Writer(s): Shaffer "Ne-Yo" Smith, Mikkel S. Eriksen, Tor Erik Hermansen, Espen Lind, Amund Bjørklund, Beyoncé Knowles (see lyrics here)
Released: October 23, 2006
First Charted: October 28, 2006
Peak: 110 US, 18 RR, 10 AC, 15 A40, 19 RB, 4 UK, 2 CN, 13 AU, 12 DF (Click for codes to singles charts.)
Sales (in millions): 3.63 US, 1.2 UK, 6.7 world (includes US + UK)
Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 0.6 radio, 384.6 video, 764.84 streaming
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About the Song:
Ne-Yo and the Norwegian production team Stargate had already been to #1 with his song “So Sick” when they started work on “Irreplaceable.” Ne-Yo initially wrote the ballad from a male perspective, but an A&R person suggested the song would work better sung by a woman. Ne-Yo then envisioned it in the hands of Shania Twain or Faith Hill after the acoustic guitar made it sound like country music. WK However, when Beyoncé heard the demo, she asked for some changes and a drum beat was incorporated to give the song a more R&B flavor. SF
She worked with Ne-Yo on the lyrics. They said they were aiming for a song to which people of either gender could relate WK but the song ended up as a message of female empowerment as the song unfurls a tale of a woman addressing a cheating lover, informing him that he can be replaced easily. SF It may “remind many listeners of concepts central to Terry McMillan’s Waiting to Exhale which remains a cultural touchstone over 15 years after its release.” AB’00
This was the third U.S. single from Beyoncé’s B’Day album, fitting in well with its overall theme of “female strength and independence.” AB’00 Previous singles “Déjà Vu” and “Ring the Alarm” went to numbers 4 and 11 on the Billboard Hot 100 respectively, but “Irreplaceable” outpaced them both, landing atop the charts for 10 weeks. That impressive feat earned the song the title of Billboard’s song of the year; it was also the best-selling single of 2007. SF
The song also won awards from Soul Train for Best R&B/Hip-Hop Single by a Female and from Nickelodean for Kids Choice Award for Favorite Song. The song was also nominated for a Grammy for Record of the Year. Beyoncé took a Spanish language version of the song to the top 10 of the U.S. Hot Latin Songs chart. SF
Last updated 11/7/2022.