Tones and I
Writer(s): Toni Watson (see lyrics here)
Released: May 10, 2019
First Charted: September 7, 2019
Peak: 4 US, 11 A40, 12 MR, 111 UK, 17 CN, 124 AU (Click for codes to charts.)
Sales (in millions): 4.0 US, 3.6 UK, 14.52 world (includes US + UK)
Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 2645.87 video, 2858.77 streaming
Click on award for more details.
About the Song:
Singer Toni Watson (stage name Tones and I) accomplished the astonishing feat in January 2020 of spending a 24th week atop the Australian chart with “Dance Monkey,” the second single from her debut EP The Kids Are Coming. It cemented it as the biggest chart-topper in the history of the country, surpassing Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas” which spent 22 weeks at the top in 1943. It also won the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Music Award for Best Pop Release and the Australian Performing Right Assocation (APRA) Music Award for Song of the Year.
“Dance Monkey” was an international smash as well, reaching #1 in more than 30 countries. In the UK, its 11 weeks at #1 gave her the biggest chart-topper for a female artist in the history of the UK charts. It also racked up two billion airs on Spotify as well as YouTube. It was also declared the most Shazmed song of all time in November 2020. WK
Watson explained that she wrote the song when busking at Byron Bay in New South Wales, Australia. She loved the freedom of performing on the streets, but was frustrated by drunks, idiots, and people with short attention spans. It made her feel like a trained monkey, inspiring her to write the song about the pressure she felt to entertain people.
It specifically grew out of one night when one person stole her money and another tried to play her keyboard. SF Some of the lyrics grew directly out of comments from the crowd that night: “I’ve never seen anybody do the things you do,” “I see the way you shine,” “You stopped me dead when I was passing by,” and “You make me wanna cry.” SF
First posted 7/20/2023.