"Moves like Jagger" is a song by American band Maroon 5 featuring singer Christina Aguilera. It was released by A&M Octone Records on June 21, 2011, as the fourth and final single from the re-release of the group's third studio album Hands All Over (2010). The song was written by Adam Levine, Ammar Malik, Benjamin Levin, and Shellback; the latter two are also the producers. "Moves like Jagger" is a dance-pop and electropop song and is backed by synths and electronic drums. The lyrics refer to a male's ability to impress a love interest with his dance moves, which he compares to those of Mick Jagger, lead singer of The Rolling Stones.
"Moves like Jagger" was well received by music critics, who praised the song's chorus. Praise also went to the vocals of Levine and Aguilera, with critics pointing out solid chemistry between the two. Likewise, the song was a commercial success, going on to top the charts in over 18 countries. In the United States, "Moves like Jagger" became the band's second (after 2007's "Makes Me Wonder") and Aguilera's fifth number-one single and is among the best-selling singles of all time. The song also made Aguilera the second female artist to score a number-one hit in the 1990s, 2000s, and 2010s (the first being Britney Spears), which in turn made her the fifth female to score number-one singles in three different decades, after Janet Jackson, Madonna, Spears and Cher. Worldwide, it was the ninth-best-selling digital single of 2011 with sales of 7 million copies. As of 2016, the song ranks as one of the eight best-selling digital singles of all time with sales of over 15 million copies.
The music video was directed by Jonas Åkerlund. The video features an old video footage of Jagger and his iconic dance moves. "Moves like Jagger" was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance at the 54th Grammy Awards but lost to "Body and Soul" by Tony Bennett and Amy Winehouse. The song was first performed in June 2011 on an episode of The Voice (where Levine and Aguilera both served as coaches).
Background and composition
"Moves like Jagger" was written and produced by Benjamin Levin and Shellback, while additional writing was done by Adam Levine. When asked about the song, Levine said, "It was one of those songs that was definitely a risk; it's a bold statement. We've never really released a song like that. But it's exciting to do something different, do something new. I'm just happy everyone likes it." "Moves like Jagger" is a dance-pop and electropop song, with elements of disco, pop, rock and soul. It features a "throbbing" synth, fast-paced beat and electronic drums. Robbie Daw from Idolator wrote that "Moves like Jagger" slightly echoes The Rolling Stones' chart-topping 1978 classic "Miss You", and added that "Levine's voice is distorted via Auto-Tune on the chorus." The song is introduced by a whistle melody and light, funky guitar in the key of B minor with a tempo of 128 beats per minute. Levine tries his best to impress his female interest with dance moves like The Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger: "I don't need to try to control you / Look into my eyes and I'll own you / With the moves like Jagger / I got the moves like Jagger / I got the moves like Jagger." Aguilera appears midway through the song's bridge, playing her role as a tease: "You want to know how to make me smile / Take control, own me just for the night / But if I share my secret / You gonna have to keep it / Nobody else can see this."
Bill Lamb from About.com gave the song a positive review, giving the single four-and-a-half out of five stars. Lamb wrote that, "The funky, whistle driven melody here is loose, light, and irresistibly funky. The punchy guest vocal from fellow judge Christina Aguilera is simply icing on the cake. There is a real vocal chemistry between Aguilera and Levine." Lamb called the song an "outstanding summer song", writing that "It is light, danceable, and would sound great in the car with the top down." Robbie Daw from Idolator wrote that "It takes a full two minutes and 15 seconds for Christina's soulful pipes to begin trilling on "Moves like Jagger." But once she does, she immediately steals the show." Daw concluded by writing that "this is the best thing from either of these two in years."
