Alive (Sia song)

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Alive by Sia.png
Single by Sia
from the album This Is Acting
Released 25 September 2015 (2015-09-25)
Recorded 2015
Length 4:23
  • Inertia
  • Monkey Puzzle
  • RCA
Producer(s) Jesse Shatkin[3]
Sia singles chronology
"Fire Meet Gasoline"
"Bang My Head"

"Fire Meet Gasoline"
"Bang My Head"
Music video
"Alive" on YouTube

"Alive" is the lead single from Australian singer and songwriter Sia's seventh studio album This Is Acting (2016). It was co-written by Sia, Adele, and Tobias Jesso Jr.[4] The song was produced by Jesse Shatkin. "Alive" was released on 25 September 2015. The song was originally intended for Adele's third studio album, 25, along with "Bird Set Free". However, since Adele decided not to use the songs, she let Sia use them for her seventh studio album. Musically, it is a midtempo pop and synth-pop song.

On 22 September 2015, Sia posted a tweet on Twitter which hinted that the single would be released on September 25. The next day she released a 15-second preview of the music video on her Vevo account. The song achieved moderate commercial success, reaching the top 40 in over 15 countries, including Spain, Belgium and France. In the UK, the song 30 on the UK Singles Chart. The song reached number 56 on the US Billboard Hot 100, failing to reach the upper half of the chart. The music video for the song was released on 5 November 2015. It has received over 100 million views.

The song received generally positive reviews, with critics praising Sia's powerful, electrifying vocals. Sia has performed the song multiple times on camera, including The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Saturday Night Live, and The X Factor.


In September 2015, Sia confirmed that This Is Acting's lead single "Alive" would be released later that month and was originally written for Adele. She described that the song "was about Adele's life" and "written in Adele's perspective". She further explained to Ryan Seacrest that the song was written in a writing session with Adele for her third album 25, but was rejected at the last minute.[5][6] Rihanna also rejected the tune.[7]


On September 22, 2015, Sia posted a tweet on Twitter which hints that the single would be released on September 25.[8] A 15-second preview was uploaded to Sia's Vevo channel on September 23 and the release date was made 1 day earlier to September 24. Sia further updated on her Twitter that it would be released on the morning of September 24. The single was premiered on Snapchat at about 7 a.m. and released to other services soon after.


"Alive" is written in the key of F minor with a tempo of 100 beats per minute. The song follows a chord progression of Fm–Cm–D–Fm–Cm–D–Bsus2, and Sia's vocals span from F3 to E5.[9] "Alive" is a midtempo pop and synth-pop power ballad.[1][2][10]

Music video

The music video for the song directed by Sia and Daniel Askill was released on 5 November 2015. It was shot by cinematographer Mathieu Plainfosse. It stars child karate star Mahiro Takano. The music video was filmed in Japan.[11]

A lyric video has been uploaded on October 20, 2015 on Sia's Vevo channel. The video features a black-and-white background, with female figures without their faces shown. Sia wore a two-toned black and blonde wig and the lyrics of the song were written on the walls.[12]

The Japanese official music video was released on 7 March 2016. It stars Japanese actress Tao Tsuchiya, who studies Buyō at Japan Women's College of Physical Education, dancing uniquely.[13] Due to a big attention to this video from Japan, "Alive" peaked No. 1 on Billboard Japan Hot 100 on 21 March 2016.[14]


Rolling Stone critic Jon Blistein described Furler's vocals as "devastating, electrifying," and wrote, "while the dramatic build of "Alive" sounds straight out of Adele's wheelhouse, the outsized pop production — courtesy of Jesse Shatkin — and the ragged, throat-cracking, enrapturing vocal run Sia embarks on at the end are quintessentially her."[15] Dan Weiss of Billboard said that the song has a "chandelier-shattering chorus that proves a power ballad can still be, well, powerful in the age of EDM."[10] "Alive" also came in at #56 on the annual Triple J Hottest 100 for 2015.[16]

Commercial performance

In the United States, the song debuted at number 56 on the US Billboard Hot 100, selling 54,000 copies in its first week.[17] In Australia, the song debuted at number 10 and has been certified platinum by the Australian Recording Industry Association.

Live performances

Furler first performed the song during the forty-first season of Saturday Night Live, with Donald Trump hosting, on November 7, 2015 with Mina Nishimura dancing.[18] Later, throughout December the song was performed on The Ellen DeGeneres Show as well as The Voice on December 1, followed by an X Factor UK performance on December 6. Sia appeared on French TV show C à vous on December 9 and two days later, December 11 on C'Cauet. The same day she gave a performance on The Graham Norton Show and then performed the single on New Year's Eve on TFI Friday.[citation needed] When performing the song live, Sia usually sings in the key of E minor, one tone below the recorded version.[19]

In popular culture

The song was also featured in the end credits of the film The 5th Wave, released in 2016.[citation needed]

Track listing

Digital download
No. Title Length
1. "Alive" 4:23


Chart (2015–16) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[20] 10
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[21] 39
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[22] 49
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Wallonia)[23] 40
Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[24] 28
Canada CHR/Top 40 (Billboard)[25] 36
Canada Hot AC (Billboard)[26] 40
Czech Republic (Singles Digitál Top 100)[27] 36
Finland Download (Latauslista)[28] 5
France (SNEP)[29] 17
Hungary (Single Top 40)[30] 37
Ireland (IRMA)[31] 44
Italy (FIMI)[32] 57
Japan (Japan Hot 100)[33] 28
Japan Hot Overseas (Billboard)[34] 1
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[35] 29
Poland (Polish Airplay Top 100)[36] 39
Scotland (Official Charts Company)[37] 14
Slovakia (Rádio Top 100)[38] 82
Slovakia (Singles Digitál Top 100)[39] 31
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[40] 21
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[41] 69
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[42] 30
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[43] 30
US Billboard Hot 100[44] 56
US Adult Top 40 (Billboard)[45] 33
US Dance Club Songs (Billboard)[46] 28


Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Australia (ARIA)[47] Platinum 70,000^
Canada (Music Canada)[48] Platinum 80,000^
Italy (FIMI)[49] Platinum 50,000double-dagger
Poland (ZPAV)[50] 2× Platinum 40,000*
Sweden (GLF)[51] Gold 20,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[52] Gold 400,000double-dagger

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
double-daggersales+streaming figures based on certification alone


