonna Jump" (Paul Oakenfold Remix 7" Remix)
  4. "Unwritten" (album version)
  5. "Unwritten" (video)
US single CD

(Released 23 October 2007)

  1. "Unwritten" (album version)
  2. "Unwritten" (Johnny Vicious Club Mix)
  3. "Wild Horses" (live at the Nokia Theatre, New York)
  4. "Unwritten" (ringtone)
Remixes/Official versions
  1. "Unwritten" (Johnny Vicious Club)
  2. "Unwritten" (Johnny Vicious Radio)
  3. "Unwritten" (Johnny Vicious Warehouse)
  4. "Unwritten" (Johnny Vicious Mixshow Edit)
  5. "Unwritten" (Hani Num Club)
  6. "Unwritten" (Hani Num Radio)
  7. "Unwritten" (Hani Num Dub)
  8. "Unwritten" (Special live acoustic performance for The N)
  9. "Unwritten" (Ultimix Pt.1)
  10. "Unwritten" (Ultimix Pt.2)
2019 Remix Digital Single
  1. "Unwritten (The 2019 Remix)



Region Certification Certified units/sales
Canada (Music Canada)[39] Platinum 40,000*
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[40] Gold 45,000double-dagger
United Kingdom (BPI)[41] Platinum 600,000double-dagger
United States (RIAA)[42] 2× Platinum 2,000,000^
United States (RIAA)[42] Gold 500,000^

* Sales figures based on certification alone.
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.
double-dagger Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format Label
United Kingdom 29 November 2004 (2004-11-29) Digital download and 7" single Phonogenic
Worldwide 7 February 2005 (2005-02-07) Epic
United States 2 August 2005 (2005-08-02)
18 October 2005 Contemporary hit radio

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Week Ending June 12, 2011. Songs: The Odd Couples - Chart Watch - Yahoo Music".
  2. ^ "U.K. singer behind breezy tune". Toronto Star. 5 October 2007.
  3. ^ asseenontv0 (16 June 2007). "PANTENE PRO-V Commercial (2007)" – via YouTube.
  4. ^ https://www.oprahmag.com/entertainment/g27377843/graduation-songs/
  5. ^ https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-lists/20-best-graduation-songs-of-the-last-20-years-167659/
  6. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Natasha Bedingfield – Unwritten". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  7. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Natasha Bedingfield – Unwritten" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  8. ^ "Ultratop.be – Natasha Bedingfield – Unwritten" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  9. ^ "Ultratop.be – Natasha Bedingfield – Unwritten" (in French). Ultratip. Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  10. ^ "Natasha Bedingfield Chart History (Canadian Digital Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  11. ^ "R&R Canada CHR/Pop Top 30" (PDF). Radio & Records. No. 1650. 24 March 2005. p. 30. Retrieved 16 October 2020.
  12. ^ "Česká rádia podlehla sličné Natashe".
  13. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Natasha Bedingfield – Unwritten" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  14. ^ "Archívum – Slágerlisták – MAHASZ" (in Hungarian). Rádiós Top 40 játszási lista. Magyar Hanglemezkiadók Szövetsége. Retrieved 19 May 2020.
  15. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Unwritten". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  16. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 5, 2005" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40 Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  17. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Natasha Bedingfield – Unwritten" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  18. ^ "Charts.nz – Natasha Bedingfield – Unwritten". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  19. ^ "Nielsen Music Control". Archived from the original on 25 October 2007.
  20. ^ "Arhiva romanian top 100 – Editia 4, saptamina 31.01 – 6.02, 2005" (in Romanian). Romanian Top 100. Archived from the original on 23 February 2005. Retrieved 19 May 2020.
  21. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  22. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Natasha Bedingfield – Unwritten". Singles Top 100. Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  23. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Natasha Bedingfield – Unwritten". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  24. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  25. ^ "Natasha Bedingfield Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  26. ^ "Natasha Bedingfield Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard.
  27. ^ "Natasha Bedingfield Chart History (Adult Pop Songs)". Billboard.
  28. ^ "Natasha Bedingfield Chart History (Dance Club Songs)". Billboard.
  29. ^ "Natasha Bedingfield Chart History (Dance Mix/Show Airplay)". Billboard. Retrieved 19 May 2020.
  30. ^ "Natasha Bedingfield Chart History (Pop Songs)". Billboard.
  31. ^ "The Official UK Singles Chart 2004" (PDF). Official Charts Company. 1 January 2014. Retrieved 1 January 2014.
  32. ^ "Single top 100 over 2005" (PDF) (in Dutch). Top40. Retrieved 5 May 2010.
  33. ^ "Jaaroverzichten – Single 2005" (in Dutch). MegaCharts. Retrieved 6 December 2019.
  34. ^ "Hot 100 Songs – Year End 2006". Billboard. Retrieved 9 December 2014.
  35. ^ "Adult Contemporary Songs – Year-End 2006". Billboard. Retrieved 20 September 2019.
  36. ^ "Adult Pop Songs – Year-End 2006". Billboard. Retrieved 20 September 2019.
  37. ^ "Dance Club Songs – Year-End 2006". Billboard. Retrieved 20 September 2019.
  38. ^ "GREATEST OF ALL TIME POP SONGS: Page 1". Billboard. 1 August 2018. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  39. ^ "Canadian single certifications – Natasha Bedingfield – Unwritten". Music Canada.
  40. ^ "Danish single certifications – Natasha Bedingfield – Unwritten". IFPI Denmark. Retrieved 4 June 2020.
  41. ^ "British single certifications – Natasha Bedingfield – Unwritten". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 14 February 2020.
  42. ^ a b "American single certifications – Natasha Bedingfield – Unwritten". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH.