Butter (song)

Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

"Butter"
BTS - Butter.png
7-inch, cassette, and digital single cover
Single by BTS
B-side"Permission to Dance"
ReleasedMay 21, 2021 (2021-05-21)
Studio
  • Dogg Bounce, Seoul, South Korea
  • Larry and George, New York, United States
Genre
Length2:45
Label
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)
  • Grimaldi
  • Kirk
  • Perry
BTS singles chronology
"Film Out"
(2021)
"Butter"
(2021)
"Permission to Dance"
(2021)
Alternative cover
CD single version cover
CD single version cover
Music video
"Butter" on YouTube

"Butter" is a song recorded by South Korean boy band BTS. It was released as a digital single on May 21, 2021, through Big Hit Music and Sony Music Entertainment, as the band's second English-language single. A disco-pop, dance-pop, and EDM track, the song was written by Jenna Andrews, RM, Alex Bilowitz, Sebastian Garcia, Robert Grimaldi, Stephen Kirk, and Ron Perry, with production handled by the latter three. Upon release, "Butter" received positive reviews from music critics, with praise towards its catchiness. It was a commercial success, topping charts in South Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Singapore and the United States, as well as Billboard's Global 200 chart. The song also reached the top 10 in over 30 other countries worldwide. A remix featuring American rapper Megan Thee Stallion was also released.

Recording

Speaking on how "Butter" came about, Variety quoted RM in an interview with Apple Music as saying that "[the band] never expected to release another single, but the virus is getting longer and longer so we thought we need another summer song. We thought we needed another summer number, and 'Butter' was perfectly fit for that. And now we're here".[1] J-Hope described the recording process as "smooth" and the song as "focus[ed] more on showing each of the members' charms compared with 'Dynamite'".[2]

Composition and lyrics

Initial reports about "Butter" called it "a dance pop track brimming with the smooth yet charismatic charm of BTS".[3][4] Rolling Stone described it as "a pure, swaggering dance-pop celebration in the retro vein of Bruno Mars, with layers of Jam and Lewis-style synths", and RM told the outlet that the song "[is] very energetic" and "very summery".[5][6] Forbes called it an "infectious disco-pop track" similar to "Dynamite", with a "pulsating, bass-heavy beat and delectable chorus".[7] Following its release, "Butter" was categorized as a 1980s[8] and 1990s-influenced[9] dance-pop[10] and EDM[11] song with elements of pop rap.[11][12] The song is in 4
4
common time
in the key of A-flat major with a tempo of 110 beats per minute. BTS' vocal range span from A♭3 to E♭5.[13]

At a press conference held on the day of the song's release, RM revealed that while the band wanted to participate in the writing of their next single, they believed "Butter" already sounded "pretty good" and "pretty complete" when they received it, so they chose it out of "many, many songs" that had been sent to them for consideration. He further explained however, that he "changed or added to about half of the song's original rap sections" because "some of the parts like the rap were not fully compatible with our style", and despite there still being "some gaps" in his fluency with English "it came together really quickly since there weren't that many rap sections in the song". Suga also tried writing for the song, as he had actively been studying English during the year prior, but the language barrier was still a problem, so his suggestions were "immediately dropped. No questions, no consideration — just immediately binned".[14] Lyrically, like "Dynamite", "Butter" has "no heavy message";[5] Jimin noted that there was no profound meaning behind the track and that the goal was for it to be "easy to listen to".[15]

A video teaser released on May 18 offered the first preview of the song's lyrics; the line "Get it! Let it roll!" was briefly heard at the end of the clip.[16] Korean news media later reported that the lyrics to "Butter" "cutely confess a sweet, romantic love", and had "BTS' smooth-like-butter unrivalled charms melted into the song".[17][18]

