Saturday, May 21, 2016

5/21/2016: Drake lands at #1 in the U.S. with “One Dance”

Updated 11/23/2018.

image from

One Dance

Drake with Wizkid & Kyla

Writer(s): Aubrey Graham/ Paul Jefferies/ Noah Shebib/ Ayodeji Balogun/ Errol Reid/ Luke Reid/ Kyla Smith/ Corey Johnson (see lyrics here)

Released: 4/5/2016

First Charted: 4/23/2016

Peak: 110, 118 RB, 115 UK, 17 CN, 17 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales *: 7.0 US, 2.4 UK, 12.69 world (includes US + UK)

Radio Airplay *: --

Video Airplay *: 307.00

Streaming *: 1591.00

* in millions


Grime pioneer Logan Sama supposedly played Drake’s team the 2008 song “Do U Mind” by Kyla. WK Drake and company reached out to her record company to tell her they wanted to sample the song. Kyla initially thought it was an April Fool’s joke – until she signed legal documents. CX The song ended up serving as the bridge for “One Dance,” which also featured Nigerian Afrobeat artist Wizkid as a writer and co-producer. WK Kyla didn’t get to listen to the final version – which was recorded in just a week’s time – because Drake rushed the song out for fear of it getting leaked, as had happened with his song “Controlla” in March. WK

Unsure how it would go over, Drake’s team released the song simultaneously with “Pop Style,” a more convential rap record which featured Kanye West and Jay-Z. They didn’t need to worry – “One Dance” landed at #1 in 15 countries, marking Drake’s first time to the summit as a lead artist. He’d previously guested on “What’s My Name?” CX and “Work,” both #1 songs for Rihanna. WK In the U.S., it became one of only 32 songs to top the Billboard Hot 100 for 10 weeks or more. It became the second-longest consecutive #1 in the UK with 15 weeks at the pinnacle. WK

It became the most streamed song in the history of Spotify with over a billion streams WK and was the biggest-seller in the world in 2016. WK Interestingly, the song’s lack of an official video aided the song’s success on the charts in countries which didn’t tally YouTube streams. A scene from the short film Please Forgive Me, however, featured the song and ended up serving as a video for the song. WK

Pitchfork described the song as “a throbbing, wine-worthy tropical thumper…about the spiritual connection two people can have in a club.” WK The New York Times’ Jon Caramanica called it “one of Drake’s breeziest and most accessible songs, and also one of his savviest.” WK Rolling Stone’s Rob Sheffield said it was “a utopian fusion of global styles.” WK

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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.


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