Empire State of Mind

“Empire State of Mind” is a song by American rapper Jay-Z, featuring vocals sung by American singer Alicia Keys. Produced by Al Shux, Angela Hunte and Jane’t Sewell-Ulepic, it was released as the third single from Jay-Z’s 11th studio album, The Blueprint 3 (2009), by his Roc Nation label in October 2009. The song was written as a tribute to both artists’ hometown, New York City, and features a music sample of “Love on a Two-Way Street” (1970), written by Sylvia Robinson and Bert Keyes and performed by The Moments. The following month they submitted the song to Jay-Z’s Roc Nation, whose reviews were a discouragement. Following an incident that Hunte and Sewell-Ulepic describe as an omen, they took the suggestion of an associate of EMI Music Publishing and resubmitted it to Jay-Z, who kept the “New York” singing part on the hook, changed the verses, and recorded it as a single.

The single was supposed to feature Hunte on the song’s hook, but when Hunte and Sewell-Ulepic were asked if they thought anyone else would be more appropriate for the chorus, Hunte suggested Keys. Mary J. Blige was also considered for the part, but Keys was chosen after Jay-Z heard the song’s piano loop. The song was viewed as being an “orchestral rap ballad” and has pop-rap musical styles. It contains references to various locations in New York and its famous residents, while describing the city’s essence. Profanity is present throughout the song and, although it is usually included during live performances, it was omitted during the performance at Game 2 of the 2009 World Series.

A critical success, the song was included in multiple critics’ top 10 list for the best songs of 2009; including Rolling Stone magazine and the New York Times. The song was also nominated for three Grammy Awards, winning Best Rap Song and Best Rap/Sung Collaboration. “Empire State of Mind” achieved commercial success worldwide. The track peaked within the top 10 in countries including the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, France, Italy and Sweden. The single was commercially successful in the United States, peaking at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 for five consecutive weeks, becoming Jay-Z’s first number-one single on the chart as a lead artist. It appeared in 2009 year-end charts in Italy, Australia and the US, where the song was also the last number one hit of the 2000s. As of June 2014, the single has sold over 5.5 million copies in the United States.[1]

In the song’s music video, which is primarily in black-and-white, Jay-Z and Keys are shown performing the song in various locations in New York. “Empire State of Mind” has been performed by Jay-Z and Keys multiple times, including during the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards and the 2009 American Music Awards. Usually when the duo performs the song, an overhead screen shows images of places in New York. Keys has recorded a sequel entitled “Empire State of Mind (Part II) Broken Down”, which is featured on her fourth studio album The Element of Freedom (2009). Her version was positively received by critics and did well commercially, although it was not as successful as its predecessor. It was, however, Top 10 in the UK, the Netherlands and Ireland. She said that she chose to record her own version of “Empire State of Mind” because she wanted to express her own personal feelings about New York.

Whatcha Say

“Whatcha Say” is the debut single by American singer Jason Derulo and the first single released from his self-titled debut album. It was available for digital download on May 5, 2009, but wasn’t officially released until August 4, 2009. It was produced by J.R. Rotem with additional production by German record producer Fuego and heavily samples the song “Hide and Seek” by Imogen Heap.[1] “Whatcha Say” topped the Billboard Hot 100 for one week.

Derulo recorded a new French-English version with French Guiana singer Fanny J. A new music video has also been released.[2]

Fireflies (Owl City song)

“Fireflies” is the debut single from American electronica project Owl City’s album Ocean Eyes. Relient K vocalist Matt Thiessen is featured as a guest vocalist on the song. Adam Young described the song as “a little song about bugs and not being able to fall asleep at night.”[3] The song is built around a “bleepy” synthline and includes lyrics about insomnia, fireflies and summer.

