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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"Don't Cha"
Don't Cha.png
Single by The Pussycat Dolls featuring Busta Rhymes
from the album PCD
ReleasedApril 19, 2005 (2005-04-19)
Recorded2004
Genre
Length4:02
LabelA&M
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)Cee-Lo Green
The Pussycat Dolls singles chronology
"Sway"
(2004)
"Don't Cha"
(2005)
"Stickwitu"
(2005)
Busta Rhymes singles chronology
"What's Happenin'"
(2004)
"Don't Cha"
(2005)
"Touch It"
(2005)
Alternative cover
The Pussycat Dolls - Don't Cha.png
Music video
"Don't Cha" on YouTube

"Don't Cha" is a song recorded by American girl group The Pussycat Dolls from their debut studio album PCD (2005). The song features rapper Busta Rhymes who co-wrote the song with its producer, CeeLo Green. The song contains an interpolation of "Swass" which is written and performed by Sir Mix-a-Lot. It is an R&B song. "Don't Cha" was originally recorded by Tori Alamaze who released the song as her first single; however, after minor success and dissatisfaction with her label she gave up her rights to the song. Universal Music Group gave it to the Pussycat Dolls as the label was trying to reinvent the girl group.

"Don't Cha" received positive reviews from music critics, many of whom highlighted it as a stand-out; however, some of them criticized Busta Rhymes' appearance. The song was a commercial success, peaking at number two on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart and number one on the US Hot Dance Club Play and Pop 100 charts. The song reached number-one in fifteen other countries including Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. A music video for the song was directed by Paul Hunter features the group in various activities including jumping on a trampoline and drag racing in Jeeps; additionally choreographed routines were performed at the chorus.

Background

In January 2004, Cee Lo Green finished writing and producing the song "Don't Cha" which its chorus reprises the hook from Sir Mix-a-Lot's "Swass" taken from album of the same name in a basement studio in Atlanta, Georgia.[1] The song was originally written for Tori Alamaze, a former backing vocalist for the hip hop duo OutKast.[1] In November, Alamaze signed with Universal Records and decided to release the song as her first single from her debut album which was due to release that same year. However, months later, Alamaze decided to part ways with the label as she was "unhappy" and felt that she "got caught up in the middle of egos and favors."[1] Thus she agreed to give up her rights to the song to get out of her contract.[1] The song was still playing on radio while copies were available at stores.[1] Her version of the song received minor success reaching several Billboard charts, including the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart at number 53 and the Bubbling Under Hot 100 chart at number two.[2][3]

Meanwhile, Intersope Records signed the Pussycat Dolls, a sextet spun off from the burlesque group which was created by Robin Antin.[1] After Universal Records dropped Alamaze, the label was still very much interested in "Don’t Cha". Doug Morris—then chairman of Universal Music Group—suggested that "Don't Cha" should be given to the Pussycat Dolls as the label was trying to reinvent the girl group.[4] Initially Green was skeptical saying, "I didn't know too much about them [...], but when I found out that [Universal-owned] Interscope Records was involved, that was an alliance I didn't hesitate to make."[2] The Pussycat Dolls version was eventually recorded adding two verses from rapper Busta Rhymes. Lead singer Nicole Scherzinger admitted that two records sounded identical. "I had [Alamaze's] version as a guide. But ours is just a bit fresher."[1] This song was initially offered to both Sugababes and Paris Hilton, but both declined.[5] In 2006, Hilton claimed that she was presented with the track, but was not impressed with it, commenting. "I think I did hear the song, but not in the format that we all came to know and love. If I'd heard that, of course I'd have jumped at the chance".[6]

Composition

"Don't Cha" is a R&B song that lasts four minutes and thirty-two seconds.[7][8] The song was written by Thomas Callaway, Anthony Ray, and Trevor Smith and produced by Callaway.[8] According to the sheet music published by Sony/ATV Music Publishing, "Don't Cha" was composed using common time in the key of B minor, and set in a moderate hip hop tempo of 120 beats per minute.[9] Naomi West described Busta Rhymes' rap as "garrulous".[10]

