21 (Hunter Hayes song)

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"21"
21 - Single by Hunter Hayes.jpg
Single by Hunter Hayes
from the album The 21 Project
ReleasedMay 21, 2015 (2015-05-21)
FormatDigital download
Genre
Length3:13
LabelAtlantic Nashville
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)
Hunter Hayes singles chronology
"Light Me Up"
(2015)
"21"
(2015)
"Yesterday's Song"
(2016)

"21" is a song recorded by American singer Hunter Hayes as the lead single for his third studio album, The 21 Project (2015). Written by Dallas Davidson, Kelley Lovelace, and Ashley Gorley, the song is Hayes' first to not feature an official writing credit.[1] It was released in the UK on May 21, 2015 before being released to digital retailers in North America on May 26, 2015.[2][3][4] It is also included on his second extended play, 21 (2015). "21" impacted country radio on June 8, 2015 and entered the Billboard Country Airplay chart at number 32.

Composition[edit]

"21" is a mid-tempo country pop and pop rock[5] song about the "carefree" days of being a young adult.[2] The staff at country music blog Taste of Country noted the song's lyrics as being more superficial and straightforward than those on his previous album, Storyline (2014).[5] A chant of "nah nah nah" opens the song, over a guitar riff that Hayes added as part of his effort to personalize the song, and is repeated again at the end of each chorus. It has been described as a "party song" by critics including Brian Mansfield of USA Today.[1]

The song was written by Dallas Davidson, Kelley Lovelace, and Ashley Gorley, although Hayes made changes to the arrangement with Davidson's approval.[5] Billboard credits him as a songwriter for his contributions.[6] Hayes also co-produced the song with Dann Huff.

Background and release[edit]

On May 11, 2015, Country Aircheck published a full-page ad online with a black-and-green calendar bearing Hayes' official logo and highlighting the date May 21, leading to speculation that his then-upcoming single would be released on that date.[7] Hayes continued promoting the single by posting twenty-one consecutive tweets containing only solid-black images, alluding to the song's title.[8] He confirmed the title on May 18 and 19, by posting a black square with a green 2 on the left half and a green square with a 1 on the right half, respectively, on those dates.[9][10] On May 21, 2015, the song was released to streaming services and to iTunes UK, and was made available to country radio.[2][3] It was released to digital retailers in Canada and the United States on May 26, 2015.[4][11] The song official impacted country radio on June 8, 2015.[12]

Music video[edit]

The music video was directed by Kristin Barlowe and premiered in June 2015.[13]

Chart performance[edit]

"21" debuted at number 32 on the Billboard Country Airplay chart for the week ending June 6, 2015.[14] The song has sold 117,000 copies in the US as of December 2015.[15]

Chart (2015) Peak
position
Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[16] 65
US Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles (Billboard)[17] 14
US Country Airplay (Billboard)[18] 21
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[19] 26

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (2015) Position
US Country Airplay (Billboard)[20] 76
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[21] 66

Release history[edit]

Country Date Format Label Ref.
United States May 21, 2015 Streamed audio Atlantic Nashville [2]
United Kingdom Digital download [3]
Canada May 26, 2015 [11]
United States [4]
June 8, 2015 Country radio [12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Mansfield, Brian (22 May 2015). "Hunter Hayes talks about new single, '21'". USA Today. Gannett Company. Retrieved 27 May 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d Betts, Stephen L. (21 May 2015). "Hear Hunter Hayes Go Big With New Song '21'". Rolling Stone. Wenner Media. Retrieved 27 May 2015.
  3. ^ a b c "21 - Single by Hunter Hayes". iTunes Store (GB). Apple Inc. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
  4. ^ a b c "21 - Single by Hunter Hayes". iTunes Store (US). Apple Inc. Archived from the original on 27 May 2015. Retrieved 27 May 2015.
  5. ^ a b c Taste of Country Staff (21 May 2015). "Hunter Hayes, '21' [Listen]". Taste of Country. Townsquare Media. Retrieved 27 May 2015.
  6. ^ "Billboard Country Update" (PDF). Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. June 1, 2015. Retrieved 22 July 2015.
  7. ^ Cantor, Brian (12 May 2015). "Hunter Hayes' New Single Apparently Arrives on May 21". Headline Planet. Cantortainment. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
  8. ^ Cantor, Brian (17 May 2015). "Hunter Hayes Teases New Single; Posts 21 Black Pictures on Twitter". Headline Planet. Cantortainment. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
  9. ^ Hunter Hayes. "Hunter Hayes - Timeline Photos" (18 May at 23:01). Facebook. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
  10. ^ Hunter Hayes. "Hunter Hayes - Timeline Photos" (19 May at 23:01). Facebook. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
  11. ^ a b "21 - Single by Hunter Hayes". iTunes Store (CA). Apple Inc. Archived from the original on 27 May 2015. Retrieved 27 May 2015.
  12. ^ a b "R&R :: Going For Adds :: Country". Radio & Records. Archived from the original (Week Of: June 8, 2015) on 22 May 2015. Retrieved 27 May 2015.
  13. ^ "CMT : Videos : Hunter Hayes : 21". Country Music Television. Retrieved June 27, 2015.
  14. ^ Trust, Gary (25 May 2015). "Chart Highlights: Taylor Swift Blasts Onto Pop Songs With 'Bad Blood'". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 27 May 2015.
  15. ^ Bjorke, Matt (December 14, 2015). "The Top 30 Digital Singles: December 14, 2015". Roughstock.
  16. ^ "Hunter Hayes Chart History (Canadian Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 4 June 2015.
  17. ^ "Chart Search". Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 for Hunter Hayes. Retrieved 22 July 2015.
  18. ^ "Hunter Hayes Chart History (Country Airplay)". Billboard. Retrieved 27 May 2015.
  19. ^ "Hunter Hayes Chart History (Hot Country Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
  20. ^ "Billboard Country Update for December 14, 2015" (PDF). Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. December 14, 2015. p. 7. Retrieved December 15, 2015.
  21. ^ "Best of 2015: Hot Country Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 2015. Retrieved December 9, 2015.