The song topped the Billboard Hot 100 for two non-consecutive weeks. Internationally, the song also topped the charts in Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway, Ireland, Sweden and the United Kingdom. “Fireflies” was Owl City’s only top forty hit in the United States until three years later when “Good Time”, a duet with Canadian singer Carly Rae Jepsen, charted at No. 8.[4] It has been covered by Christina Grimmie, Cheryl Cole and others.

Fireflies was used in the promotional video for Sony’s EyePet video game. It is also featured in Disney Sing It: Party Hits.[5] It is also a downloadable content for both Guitar Hero 5 and Rock Band 3.[6][7]

Down (Jay Sean song)

“Down” is a song by British singer Jay Sean.[1] The song was released in North America as his debut single from his first album there, All or Nothing. In other markets, including the United Kingdom, the song serves as Jay Sean’s lead single from his third studio album. The single features American rapper and label mate Lil Wayne and is produced by J-Remy and Bobby Bass. “Down” is the seventh-best selling single of 2009,[2] and has been certified Platinum in several countries.[3] The song went on to sell six million copies in the United States,[4] and received a large airplay of two billion listener impressions on radio worldwide.[5][6]

The track was released to US radio on 31 May 2009, and digital retailers on 30 June 2009. “Down” hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the issue dated 17 October 2009, knocking The Black Eyed Peas off the top of the chart after their 26-week reign at number one. This made Jay Sean the first British act to score a Billboard Hot 100 number-one single since Coldplay’s “Viva la Vida” in 2008, and the fourth British act overall in the 2000s decade.[7] The song has also made him “the first UK urban act ever to top Billboard’s Hot 100”,[8] the ninth (second British) male solo performer to top the US charts with his debut single in the United States, and the first British act to have reached number one in the United States and not in the United Kingdom with a song since Seal’s “Kiss From a Rose” in 1995. It is also the best-selling single by a British and European male artist in North America since Elton John’s “Candle in the Wind” in 1997,[9][10][11] and the first by a British Asian artist since Freddie Mercury in 1980.[12]

I Gotta Feeling

“I Gotta Feeling” is the second single from The Black Eyed Peas’ fifth album The E.N.D, produced by French DJ David Guetta.[3] The song was released on June 23, 2009[4] and debuted at number two on the Canadian and Billboard Hot 100 on the week of June 27, 2009, behind the group’s “Boom Boom Pow”, making the group one of 11 artists who have occupied the top two positions of the Billboard Hot 100 at the same time. The song later reached number one on the US charts and 20 charts worldwide.

The song was nominated for Record of the Year at the 52nd Grammy Awards and won the Grammy for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals.[5] “I Gotta Feeling” was 5th on the Billboard Hot 100 Songs of the Decade.[6] The song was also nominated as Song of the Year at the 2009 World Music Awards. In March 2011, it became the first song in digital history to sell over 7 million digital copies in the United States. As of April 2015, it has sold over 8.6 million downloads in this country.[7] This also makes it the highest selling digital as well as non-charity single in the US ever.[8]

“I Gotta Feeling” spent 14 consecutive weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100, the longest-running number-one single of 2009. The song was the third most successful song of the decade in Australia, as announced on January 7, 2010.[9] As of February 2010, “I Gotta Feeling” holds the record as the most downloaded song on iTunes of all time.[10] Worldwide, it was the most successful song of the 21st century (with estimates putting combined sales and streams between 13 and 15 million units) until passed by “Happy” by Pharrell Williams in 2014.[11]

Boom Boom Pow

“Boom Boom Pow” is a song by The Black Eyed Peas released as the lead single from their fifth studio album, The E.N.D.

