All About That Bass
Writer(s): Meghan Trainor, Kevin Kadish (see lyrics here)
Released: June 30, 2014
First Charted: July 13, 2014
Peak: 18 US, 13 BA, 18 DG, 110 ST, 13 RR, 7 AC, 2 A40, 14 UK, 18 CN, 14 AU, 9 DF (Click for codes to charts.)
Sales (in millions): 10.0 US, 1.38 UK, 14.34 world (includes US + UK)
Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 2694.03 video, 746.98 streaming
Click on award for more details.
About the Song:
Trainor was signed to a songwriting deal with the publisher Big Yellow Dog right out of high school. She was paired with Kevin Kadish, a producer who’d worked with Jason Mraz and Stacie Orrico. Kadish had the title “All About That Bass” written in his idea notebook, always envisioning it not as a song about “the low end of the audio spectrum” but about booty. He’d pictured a male hip-hop artist singing it, but Trainor, who often used the phrase “I’m all about that…,” loved it. SF They wrote the song in 40 minutes. WK
As she said, “It’s pretty clear I ain’t no size two.” SF She made it into a message about “confidence and positive body image.” SF Trainor said she struggled in high school with self image, WK although her “beautiful, popular, skinny friends had trouble finding a good dude” while she never had a problem. SF She told Entertainment Weekly she figured they’d never make any money off the song, but that she was fine with that. SF
Trainor and Kadish gave “Bass” a retro feel with, appropriately, an acoustic upright bass as well as backing vocals and a musical backdrop which harkened back to the sound of sixties girl groups. SF Still, while Trainor’s voice sounded like a single from 1963, she gave it a modern touch with lyrics not suited to that era and in a rap vein. SF When Kadish and Trainor shopped the song, labels suggested changes, such as adding synthesizer or AutoTune, to modernize it. WK However, when Epic Records’ chairman L.A. Reid heard the song, he signed her. Other than some mastering, he resisted the urge to tweak or remix, opting to leave the song intact and release it as her debut single. SF
It was one of several popular songs in 2014 (others being Colbie Caillat’s “Try” and John Legend’s “You & I”) to celebrate women’s natural beauty, possibly a reaction to the perceived misogynistic nature of lyrics on songs like Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines.” SF The Guardian’s Caroline Sullivan said the song had the “aura of a hard-won victory against self-doubt” WK and Yahoo! writer Paul Grein called it “one of the biggest and best ‘message songs of recent times.” WK The song topped the charts in 21 countries and was nominated for Grammys for Record and Song of the Year. WK It was the first single to enter the UK Top 40 based purely on streams. SF It became the only debut single in the history of the Billboard Hot 100 to spend 15 weeks in the top two and, with eight weeks at #1 in the U.S., became the biggest hit in the history of Epic Records. SF
Last updated 8/15/2023.