My Life Would Suck Without You

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"My Life Would Suck Without You"
My Life Would Suck Without You.jpg
Single by Kelly Clarkson
from the album All I Ever Wanted
Released January 13, 2009 (2009-01-13)
Format
Recorded 2008; Conway Recording Studios (Los Angeles, California);
Dr. Luke's Studio (Malibu, California)
Genre Pop rock
Length 3:31
Label RCA
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)
  • Martin
  • Dr. Luke
Kelly Clarkson singles chronology
"Don't Waste Your Time"
(2007)
"My Life Would Suck Without You"
(2009)
"I Do Not Hook Up"
(2009)

"Don't Waste Your Time"
(2007)
"My Life Would Suck Without You"
(2009)
"I Do Not Hook Up"
(2009)
Music video
"My Life Would Suck Without You" on YouTube

"My Life Would Suck Without You" is a song performed by American singer Kelly Clarkson from her fourth studio album, All I Ever Wanted (2009). The song features songwriting credits from Max Martin, Lukasz Gottwald, and Claude Kelly and production credits from Martin and Gottwald under his production moniker, Dr. Luke. Clarkson co-wrote the track but refused to include her name in the credits as she didn't want to be associated with Luke.[1][2] "My Life Would Suck Without You" was released as the lead single from the album and premiered on January 13, 2009, in the United States on the Z100 radio station and was made available to download three days later. The song has met with positive reviews from music critics, who praised the song's pop composition, which incorporates rock and dance elements.

The song reached number one in its second week on the Billboard Hot 100 when it moved up the chart 96 places from number 97. The song's chart climbing gave Clarkson the record for a single with the furthest jump on the Billboard Hot 100 after achieving the feat with her 2002 single "A Moment Like This". The song has also peaked at number 16 on US Adult Contemporary chart. Elsewhere, "My Life Would Suck Without You" peaked at number one in Canada, Hungary and the United Kingdom, and has attained top-five positions in Australia, Ireland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden and Switzerland. The song is also her first number-one in the United Kingdom, giving her the distinction as the only American Idol contestant to have a song reach number one there.[3]

The accompanying music video was directed by Wayne Isham and presents Clarkson's relationship with her fictional boyfriend as being fluctuating and tumultuous as the two are depicted arguing and throwing out each other's belongings whilst mirroring the sentiments of the song and the positive influence each has on the other. The video was nominated for an MTV Video Music Award in the Best Female Video category in 2009.[4]

Background and release

Clarkson performing as part of her All I Ever Wanted Tour

"My Life Would Suck Without You" was written by Lukasz "Dr. Luke" Gottwald, Max Martin and Claude Kelly, with additional uncredited songwriting by Kelly Clarkson.[5] Record executive Clive Davis hired Gottwald and Martin, who produced "Since U Been Gone" and "Behind These Hazel Eyes" for Clarkson in 2004, to produce a new song for Clarkson in 2008 after Clarkson's My December suffered poor commercial performance after refusing to hire them in 2006.[6] She was completely against it through the entire process due to previous bad experiences working with Dr. Luke, stating he's difficult to work with, demeaning and a liar, thus "making the artist look bad".[7] Clarkson eventually gave in claiming the label wouldn't put out her record otherwise.[8] Yet, she was unsatisfied with the original version of the song, which she says differed greatly from the final version and included lyrical references to marijuana, so the writers assisted her in making the song more personal to her and "better than it was," according to Clarkson.[9] After the song was finalized and significant changes to the lyrics had been made, Clarkson said RCA approached her about taking a proper writing credit for the track, which she refused in order to make a point to the label as they failed to meet her one request which was not to have her work with Luke again.[10]

Claude Kelly worked on additional vocal production for the song.[11] Dr. Luke provided the drums, bass and programming as well as working with Martin on guitars and synthesizers.[11] The song was engineered at Conway Recording Studios in Los Angeles, California and Dr. Luke's Studio by Emily Wright and Sam Holland.[11] Wright also edited the vocals with Aniela Gottwald and Kool Kojak.[11]

