2009 was another important year in music. It was the year Lady Gaga secured her first No. 1 single, Drake was a hot new commodity with great things on the horizon, Eminem returned after a lengthy hiatus, and Beyonce was named Woman of the Year by Billboard.
As the summer was coming to end, several tracks were contenders for the song of the summer.
Miley Cyrus’ “The Climb”
Pitbull’s “I Know You Want Me”
Sean Kingston’s “Fire Burning”
Kelly Clarkson’s “I Do Not Hook Up”
…and the list goes on.
Those are all great songs that performed exceptionally well on the charts, but one song was the personification of Pop music in this era.
Chances are you’ve been to a wedding, nightclub, or another event with a DJ, and heard Black-Eyed Peas’ “I Gotta Feeling.” Every DJ has it in the bag to use at some point throughout the night to enhance the party. It’s what they call a ‘floor filler,’ staying true to the song’s intent. In an interview with Billboard, group member Apl.de.ap would refer to the song as a “college anthem for people looking forward to escaping life’s pressures by going out and having a ball.” Truthfully, he hit it right on the head. The song, from its melody to its lyrics, paints that picture perfectly.
When Will.i.am was in Australia filming X-Men Origins: Wolverine, he would spend some of his time off at some of the best nightclubs in Sydney, where several DJs were spinning Electro sounds, something he wasn’t too involved with at the time. One act in particular that inspired him was Italian DJs The Crookers and from there, his inspiration from the Electro scene grew. When he returned home to the U.S., consulted with the rest of the group, letting them know that the Dance beats were what was inspiring him now. Thus, their fifth studio album The E.N.D., (an abbreviation for ‘The Energy Never Dies’) had a more unique sound, experimenting with Electronic-infused Pop and Hip-Hop, starting with the album’s first single “Boom Boom Pow.” The song was commercially successful, reaching No. 1 in Canada and the U.S., their first No. 1 in America.
As fruitful as “Boom Boom Pow” was, it was “I Gotta Feeling” that is synonymous with the year 2009 and achieved even more accolades. The song hit No. 1 in several more countries internationally, including, Ireland, Italy, and New Zealand. It spent 12 weeks at No. 1, one of those weeks bring this week in 2009! Its reign at the top was the longest since Mariah Carey’s “We Belong Together” in 2005. It was the top-selling single on iTunes in 2009, and Billboard also named it as the best-selling song of 2009 in the US in all formats. To this day it remains one of the biggest party anthems of the 21st century and boasts one of the longest ever runs at No.1. Furthermore, it was the first song to reach 6 million digital downloads.
Its melody is inspired by David Guetta’s 2007 hit “Love Is Gone” from his Pop Life album and was an international hit for him. Guetta would also produce the Black-Eyed Peas hit. “Will, at the time, was embracing the electronic music from Europe. Other artists have taken sounds from us and incorporated it a little bit. But what I respect a lot about him and the band is that he fully immersed himself in the culture. He called me, and he was like, ‘Okay. I love that sound and I want to experiment with it a bit.’ So I sent him some tracks, and he selected a few. Then, I went to Los Angeles and we worked together. When the song started coming together, I got a crazy feeling and I was screaming: ‘this is huge, this is a monster, this is crazy,‘ Guetta would tell Blogcritics Magazine in 2010.
“I Gotta Feeling” was a turning point in the band’s career. Not only did it turn more heads and open more eyes, but it was the precursor to further experimentation and exhibition of their creative abilities. The band’s follow-up album The Beginning was similar in style utilizing electronic sounds and did fairly well on the charts. It was the final album before an eight-year hiatus. They returned in 2018, minus Fergie, with Masters of the Sun Vol. 1, this time utilizing a strictly Hip-Hop sound. They have most recently dipped their toes into the world of Spanish music. You can currently hear their latest singles “RITMO” and “MAMACITA” on Top 40 radio and your top his playlists!