Hurt (Christina Aguilera song)

Hurt (Christina Aguilera song)

Infobox Single

Name = Hurt
Artist = Christina Aguilera
Album = Back to Basics
Released = October 18, 2006 (U.S.)
November 4 2006 (AUS)
November 13 2006 (UK)
Format = CD single, digital download
Recorded = 2006
Genre = Piano pop, R&B
Length = 4:03
Label = RCA
Writer = Christina Aguilera, Linda Perry, Mark Ronson
Producer = Linda Perry
Certification = Gold (RIAA, CRIA, IFPI)
Last single = "Ain't No Other Man"
This single = "Hurt"
Next single = "Tell Me"

"Hurt" is a pop ballad written by Christina Aguilera, Linda Perry and Mark Ronson for Aguilera's third studio album, "Back to Basics" (2006). The song's lyrical content describes how one deals with the loss of a loved one, and it has received praise from pop music critics. Aguilera premiered the song at the 2006 MTV Video Music Awards and was released as the album's second single in late 2006 (see 2006 in music).

Music and structure

"Hurt" is a ballad song set in the key of E minor.Cite web |last= |first= |title=Christina Aguilera Digital Sheet Music: Hurt |url= |publisher=Musicnotes, Inc. |date= |accessdate=2007-12-26] Its slow melody is paced at 72 beats per minute and set in common time. Aguilera's voice range spans from G3 to E5. Its instrumentation comes from bass, cello, contrabass, drums, guitar, piano, viola and violin.Citation |last= |first= |title=Back to Basics-Cd Booklet |url= |publisher=RCA Records |date=2006 |accessdate=] String instruments used in the melody were arranged by Eric Gorfain.


Originally Aguilera did not want "Hurt" to be the second single from "Back to Basics". Prior to this decision, "Candyman" was planned as the second single and even was confirmed by Aguilera during several different interviews. However, RCA felt that, with the holiday season coming up, it would be safer to release "Hurt", as it would become a big holiday power ballad, comparable to how Aguilera's "Beautiful" performed commercially back in late 2002. [Cite news |last=Jobling |first=John |title=Christina Aguilera – Candyman (review) |url= |publisher= "Mansized" |date=(May 24,2007) |accessdate=2008-08-25]

"Hurt" was released to radio airplay in the United States on September 18 2006. The single debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 at #100 in the October 14, 2006 edition. The single would peak on the Hot 100 at #19 in mid-December. "Hurt" had its biggest success on Adult Contemporary radio, where it reached #6 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart. Aguilera promoted the single during the holidays by performing on the TV special "Christmas at Rockefeller Center", on November 29, 2006 on NBC.

Critical reception

"Hurt" was generally very well-received by contemporary pop music critics. "Billboard" commented that Aguilera's " [vocals] relate the pain of moving past a relationship in ruins is daunting", and that "this potential Grammy Award contender" has "a melody and lush production that carries [the song] into the clouds. [Cite news |last=Taylor | first=Chuck |title= Billboard "Hurt" Review |url= |publisher="Billboard" | accessdate=2008-08-25] Blogcritics claims that song's "slow opening to a soft piano all the way to the spine-tingling bridge" is "one weeper of a ballad", and that Aguilera's "power-belting" vocals were "better than ever". Top 40 reviewer Bill Lamb gave the song five stars, saying "a single piano with the backing of strings gives way to one of the most technically stunning voices in pop music singing words of pain, guilt, and grief in the loss of a loved one." He continues on, predicting the song would edge near to "the top of the pop singles chart by Christmas 2006." [Cite news |last=Lamb | first=Bill |title= Christina Aguilera - Hurt (
url= |publisher="About" | accessdate=2008-08-25
] Some reviews, however, were less positive. In the "Rolling Stone" magazine review for "Back to Basics", the reviewer, Jenny Eliscu, called "Hurt" an "incongruous schmaltzfest". [Cite news |last=Eliscu | first=Jenny |title= Rolling Stones "Back to Basics" Review |url= |publisher="Rolling Stone" |date= August 11, 2006|accessdate=2008-08-25]

It was performed live at the 2006 MTV Video Music Awards on August 31, 2006.

Chart performance

The single debuted on the "Billboard" Hot 100 chart on October 5 2006 at number 100. The single peaked at #19 in its tenth week.

Hurt reached #11 on the UK Singles Chart, and astonishingly re-entered the Top 40 at #39 in December 2007, over one year after the single's initial release. This is more than likely due to the song being performed by Hope, contestants on popular talent show, The X Factor, the week before.

