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Starships
[[Nicki-Minaj-Starships.jpg|250px]]
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Nicki-Minaj-–-Starships-Music-Video-480x330

Nicki Minaj on the Starships video

"Starships" is a song by Trinidadian recording artist and songwriter Nicki Minaj, released as the lead single of her second studio album Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded (2012). It was written by Minaj herself, along with Nadir Khayat, Carl Falk, Rami Yacoub and Wayne Hector, while production was handled by RedOne, Yacoub and Falk. With the success of her previous studio album Pink Friday, Minaj along with Brian "Birdman" Williams announced to Billboard that Minaj was aiming for a first quarter release in 2012. With this, "Starships" would have been released as the lead single. However, before this, Minaj released promotional singles from the album first. It was then announced that her song "Va Va Voom" would be released as the lead single, and just as the release date was near, it was scrapped in favor of "Starships".

Musically, "Starships" is recognized as a "multi-genre" song. The song is influenced by 90's Eurodance music, where it features multiple genres of electropop, dance-pop, pop rock, rap and R&B. The song contains a brief sample of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star as written by Jane Taylor. Lyrically, the song talks about having fun, being carefree and partying.

"Starships" received generally favorable reviews from music critics, along with negative remarks, with many critics complimenting the songs composition and found it catchy. Critics also found the song's production solid, however critics believed the song was unoriginal and didn't find Minaj's path towards pop music satisfying. However, commercially, the song is recognized as Minaj's most successful charting single to date, peaking at number one in countries including Belgium (both Wallonia and Flanders), France, Germany, Hungary, Norway and the United Kingdom. The song has also peaked inside the top ten in more than 25 countries worldwide. The song also remains her most certified single to date. The song also made US Billboard history, debuting in the US top ten and then spending a total of more than 20 consecutive weeks in the top ten.

Minaj has performed the song live in a number of appearances, and is expected to be included in her upcoming world tour Pink Friday: Reloaded Tour. The corresponding music video was shot Oahu Island, Hawaii. Directed by Anthony Mandler, the song features Nicki on a beach in a bikini, and near the end of the video, it shows her and a "party-esque" dancing to the song and performing. The music video was critically acclaimed from music critics, many praising the kaleidoscope effects in the video and the fun, carefree style. However, some critics noticed its postponed release, because the video for her single "Beez in the Trap" was released before "Starships" was. With all the success, the song has also sparked controversy surrounding a pulled live performance.

Background and compositionEdit

Template:Listen Following the release and success of Minaj's previous album, Pink Friday, Cash Money co-CEO, Brian "Birdman" Williams announced to Billboard that Minaj was aiming for a first quarter release in 2012.[1] In November 2011, Minaj announced on Twitter that the album would be released on February 14, 2012, but later in January 2012 she pushed the album to April 3, 2012. The album puts focus on the return of Roman Zolanski, one of Minaj's alter egos that was first featured on her 2010 debut album, Pink Friday.

"Starships" is a multi-genre song,[2] which heavily utilizes eurodance,[3] europop,[4] euro house,[2] and electropop[5] while also incorporating other genres such as pop,[2] dance,[4] reggae,[6] pop rock,[7] and hip hop.[8] After the chorus, there is a '90s-influenced Eurodance breakdown, which some critics have compared to the likes of europop groups 2 Unlimited and C+C Music Factory. During the final Breakdown, a stadium football chant can be heard chanting the lead notes of the song. The background vocals on the chorus were considered extremely similar to Britney Spears' 2011 single "Till the World Ends" by Scott Schettler of Popcrush.[9] Jocelyn Vena of MTV also said that "it's hard not to see Spears' influence on the rapper/singer when listening to the song."[10] Billboard compared "Starships" to the work of Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lopez, other artists produced by RedOne.[11] Musically, "Starships" is written in the key of D major and follows a moderate tempo of 125 beats per minute. Written in common time, the song follows a chord progression of D−A−G−Bm−F
Music

Albums:
Original Theme HighlightsThe Best Day EverThe SpongeBob SquarePants MovieThe Yellow AlbumSpongeBob's Greatest Hits

