Over a decade after its release, “Party in the U.S.A.” is still one of Miley Cyrus’ most well-known songs. However, she did not write the song. Here’s a look at the major singer who co-wrote “Party in the U.S.A” — and how long the song’s success paid her bills.
Why a singer who became a star didn’t record ‘Party in the U.S.A.’
“Party in the U.S.A.” is a patriotic pop song. It’s one of the rare American hits that celebrates America — which is why it’s appeared at a number of Fourth of July celebrations. Ironically, the major singer who co-wrote the track is not from America.
Jessie J is an English singer who’s had a few hits in the United States, including “Domino,” “Price Tag,” and “Bang Bang” — a collaboration with Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj. She found more success in her native country, where several of her other singles became successful, including “Do It Like a Dude,” “It’s My Party,” and “Who’s Laughing Now.” In addition, she won a season of a reality singing competition called Singer. According to The Tennessean, J co-wrote “Party in the U.S.A.” with Claude Kelly and Dr. Luke. During an interview, Kelly said he had a difficult time imagining someone else would sing the song.
“I was very excited because Jessie was a big deal,” he said. “We all believed in her. When it didn’t end up on Jessie, it’s hard to imagine someone with as much electricity behind her name is gonna care about it.” Ultimately, J didn’t sing the track because her label felt it wasn’t edgy enough for her. J’s debut single “Do It Like a Dude” is definitely edgier than “Party in the U.S.A.”
Why Miley Cyrus sang the track instead of Jessie J
Kelly explained why he thought the track could work for Cyrus. “I was a little bit older than to be watching Hannah Montana but certainly knew the impact,’ he revealed. “I’d heard ‘The Climb,’ and ‘The Climb’ is still one of my favorite songs. It’s just brilliantly delivered in every way, shape and form. So I knew there was an opportunity here to kinda build upon that success and give her some staying power.”
What ‘Party in the U.S.A.’ did for Miley Cyrus and Jessie J
Cyrus’ version of the track reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100. It would be her highest-charting hit until she released “Wrecking Ball” four years later. Unlike “Wrecking Ball,” “Party in the U.S.A.” became a hit without the aid of a highly-publicized, risque video.
So what did J have to say about the track’s success? “’Party in the U.S.A.’ paid my rent for, like, three years,” she revealed. “Actually it was longer than that. That’s where I get most of my money. I write songs. I’m a singer. I love doing endorsements and stuff, but that’s all added on.” J didn’t release “Party in the U.S.A.” — but it still put her on Easy Street for a few years.
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