The song had moderate success in the U.S. peaking at #19. The song became a huge hit across Europe and achieved gold status in the U.S. On the overall Top 200 Europe chart (which calculates sales from all European countries), 'Hurt' reached #3 on that chart.Cite news |title= Euro 200 Archives |url= |publisher="Euro 200" | accessdate=2008-08-25] It had also reached #1 in Switzerland, Portugal and Indonesia for 2 weeks and peaked at #3 in France, where it became her highest peaking song since "Genie In A Bottle". It also went top 3 in Germany, Sweden, Netherlands, Austria, Greece and Belgium, making her biggest hit in Europe since 2002's ballad 'Beautiful'. Also, in Canada, 'Hurt' has remained within the top 50 for nearly eight months, and peaked at #6 in January.

Hurt showed great longevity on the Swiss Single Chart, remaining 40 weeks into the Top100 and re-entering the charts on the week of 19th August 2007 and 13th of March 2008. [Cite news |title= Christina Aguilera - Swisscharts |url= |publisher="SwissCharts" | accessdate=2008-08-25] Additionally Hurt managed to chart 26 weeks in the German Single Top 100 Chart ,the longest-charting single of Christina on German Charts. [Cite news |title= Archiv Chartsurfer |url= |publisher="Chartsurfer" | accessdate=2008-08-25] The single, which peaked there at number 2, showed great longevity too, re-entering the chart in the 34th week of 2007 and in the 11th, 13th and 14th of 2008.Cite news |title= Christina Aguilera Musicchart |url= |publisher="Achart" | accessdate=2008-08-25]

It received gold certification in the US (more than 600,000 digital downloads), Germany (150.000 copies shipped), [cite web |title= Gold/Platin-Datenbank | publisher= "Musikindustrie" | url=| accessdate=2008-08-25] in Austria (15.000 copies shipped), [cite web | title= Gold & Platin | publisher= "IFPI Austria" | url=| accessdate=2008-08-25] in Australia (35.000 copies shipped), [cite web | title= ARIA Charts - Accreditations - 2007 Singles | publisher= "ARIA" | url= | accessdate=2008-08-25] Belgium (20.000 copies sold), [cite web | title= Ultratop Singles Top 50 | publisher= "Ultratop Belgium" | url= | year= May 26, 2007 | accessdate=2008-08-25] Switzerland (15.000), [cite web | title= Singles Awards 2007 | publisher= "Swisscharts"| url= | accessdate=2008-08-25] double platinum worldwide (4 million points) and in Canada (10.000 digital downloads). [Cite news |title= CRIA Certification Database |url= |publisher="CRIA"| accessdate=2008-08-25] Additionally, Hurt was certified silver in France, with 100,000 copies sold. [cite web |title= Les certifications Singles 2007|publisher= "SNEP" | url= | accessdate=2008-08-25]

It had 3.474.000 points on the Worldwide Chart.

Music video

During MTV's red-carpet pre-show, Aguilera revealed that she would co-direct the music video alongside Floria Sigismondi, who worked on "Fighter" (2003). The circus-themed video for "Hurt" was shot over five days in September and the video premiered on October 17 on "TRL". It is the first video Aguilera has directed. The video reached number one on "TRL" fourteen times and retired at number 1 on January 11, 2007. It's her eighth video to retire on that show. Furthermore, the video swept the 2007 MVPA awards winning Best Video and Best Direction of a Female Artist.

The video begins with the ending instrumental to "Enter the circus"/"Welcome", over which a carnival barker (voiced by Linda Perry) introduces a spectacular circus, and begins in black and white. The transition to colour begins when Aguilera appears in an old fashioned dressing room, receiving flowers and then an important telegram. A flashback then shows young Aguilera, played by Laci Kay, with her father, played by Timothy V. Murphy, raptured by the sight of the tightrope walker, played by Elizabeth Glassco. With her father's encouragement, Aguilera begins to train herself to do the same. When the video switches to older Aguilera, we see her descending from the top of a circus tent on a rope, onto the back of an elephant, with her father watching adoringly in the audience. She later attempts to greet him but is pulled away by fans and photographers keen to meet the star. The content of the telegram is then revealed to be a message of her father's death, and as Aguilera realises that she was too wrapped up in her stardom to deal with what matters, she races through the circus in a belated attempt to find her father. The video ends with a shot of Aguilera sitting on a circus box, singing and crying, before fading out to Aguilera's grief-stricken form on the ground outside the circus tent.

Formats and track listings

These are the formats and track listings of major single releases of "Hurt".

*CD Single (Basic)Released November 10, 2006

*Promotional Maxi-Single


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