“Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)” by Beyoncé
On this track, Beyoncé speaks about an ex while expecting empathy from other single ladies all over the world.
The song was most likely about her brief break-up with Jay Z before they got married. Beyoncé talks about moments after the breakup when she got noticed by other guys and her ex was mad at that. She retorts that he has no right to be mad because they were not together at the time, and she had to deal with the heartbreak for three years. She then reminds him that he should have married her if he loved her instead of feeling jealous.
Beyoncé seems to consciously make him pay for the breakup as she gets another man to replace her ex in plain sight. She actually wants him to miss her more than ever. She then tells her ex that she’s not just interested in material things but wants a man who loves and cherishes her beyond any other person.
Eventually, Beyoncé and Jay Z reunited in 2006 and got married in 2008.
Writing and Production of “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)”
“Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)” was composed by a group of songwriters comprising Beyoncé, Tricky Stewart, Kuk Harrell, and The-Dream.
Beyoncé was supported by The-Dream and Stewart in producing this dance-pop tune.
Recording and Release Date of “Single Ladies”
The recording of “Single Ladies” was done in May 2008 and the song came out officially as a single on the 13th of October that year.
The track was included on Beyoncé’s Grammy nominated album 2008 album, entitled, I Am… Sasha Fierce. It was the second single from this album.
Music Video for “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)”
The video for “Single Ladies” was premiered on MTV on the 13th of October 2008. The clip’s directing credits go to seasoned British director, Jake Nava.
Prior to this video, Jake had previously directed several music videos for the pop songstress, including the visual for her 2003 hit, “Baby Boy”.
Beyoncé’s dance pattern in this song’s video became famous across the world, with several fans uploading parodies of the dance moves on a host of social media sites, particularly, YouTube.
The video for “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)” received several accolades and nominations too.
In 2009, the video scooped 3 awards out of the 8 nominations it received at the MTV Video Music Awards. It won the following categories: Video of the Year, Best Choreography in a Video, and Best Editing in a Video.
Additionally, in 2009, the clip was also selected as the Best Video and Video of the Year at the MOBO Awards and BET Awards respectively.
Famous Live Performances of “Single Ladies”
The first live performance of “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)” took place on the 29th of October 2008. The performance took place at a show organized by Power 105. 1 Radio in New York.
She has also performed this track on several other shows, including the American Music Awards in 2008.
At the 2010 edition of the Grammy Awards, this song picked up three awards. It won the categories for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance, Best R&B Song, and Song of the Year.
Other Notable Accolades
A host of media outlets named this tune as one of the best tracks of the year, whereas others named it as one of the greatest tunes of the decade. For instance, Rolling Stone magazine ranked the song at #1 on their list of Top Songs of 2008. The following year, it was ranked at #50 on their Songs of the Decade list.
In 2011, Time magazine included this single on their list of All Time 100 Songs. In 2012, “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)” was part of The 100 Best Songs of The Complex Decade, a list compiled by Complex magazine.
Remixes/Covers of “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)”
A remix of the song was recorded and released in September 2008, with Beyoncé featuring rapper, Nicki Minaj on this version.
A wide range of artists have recorded various cover versions of “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)”. Some prominent covers include:
- The Chipettes (in 2009)
- Liza Minnelli (in 2010)
- Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox (ft. Ariana Savalas) (in 2015)
The 2008 track “Ringtone Rap” by DJ Skee (ft. Charles Hamilton) contains samples of this song in it. American mashup DJ, Girl Talk also sampled bits of this tune in his 2010 song, “That’s Right”.
“Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)” dominated the charts in several nations. It topped the charts in the U.S. and in Brazil as well. It also performed well in the UK, reaching #7 on the Singles chart.
This song also occupied enviable positions on the charts of many other countries, such as Australia and Canada, where it ranked at #5 and #2 respectively.