Music

WETAYA SONG OF THE DAY: Jay-Z ft Alicia Keys – Empire State of Mind

“Empire State of Mind” is a song performed by American rapper Jay-Z featuring vocals by American singer Alicia Keys, from Jay-Z’s 11th studio album, The Blueprint 3 (2009). Produced by Al Shux, the song features a music sample of “Love on a Two-Way Street” performed by The Moments. It was originally written by Angela Hunte and Janet Sewell-Ulepic as a tribute to their hometown, New York City. The following month, they submitted it to Jay-Z’s label Roc Nation, whose reviews were a discouragement. They later took the suggestion of an associate of EMI Music Publishing and resubmitted it to Jay-Z, who kept the “New York” singing part on the hook, changed the verses, and recorded it.

A critical success, “Empire State of Mind” was included in multiple critics’ top 10 list of the best songs of 2009, including Rolling Stone magazine and The New York Times. It was also nominated for three Grammy Awards, winning Best Rap Song and Best Rap/Sung Collaboration. The song achieved commercial success worldwide. It peaked within the top 10 in many countries including the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, France, Italy and Sweden. In the US, the song topped the Billboard Hot 100 for five consecutive weeks, becoming Jay-Z’s first number-one single on the chart as a lead artist. It appeared in 2009 year-end charts in Italy, Australia and the US, where it was also the last number one hit of the 2000s. As of June 2014, the single has sold over 5.5 million copies in the United States.

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