The Middle (Zedd, Maren Morris and Grey song)

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"The Middle"
Zedd, Maren Morris and Grey The Middle.png
Single by Zedd, Maren Morris and Grey
Released 23 January 2018 (2018-01-23)
Format Digital download
Genre
Length 3:04
Label Interscope
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)
Zedd singles chronology
"Get Low"
(2017)
"The Middle"
(2018)
"Happy Now"
(2018)
Maren Morris singles chronology
"Craving You"
(2017)
"The Middle"
(2018)
"Rich"
(2018)
Grey singles chronology
"I Miss You"
(2017)
"The Middle"
(2018)
Music video
"The Middle" on YouTube

"The Middle" is a song by Russian-German record producer Zedd, American singer Maren Morris and American musical duo Grey. It was written by Sarah Aarons, Zedd, Grey, and The Monsters and the Strangerz, with production handled by the latter three. The song was released commercially for digital download on 23 January 2018 by Interscope Records. It has reached the top ten of the charts in the US, the UK, and several other countries.

Background and development

The song was first revealed in an accompanying interview of Zedd's cover shot for Billboard, published on 10 August 2017. Zedd played interviewer Chris Martins unreleased material in a studio, one of which is "The Middle", which featured co-writer Sarah Aarons as a demo singer.[3] On 11 January 2018, Zedd teased the song on social media, saying: "Hey guys, it's that time again. I wanted to show you a preview to my brand new song. Check it out," after which he played a short snippet of the song.[4][5] The collaboration was officially announced via social media on 19 January 2018, along with the single artwork,[6][7] which Zedd teased a day earlier without a title on it.[8][9]

Zedd said in a press release that they "worked really hard on this record to get it just right". He also opened up about the opportunity to work with both collaborators, stating that working with Maren Morris was "super fun because she is clearly an amazing singer and very talented musician", and that he loves working with Grey because they strive to "make the best music possible". Morris added: "Zedd was so great to work with and so easy-going, it felt like we'd been working together for years. The sound is reflective of my many influences as an artist – a little bit country, little pop, little R&B, relatable, emotional and catchy as hell. There are no limits with this song and I can't wait to see how the fans react." She revealed in a statement that she recorded her vocal for the song with Zedd in Nashville "several weeks ago" before the song's release. Grey admitted that they faced a few obstacles during production, but they "kept fighting for it" because the song was special.[10]

The song was recorded by Demi Lovato, Camila Cabello, Anne-Marie, Carly Rae Jepsen, Tove Lo, Bishop Briggs, Bebe Rexha, Lauren Jauregui, Daya, Charli XCX and Elle King before Morris was chosen for the final version. Stefan Johnson, one-fifth of production team The Monsters and the Strangerz, stated that "it was a super long process". Jordan Johnson of the same team added: "We never lost the feeling for that song. Even a year later, I, as a creator hadn't gotten tired of it. It was special."[11]

Critical reception

Kat Bein of Billboard opined that the song is "relatively sparse with cute", writing that it has "definite sonic similarities" to Zedd's previous song "Stay".[12] Rolling Stone's Brittney McKenna deemed the song "an infectious earworm" in which Morris "strays from her country roots". She felt that the "Nineties R&B-indebted, vocoder-driven chorus" recalls the sound of "Stay", and that Morris "deftly occupies the new, poppy space".[13] Hugh McIntyre of Fuse found Morris' appearance on the track unlikely, "considering the genres she primarily works in", as he praised Morris for "supplying vocals perfectly". He felt that it "leans a lot more pop than electro", which makes the song more appealing to a broader variety of listeners. Regarding the song "an easy-to-love electronic smash" and "a slightly reductive mix" of "Stay" and "Starving", he noted that it is "not entirely original" due to its "reminiscence of what the musicians have delivered before".[14] Similarly, Madeline Roth of MTV News called the song "a poppy earworm" and a combination of "Stay" and "Starving", which is "catchy as hell and practically destined for radio domination".[15] Mike Nied of Idolator wrote that the song "blends elements of country and EDM" and praised Morris for providing "impassioned vocals".[16] Billy Dukes of Taste of Country described the song as "an unlikely combination of EDM, '90s pop and modern country music".[17]