Release and promotion

On April 5, 2021, days after the release of their Japanese single "Film Out", it was revealed that BTS would release a new song in May.[19] However, Big Hit Music announced that "we will reveal our artists' plans after they are finalized".[20] On April 26, the single's title and release date were announced in an hour-long YouTube livestream of an animated stick of butter melting. The video featured a countdown with kitchen sounds in the background, and the text "Butter" and "May 21, 2021" appeared at the end of the stream.[21] The livestream amassed over 12.8 million views.[22] Concept photos and video teasers for the song, set to be BTS' second English-language single,[3][4] were shared through the band's official social media in the weeks following.[23] They held a global press conference one hour after the single's release.[24]

BTS appeared as the first guests on Big Hit's new exclusive Melon Station radio series, BigHit Music Record, on May 21 to introduce "Butter" and participate in a Q&A with fans.[25] The single impacted American contemporary hit radio stations on May 25.[26] On May 27, Big Hit announced the release of a house bass electro-dance remix of the song, "Butter (Hotter Remix)", as a thank-you to fans for their support. The announcement was accompanied by new teaser photos for the remix—seven solo shots and one group—featuring a different concept to the original teasers. The remix and its music video premiered globally on all streaming platforms at midnight on May 28.[27][28] New remixes succeeded the release of the "Hotter" version in the weeks following.[citation needed]

The CD single of "Butter" includes "Permission to Dance", a song written by Ed Sheeran, Johnny McDaid, Steve Mac, and Jenna Andrews and produced by Mac, Stephen Kirk, and Andrews. Released on July 9, it also includes instrumental versions of both songs.[29]

Megan Thee Stallion claimed that her label 1501 Certified Entertainment attempted to block the remix release which featured her. Stallion stated that the label's CEO Carl Crawford did not approve of the track because "it would not be good for her career." Stallion sought help from a Texas court.[30] The remix was ultimately released as planned on August 27.[31]

Critical reception

Original version

Writing for NME, Rhian Daly praised "Butter" as "a clean and crisp piece of dance pop that's undeniably cool without sacrificing immediacy or memorable hooks" and felt it was a strong, early contender for song of the summer.[10] Tom Breihan of Stereogum described the song as "a full-on retro-disco strutter, a song built for parties. It's a big, slick party song that targets pleasure receptors with mathematical precision" and compared it to Daft Punk's Random Access Memories and works by Bruno Mars.[32] Zach Seemayer of Entertainment Tonight felt that the song's hook, with its "truly catchy beat" and "fun" opening lyrics, "has the hallmarks of a real hit with legitimate song-of-the-summer potential".[33] Rolling Stone's Althea Legaspi called "Butter" a "feel-good, flirty dance track".[34] Consequence's Mary Siroky named "Butter" the song of the summer and "a synth-drenched, swaggering track sitting comfortably on an addictive bassline".[8] Esquire's Dave Holmes called the song "irresistible", saying that it "percolates with the joy we've deferred since last March".[35] The song was named by Billboard as the number one song among the Songs of the Summer 2021 as to the date of July 3.[36] Rolling Stone gave the song similar accolades, stating that "The earworm made immediate conquest of music charts; it came in at number two on the Rolling Stone 100 Songs Chart with the second-highest debut of 2021 (beat out only by Olivia Rodrigo's 'Drivers License') and with the highest debut of the year by song sales."[37]

Megan Thee Stallion remix

Writing for Teen Vogue Natasha Mulenga described the remix as "ear-melting" and that "Megan gave so much charisma to the song".[38]

Music video

Background and synopsis

BTS spelling out the word "ARMY" with their bodies.
BTS spells out the name of their fandom, "ARMY", while RM (center) raps the line "Got Army right behind us when we say so". Both the lyric and the scene were a special tribute to the band's fans.[39]

The music video for "Butter" was preceded by a 23-second long video teaser published to Hybe Labels's official YouTube channel on May 18.[16] The short monochromatic clip showed BTS dressed in "disco-inspired" suits "with shoulder pads, glitter, and satin galore",[40] standing motionless in a line,[16] while "a groovy percussion ensemble played in the background".[41] The sound then "switched to a delightful Eighties-inspired, synth-bass fusion".[41] The band matched the beat of the "throbbing, bass-heavy dance groove"[16] with synchronized head tilts.[41] The clip ended with a shot of a stack of syrup-covered pancakes with a square of butter on top.[16][41] Billboard described the teaser's "funky beat" as "reminiscent of Queen's 'Another One Bites the Dust'".[42] Rolling Stone India also noted the teaser's "strong sonic correlation" to the Queen song.[41] The video teaser accumulated over 26 million views in its first 24 hours[43] and surpassed 35 million views shortly afterwards.[2]

