“California Gurls” is an electropop song by American singer-songwriter Katy Perry. It serves as the lead single of her third studio album, Teenage Dream. The song features rapper Snoop Dogg, and was produced by Dr. Luke, Max Martin, and Benny Blanco. According to Perry, the song is an answer song to “Empire State of Mind”. The song was originally intended to be sent to mainstream and rhythmic airplay on May 25, 2010. However, after clips from Perry’s new album were leaked online, her label rushed released the song to radio on May 7, 2010, and also began to stream it on her website. It was subsequently released to iTunes on May 11, 2010. The song peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 for six consecutive weeks, giving Perry her second US number-one single and Snoop Dogg his third. The song reached number one in over 10 countries, including United States, UK, Canada, Australia, Scotland, Ireland, and New Zealand. On December 2nd, the song received a Grammy nomination for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals. n an interview with HitQuarters, Perry’s A&R at the time, Chris Anokute, said that while travelling back from an Oscar after-party Katy texted him to say she didn’t think the album was finished and that it needed one more song. She said that she wanted to write a song about California girls. During a Rolling Stone photo shoot in April 2010, Perry revealed details about the song, allegedly a response to Jay-Z’s “Empire State of Mind’, she stated: “It’s so great that ‘Empire State of Mind” is huge and that everybody has the New York song, but what the fuck? What about LA? What about California? And it’s been a minute since we’ve had a California song and especially from a girl’s perspective. We took the references of Prince, which is always a great reference, and we took a lot of the ’90s, … almost that house music, some of those references.” Initially the song was titled “California Girls”, but Perry changed the spelling to “California Gurls” at the request of her manager in tribute to Big Star, which had recently lost one of its members, as a reference to their song “September Gurls”. After the song was leaked online, Capitol Records decided to release it early, and it was posted on Perry’s site, and the radio date was moved up from May 25, 2010, to May 7, 2010. The artwork was also released, featuring Perry laying out on the beach sand with a bejeweled bikini. Perry used Wikipedia to research which rapper she wanted to collaborate with for this track, browsing West Coast artists before selecting Snoop DoggThe Beach Boys had allegedly threatened a lawsuit due to Snoop Dogg’s line “I wish they could all be California Girls”, which they consider to be one of their classic lines in their “California Girls” song. James Montgomery of MTV News said, that the song is a “big, bright, decidedly beach-friendly pop tune, full of sunshiny synthesizers, starry, electronic whooshes, and loose, funky, wah-wah guitar flourishes”, and that it has a “massive chorus”. Montgomery also said that Snoop Dogg, “shows up midway through to contribute a verse dedicated to the “toned, tanned, fit, and ready” Cali girls he loves.” USA Today gave the song a positive review: “Potential single California Gurls, with Snoop Dogg, is an effervescent toast to summer fun.Nick Levine of Digital Spy gave to “California Gurls” five out of five stars and comment about it “As classy as the titular heroines’ outfit of choice – ‘Daisy Dukes, bikinis on top’ – but, thanks to an unstoppable pop chorus and Perry’s charismatic vocals, just as easy to fall for. We mean, like, totally head over stilettos”. The Chicago Tribune gave a negative review of the song, describing it as “relentlessly mechanical” and described the song lyrics as not “nearly as sexy or sensual as [Perry] claims it is”. Slant Magazine opined that “the chorus lacks a strong hook, the verses lack melodies, and Perry’s vocals aren’t any closer to on-key than they’ve ever been.” “California Gurls” sold 294,000 digital downloads in its first week and debuted at number one on the Billboard Digital Songs chart. It debuted at number two on the Billboard Hot 100, making it Perry’s highest debut on the chart since 2008 with her debut single “I Kissed a Girl”. On the issue dated June 19, 2010, the song reached number one, becoming Perry’s second number-one song and Snoop Dogg’s third.”California Gurls” became the first single by an artist signed to Capitol Records in nearly 43 years to ascend to the number-one spot on the Billboard Hot 100 in its fourth week since Bobbie Gentry’s single “Ode to Billie Joe” reached the