Music video

The song's music video, directed by Dave Meyers, was premiered via Target's commercial space during the 60th Annual Grammy Awards.[12] On April 25, Zedd released a vertical video on YouTube.[18]

Live performances

On 28 April 2018, Zedd and Maren Morris performed the song live for the first time at the Omnia nightclub in Las Vegas.[19][20] On 20 May 2018, all three artists performed the song at the 2018 Billboard Music Awards.[21] Morris performed the song with Taylor Swift at the Arlington stop of Swift's Reputation Stadium Tour on October 5, 2018.[22]

Commercial performance

The song reached No. 5 on Billboard Hot 100.[23] It has sold 731,000 copies in the United States as of November 2018.[24]

Personnel

Credits adapted from Tidal.[25]

Charts

Chart (2018) Peak
position
Australia (ARIA)[26] 7
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[27] 12
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[28] 8
Belgium Dance (Ultratop Flanders)[29] 5
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Wallonia)[30] 20
Belgium Dance (Ultratop Wallonia)[31] 1
Brazil (Brasil Hot 100 Airplay)[32] 98
Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[33] 6
Canada AC (Billboard)[34] 7
Canada CHR/Top 40 (Billboard)[35] 1
Canada Hot AC (Billboard)[36] 1
Colombia (National-Report)[37] 34
Czech Republic (Rádio Top 100)[38] 4
Czech Republic (Singles Digitál Top 100)[39] 8
Denmark (Tracklisten)[40] 20
France (SNEP)[41] 68
Germany (Official German Charts)[42] 15
Germany Dance (Official German Charts)[43] 3
Hungary (Rádiós Top 40)[44] 19
Hungary (Single Top 40)[45] 8
Ireland (IRMA)[46] 7
Italy (FIMI)[47] 48
Japan (Japan Hot 100)[48] 50
Latvia (Latvijas Top 40)[49] 4
Malaysia (RIM)[50] 3
Mexico Airplay (Billboard)[51] 11
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[52] 2
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[53] 7
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[54] 8
Nicaragua (Monitor Latino)[55] 13
Norway (VG-lista)[56] 10
Portugal (AFP)[57] 19
Scotland (Official Charts Company)[58] 8
Singapore (RIAS)[59] 1
Slovakia (Rádio Top 100)[60] 46
Slovakia (Singles Digitál Top 100)[61] 15
Slovenia (SloTop50)[62] 18
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[63] 70
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[64] 19
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[65] 27
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[66] 7
US Billboard Hot 100[67] 5
US Adult Contemporary (Billboard)[68] 1
US Adult Top 40 (Billboard)[69] 1
US Dance Club Songs (Billboard)[70] 17
US Hot Dance/Electronic Songs (Billboard)[71] 1
US Mainstream Top 40 (Billboard)[72] 1
US Rhythmic (Billboard)[73] 18
Venezuela English (Record Report)[74] 1

Certifications

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Australia (ARIA)[75] 2× Platinum 140,000^
Belgium (BEA)[76] Platinum 30,000*
Canada (Music Canada)[77] 4× Platinum 320,000^
Germany (BVMI)[78] Gold 200,000^
Italy (FIMI)[79] Platinum 50,000double-dagger
New Zealand (RMNZ)[80] Platinum 30,000*
Sweden (GLF)[81] Gold 20,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[82] Platinum 600,000double-dagger

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

Release history

Region Date Format Label Ref.
Various 23 January 2018 Digital download Interscope [25]
United States 30 January 2018 Contemporary hit radio [83]