Speaking of their collaboration, Scherzinger said, "He is so much fun. He's so humble and he just makes you feel good. We are so grateful that [Busta] did it and was a part of it with us. We feel blessed."[11] The song's lyrics are about "taunting a hapless man with the lyrics, "Don't cha wish your girlfriend was hot like me / Don't cha wish your girlfriend was a freak like me".[12] The chorus of the song is based on Sir Mix A Lot's song "Swass" (1988). Maeve McDermott distinguished "Don't Cha" from other girl group songs like "Wannabe", "Independent Women" and "No Scrubs" which promote female camaraderie.[13] Marisa Meltzer of The Daily Beast felt that the song's lyrics "put forward the belief that a woman's worth lies solely in her appearance and sexual permissiveness and just furthers the notion that women are in competition with one another over men."[14]

Reception

Reviews

"Don't Cha" received mainly positive reviews. Sal Cinquemani of described the song as "brassy and sassy" adding that, "the Pussycat Dolls have certainly carved a niche for themselves in 21st century pop history.[15] Stephen Thomas Erlewine also favored the song saying "there has never been a sex song quite as knowingly ironic yet undeniably sexy as this."[16] Writing for musicOMH John Murphy described "Don't Cha" as "a silky, sexy little number that will become ubiquitous by the end of the month." However, he added that Busta Rhymes is annoying. "It's a shame that Busta Rhymes is as typically annoying as ever, but he doesn't spoil the song too much."[17] Spence D. from IGN wrote that the track's "sultry swagger-n-shuffle is the type of stuff that nasty boys and girls might enjoy grinding to."[18] A reviewer from Contactmusic.com gave the song 4 out 5 stars favoring the "serious dose of high energy and raunchy message," while criticized the song for not having "any vocal talent."[19] Lisa Haines from BBC described the track as "memorable". She continued saying "[it's] a groovy R&B duet with Busta Rhymes, is easily the best."[7] Isaac McCalla from About.com praised the song. "This single is a serious dose of high energy, wickedly fun and slammin' house music."[20] Azeem Ahmad also from musicOMH in a separate review commented, "strangely enough 'Don't Cha' isn't purely eye candy." However, he was critical stating: "not even Busta Rhymes' cameo appearance can prevent Don't Cha from seeming like nothing more than a promo for some generic product aimed at young males."[21] Chuck Arnold and Ralph Novak of People magazine wrote that the group is "responsible for [2005] guiltiest pleasure."[22]

Accolades and recognition

The song was nominated for Top Selling Single of the Year at the 2005 Billboard Music Awards.[23] At the 2006 Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Awards the song won the award in the category for Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs Sales.[24] At the 21st International Dance Music Awards, the song was nominated in the Best R&B/Urban Dance Track and Best Pop Dance Track categories,[25] winning the former.[26] In May and August the song was listed as one of the recipients of the Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) Pop Awards and Urban Awards.[27][28] The same year, the song was nominated for Best R&B/Soul Single, Group, Band or Duo at the 2006 Soul Train Music Awards.[29]

VH1 ranked "Don't Cha" at number 96 on their list of the 100 Greatest Songs of the 2000s.[30] The Daily Telegraph listed the song at number 58 on the "100 songs that defined the Noughties."[31] Billboard magazine ranked "Don't Cha" at number 30 on their list of the 100 Greatest Girl Group Songs of All Time; Frank Digiacomo wrote that, despite Tori Alamaze exuding "the sinewy sexual tension that the song’s refrain, [...] It took the star power of the Dolls, to get it all the way to [number two]."[32] Based on chart performance on the Billboard Hot 100, "Don't Cha" is the 29th most successful song by a girl group on the chart.[33]

Chart performance

Mariah Carey (pictured) blocked "Don't Cha" from the top position in the US with "We Belong Together" (2005).
Mariah Carey (pictured) blocked "Don't Cha" from the top position in the US with "We Belong Together" (2005).