Originally scheduled to hit airwaves on January 19, the song debuted on New York City Top 40 station Z100 on January 13,[12] and the single was then transmitted digitally to radio stations at 6:00 pm EST for immediate airplay.[13] It went officially for adds on radio station playlists on January 20, 2009. It was given a digital release on January 16, 2009 at Amazon.com's MP3 store,[14] with a subsequent release on the US and Canadian iTunes Stores soon after. The song was also released as a download on January 16 in Australia on iTunes. On January 23, the song was announced as the most added song to radio in Australia.[15]

Composition

"My Life Would Suck Without You" is a pop song[12][16][17] which is somewhat closer to dance-pop than her earlier pop rock hit "Since U Been Gone".[18] The song is set in the time signature of common time and has a moderate fast tempo of 145 beats per minute. It was written in a key of A major and Clarkson's vocal range within the song spans from A3 to E5.[19] The instruments utilized in the song include synthesizers, guitars, drums, and bass.[11] The song begins with mellow guitar plucking and transcends into a melody of synthesizers, guitars, and synthesized drums.[12] The melody then cascades into a chorus of crashing cymbals, bass, synthesizers, and loud guitars.[12] The lyrics for "My Life Would Suck Without You" are centered around a tumultuous relationship.[18]

Critical reception

Clarkson performing as part of her All I Ever Wanted Tour

The song received generally positive reviews. Billboard labelled it "a propulsive blast of rock-tinged pop"[16] and stated that "the countdown to No. 1 begins."[20] About.com's Bill Lamb named it "pop perfection that could easily end up one of the biggest hits of the year."[17] Rolling Stone called the song "fantastic — the early favorite for single of the year." and "straight-up pop [that] cascades into an avalanche of synths and a steady beat," mentioning that it "has all the characteristics of a surefire radio hit."[12] TIME also listed "My Life Would Suck Without You" as number one in their top ten songs of 2009.[21] Brian Mansfield from USA Today stated that there were "disco rhythms and lots of synth-dance-pop layers over the top, but the guitar pattern... keeps it from sounding too artificial"; eventually stating that he was "liking it".[22]

The Los Angeles Times said the song "zooms forward from its guitar-plucky intro toward a cymbal-crashing climax without ever slowing down", commenting that the song would be "huge"; however, it also stated that the song had "empty calories delivered within those compressed, subtly Auto-Tuned vocals [riding] high-fructose beats."[23] Nick Levine of Digital Spy rated the song four out of five stars, commenting "It's as original as shoving a slither of cheese between two slices of bread and calling it lunch, and the lyrics are a bit juvenile for the 26-year-old Clarkson, but these quibbles melt away when the heroically catchy chorus arrives. Best of all, you come away thinking that no-one else could have sung that heroically catchy chorus quite as well as Kelly Clarkson."[24] Rhiannon Haller of Michigan Daily gave the same rating, praising it as "pure, radio-pop goodness that’s bound to become the guilty pleasure of many."[25] On March 5, 2013, Billboard ranked the song #8 in its list of Top 100 American Idol Hits of All Time.[26]

Chart performance

"My Life Would Suck Without You" debuted at number 97 on the Billboard Hot 100 the week of January 29, 2009 and went to number one in its second week, setting the record for the furthest jump to number one in history.[27] This is the second time Clarkson has set this record, after her debut single "A Moment Like This" went from number 52 to number one in 2002.[28] "My Life Would Suck Without You" and Clarkson's own "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)" are also the only songs by an American Idol alum to top the Hot 100 chart that were not associated with the show.[29] The song also advanced to number three on Billboard's Mainstream Top 40 chart, giving her her first top ten airplay hit since "Because of You".[30] The song was dethroned from the top of the Hot 100 chart by Eminem's "Crack a Bottle" after two weeks.[31] As of September 10, 2017, the song has sold over 2,855,000 copies in the United States.[32]