  1. ^ a b Hunt, Elle (September 25, 2015). "Sia's new single Alive was written for Adele and offered to Rihanna – listen". The Guardian. Retrieved March 8, 2017.
  2. ^ a b R. Holz, Adam. "Alive Track Review (2015)". Plugged In. Retrieved September 7, 2016.
  3. ^ "Sia Releases Brand New Single "Alive" From Her Forthcoming Album "This Is Acting"".
  4. ^ "Sia Shares "Alive" Co-Written With Adele and Tobias Jesso Jr". Pitchfork.
  5. ^ Chau, Thomas (7 September 2015). "Sia Reveals That She Originally Wrote Her Next Single for Adele". Popcrush. Retrieved 7 September 2015.
  6. ^ "Sia za MMC: "Vsi mislijo, da bodo s slavo postali kul, ljubljeni in posebni"" (in Slovenian). Radiotelevizija Slovenija. Retrieved 7 September 2015.
  7. ^ "Sia: The songs from my new album were rejected by everyone else". Retrieved 25 September 2015.
  8. ^ "Sia 'Alive' Artwork, Release Date Revealed Ahead of New Album 'This Is Acting'". Music Times. 2015-09-22. Retrieved 2015-10-27.
  9. ^ "Alive". Retrieved 2016-01-02.
  10. ^ a b Weiss, Dan (July 6, 2017). "8 Precedents for Kesha's Gut-Wrenching 'Praying' Video". Billboard. Retrieved July 7, 2017.
  11. ^ Nicole Pomarico: Who Is The Girl In Sia's 'Alive' Music Video? Mahiro Takano Is Seriously Impressive, Bustle, 5 November 2015.
  12. ^ "Sia's bizarre explanation as to why she covers her face". Mail Online.
  13. ^ "土屋太鳳、"覆面"歌手シーアMVで圧巻ダンス! 振付師絶賛「鳥肌立つ」". Retrieved 3 November 2016.
  14. ^ "Billboard Japan Hot Overseas – Charts – Billboard JAPAN". Retrieved 3 November 2016.
  15. ^ Blistein, Jon. "Sia Delivers Electrifying Vocals on Bombastic New Song, 'Alive'". Rolling Stone. Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on September 25, 2015. Retrieved 25 September 2015.
  16. ^ "1-100 List – Hottest 100 2015 – triple j". 11 January 2014. Retrieved 3 November 2016.
  17. ^ Trust, Gary (October 8, 2015). "Hot 100 Chart Moves: Meghan Trainor Hits Top 40, Sia & Sam Smith Start". Billboard. Retrieved August 9, 2017.
  18. ^ Gia Kourlas (November 11, 2015). "Meet the Mystery Dancer Who Performed With Sia on 'S.N.L.'". The New York Times.
  19. ^ "Live From The Graham Norton Show".
  20. ^ " – Sia – Alive". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved 3 October 2015.
  21. ^ " – Sia – Alive" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 10 December 2016.
  22. ^ " – Sia – Alive" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 2 October 2015.
  23. ^ " – Sia – Alive" (in French). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 10 December 2016.
  24. ^ "Sia Chart History (Canadian Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 6 October 2015.
  25. ^ "Chart Search". Billboard Canada CHR/Top 40 for Sia. Retrieved 6 November 2015.
  26. ^ "Chart Search". Billboard Canada Hot AC for Sia. Retrieved 6 November 2015.
  27. ^ "ČNS IFPI" (in Czech). Hitparáda – Digital Top 100 Oficiální. IFPI Czech Republic. Note: insert 201542 into search.
  28. ^ "Sia: Alive" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved 1 February 2016.
  29. ^ " – Sia – Alive" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved 10 December 2016.
  30. ^ "Archívum – Slágerlisták – MAHASZ" (in Hungarian). Single (track) Top 40 lista. Magyar Hanglemezkiadók Szövetsége. Retrieved 13 February 2016.
  31. ^ "Chart Track: Week 40, 2015". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 2 October 2015.
  32. ^ "Top Digital – Classifica settimanale WK 47 (dal 2015-11-20 al 2015-11-26)". Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Retrieved 28 November 2015.
  33. ^ "Sia Chart History (Japan Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 21 September 2016.
  34. ^ "Billboard Japan Hot Overseas" (in Japanese). Billboard Japan. 21 March 2016. Retrieved 21 March 2016.
  35. ^ " – Sia – Alive". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 2 October 2015.
  36. ^ "Listy bestsellerów, wyróżnienia :: Związek Producentów Audio-Video". Polish Airplay Top 100. Retrieved December 7, 2015.
  37. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2 October 2015.
  38. ^ "SNS IFPI" (in Slovak). Hitparáda – Radio Top 100 Oficiálna. IFPI Czech Republic. Note: insert 201549 into search.
  39. ^ "SNS IFPI" (in Slovak). Hitparáda – Singles Digital Top 100 Oficiálna. IFPI Czech Republic. Note: insert 201541 into search.
  40. ^ " – Sia – Alive" Canciones Top 50. Retrieved 25 December 2015.
  41. ^ " – Sia – Alive". Singles Top 100. Retrieved 4 October 2015.
  42. ^ " – Sia – Alive". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 4 October 2015.
  43. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2 October 2015.
  44. ^ "Sia Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 6 October 2015.
  45. ^ "Sia Chart History (Adult Pop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved November 5, 2015.
  46. ^ "Sia Chart History (Dance Club Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved January 23, 2016.
  47. ^ Ryan, Gavin (9 January 2016). "ARIA Singles: Justin Bieber 'Love Yourself' Stays at No 1". Noise11. Retrieved 9 January 2016.
  48. ^ "Canadian single certifications – Sia – Alive". Music Canada. Retrieved October 6, 2016.
  49. ^ "Italian single certifications – Sia – Alive" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  50. ^ "Polish single certifications – Sia – Alive" (in Polish). Polish Society of the Phonographic Industry. Retrieved March 1, 2017.
  51. ^ "Sverigetopplistan > "Sia" > "Sök" > "ALIVE" > "Certifikat". Sveriges Officiella Topplista (in Swedish). Archived from the original on December 26, 2015. Retrieved March 27, 2016.
  52. ^ "British single certifications – Sia – Alive". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 24 November 2017. Select singles in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Type Alive in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.

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