In the United States, "Don't Cha" debuted at number 95 on the Billboard Hot 100 on the issue dated May 7, 2005.[34] In its tenth week, "Don't Cha" entered the top ten at number eight.[35] The track reached number two in its sixteenth week, becoming their highest charting single in the country.[36] The song stayed there for three consecutive weeks, being held off the top spot by Mariah Carey's "We Belong Together", which spent a total of 14 non-consecutive weeks at number one.[37] Despite the song not reaching the top position on the Billboard Hot 100, it reached number one spot on the Hot Dance Club Play and Pop 100 and charts for three and seven consecutive weeks respectively.[38][39] "Don't Cha" set the record for the highest charting single by a girl group on Billboard's Hot Digital Songs.[40] "Don't Cha" took three-and-a-half years to reach the two million mark in paid downloads,[41] and by May 2011 the song has sold three million copies according to Nielsen Soundscan.[42] The song was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), for shipment of a million copies of the single.[43]

In Australia, "Don't Cha" debuted at number one on the ARIA Singles Chart and remained in the pole position for seven non-consecutive weeks between August and September earning the group a distinction for having the longest stay at number one since Eminem's "Lose Yourself" which topped the chart for 12 weeks in 2002-03. Moreover, it was one of the three songs to remain in the top ten for 14 weeks.[44] It has been certified double times platinum by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA).[45] In New Zealand, the song reached number one in its first week and spent more than half of its time on the chart in the top ten.[35] It was certified gold, selling over 7,500 copies, according to the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand (RIANZ).[46]

In the United Kingdom, prior its single release "Don't Cha" peaked at number 44 on import.[47] The following week, the song peaked at number one on the UK Singles Chart, making the Pussycat Dolls the first American female group to top the singles chart since Destiny's Child's "Survivor" (2001) and the first single under A&M Records to reach number one since The Black Eyed Peas' "Where Is the Love? (2003). It sold 85,021 copies, displacing the Gorillaz' "Dare" by nearly four times as many sales.[47] In its second week, the song the single had a decline in sales of 23% to 65,122 copies, but remained on the top outselling the rest of the singles by a margin of greater than two to one as PCD debuted at number eight on the UK Albums Chart.[48] In its final week atop, sales dipped by 31.1% selling 44,897 copies, surpassing 195,164 copies after 20 days, and becoming the seventh highest seller of the year at that point.[49] The British Phonographic Industry (BPI) awarded a platinum certification to the track for shipping 600,000 copies in the UK.[50] According to the Official Charts Company "Don't Cha" is the 147th best-selling single of the 21st century.[51] As of November 2019, "Don't Cha" remains the group's best-selling single, with combined sales of 915,000.[52]

In Ireland, the song debuted at number one on the Irish Singles Chart and stayed for four consecutive weeks.[35] The song has also reached the peak in a number of European countries including Belgium (Flanders), Germany, Norway and Switzerland.[35] According to Nielsen Soundscan, by the end of 2005 "Don't Cha" was the tenth best selling song in digital downloads across Europe.[53]

Music video

The Pussycat Dolls dancing around American rapper Busta Rhymes.
The Pussycat Dolls dancing around American rapper Busta Rhymes.

Background

An accompanying music video for "Don't Cha" was directed by Paul Hunter during the week of April 11, 2005.[54] Nicole Scherzinger told MTV News that the video was all about having fun. "Busta Rhymes is pretty phat, man. He is so much fun. He's so humble and he just makes you feel good. When you're around him, you feel magical. The lyrics are, 'Don't cha wish your girlfriend was hot like me.'... But if you see the video, it's all about being who you are, having fun and being confident — and feeling hot. It's not so much about looking hot ... although looking hot is important."[11]