While naming the song "a contender for 2011's song of the summer", James Dinh from MTV Newsroom wrote that "Adam Levine and Christina Aguilera have turned their friendly rivalry on NBC's The Voice into some studio chemistry." Scott Schelter from Pop Crush awarded "Moves like Jagger" four-and-a-half out of five stars. Schelter called the song "danceable and fun" and wrote that "the song would've been great even without Aguilera, but her fiery cameo makes it that much better." Robert Copsey wrote for Digital Spy: " "Take me by the tongue and I'll know you/ Kiss me till you're drunk and I'll show you," Ad insists over a funky, finger-clicking bassline and an irresistible whistle hook that immediately burrows deep into the recesses of your brain. "If I share my secret/ You're gonna have to keep it," Christina says on her short, sweet and perfectly formed cameo. We've already got your number, love, but our surprise is still 100% genuine."
Jagger himself acknowledged the song in an interview, calling the concept "very flattering." Jagger also mentioned the song on a 2012 episode of Late Show with David Letterman, in which he read the Top Ten List and joked about his inability to collect royalties from "Moves like Jagger".
On the issue dated July 9, 2011, "Moves like Jagger" debuted at number eight on the United States Billboard Hot 100, and topped it in the week ending September 10, 2011, as the greatest airplay gainer for the third consecutive week. It spent 10 weeks in the top 3. For Maroon 5, with prior top hits, this is the first time at the number-one position on the Hot 100 chart since their single "Makes Me Wonder" in 2007. For Aguilera, this is her fifth number-one position, her first since "Lady Marmalade" in 2001. Incidentally, Levine is the first artist to achieve both the number-one position on the Hot 100 as a member of a band and reach the top 10 as a solo artist in the same week. "Moves like Jagger" made Aguilera the fourth female artist, behind Janet Jackson and Madonna (1980s, 1990s, and 2000s) and Britney Spears (1990s, 2000s, and 2010s), to top the Hot 100 in three decades, as well as the eighth artist overall. (If counting her records in the duo Sonny & Cher, Cher also scored number-one singles in three decades—the 1960s, 1970s, and 1990s.) During the week of October 1, 2011, the song advanced to number one on the Hot 100 Airplay. By March 2013, it had sold over 6 million digital copies in the United States. As of June 2015, its total stands at 6.7 million copies sold in the US.
On August 1, 2011, "Moves like Jagger" reached number two on the Australian ARIA Charts, making it Aguilera's highest charting single since "Candyman" in 2007, and held the runner-up spot for ten straight weeks. On the week of August 20, 2011, the song topped the Canadian Hot 100 chart, becoming the band's second number-one single and Aguilera's third number-one single, first in almost nine years (the last one was the 2002 hit "Beautiful").
"Moves like Jagger" made its debut on the UK Singles Chart at number three and sold 56,000 copies on the issue dated August 21, 2011, becoming Maroon 5's 4th top 10 hit and Aguilera's 15th top 10 hit in the UK. Starting at the issue date September 10, it peaked at number two for seven consecutive weeks, equalling the all-time UK record held by All-4-One's "I Swear" for the longest stay at number two by a hit not to reach number one. On October 5, 2011, the song reached number one in the mid-week chart update but failed to reach the number-one spot the following Sunday due to the mid-week release of Rihanna's new single "We Found Love" which debuted at number one keeping "Moves like Jagger" away from the number-one position. Uniquely, in the first six of these weeks it was held off the top of the chart by six different number-one singles consecutively, each of which debuted directly ahead of it; this after having already been held at number three behind two different pairs of new entries in its first two weeks on the chart. As of week ending October 22, "Moves like Jagger" dropped two places to number 4, ending a seven-week run in the runner-up position. After spending seven straight weeks at number two in the singles charts without ever managing to claim the number-one spot, it ironically peaked at number two in the year end chart of 2011's best-selling singles as well. It became the biggest-selling song not to peak at number one in 2012. As of September 2017, "Moves like Jagger" has sold 1,536,000 copies in the United Kingdom, in an uninterrupted 52-week run in the chart.
