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"Shake It Off" is a song recorded by American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift from her fifth album, 1989 (2014). Swift co-wrote the song with its producers Max Martin and Shellback, it is an uptempodance-pop track considered to be a departure from Swift's earlier country pop music style. "Shake It Off" is the sixth track on the album and serves as the lead single. The song premiered during a Yahoo! live stream session on August 18, 2014 (also streaming internationally online); its music video was also released the same day. Several hours later, the song was made available for digital download.
According to Billboard, it is Swift's biggest Hot 100 hit to date, staying on the chart for 50 consecutive weeks.
Swift began teasing about an announcement in August 2014. On August 4, she posted a video on Instagram in which she pushes the number 18 in an elevator. On August 6, she tweeted an image of the time 5:00 and the next day a screenshot from a Yahoo! homepage. She later confirmed on August 13, 2014 on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon that a Yahoo! live stream session would take place on August 18, 2014 at 5 pm. During the live stream, Swift announced her upcoming fifth album and premiered its lead single.
"Shake It Off" was written by Swift, Martin and Shellback. Produced by Martin and Shellback, the song's duration is three minutes and thirty-nine seconds. Musically, "Shake It Off" is an uptempodance-pop song written in the key of G major at tempo of 160 beats per minute, and exists outside of the traditional country pop musical style of Swift's previous releases. Swift's vocal range spans two octaves from G3 to G5. Swift raps in the song. The song's arrangement features a saxophone.
Lyrically, the song is dedicated to Swift's detractors. She has discussed this, saying, "I've learned a pretty tough lesson that people can say whatever they want about us at any time, and we cannot control that. The only thing we can control is our reaction to that." In an interview for Rolling Stone, Swift elaborated:
I've had every part of my life dissected--my choices, my actions, my words, my body, my style, my music. When you live your life under that kind of scrutiny, you can either let it break you, or you can get really good at dodging punches. And when one lands, you know how to deal with it. And I guess the way that I deal with it is to shake it off.
In an October 2014 NPR interview, Swift spoke about the lyrical message of the song in relation to her previous work and a desire to reclaim the "narrative":
With the song 'Shake It Off,' I really wanted to kind of take back the narrative, and have more of a sense of humor about people who kind of get under my skin - and not let them get under my skin. There's a song that I wrote a couple years ago called "Mean," where I addressed the same issue but I addressed it very differently. I said, "Why you gotta be so mean?," from kind of a victimized perspective, which is how we all approach bullying or gossip when it happens to us for the first time. But in the last few years I've gotten better at just kind of laughing off things that absolutely have no bearing on my real life. I think it's important to be self-aware about what people are saying about you, but even more so, be very aware of who you actually are, and to have that be the main priority.
Lipshutz wrote that Swift "proves why she belongs among pop's queen bees: As you may have guessed, the song sounds like a surefire hit". Tarynn Law from The 405 praised the track and characterized the song's hook as "poppy" and "catchy". Halperin gave the song a positive review, describing it as "pop-tastic." Alice Vincent from The Daily Telegraph also positively reviewed the song, noting it as "a catchy, upbeat track."The Guardian Molly Fitzpatrick also found that the song is catchy but does not show off Swift's writing talent.
The Los Angeles Times critic Randall Roberts called the song "a perfect pop confection" however noting it "presents an artist gunning for sly transgression but instead landing on tone-deaf, self-absorbed teen regression, with music to match the vibe." Writing for The Daily Beast, Kevin Fallon found "this new direction of her career is woefully depressing." While he admitted "Shake It Off" is "a great pop song", he said it is "the least musically interesting song that Swift has done" and "it's not personal, at least not in the ways we expect from a Taylor Swift song." Fallon deplored Swift's transition to pop in which he felt she "abandoned her sound" in the process.AllMusic music critic Stephen Thomas Erlewine described it as "an ebullient dance-pop throwback".
A day following its impact on US radio stations, "Shake It Off" gained an audience of nine million. The song debuted at 45 on the BillboardRadio Songs chart with 29 million in all-format audience. It debuted on the Mainstream Top 40 chart at number 12, tying it with Mariah Carey's "Dreamlover" (1993) as the highest chart debut. "Shake It Off" became her third number-one song there, following her 2008 country crossover hit single "Love Story" and her 2013 hit "I Knew You Were Trouble", which remained No. 1 for seven consecutive weeks. The single debuted at number nine on the BillboardAdult Top 40 chart, becoming the highest debut single on the chart. On its sixth week, the song became her second No. 1 on the Adult Top 40 chart since her 2013 hit "I Knew You Were Trouble", tying it with Celine Dion's "Because You Loved Me" (1996) as the fastest song to reach number 1 in just six weeks. The song debuted at number 58 on the Country Airplay chart, though only two country stations played the song more than four times. It spent only one week on the chart.Billboard noted that its presence on the chart was unusual due to its sound and Swift's acknowledged transition from country to pop music. On the Radio Songs chart, the song became Swift's third number-one song there, following her 2013 hit "I Knew You Were Trouble". "Shake It Off" has spent four non-consecutive weeks at No. 1 on the Digital Songs chart.