Synopsis

The opening sequence of the video features the Pussycat Dolls riding in jeeps and Busta Rhymes rapping his verse, simultaneously. The video continues to switch back and forth from Scherzinger singing her parts separately and the other Pussycat Dolls singing along. Scherzinger is seen throughout the video wearing the infamous "don't cha" hoodie that features the first line of the chorus ("Don't cha wish your girlfriend was hot like me") on the top part of her sweater. Once the chorus kicks in, the group is seen performing a dance routine surrounded by walls with graffiti printed on each side. Then, the group is seen at an underground party where each member is jumping from a ground trampoline. The Pussycat Dolls are seen surrounded by party guests as they strut down a case of stairs. Once the girls are on the ground, another dance routine is performed. Busta Rhymes is featured in the next scene where he raps his final verse. The scene continues to switch between Scherzinger and Busta Rhymes together and Scherzinger with the group until chorus starts again and Scherzinger is in the center of the group and then lifts herself and kicks two chairs in front of her. The Pussycat Dolls continue to dance and sing until the video ends. Claude Racine, Robin Antin and Cee-Lo Green make appearances in the video towards the end.

Recognition

Brandee J. Tecson of MTV commented, "leave it to the Pussycat Dolls to cast someone in their music video who can actually steal attention away from six gyrating half-naked chicks."[11] Billy Johnson Jr. of Yahoo! Music said, "front and center, the stunning Nicole Scherzinger, surrounded by good company, pranced around in tank tops and short shorts while drag racing in convertible jeeps. They raised the bar."[55] VH1 listed "Don't Cha" at number fourteen on its Top 40 Videos of 2005.[56] The music video was nominated for Best Dance Video at the 2006 International Dance Music Awards.[26] It was also nominated for the Best R&B video at the 2006 MTV Australia Video Music Awards but lost to Chris Brown's Run It!.[57] Billboard described the music video for the song as "iconic" for girl groups.[58] Andrew Unterberger of Billboard said, "It was inevitable that the song and video would become massive, and become massive they did, with the song heating up the Hot 100 chart and the video establishing the group as mainstays on MTV for many subsequent (though not quite as memorable) videos to come."[58]

Legacy

In September 2011, Billboard ranked "Don't Cha" third best song of the Summer of 2005.[59] To acknowledge the most popular films, television shows, celebrities and music of the 2000s decade, "Don't Cha" was featured in VH1's I Love the 2000s.[60] Billboard also ranked the song number 29 on the list of Top 40 Girl Group Songs Of All Time,[61] and third on the Favorite Girl Group Single poll the same week.[62] "Don't Cha" has appeared on multiple Fuse countdowns including number 41 on Girls Who Run The World,[63] number 51 on Top 100 Pop Breakthroughs,[64] number 14 on Top 100 Sexy Beats.[65] and number 17 on 4Music's Biggest R&B Hits of the Naughties.[66]

Live performances

On May 14, 2005, the Pussycat Dolls closed KIIS-FM's Wango Tango at the Angel Stadium in Los Angeles, California with "Don't Cha". Prior their performance Scherzinger said, "We are so psyched [to play tonight]. We can't wait. It's going to be amazing." MTV's Brandee J. Tecson commented, "like a lot of the day's performers, the Dolls were newcomers to the Wango stage, but ended the night like veterans."[67] On August 14, 2005 The Pussycat Dolls performed "Don't Cha" at the 2005 Teen Choice Awards.[68] On November 4, 2005, the group appeared at the 2005 MTV Europe Music Awards at the Pavilhão Atlântico in Lisbon, Portugal, and performed "Don't Cha" with a house remix at the end.[69] On December 7, 2005, the Pussycat Dolls performed at the annual KIIS-FM Jingle Ball at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California with some members wearing "festive candy-cane-striped belly shirts and red-and-green capri pants." The set list included "Don't Cha", 'Stickwitu" and "Wait a Minute".[70]