The song debuted on the Australian ARIA Charts at number 16 and peaked at number five, and is also Clarkson's first physical number-one single. In the United Kingdom, the song climbed from number one hundred and three on the UK Singles Chart to number one on March 1, 2009 ― for the week ending date March 7, 2009 ― becoming Clarkson's first number-one single in Britain, selling 51,114 copies in its first week as a digital release.[33][34] Despite being Clarkson's highest charting single there, its stay on the chart is considerably less than some of her other singles. With 17 weeks inside the UK Singles Chart, it ranks behind her number five hit "Since U Been Gone" at 37 weeks and her number seven hit "Because of You" at 25 weeks.[35] As of April 2016, "My Life Would Suck Without You" has sold 423,000 copies in the United Kingdom. [36]

Music video

The music video for the song was directed by Wayne Isham and was shot in Los Angeles in December 2008. It is available for digital download on iTunes and is featured on the DVD of the Deluxe Edition of All I Ever Wanted. A preview of the video was shown during a commercial break for American Idol on January 28, 2009. The full video then premiered via AT&T's website directly after the broadcast.[37] The video was subsequently nominated for a 2009 MTV Video Music Award in the category for Best Female Video.

The video begins with a small boy and girl playing on a playground together, teasingly pushing each other around. The young girl is intended to be Clarkson as a child, presumably with her young male best friend. The boy hands her a beaded necklace, which she puts on admiringly. The shot closes in on the necklace, then pulls back to reveal it's still worn as a bracelet on the wrist of now-adult Clarkson, her boyfriend (played by Houston Rhines) shows up at her apartment door, presumably after an argument. Clarkson teases him with a set of keys, which she then throws down the toilet. The two are then shown sitting on a couch, reading magazines, when Clarkson grabs her boyfriend's magazine. The two are shown throwing various possessions of one another out of the apartment window, though in a playful manner. Such items include numerous articles of clothing, magazines, a guitar (which Clarkson tries to stop him throwing out), and a fishbowl (with the fish being taken out and put in a glass first, after which they look out the window). After throwing these items out the window, the two are seen sitting affectionately on the couch. Clarkson and her boyfriend are shown still fighting and bickering as they did as children, over the remote control. The latter portion of the video shows the two driving in a first generation Ford Bronco (with the necklace/bracelet hanging from the rear view mirror), eventually getting into an argument. Distracted by the tiff over directions, the Bronco nearly ends up in a head-on collision with an approaching car. After spinning out to avoid the crash, Clarkson simply grabs her boyfriend and pulls him into a kiss, where the video ends.

In the video there are also scenes with Clarkson performing with her band.

Track listing

Credits and personnel

Credits adapted from the liner notes of All I Ever Wanted, RCA Records, 19 Recordings.

Recording
Personnel
  • Lead vocals - Kelly Clarkson
  • Songwriting - Lukasz Gottwald, Claude Kelly
  • Production - Dr. Luke, Max Martin
  • Drums, bass and programming - Dr. Luke
  • Guitars and synthesizers - Dr. Luke, Max Martin
  • Engineering - Emily Wright, Sam Holland
  • Vocal editing - Emily Wright, Aniela Gottwald (assistant), Kool Kojak (assistant)

Charts and certifications

Certifications

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Australia (ARIA)[78] Platinum 70,000^
Canada (Music Canada)[79] 2× Platinum 80,000^
Japan (RIAJ)[80] Gold 100,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[81] Gold 7,500*
United Kingdom (BPI)[82] Gold 400,000double-dagger
United States (RIAA)[83] 2,855,000[32]

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

In popular culture

Michael Scott plays the song in "Ultimatum," a seventh-season episode of The Office, to celebrate Holly Flax returning to his branch.[84]

Cover versions

Release history

Country Release date Format Label
North America January 13, 2009[12] Airplay RCA Records
Europe January 15, 2009 Digital download Sony Music
Canada
United States[85] RCA Records
Australia January 19, 2009 Sony Music
February 2, 2009[86] CD single
New Zealand January 19, 2009 Digital download
Italy January 30, 2009[87]
United Kingdom February 21, 2009 RCA Label Group (UK)
March 2, 2009 CD single
The Netherlands February 16, 2009 Digital download Sony Music
Germany February 27, 2009[88]
  • CD single
  • digital download

See also

References

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External links

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