“Boom Boom Pow” topped the Billboard Hot 100, making it the group’s first U.S. number one single. It is the second longest-running single to stay atop the Hot 100 in 2009, beaten only by The Black Eyed Peas’ second single from The E.N.D, “I Gotta Feeling”, which held the top spot for 14 consecutive weeks. It has also topped the Australian, Canadian and UK singles charts as well as reaching the top 10 in more than 20 countries. The song was named 7th on the Billboard Hot 100 Songs of the Decade[1] and 51st on the Billboard Hot 100 Songs of All-time.[2]

The single has since sold over 6,000,000 copies in the U.S. and was ranked as the number one song and number two digital song at the Billboard Year End Chart of 2009. The song was nominated at the 52nd Grammy Awards for Best Dance Recording and won Best Short Form Music Video. Rolling Stone ranked the song number 14 on their Best 25 Songs of 2009 list.[3] As of January 2016, the music video has over 200 million views on YouTube.

Poker Face (Lady Gaga song)

“Poker Face” is a song by American singer Lady Gaga from her debut studio album, The Fame (2008). Produced by RedOne, it was released as the album’s second single in late 2008 for some markets and in early 2009 for the rest of the world. “Poker Face” is an uptempo synthpop song in the key of G♯ minor, following in the footsteps of her previous single “Just Dance”, but with a darker musical tone. The main idea behind the song is bisexuality and was a tribute by Gaga to her rock and roll boyfriends. Lyrically, the track is about a woman engaged in the practice of cockteasing.

“Poker Face” was acclaimed by most critics, who praised the robotic hook and the chorus. The song attained worldwide success, topping the charts in twenty countries including the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and many European countries. “Poker Face” is the best-selling single of 2009 worldwide, with over 9.5 million in sales. It is among the best-selling singles of all time, having sold over 14 million copies. The accompanying music video for the song portrays Gaga singing it in various costumes and playing strip poker in a getaway villa.

Gaga performed the song for the eighth season of the television show American Idol as well as the Fame Ball and Monster Ball tours. The live performances included an electronic version and an acoustic version, which she played on the piano. It was nominated for both Song of the Year and Record of the Year at the 52nd Grammy Awards, and won the Award for Best Dance Recording.

Right Round

“Right Round” is a song performed by American singer/rapper Flo Rida. It was released as the lead single from his second studio album, R.O.O.T.S. (2009). The song features guest vocals from American singer Kesha. It was released to radio on 27 January 2009[1] and was digitally released on 10 February by Poe Boy Entertainment and Atlantic Records.[2] The song heavily samples the chorus of the 1984 Dead or Alive song “You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)” in its hook. According to one of the song’s writers, the chorus refers to oral sex. Kesha contributed guest vocals to the song, but was uncredited in the United States and Canada during the run atop the charts.

Despite receiving mostly negative reviews, with critics claiming it was kitschy and misogynistic[citation needed], the song was a commercial success, reaching the top ten of the charts in nineteen countries worldwide. In the United States, it became Flo Rida’s second number-one single (staying at #1 for six consecutive weeks) and broke the record for first-week sales (636,000 downloads) when it was released to digital retailers; eventually, this record was broken by Adele’s “Hello”, which sold 1.11 million copies in its first week. The single’s accompanying music video was directed by Malcolm Jones and nominated for an MTV Video Music Award. The song has been used in several movies, such as The Hangover, The Ugly Truth and the Telugu movie Pilla Zamindar. In the movie Pitch Perfect, the song is performed by the a cappella group the Treblemakers. This song is the third track on the UK compilation Now 72, and the second track on the US compilation Now 31.

Crack a Bottle

“Crack a Bottle” is a song by American rapper Eminem, featuring American rappers Dr. Dre and 50 Cent. The song was released as the lead single from Eminem’s sixth studio album Relapse (2009). On February 12, 2009, the song broke the first week digital sales record with 418,000 downloads, topping the previous record held by “Live Your Life” by T.I. featuring Rihanna.[1] This record was broken again the following week by “Right Round” by Flo Rida.[2] The song won the Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group[3] in 2010. As of June 19, 2011, it has sold almost 2 million downloads in the United States.[4]

My Life Would Suck Without You

“My Life Would Suck Without You” is a song performed by American recording artist Kelly Clarkson from her fourth studio album, All I Ever Wanted (2009). The song features songwriting credits from Max Martin, Lukasz Gottwald, and Claude Kelly and production credits from Martin and Gottwald under his production moniker, Dr. Luke. “My Life Would Suck Without You” was released as the lead single from the album and premiered on January 13, 2009, in the United States on the Z100 radio station and was made available to download three days later. The song has met with positive reviews from music critics, who praised the song’s pop rock composition, which incorporates rock and dance elements.