The music video for "Moves like Jagger" was directed by Jonas Åkerlund and filmed in the Los Angeles Theater, Los Angeles, California on July 8, 2011. On July 9, Aguilera posted an image of herself from the video shoot via Twitter, saying, "Always great to see Jonas Akerlund. He created the perfect feel for the song. Expect a fun video." The image showed Aguilera performing with a band in front of a background of the American flag. Four shirtless images of Levine from the shoot were also released online the same day. More images from the video shoot were released online on July 11, showing Levine and Aguilera performing in front of an American and British-themed backdrop with confetti falling from the ceiling. Another image showed Aguilera performing in front of a black backdrop with her name "Christina" shown in pink. The Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger made an appearance in the video "via archive footage". The video features an incorrect, simplified version of the Union Flag as a backdrop for parts of the song. For Levine and his bandmates, the song and video are all about exposing a new generation to the rock legend. "We were lucky enough to get Mick's endorsement [for the video], as far as him giving us access to a bunch of different footage that's so cool," Levine told MTV News when they visited the video's set last month. "Not many people have seen [it], especially a newer generation of people that don't know so much about how incredible he was." The music video premiered on August 8, 2011 on E!. As of January 2019, the video received over 600 million views on YouTube.
The video opens with black-and-white footage of the theater, shots of work crews assembling lighting and equipment onstage and groups of extras getting into costume, warming up for a shoot. This is followed by classic footage of Jagger, during which Michael Parkinson asks The Rolling Stones frontman how long he plans to make music. "I don't know. I never thought I'd be doing it for two years even," a young Jagger says, as the opening whistles of the Maroon 5 song kick in, throughout which a slew of Jagger lookalikes are shown dancing up to a central microphone, interlaced with archival footage of Jagger himself and shots of band members James Valentine, Jesse Carmichael, Michael Madden and Matt Flynn. When Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine eventually appears, he is shirtless, tattooed and wearing tight black pants. The video is mostly a mash-up of people trying to move like Jagger, including Levine. When Aguilera makes her brief appearance, she is dressed for a retro look with mascara-heavy lashes and a floppy hat.
Becky Bain wrote for Idolator that "Adam Levine wears a whole lot of ink on his upper torso instead of a shirt, and Christina Aguilera applies an entire bottle of mascara around her eyes." The Huffington Post commented "We weren't sure whether Levine and Aguilera would be able to bring it like Mick, but then again, no one can ever touch the original. The best they can do is try to imitate Jagger's greatness—and Levine and Aguilera do a pretty solid job of that."
"Moves like Jagger" was performed for the first time with Aguilera on June 21, 2011, during The Voice, a talent competition show on which both she and Levine are coaches. Maroon 5 performed this song without Aguilera on America's Got Talent on August 3, 2011 in the results show of the fourth week of the Hollywood performances. The song was performed live on September 8, 2011 at the NFL pre-show on Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin, before the start of the 2011 NFL season. The song was also played on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in mid-September 2011, on Saturday Night Live in November 2011, as well as the 2011 American Music Awards (along with Gym Class Heroes's "Stereo Hearts") and the 2011 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show. On June 2, 2012, the band also played on the series finale of The Voice UK, as part with a medley of the song "Payphone". On February 3, 2019, Maroon 5 performed the song for the Super Bowl LIII halftime show in Atlanta, Georgia.
Certifications and sales
Awards and nominations
The song's official remix features both Aguilera and Pittsburgh-based rapper Mac Miller. It was first made available on September 29, 2011, via hip hop website HipHopDX.com, before being released officially via iTunes on October 4. The remix remains largely unchanged from the original song, with Miller's two verses each coming at the beginning of the track and prior to Aguilera's refrain respectively. Miller was asked to appear on the remix of "Moves like Jagger" by producer Benny Blanco, following consultation with Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine. The rapper later said that he hoped to be involved in an official music video for the track, but no such video was ever announced.