On January 27, 2006, during the results show of Dancing with the Stars the Pussycat Dolls performed "Sway" and "Don't Cha".[71] On June 30, 2006, The Pussycat Dolls performed on Good Morning America as part of its Summer Concert Series along with "Buttons" and "Stickwitu".[72] Busta Rhymes included the song on his set list while opening for Mariah Carey's The Adventures of Mimi tour.[73] On July 7, 2007, The Pussycat Dolls together with other artists performed at the Live Earth Concerts, which were held to raise awareness of global warming. They performed "Don't Cha", "Stickwitu", and "Buttons".[74] The group then performed the song at the Walmart Soundcheck, along with "I Hate This Part", "Buttons", "When I Grow Up" and "Takin' Over the World".[75] The Pussycat Dolls also performed "Don't Cha" at the Doll Domination Tour (2009). Maureen Ellis of the Evening Times said that the "high-energy encore of 'Don't Cha' and 'When I Grow Up' ensured the Dolls reigned supreme."[76]

On November 30, 2019, the Pussycat Dolls reunited on The X Factor: Celebrity finale, marking their first live performance together in a decade and performed a medley of "Buttons", "When I Grow Up", "Don't Cha", and "React".[77] Shortly after, British media regulator Ofcom received 400 complaints from viewers who criticized band’s revealing outfits and provocative choreography.[78] On February 22, 2020, the group appeared on series sixteen of Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway, and performed "Don't Cha as part of a medley with "Buttons", "Beep" and "React". The performance was set within the context of a comedy sketch where they poked fun at the controversy that aroused following their The X Factor: Celebrity. As part of the performance, a TV test card flashed up on screen from ITV reading "we're sorry for the disruption... we're working hard to fix the issue and will return to normal family-friendly, not at all sexy, uncontroversial programming soon." The test card was revealed to be a backdrop which the group jumped through.[78]

Cover versions

American singer Colbie Caillat performed "Don't Cha" throughout her US tour in support of her second studio album, Breakthrough (2009).[79] In 2019, Ezra Miller's band, Sons of an Illustrious Father, recorded their own version of "Don't Cha" with the intent to "ridicule and invert" the heterosexual nature of the tune. The accompanying music video was filmed in an empty warehouse where the band members are dressed in black leotards and are dancing against dim, colorful neon lights.[80]

Track listing

Credits and personnel

Credits adapted from the liner notes of PCD.[8]

Sample

  • Contains interpolations of "Swass" performed and written by Sir Mix-a-Lot.

Personnel

Charts

Certifications

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[138] 2× Platinum 140,000^
Austria (IFPI Austria)[139] Gold 15,000*
Belgium (BEA)[140] Gold 10,000*
Germany (BVMI)[141] Platinum 300,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[142] Gold 5,000*
Sweden (GLF)[143] Gold 10,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[144] Gold 20,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[146] Platinum 915,000[145]
United States (RIAA)[147] Platinum 3,000,000[42]
Ringtone
United States (RIAA)[147] Platinum 1,000,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

Radio and release history

Country Date Format Label Ref.
United States April 19, 2005 Contemporary hit radio [148]
Rhythmic radio
April 26, 2005 [149]
July 19, 2005 Digital download – Remixes EP [150]
Asia September 5, 2005
  • CD
  • maxi single
  • 12"
Universal [151]
Australia
Europe
  • A&M
  • Interscope
[151]

See also

References

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  2. ^ a b Endelman, Michael (July 22, 2005). "Pussycat or Copycat?". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. Retrieved August 9, 2013.
  3. ^ "Tori Alamaze – Chart history". Billboard. Retrieved October 1, 2018.
  4. ^ Kawashima, Dale. "Special Interview with Ron Fair, Chief Creative Officer & Executive Vice President of Virgin Records". SongwriterUniverse.com. Retrieved September 9, 2014.
  5. ^ Lipshutz, Jason (February 28, 2013). "20 Hit Songs Meant For Other Singers". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved September 17, 2013.
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External links

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