Fifteen minutes prior to the music video's premiere, BTS appeared in a special countdown stream on the Hybe YouTube channel to discuss the song while making buttered sandwiches[39]—it was simultaneously released with the single at midnight EST.[21] The visual opens with a shot of vocalist Jungkook dancing into frame as he sings the introductory lines of the song. Interspersed are "striking black and white shots" of the band dressed in "slick suits" dancing together to a "strong percussion ensemble"—first heard in the May 18 teaser—and standing in a lineup while holding mugshot placards with their names on it.[39][7][33] The video then "transitions into [a] rich and vibrant color palette"[33] as the band perform "power-packed", "nimble dance moves" in several "dazzling locations with soft, full-color lighting...against an array of flamboyant backdrops" such as a gymnasium (while wearing "summery gymwear"),[44] a mock press conference, an elevator, and "onstage under pulsating lights" in "black-and-yellow tuxedos".[39][7][34][44] The video ends with a shot of J-Hope eating a large piece of butter.[44]

The video's choreography "reflect[s] the upbeat, flirtatious vibe of the song", with J-hope saying that the band tried to put "a lot of those emotions" into it. Signature moves include "kissing your hands, [giving] a mischievous look, or brushing our hair back".[14] The video also features a "TikTok-ready, technicolor elevator sequence" in which the individual members freestyle their dance moves, including "putting on imaginary cologne".[44][14] At one point, the band use their bodies to form the word "ARMY" as a special homage to their fans.[39]

Reception

"Butter"'s premiere garnered over 3.9 million peak concurrent viewers on YouTube, surpassing previous record holder "Dynamite"'s over 3 million concurrents attained in August 2020, and set a new all-time record for the biggest music video premiere on the platform.[45][46] It became the fastest YouTube video to reach 10–100 million views, achieving the former in its first 13 minutes—"Dynamite" did so in 20 minutes[14]—and the latter in 21 hours—three hours faster than "Dynamite".[47][48] It also became the most viewed YouTube video in the first 24 hours, amassing 108.2 million views—another all-time high on the platform,[45][49] and set four new Guinness World Records.[50] This gave BTS the top two spots for the biggest YouTube premieres and 24-hour music debuts in the platform's history.[45][51] "Butter" crossed 200 million views on May 25, surpassing all milestone records up to that point in just four days and one hour, compared to "Dynamite"'s four days and 12 hours.[52][53] On June 28, it became the group's longest running #1 debut in Hot 100 history, breaking the 23-year record held by Aerosmith's "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing" (1998).[54]

Entertainment Tonight's Zach Seemayer wrote that the music video "takes fans on a spectacular journey in both set design, color schemes and outfits".[33]

"Hotter", "Sweeter", and "Cooler" Remix versions

A second version of the music video, dubbed the "Hotter Remix", was released on May 26.[55] Dressed in one set of outfits from the original music video, the clip shows the band "at their cheeky best", "cutting loose" and "taking turns at being front and center" while making "goofy, fun faces at the camera and with each other". It ends with a dance outtake of Suga.[55] Following this, a second and third remix version, dubbed the "Sweeter Remix" and "Cooler Remix" respectively, were released in the beginning of June.[56]

Commercial performance

With 11.042 million first-day streams on the Spotify global chart, "Butter" set a new record for the biggest song debut in the platform's history—surpassing Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber's "I Don't Care", which held the record since May 2019 with 10.977 million opening-day streams[57]—and earned a Guinness World Record for the achievement.[50] This also marked a new personal best for BTS, surpassing their previous high of 7.778 million streams for "Dynamite"'s debut in August 2020.[57] With over 20.9 million unfiltered global streams, "Butter" set another record for the largest single-day streams of any song ever on Spotify.[58]