top after four weeks on the chart. It is Perry’s third number one on the Pop Songs chart. “California Gurls” became the first song to top the 300,000 mark in digital sales more than once in 2010 with 318,000 and 359,000 copies sold in the first and second week of June, respectively. Within seven weeks of its release, “California Gurls” sold over two million downloads, which is the second fastest pace to do so in digital history behind Flo Rida’s “Right Round”. It debuted at number 31 on the Billboard Radio Songs chart and in the July 10, 2010, issue it reached number one on the magazine’s Hot Dance Airplay chart, giving Perry her second number-one single on that chart. In 2010, the song sold 4,398,000 digital copies in the US alone. Elsewhere, “California Gurls” reached number one in Canada and debuted in the top 20 in Belgium (Flanders and Wallonia), New Zealand and Norway. On May 24, 2010, “California Gurls” debuted on the Australian Singles Chart at number three, and later reached the number-one spot.On the RIANZ Top 10 Radio Airplay Charts, the song came in at number one in New Zealand and also received Gold certification from RIANZ. “California Gurls” entered the UK Singles Chart on June 27, 2010, at number one, becoming her second chart topper in the country. The single sold 123,607 copies in the UK in its first week (the second highest number in 2010 after the Helping Haiti charity single “Everybody Hurts”). After two weeks, the song sold 216,000 copies in the UK. On October 29, 2010, the British Phonographic Industry classified the single as a “platinum record” (meaning it has sold over 600,000 units). The video was directed by Mathew Cullen and was inspired by the work of Will Cotton, who was also the Artistic Director of the video. The video premiered on June 15, 2010. Filming of the video began on May 14, 2010. While being interviewed by MTV, Perry explained why the main idea behind the video had to do with candy, rather than incorporating a beach theme, “It’s definitely something to watch when you have the munchies. … It’s all edible. We named it ‘Candyfornia’ instead of ‘California’, so it’s a different world,” she said. “It’s not just like, ‘Oh, let’s go to the beach and throw a party and then shoot a music video!’ It’s more like, ‘Let’s put us California Gurls in a whole different world!” In the music video, Perry is a game piece in Candyfornia, a game based in poker and board games. The settings are inspired in part by Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and the board game Candy Land, with much of the set decorated with cupcakes, ice creams, cotton candy, and lollipops. Snoop Dogg appears in the video as a king named “Sugar Daddy” that is holding several young women (Queens of Candyfornia) captive throughout the game, using candy related devices to hold them. Katy Perry moves through the land, making discoveries and freeing the women. When all the women are free, Perry leads them in a dance on the beach. Seeing the women freed, “Sugar Daddy” becomes enraged, marching on the women’s position with an army of gummy bears. Perry quickly defeats the army with her whip cream guns, after which the stunned king throws down his staff and surrenders. The video ends with Snoop Dogg buried up to his neck in the sand by the women, nonetheless admiring their beauty and (in a nod to the Beach Boys song) wishing that women everywhere could be California girls. Various California landmarks appear in the video, such as the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the Hollywood Sign and some West Coast beaches which were all made out of confectionery. Perry performed the song on May 20, 2010, at the CW networks’ annual “upfronts” presentation in New York. Perry performed the song at the 2010 MTV Movie Awards on June 6, 2010, alongside Snoop Dogg. Perry was the musical guest on the NBC variety series Saturday Night Live on September 25, 2010, (hosted by Amy Poehler) and performed the song live during the first music session of the program. Outside the US, Perry performed the song on Le Grand Journal, on June 12, 2010, and performed the song at the MuchMusic Video Awards on June 20, 2010. In the UK, Perry performed California Gurls without Snoop Dogg on the BBC One chat show The Graham Norton Show on June 28, 2010. A video clip of Cebu Pacific flight attendants performing a pre-flight safety demonstration as a dance routine to this song ended up as a viral YouTube video clip, attracting comment.
courtesy: Wikipedia article (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_Gurls)
YouTube channel of EMI (http://www.youtube.com/user/emimusic)