“Uptown Funk” (stylised as “UpTown Funk!”) is a song recorded by British record producer Mark Ronson, and American singer and songwriter Bruno Mars, for Ronson’s fourth studio album, Uptown Special (2015). RCA Records released the song as the album’s lead single on 10 November 2014. Jeff Bhasker assisted the artists in co-writing and co-producing the track, with additional writing from Philip Lawrence. This is Mars’ fourth collaboration with Ronson (following Mars’ own songs “Locked Out of Heaven”, “Moonshine”, and “Gorilla”) and sixth with Bhasker (after “Talking to the Moon”, “Young Girls” and the three previously mentioned songs).
Several music critics noted its similarity with popular music from the 1980s. It won both its Grammy Award nominations for Record of the Year and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance (plus a Grammy Award in the Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical category for remixer Dave Audé). The song was also a global commercial success, spending 14 consecutive weeks at number one on the US Billboard Hot 100, seven non-consecutive weeks at number one on the UK Singles Chart, and topped the charts in several other countries including Australia, Canada, France, Ireland and New Zealand. In the week of 25 January 2015, the song was streamed a record 2.34 million times in a single week in the UK, a record later surpassed by Ellie Goulding’s “Love Me Like You Do” (2.58 million streams). The latter song also beat “Uptown Funk” for the highest number of streams in one week worldwide, with 15.5 million. “Uptown Funk” also set a new record for the highest number of streams in one week in the US, with 4.8 million streams. Worldwide, the song has accumulated an estimated 15.2 million points from sales and streams. In 2015, “Uptown Funk” won Ronson the Brit Award for British Single of the Year. The video for “Uptown Funk” was also nominated for five MTV Video Music Awards in 2015, winning Best Male Video. According to Billboard magazine, the song has earned $2.7 million in publishing royalties (excluding TV and film synchronization revenue), $1.9 million of which went to the writers based on their respective publishing deals. On 24 June 2015, it was reported that Trinidad James earned over $150,000 USD in royalty earnings from Uptown Funk’s interpolation.
The song features heavy inspiration from the Minneapolis sound of 1980s-era funk music, having a spirit akin to works by Prince as well as Morris Day and The Time. Copyright controversies about “Uptown Funk” have dogged Ronson and Mars, with The Gap Band’s three core members being added on as songwriters as part of a mutually settled agreement given the inspiration given to the track by “Oops! Upside Your Head”. Serbian pop artist Viktorija has also argued that “Uptown Funk” infringed on her track “Ulice Mracne Nisu Za Devojke”.
The video received its billionth view on YouTube on 15 September 2015 (UTC), and has become the third most watched video on YouTube.