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"Just Dance" is the debut single by American recording artist Lady Gaga. The song was produced by RedOne and co-written by RedOne, Gaga and Akon (who also provides additional vocals), while also featuring labelmate Colby O'Donis. It was released in 2008 as the lead single from Gaga's debut studio album The Fame. The song was written by Gaga in ten minutes as "a happy record". "Just Dance" also has influences of R&B and lyrically speaks about being intoxicated at a club.
The song has been critically appreciated, with reviewers complimenting its club anthem-like nature and the synthpop associated with it. The song has also achieved commercial success by topping charts in the United States, Australia, Canada, the Republic of Ireland, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, as well as reaching the top ten in many other countries. In the United States, "Just Dance" was a sleeper hit, spending almost five months on the Billboard Hot 100 before finally reaching the summit of the chart in January 2009, after being released in April 2008. It scored the third-biggest single-week sum of all time selling 419,000 downloads in just one week and went to become the third best-selling digital song of all time in the U.S. The single is among the best-selling singles of all time, having sold over 7.7 million copies.
The music video of the song portrayed Lady Gaga appearing in a party where she plays the song, prompting party-goers to start dancing in enjoyment. Gaga compared her experience of shooting the video with being on a Martin Scorsese set. "Just Dance" was performed by Gaga in a number of live appearances including her first headlining The Fame Ball Tour and the second worldwide tour Monster Ball. In 2009, the song received a Grammy nomination in the Best Dance Recording category but lost to electronic duo Daft Punk for their song "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger".
The video was directed by music video director Melina Matsoukas, and is based on the thematic content of the song of being in a party. The video begins with Gaga arriving with her background dancers at a house party, which seems to have ended. One of the dancers puts a Discolite Boombox on, blaring the music through the house. The crowd at the party appear to be sleeping in different areas, and are awoken by the music. They all start to dance, and scenes of the party are inter cut with scenes of a scantily dressed Lady Gaga dancing in a poncho, with a disco ball or in a small rubber pool playing with an inflated killer whale. She wears a blue, lightning-bolt shaped sticker beneath her right eye like that on the single cover, which was a tribute to her music idol David Bowie. O'Donis appears in the video being flanked by several girls during the "When I come through on the dance floor" interlude. Cameo appearances are made by Akon and Space Cowboy. MTV called the video as an ode to the "Me Decade". During an interview with Australian radio in September 2008, Gaga said that "The whole video is performance art about being drunk at a party." In an interview with About.com, when asked about the shooting experience of the music video, Gaga explained,
"Oh it was so fun, it was amazing. For me it was like being on a Martin Scorsese set. I've been so low budget for so long, and to have this incredibly amazing video was really very humbling. It was really fun, but you'll see if you ever come to a video shoot of mine one day ΓΓé¼ΓÇ£ I'm very private about those things, I don't really talk to everybody. I'm not like the party girl running around. I might even seem to be a bit of a diva. I'm sort of with myself, in my work head space worrying about costumes, and if extras look right, and placement. I don't just show up for things, you know. That video was a vision of mine. It was Melina the director who wanted to do something, to have a performance art aspect that was so pop but it was still commercial, but that felt like lifestyle. It was all those things, I love it."