"Shake It Off" debuted at number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, becoming the 22nd song to do so. It produced first-week digital sales of 544,000 units for the chart issue dated September 6, 2014, the largest debut sales week for a single of 2014, and the fourth overall, following Flo Rida's "Right Round", Swift's "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" and Katy Perry's "Roar". During that week, "Shake It Off" additionally garnered 18.4 million streams and 71 million airplay audiences. The song remained at number one for the second week selling 355,000 copies. "Shake It Off" then dropped down to number two, beneath Meghan Trainor's "All About That Bass", where it stayed for eight consecutive weeks, before returning to number one on November 15, 2014, when 1989 was released and debuted at number one the same week. The song's eight weeks gap in reclaiming number one was the third longest in the chart's history, after Chubby Checker's "The Twist" (roughly two years in between) and Miley Cyrus' "Wrecking Ball" (nine weeks). In total, "Shake It Off" spent four non-consecutive weeks at number one, and 24 non-consecutive weeks in the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100, thus becoming Swift's longest-running single in the top 10; overall, "Shake It Off" spent 50 weeks on the chart, leaving on the issue dated August 15, 2015. The song was replaced at number one by "Blank Space", the second single from 1989, thus making Swift the first female artist to replace herself at the top spot in the 56-year history of the Hot 100. The song became the No. 13 song of 2014 on Billboard Year End Chart. The song became the eighth best-selling song of 2014 in the United States with 3.43 million copies sold in that year, and reached over 4 million in sales by August 2015. It has sold 5.4 million copies in the United States as of July 2019. The song was certified 9× platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) on June 8, 2017. Elsewhere in North America, "Shake It Off" became Swift's third number one in Canada selling 48,000 copies in its first week, following "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together", after debuting at number one; it is her third song to do so, tying her with Eminem and Katy Perry for the most songs to debut at number one on the chart. By the year's end, it had sold 341,000 copies in Canada.
The song had also seen success in Europe. In the United Kingdom, "Shake It Off" became Swift's sixth top 10 when the song debuted at number four on August 30, 2014. After nine weeks on the chart, "Shake It Off" reached number two, tying with "Love Story" and "I Knew You Were Trouble" as her highest-charting single in the country at the time; it is also the highest-charting single from 1989. It sold 570,000 copies in the UK by November 20, 2014, and it became the eleventh best-selling song of 2014 in the UK. As of September 2017, it has sold 962,000 copies in the country. In Ireland, the song jumped at number three on its second week after debuting at number 14, became Swift's fifth top ten. In France, "Shake It Off" peaked at number six, her highest-charting single in the country to date (as well as her first top-10).
In Australia, it debuted at number five on the Australian Singles Chart, the highest debut of the week, and on its second week it rose to the number-one spot, making it Swift's second single to top the chart after her 2009 hit "Love Story". "Shake It Off" spent a third week at No. 1 on the Australian Singles Chart making Swift's longest run on Australia since "Love Story". The single has been certified 5× Platinum by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) for shipments of over 350,000 copies. In New Zealand, it debuted at number two, the highest debut of the week, and on its second week it rose to the number-one spot, making it Swift's second single to top the chart after her 2012 hit "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together". On its fifth week "Shake It Off" spent two non-consecutive weeks at No. 1 on the New Zealand Singles Chart making Swift's longest run on New Zealand since "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together".
The music video for "Shake It Off" references the styles of multiple pop musicians, including Lady Gaga.
It was so much fun. I woke up every day of that shoot and couldn't wait to get to set. We had twerking, which was so funny. Those girls were trying to teach me how, and it's just never gonna happen. I tried really hard. They were teaching me what they do, and there's like a science to it - they're like digging their heels into the floor without you seeing their legs move, but their butts' moving. It's mind-blowing to me. They were explaining it all to me, and it's so above my comprehension of how to understand your body.
According to Music Times, the video features Swift "embracing her inner dorky dancer by submerging herself with some of the world's best dancers in the styles of hip hop, lyrical, ballet, jazz and even cheerleader."The Guardians Sean Michaels also noted the accompaniment of "twerkers" in the clip. "Shake It Off" music video also features Swift's fans, who had written fan letters or posted on Twitter and Instagram. Critics also noted references to Lady Gaga and Skrillex in the clip. Hugh McIntyre from Forbes noted the references to Gaga, Skrillex, Fergie and Gwen Stefani in "Shake It Off" video, further writing that it is "quirky and hard to dislike."
Analyzing the video, VH1 noticed resemblances to Beyoncé's "Mine" video.
The video received mixed reviews from music critics. Brian Mansfield of the Chicago Sun-Times called the video "chirpy".Direct Lyrics provided a positive review saying the video is "certainly a fun one and it catches rather well the rebellious and care-free spirit of the new Taylor single." Fitzpatrick of The Guardian wrote: "The incongruent blend of modern dance, ballet, and breakdancing is fun, but the conceit falls flat."