Asia

"Butter" entered South Korea's Gaon Digital Chart at number four and the component Streaming chart at number 35,[59] but debuted at number one on the component Download chart.[60] The single album version of the song, sold nearly 2.5 million physical copies in South Korea in July, becoming one of the best-selling albums in South Korea.[61]

In Japan, "Butter" debuted at number one on the Oricon Daily Digital Singles chart issue dated May 21, 2021 with 27,772 downloads.[62] This was BTS' highest opening-day digital sales in the country, surpassing "Film Out", which sold 23,344 copies on its first day. With only three days of availability in the tracking period dated May 17–23, during which time the single consecutively maintained first place on the daily chart,[63] "Butter" debuted atop the Oricon Weekly Digital Singles chart issue dated May 31, 2021 with 52,821 downloads, giving the band its second digital number-one of the year after "Film Out".[64] The single also topped the Weekly Streaming chart for the same period with 16.607 million streams, marking the biggest weekly streaming debut in Oricon chart history and making BTS the artist with the most number-ones on the ranking (three, including "Dynamite" and "Film Out"). "Butter" became the band's third song to exceed 10 million streams in a single week, making BTS the artist with the most songs (three, including "Dynamite" and "Film Out") to achieve this in Oricon chart history.[64] On the Billboard Japan Hot 100 chart issue for the same period, the single debuted at number two and topped the component Streaming and Download charts.[65][66] On May 28, Billboard Japan reported that "Butter" accumulated 14.835 million streams just three days into the chart's next tracking period (May 24–30) and surpassed the record set by LiSA's "Homura" of 7.526 million streams in 2020 (October 19–21). "Homura" accrued 18.901 million streams at the end of its full tracking period (October 19–25), in what was then the largest streaming week in Billboard Japan chart history—"Butter" achieved over 75% of that in less than half the time.[67] On September 1, Oricon announced that "Butter" became the fastest song in the chart's history to achieve 200 million streams, doing so in 15 weeks and breaking "Homura"'s record of 19 weeks.[68] The physical version of the single was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of Japan (RIAJ), for shipping more than 250,000 copies, a month after release.[69]

United States

According to Mediabase, "Butter" was added to all 180 Top 40 radio stations in the United States and received 2,217 spins its first week. It was the first song by an international artist to become the most-added track at radio in its opening week, and BTS are the first group to achieve this feat. "Dynamite" was previously the band's most-added single at radio with 171 stations putting it into rotation in its debut week.[70] With only three days of availability, the single entered Billboard's Pop Airplay chart at number 26, making it the highest debut of the week and the second-highest of the year, behind only Ed Sheeran's "Afterglow", which entered at number 23 in January. It was the band's seventh entry on the airplay chart and a new career best.[71]

"Butter" debuted at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart issue dated June 5, 2021, giving BTS its fourth number-one in under nine months. The band became the fastest act to achieve four number-ones since Justin Timberlake in 2006–2007, the first group since the Jackson 5 in 1970, and the only group to debut three songs in the lead. The song accumulated 32.2 million streams, sold 242,800 downloads, and 18.1 million radio airplay audience in its first week. This marked BTS' seventh number-one on the Digital Song Sales chart and the largest sales week since "Dynamite" sold 300,000 copies on the September 5, 2020 issue. Billboard noted that the sales for "Butter" were aided by its original and instrumental versions discounted to 69 cents in its first week. The song also debuted at number four on the Streaming Songs chart.[72] "Butter" stayed atop both the Hot 100 and Digital Songs Sales chart for ten non-consecutive weeks.[73] On the chart dated July 24, 2021, it slipped to number 7 on the Hot 100, while "Permission to Dance" spent one week atop the chart. The following week it returned to number one, making BTS the first act to displace itself at number one across two consecutive weeks.[74] As of July 2021, the song has sold more than one million copies in the United States.[75]