Songs:
4-PlyA Day Like ThisAll You Need is FriendshipBarnacles!Bee Line for the Tree LineBest Day EverBikini BottomBikini Bottom/Rock BottomBossy Boots SongThe Bubble SongCampfire Song SongCha-ChingDoing the SpongeDoin' the Krabby PattyDown the WellThe Dragon SongElectric ZooEmployee of the MonthF.U.N. SongFishin' for MoneyGary Come HomeGood-Bye AtlantisGoofy Goober SongGoofy Goober RockHe's FlyingHey All You PeopleHey, Mean Mr. BossmanI Can't Keep My Eyes Off of YouI Was The King's Favorite FoolIdiot FriendsIf I Could Talk to MoneyIf Only I Could Join YouIndoorsIt's All About You, GirlThe Jellyfishing SongJust a KidKrusty Krab PizzaLivin' the Sunlight, Lovin' the MoonlightLoop De LoopMusical DoodleMy Tighty WhiteysNow That We're MenOcean ManOh My KarenPrince Paul's Bubble PartyThe Princess ScreamsRidin' The HookRipped PantsSo Long, Bikini BottomSpare Us, Dark KnightSpongeBob and Patrick Confront the Psychic Wall of EnergySpongeBob ScaredyPantsSuperiorSweet VictoryTheme SongThat's A RodeoThey'll Soon DiscoverThis Grill is Not a HomeTwinkle, Twinkle, Patrick StarUnder My RockUnderwater SunThe Very First ChristmasWe've Got ScurvyWhen Worlds CollideWhere's GaryWho Wants to Race MeYou Better SwimYou Will Obey!You're Old

Other:
Associated production music

m−G.[12] The song contains a brief sample of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star as written by Jane Taylor.

Critical receptionEdit

The song has received generally positive reviews, but there have been some negative reviews. Los Angeles Times said that "The new single will undoubtedly divide Minaj's fan base. Longtime fans may want the cypher queen they fell in love with when she was young and hungry on the mixtape circuit, while her newer, sugar pop-loving delegation will likely crave the quirkier verses -- and cotton candy-colored wigs -- of today's Minaj".[13] MTV said that "The song not only is pure pop perfection, but RedOne's influence is evident, thanks to its grinding Euro dance beats", adding that "It is certainly the perfect song for those who enjoyed shaking their groove thang to "Super Bass". The lighthearted, feel-good vibe of the song is perfect for casual Barbz to blast. It's hard not to see Britney Spears' influence on the rapper/singer when listening to the song, and given that the two toured together last year, Minaj may be trying to remind her pop fans that she has an ear for what they want".[10] Entertainment Weekly gave a negative review, stating that it's "super clubby and contains almost no rapping, which continues Minaj's push into the complete opposite direction she should be heading."[14]

Bill Lamb from About.com was mixed with his review, stating: "Starships is a solid outing for Nicki Minaj. However, the day-glo pop-rap success of "Super Bass", emotional power of "Fly", and experimentation of her Grammy Awards performance has left us expecting Nicki Minaj to push boundaries. "Starships" feels a little bit like retreating into a musical pocket and trying a little too hard to insure another pop chart hit. The result is pleasurable but not particularly memorable".[15] Bloggers for Billboard magazine, Andrew Hampp and Erika Ramirez, criticized the track for, "...monstrous pop hooks that overshadow its throwaway lyrics," while stating that it was, "the most polarizing single in Minaj's career to date." The pair also noticed that Minaj seemed to be exploring her "musical identity" through singing, instead of focusing on her strengths.[11] Slant Magazine stated that "Starships (along with "Pound The Alarm", "Whip It", and "Automatic") are "retro-techno-pop earsores comprised of indiscriminately arranged bits of LMFAO's "Sexy and I Know It", Rihanna's "We Found Love", and pretty much any recent Britney Spears or Katy Perry song you can name" adding that "For the chorus to her self-affirmation anthem, Minaj shouts "Starships were meant to fly!," echoing Katy Perry's "Baby, you're a firework!" for its uncomprehending intuition that if something is in the sky then it must also be inspiring".[16]