The song reached number one in its second week on the Billboard Hot 100 when it moved up the chart 96 places from number 97. The song’s chart climbing gave Clarkson the record for a single with the furthest jump on the Billboard Hot 100 after achieving the feat with her 2002 single “A Moment Like This”. The song has also peaked at number 16 on US Adult Contemporary chart. Elsewhere, “My Life Would Suck Without You” peaked at number one in Canada, Hungary and the United Kingdom, and has attained top-five positions in Australia, Ireland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden and Switzerland. The song is also her first number-one in the United Kingdom, giving her the distinction as the only American Idol contestant to have a song reach number one there.[1]

The accompanying music video was directed by Wayne Isham and presents Clarkson’s relationship with her fictional boyfriend as being fluctuating and tumultuous as the two are depicted arguing and throwing out each other’s belongings whilst mirroring the sentiments of the song and the positive influence each has on the other. The video was nominated for an MTV Video Music Award in the Best Female Video category in 2009.[2]

Just Dance (song)

“Just Dance” is the debut single by American recording artist Lady Gaga. The song was produced by RedOne and co-written by RedOne, Gaga and Akon, while also featuring labelmate Colby O’Donis. It was released in 2008 as the lead single from Gaga’s debut studio album, The Fame. The song was written by Gaga in ten minutes as “a happy record”. “Just Dance” also has influences of R&B and lyrically speaks about being intoxicated at a club.

The song received positive reviews from music critics, who complimented its club anthem-like nature and the synthpop associated with it. The song has also achieved commercial success by topping charts in the United States, Australia, Canada, the Republic of Ireland, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, as well as reaching the top ten in many other countries. In the United States, “Just Dance” was a sleeper hit, spending almost five months on the Billboard Hot 100 before finally reaching the summit of the chart in January 2009, after being released in April 2008. The single is among the best-selling singles of all time, having sold over 10 million copies.

The music video of the song portrayed Lady Gaga appearing in a party where she plays the song, prompting party-goers to start dancing in enjoyment. Gaga compared her experience of shooting the video with being on a Martin Scorsese set. “Just Dance” was performed by Gaga in a number of live appearances including all of her concert tours. In 2009, the song received a Grammy nomination in the Best Dance Recording category but lost to electronic duo Daft Punk for their song “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger (Alive 2007)”.[2]

Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)

“Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)” is a song from American singer Beyoncé’s third studio album, I Am… Sasha Fierce (2008). Columbia Records released “Single Ladies” as a single on October 13, 2008 alongside “If I Were a Boy”, showcasing the contrast between Beyoncé and her aggressive onstage alter ego Sasha Fierce. It explores men’s unwillingness to propose or commit. In the song, the female protagonist is in a club to celebrate her single status.

“Single Ladies” won three Grammy Awards in 2010, including Song of the Year, among other accolades. Several news media sources named it as one of the best songs of 2008, while some considered it one of the best songs of the decade. It topped the US Billboard Hot 100 chart and has been certified quadruple-platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), with more than 5 million paid digital downloads. The song charted among the top ten within the singles category in several other countries. Globally, it was 2009’s seventh best-selling digital single with 6.1 million units sold[1] and is one of the best-selling singles of all time.

A black-and-white music video accompanied the single’s release. It won several awards, including the Video of the Year at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards. Beyoncé has performed “Single Ladies” on television and during her concert tours. The song and particularly its music video have been widely parodied and imitated. Several notable artists have performed cover versions. Media usage has included placement in popular television shows.

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