Europe

In the United Kingdom, "Butter" became the highest-charting new entry on the Official Charts Company's Singles Chart for the period May 28–June 3, 2021, debuting at number three and giving BTS its second top-five entry. The single was also the best-selling new entry on the Downloads Chart, surpassing the number two song by more than 10,000 sales.[76] After an eleven-week chart run between June and August, the song re-entered the Singles chart on September 9 at number 32, following the release of the Megan Thee Stallion remix.[77][78] The song was certified silver by the British Phonographic Industry (BIP) for moving 200,000 single-equivalent units on August 27, 2021.[79] It also topped the Downloads chart in Ireland and debuted at number seven on the Irish Singles Chart, giving BTS its second top-10 entry in the territory.[80] In Germany, "Butter" debuted at number seven on the Top 100 Singles chart, becoming the band's highest-charting song and second top-10 in the country[81][82]—it peaked at number six in July.[83]

Controversies

"But if there is a conversation inside Billboard about what being No. 1 should represent, then it's up to them to change the rules and make streaming weigh more on the ranking. Slamming us or our fans for getting to No. 1 with physical sales and downloads, I don't know if that's right ... It just feels like we're easy targets because we're a boy band, a K-pop act, and we have this high fan loyalty."

RM, Billboard[84]

In an article published by Billboard in August 2021, the magazine pointed out that the band's fans have "through above-board means" taken advantage of loopholes in chart tabulations to boost the ranks of singles such as "Butter" in the US and help the song top the Hot 100 for multiple weeks. While the chart performance of singles on the Hot 100 typically depend on streaming and airplay, that of "Butter" was notably driven mostly by sales (the bulk of which came from BTS' webstore, which allows fans to buy multiple copies of a song, unlike iTunes) and by fan-led crowdfunding efforts (including using money collected from fans worldwide on services like PayPal to make purchases that count toward US sales only).[84] However, an article in The Korea Times pushed back against claims of chart manipulation. It opined that fanbases of other artists such as Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande have employed similar promotional measures, that such measures were neither illegal or unethical, and that fans engaging in those measures were merely "intelligent consumers leading global trends".[85]

Live performances

BTS gave the premiere performance of "Butter" live from South Korea for the 2021 Billboard Music Awards on May 23.[86] Dressed in "slick" black tuxedos, the band sang the song while moving through various elaborate sets—a backstage dressing-room area, a soundstage, and replicas of the BBMAs red carpet and stage—accompanied by "pinpoint choreography" that featured "finely manicured" dance moves and an "explosive routine" during the song's instrumental break. The performance ended with the band "smiling and shining in front of a wall of lights".[87][88] BTS performed the song later that night on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, this time appearing in "a grand ballroom, fitted out with glorious chandeliers and art deco features, and raining with gold glitter".[89] The band was the first musical act in the lineup for Good Morning America's 2021 Summer Concert Series, appearing on the May 29 episode, where they performed "Butter" as part of a two-song set together with "Dynamite".[90] On July 1, BTS performed "Butter" and "Dynamite" at Sirius XM Hits 1.[91] BTS also performed the song in the 2021 American Music Awards. Megan Thee Stallion was supposed to perform the song with BTS, but backed out due to personal reasons.[92][93]

Track listing

Credits and personnel

Credits adapted from Melon and Tidal.[102][103]

  • BTS – primary vocals
  • Rob Grimaldi – production, songwriting, vocal arrangement/production
  • Stephen Kirk – production, songwriting, vocal arrangement/production
  • Ron Perry – production, songwriting
  • Jenna Andrews – songwriting, background vocals, vocal arrangement/production
  • RM – songwriting, gang vocals
  • Alex Bilowitz – songwriting
  • Sebastian Garcia – songwriting
  • Suga – gang vocals
  • J-Hope – gang vocals
  • Pdogg – vocal arrangement, record engineering
  • Juan "Saucy" Peña – record engineering
  • Keith Parry – record engineering
  • Serban Ghenea – mix engineering
  • John Hanes – assistant mix engineering
  • Chris Gehringer – mastering