Chart performanceEdit

"Starships" debuted at number nine on the US Billboard Hot 100, marking her second solo arrival in the top ten, after "Super Bass", which reached number three. The song eventually peaked at number five and was certified triple platinum in the US on August 16, 2012 with sales exceeding three million.[17] The song was also very success on the US component charts. The song peaked at number two on the Hot Dance Club Songs Chart and number three on the Pop Songs. It managed to reach number ten on the Rap Songs and eighty-five on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs Chart. In the United Kingdom, the song debuted at number sixteen. The song eventually peaked at number two in that country, making it her highest single to date in that country. She broke the UK record for being the highest charting female rapper in history.[18] As of July 2012, the song has sold 3,158,000 digital copies in the United States.[19] As of July 2012, Starships has sold 721,000 copies in the United Kingdom.[20]

In the Oceanic regions, the song was a huge success. In Australia, the song debuted at number fourteen. The song then rose to number two, staying there for five consecutive weeks. The song resulted in being Minaj's highest single in that country, and was certified 5× platinum certification by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) with sales exceeding 350,000.[21] In New Zealand, the song debuted at twelve. The next week it rose to four and peaked at number two. The song has resulted in being Minaj's highest and longest single in that country and was certified 2× platinum certification by the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand (RIANZ) with sales exceeding 35,000.

In the European regions, the song was a huge success as well. In France, the song debuted at 102, and rose to forty-seven the next week. The song eventually peaked at number five for three non-consecutive weeks. In Belgium (Flanders and Wallonia), the song peaked at number five and number seven and charted over 20 weeks in both regions. It was eventually certified Gold by the Belgian Entertainment Association (BEA) with sales over 10,000. In Sweden, the song debuted at number forty-three on the charts. The song peaked at three for two consecutive weeks and stayed in the charts for 29 weeks. The song was then certified gold by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI Sweden) with shipments of 20,000. In Switzerland, the song debuted at sixty on the charts. It later rose to number five in its 12th week for two consecutive weeks. It was then certified platinum by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI Switzerland) with sales exceeding 30,000. In the spring of 2012, "Starships" was the 21st most downloaded ringtone.[22]

RecognitionEdit

The week beginning of July 13, 2012 Starships made Billboard Hot 100 history by both debuting in and spending a total of 21 consecutive weeks in the US Top Ten surpassing the ‘Black Eyed Peas’ single ‘I Gotta Feeling‘ which spent 20 weeks in the top 10 in 2009.[23]

Music videoEdit

BackgroundEdit

The "Starships" video was filmed in Oahu Island, Hawaii, it was a 3-day shoot, filming began on March 13, 2012 and ended on March 15, 2012. The video was directed by Anthony Mandler with extensive Post VFX Produced by Leah Harmony and executed by a team of Artists at Culver City based Post Production Co. KILT.[24] In an interview with Capital FM, Minaj briefly commented on the video for "Starships", calling it "very, very saucy" and her "best one yet".[25] The video premiered on April 26, 2012 at 7:56 pm on MTV.[24][26] It serves as Minaj's most successful single behind "Super Bass".

SynopsisEdit

File:Minaj in bikini in Starships.jpg

The video opens with a starship flying towards an island after being summoned by its local tribesmen. The island locals slowly awake as the craft passes overhead. The starship then beams a pink bikini-clad electric green-haired Minaj down onto the beach and she begins to sing. She is presumably being worshipped as a goddess as she is carried away through the jungle by the island locals wearing a pale pink bikini with strands hanging off the bottom and short green hair, which is also worn during some kaleidoscope effects and in one scene of her on the beach singing. Minaj is then seen dancing in the mountains wearing a white, pink and black bodysuit behind a glass box while some of the male islanders run up to her. The scene then shifts towards the volcano top at nighttime where Minaj is sitting on top of the box with some of the locals dancing around her. In the final scene, a blonde-haired Minaj, wearing a white fringed strapless bikini splattered with paint, is partying with the islanders. Intercut scenes show Minaj singing with kaleidoscope effects on her in the second outfit and some more kaleidoscope effects in the same outfit but under blacklights. It ends with her singing the last line while looking directly into the camera.