See also

References

  1. ^ Burchard, Jeremy (23 January 2018). "Hear Maren Morris' Infectious New Pop Track 'The Middle'". Wide Open Country. Retrieved 24 January 2018.
  2. ^ McNeilage, Ross (11 August 2017). "Zedd Announces Collaborations With Sigrid and Khalid". MTV News. Retrieved 19 July 2018.
  3. ^ Martins, Chris (10 August 2017). "Zedd, Dance Music's Anti-Bro, on Making Hits for Selena, Kesha and Liam and Why DJs Should 'Speak Up' On Trump". Billboard. Retrieved 23 January 2018.
  4. ^ Bein, Kat (12 January 2018). "Zedd (Sort Of) Teased His New Single: Watch". Billboard. Retrieved 23 January 2018.
  5. ^ Meadow, Matthew (11 January 2018). "Zedd Posts Maddeningly Short Clip Of His Next Single To Tease Fans". Your EDM. Retrieved 22 January 2018.
  6. ^ Bein, Kat (19 January 2018). "Zedd Announces 'The Middle' With Maren Morris & Grey". Billboard. Retrieved 23 January 2018.
  7. ^ Sterling, Scott (19 January 2018). "Zedd & Maren Morris Announce New Collaboration 'The Middle'". CBS Radio. Retrieved 23 January 2018.
  8. ^ Bein, Kat (18 January 2018). "Zedd Teases Artwork on Twitter, Fueling New Music Speculation". Billboard. Retrieved 23 January 2018.
  9. ^ Macke, Johnni (18 January 2018). "Zedd May Have Just Dropped A Big New Music Hint". People's Choice Awards. Retrieved 23 January 2018.
  10. ^ Sands, Nicole (23 January 2018). "Zedd, Maren Morris and Grey Team Up with Target to Debut New Single 'The Middle'". People. Retrieved 23 January 2018.
  11. ^ Halperin, Shirley (23 April 2018). "'The Middle' Is a Hit for Marren Moris, After Demi, Camilla, Bebe Don't Make the Cut". Variety. Retrieved 23 April 2018.
  12. ^ a b Bein, Kat (23 January 2018). "Zedd, Maren Morris & Grey Lose Their Heads Over Love on 'The Middle': Listen". Billboard. Retrieved 24 January 2018.
  13. ^ McKenna, Brittney (23 January 2018). "Hear Maren Morris Sing on Vibrant New Zedd Song 'The Middle'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 24 January 2018.
  14. ^ McIntyre, Hugh (23 January 2018). "Zedd Borrows From Past Hits for New Maren Morris-Assisted Single 'The Middle': Listen". Fuse. Retrieved 24 January 2018.
  15. ^ Roth, Madeline (23 January 2018). "Maren Morris Goes Pop On Zedd's Addictive New Song 'The Middle'". MTV News. Retrieved 24 January 2018.
  16. ^ Nied, Mike (23 January 2018). "Zedd Teams Up With Maren Morris & Grey On Their Infectious "The Middle"". Idolator. Retrieved 24 January 2018.
  17. ^ Dukes, Billy (23 January 2018). "Maren Morris Makes EDM Debut With Zedd, 'The Middle' [Listen]". Taste of Country. Retrieved 24 January 2018.
  18. ^ Zedd (25 April 2018). "Zedd, Maren Morris, Grey - The Middle (Vertical Video)". Retrieved 30 April 2018 – via YouTube.
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  21. ^ Weatherby, Taylor (May 14, 2018). "Ed Sheeran, Maren Morris and Zedd Revealed as 2018 Billboard Music Awards Performers". Billboard. Retrieved 14 May 2018.
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  24. ^ Bjorke, Matt (November 7, 2018). "Top 30 Digital Country Singles Chart: November 7, 2018". RoughStock. Retrieved November 8, 2018.
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  56. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Zedd / Maren Morris / Grey – The Middle". VG-lista. Retrieved 23 May 2018.
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  79. ^ "Italian single certifications – Zedd – The Middle" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Retrieved 3 September 2018.
  80. ^ "New Zealand single certifications – Zedd, Maren Morris and Grey – The Middle". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  81. ^ "Guld- och Platinacertifikat" (in Swedish). IFPI Sweden. Retrieved 23 March 2018. Type Zedd, Maren Morris & Grey in the top right search bar. Click on "Sok" and select The Middle and see certification.
  82. ^ "British single certifications – Zedd/Maren Morris/Grey – The Middle". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 30 July 2018. Select singles in the Format field. Select Platinum in the Certification field. Type The Middle in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  83. ^ "Top 40/M Future Releases". All Access Media Group. Archived from the original on 22 January 2018. Retrieved 23 January 2018.

External links

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