Charts

Accolades

World records for "Butter"
Year Organization Award Ref.
2021 Guinness World Records Most viewers for the premiere of a video on YouTube [182]
Most viewers for the premiere of a music video on YouTube
Most viewed YouTube music video in 24 hours
Most viewed YouTube music video in 24 hours by a K-pop group
Most streamed track on Spotify in the first 24 hours
Awards and nominations for "Butter"
Year Organization Award Result Ref.
2021 American Music Awards Favorite Pop Song Won [183]
Asia Artist Awards Song of the Year Won [184]
BreakTudo Awards International Hit Won [185]
E! People's Choice Awards The Music Video of 2021 Pending [186]
The Song of 2021 Pending
Kids' Choice Awards Mexico Global Hit Won [187]
Melon Music Awards Song of the Year Won [188]
Meus Prêmios Nick Favorite International Hit Won [189]
Video of the Year Won
Mnet Asian Music Awards Best Dance Performance – Male Group Pending [190]
Song of the Year Pending
MTV Video Music Awards Best K-Pop Won [191]
Song of Summer Won
Best Choreography Nominated
Best Editing Nominated
Best Pop Nominated
MTV Video Music Awards Japan Best Group Video – International Won [192]
Variety's Hitmakers Record of the Year Won [193]
2022 Grammy Awards Best Pop Duo/Group Performance Pending [194]
Music program awards
Program Network Date (13 total) Ref.
Show! Music Core MBC May 29, 2021 [195]
June 5, 2021 [196]
June 12, 2021 [197]
June 19, 2021 [198]
June 26, 2021 [199]
Inkigayo SBS May 30, 2021 [200]
June 6, 2021 [201]
June 13, 2021 [202]
Show Champion MBC M June 2, 2021 [203]
June 16, 2021 [204]
June 23, 2021 [205]
Music Bank KBS June 4, 2021 [206]
July 16, 2021 [207]
Melon Popularity Award
Award Date (2021) Ref.
Weekly Popularity Award May 31 [208]
June 7
June 14
June 21
June 28

Certifications and sales

Region Certification Certified units/sales
France (SNEP)[209] Gold 100,000double-dagger
Italy (FIMI)[210] Gold 35,000double-dagger
Japan (RIAJ)[211]
Physical
Platinum 250,000^
Japan (RIAJ)[212]
Digital
Gold 100,000*
Portugal (AFP)[213] Gold 5,000double-dagger
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[214] Gold 20,000double-dagger
South Korea (KMCA)[216]
Physical
2× Million 2,644,270[215]
United Kingdom (BPI)[79] Silver 200,000double-dagger
United States (RIAA)[218] 2× Platinum 1,876,800[217]
Streaming
Japan (RIAJ)[219] Platinum 100,000,000dagger

* Sales figures based on certification alone.
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.
double-dagger Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.
dagger Streaming-only figures based on certification alone.

Release history

Release dates and formats for "Butter"
Country Date Format(s) Version Label Ref.
Various May 21, 2021 Original Big Hit [220]
Italy Contemporary hit radio Sony [221]
United States May 24, 2021 Adult contemporary radio Columbia [222]
May 25, 2021 Contemporary hit radio [26]
Rhythmic contemporary radio [223]
Various May 28, 2021
  • Digital download
  • streaming
Hotter remix Big Hit [27]
Russia June 2, 2021 Contemporary hit radio Original Sony [224]
Various June 4, 2021
  • Digital download
  • streaming
  • Cooler remix
  • Sweeter remix
Big Hit [225]
United States June 18, 2021 Original The Orchard [94][95]
Various July 9, 2021 CD single Big Hit [29]
August 27, 2021
  • Digital download
  • streaming
Megan Thee Stallion remix [226]
December 3, 2021 Holiday remix [101]

Cover version

Billboard magazine reported that the a cappella group Pentatonix performed a cover the song in a mash-up of "Butter" and "Dynamite" released in August 2021.[227]

See also

References

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