image from casasconil.info
Writer(s): Sia Furler, Jesse Shatkin (see lyrics here)
First Charted: 4/21/2014
Peak: 8 US, 17 AC, 6 UK, 6 CN, 2 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)
Sales *: 3.0 US, 1.8 UK, 6.81 world (includes US + UK)
Radio Airplay *: --
Video Airplay *: 1943.98
Streaming *: 781.00
* in millions
At the onset of 2014, Sia had charted a few minor hits in her native Australia and even mustered a top ten hit in the UK (2000’s “Taken for Granted”), but had never dented the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 as a solo artist. In 2010, she took a hiatus from performing and co-wrote songs for Christina Aguilera, Beyoncé, Flo Rida, David Guetta, and Rihanna. The result was a #1 song for Rihanna (“Diamonds,” 2012) and top ten hits featuring Sia for David Guetta (“Titanium,” 2011) and Flo Rida (“Wild Ones,” 2011). WK
The set the stage for Sia’s U.S. breakthrough when she returned with sixth studio album, 1000 Forms of Fear. Lead single “Chandelier” not only landed Sia on the U.S. pop charts as a lead act for the first time, but took her all the way to the top ten. She originally wrote the song with Beyoncé or Rihanna in mind, but as she told Ryan Seacrest, “This time I was like, ‘Uh oh, I think I just wrote a full-blown pop song for myself by accident!” SF It worked. As Gigwise’s Andrew Trendall said, the song “springboards Sia from a behind-the-scenes genius into a superstar in her own right.” WK
The electropop song featured “electronica, R&B, and reggae influences. Lyrically, [it] has a melancholic theme; detailing the demorilisation and rationalization of alcoholism through the typical thought process of a ‘party girl.’” WK As MTV Buzzworthy’s John Walker said, the song toes “the line between celebration and self-destruction.” WK VH1’s Emily Exton deemed it “the best song Sia had ever written.” WK MuuMuse’s Bradley Stern called it the best pop single of 2014, as did Billboard magazine. WK The song garnered Grammy nominations for Song of the Year, Record of the Year, Best Pop Solo Performance, and Best Music Video.
The video, directed by Sia and Daniel Askill and choreographed by Ryan Heffington, featured 11-year-old dancer Maddie Ziegler from Lifetime’s Dance Moms. SF She wore a medium-length blonde wig which matched the one Sia wore when promoting the album. Ziegler “performs an interpretive dance in a deserted, dirty apartment.” WK As she said, “It was really different and weird for me because I usually don’t…[get] to be a crazy person.” WK Time magazine said it might be the best dance routine of 2014. WK It received nominations at the MTV Video Music Awards for Video of the Year and Best Choreography, winning the latter. Rolling Stone and Spin named it the best video of 2014. WK She told Rolling Stone that the video was “the best thing I’ve ever done,” inspiring her to continue as a solo artist. SF
Resources and Related Links:
Note: Footnotes (raised letter codes) refer to sources frequently cited on the blog. Numbers following the letter code indicate page numbers. If the raised letter code is a link, it will go directly to the correct page instead of the home page of a website. You can find the sources and corresponding footnotes on the “Lists” page in the “Song Resources” section.