Reception and contestEdit

MTV's John Mitchell criticized the video's postponed release, finding it strange that the video for the album's third single, "Beez in the Trap", was released before that of "Starships."[27] On May 28, 2012; a "Starships video campaign" was announced on Minaj's official website. It asks fans to record a video of themselves performing Starships via their voice, or a dance or musical instrument. Minaj will then select 5 winners. The winners will win Tickets and passes to meet Minaj on the Pink Friday tour.[28] The song won the MTV Video Music Award for Best Female Video in September 2012.

Live performancesEdit

On February 26, 2012, Minaj performed the single live for the first time along with "Moment 4 Life", "Turn Me On" and "Super Bass" at the 2012 NBA All-Star Game. Minaj also performed the single on the eleventh season of American Idol results show on March 29, 2012, and on Today on April 6.[29] Minaj performed the song in a mash-up with "Right by My Side" at The Ellen DeGeneres Show on May 10, 2012.[30] Minaj also performed the single on her Pink Friday Tour.

Track listingEdit

Digital download
  1. "Starships" – 3:30
German and UK CD single[31][32]
  1. "Starships" – 3:30
  2. "Stupid Hoe" – 3:16

Credits and personnelEdit

Recording[33]
Personnel[33]
  • Nicki Minaj – songwriter
  • RedOne – songwriter, producer, instruments
  • Carl Falk – songwriter, producer, mixing, additional vocals, instruments, guitar
  • Rami Yacoub – songwriter, producer, mixing, vocal editing, instruments
  • Wayne Hector – songwriter, additional vocals
  • Trevor Muzzy – recording, mixing, vocal editing
  • Ariel Chobaz – recording
  • Jon Sher – recording assistant
  • Mohombi – additional vocals

In popular cultureEdit

  • This song was featured in the first season finale of 2 Broke Girls.

Charts and certificationsEdit

ChartsEdit

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Chart (2012) Peak
position
Australia (ARIA Urban)[34] 2
Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[35] 4
Colombia (National-Report)[36] 11
Finland (Suomen virallinen lista)[37] 3
France (SNEP)[38] 5
Germany (Media Control AG) 17
Honduras (Honduras Top 50)[39] 1
Mexico (Billboard Mexican Airplay)[40] 31
Spain (Airplay Chart)[41] 7
US Billboard Hot 100[42] 5
US Pop Songs (Billboard)[43] 3
US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs (Billboard)[43] 85
US Rap Songs (Billboard)[43] 10
US Hot Dance Club Songs (Billboard)[43] 2
US Adult Pop Songs (Billboard)[43] 24

CertificationsEdit

Country Certification
Australia 6× Platinum[21]
Belgium Gold[44]
Denmark Platinum[45]
Italy Gold[46]
Mexico 3x Platinum[47]
New Zealand 2× Platinum[48]
Sweden Gold[49]
Switzerland Platinum[50]
United States 3× Platinum[17]

AwardsEdit

Year Awards ceremony Award Results
2012 MTV Video Music Awards[51] Best Female Video Template:Won

Release history Edit

Country Date Format
United States[52] February 14, 2012 Radio premiere, digital download
Canada[53] Digital download
United Kingdom[54]
Ireland[55]
Belgium[56] February 15, 2012
Spain[57]
Finland[58]
Italy[59]
Luxembourg[60]
Netherlands[61]
New Zealand[62]
Norway[63]
Austria[64]
Portugal[65]
Singapore[66]
United States February 21, 2012 Mainstream and Rhythmic radio
Germany[67] April 6, 2012 CD single

ReferencesEdit

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  44. {{cite web|title=http://atrl.net/forums/showthread.php?p=10818701#10818701,http://i48.tinypic.com/2yux02d.png.
  45. {{cite web|title=Certificeringer|url=http://www.ifpi.dk/?q=content/nicki-minaj-starships-umg-1=[[IFPI }}
  46. Template:Cite certification
  47. http://www.billboard.biz/bbbiz/charts/internationalcharts/mexico
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Template:Nicki Minaj singles

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