HitFix deemed the video "ill-timed" due to the
race relations debate around the Ferguson riots. Romanek defended his work stating: "We simply choose styles of dance that we thought would be popular and amusing, and cast the best dancers that were presented to us without much regard to race or ethnicity". He also stated: "If you look at it carefully, it's a massively inclusive piece, it's very, very innocently and positively intentioned. And -- let's remember -- it's a satirical piece. It's playing with a whole range of music video tropes and cliches and stereotypes."
As of July 2019, the video has received over 2.8 billion views on YouTube, and is the eleventh most viewed video on the site, and it is also the second most viewed by a female artist. Swift also became the first female to have a video on YouTube with 2 billion views.
Following a January 13, 2015 article on BuzzFeed titled "Why Isn't Everyone Voting For 'Shake It Off' In The Hottest 100?" by Mark Di Stefano, the "#Tay4Hottest100" hashtag campaign began during the voting period for Triple J Hottest 100 radio poll for 2014. The campaign led to a significant amount of media coverage as Australian music fans debated the merits of Swift's inclusion in the poll, including the potential for a number-one ranking. According to those critical of the campaign, the Hottest 100 is reserved for non-mainstream artists who were "discovered or fostered by Triple J." and provides valuable exposure for artists in the outer circles of the music industry. Accusations of cultural elitism surfaced during the campaign, with the Guardians Elle Hunt writing: "the virulent response to #Tay4Hottest100 has revealed the persistence of a dichotomy I'd thought we'd thrown out long ago: that of high art versus low."
Station manager Chris Scaddan told the media that the Swift campaign is within the rules of the poll, later instructing Triple J employees not to comment to "media, friends, family" about the campaign, as "it will all become clear when we get to the countdown next Monday." The station said: "we don't comment on voting campaigns whilst Hottest 100 voting is open. It draws attention to them and may influence the results of the poll." Marketing website Mumbrella suggested on January 20 that a Facebook post by KFC incorporating the "#Tay4Hottest100" hashtag was against the Hottest 100 rules and could see Swift disqualified. Also on January 20, the Guardian submitted a freedom of information request to the ABC in regard to the station's response to the campaign.
After journalist Peter Vincent reported that the Swift campaign had "swallowed" the Hottest 100 for 2014, citing research from the University of Queensland that showed that over 7,341 Hottest 100 posts in a 30-day period leading up to the poll results related to Swift, "Shake It Off" was eventually disqualified by the radio station in an announcement on January 26, 2015. The official announcement read: "it became pretty clear, pretty quick that a lot of people just wanted to prod some 'hipsters' for the lulz", acknowledging that the station "had a heap of fun", while Swift is "smart", "cool" and "successful". The song would have placed in the number 12 position if it had been allowed to compete.
At present, the Court is not saying that Braham can never, ever, ever get his case back in court. But, for now, we have got problems, and the Court is not sure Braham can solve them. As currently drafted, the Complaint has a blank space -- one that requires Braham to do more than write his name. And, upon consideration of the Court's explanation ... Braham may discover that mere pleading BandAids will not fix the bullet holes in his case. At least for the moment, Defendants have shaken off this lawsuit.
Standish ruled that Braham did not have enough factual evidence but could file a new complaint "if his lawsuit deficiencies are corrected."
In September 2017, songwriters Sean "Sep" Hall and Nate Butler sued Swift, alleging that "Shake It Off" is too similar to "Playas Gon' Play", a song performed by girl group 3LW and written by Hall and Butler. In February 2018, United States District Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald dismissed the case, asserting that the lyrics in question were too 'banal' to be copyrighted.
In September 2014, Labrinth performed a cover of the song at BBC Radio 1's Live Lounge. In that same month, Meghan Trainor played it with a ukulele on 2DayFM's The Dan & Maz Show. In October, Kelly Clarkson sang the song at a concert in Buffalo, New York. In February 2015, Charli XCX delivered a punk version at BBC Radio 1's Live Lounge and her version nominated at category "Cover Woodie (Best Cover Song)" on mtvU Woodie Awards.Ryan Adams covered "Shake It Off" for his album 1989, a cover of Swift's album 1989. Yahoo! writer Oscar Gracey called Adams' cover of "Shake It Off" "brooding" and said that it "may be the sole weak spot on Ryan's cover album."
^"?NS IFPI" (in Czech). Hitparáda - Radio Top 100 Oficiální. IFPI Czech Republic. Note: Change the chart to CZ - RADIO - TOP 100 and insert 201447 into search. Retrieved September 19, 2014.
^"?NS IFPI" (in Czech). Hitparáda - Digital Top 100 Oficiální. IFPI Czech Republic. Note: Change the chart to CZ - SINGLES DIGITAL - TOP 100 and insert 201443 into search. Retrieved September 26, 2014.