- Stranger (Hilary Duff song)
Name = Stranger
Cover size =
Album = Dignity
Released = Start date|2007|6|24
(see release history)
CD single, digital download, promo single
Dance pop, electronic rock, urban pop, pop rock
Length = 4:10 (album version)
3:16 (single version)
Label = Hollywood
Writer = Hilary Duff,
Kara DioGuardi, Vada Nobles, Derrick Harvin, Julius Diaz
Producer = Vada Nobles, Derrick Harrvin, Logic
Audio sample? =
Last single = "With Love"
This single = "Stranger"
Next single = "Reach Out"
Misc = Extra chronology
Artist = Hilary Duff
Last single = "Play with Fire"
This single = "Stranger"
Next single = Extra track listing
Album = Dignity
Type = studio
this_track = "Stranger"
track_no = 1
next_track = "Dignity"
next_no = 2Extra album cover 2
Upper caption = Alternate cover
Type = single
Cover size = 200px
Lower caption = Remixes cover
"Stranger" is a song written by
Hilary Duff, Kara DioGuardi, Vada Nobles, Derrick Harvinand Julius Diaz, and recorded for Duff's third studio album, "Dignity" (2007). It features elements of South Asian music, particularly that of India, and aspects of Indian culturewere incorporated into the accompanying Fatima Robinson-directed music video, which Duff cited as her best video at the time. She said that contrary to rumors, the song was inspired by the strained relationship between her parents and not by her ex-boyfriend, Joel Madden.
Internet feedback from Duff's fans led to the release of "Stranger" as the third and last single from "Dignity" in
North America, where it was released in July 2007 (see 2007 in music). It was a number-one club hit in the United States, but it became Duff's lowest peaking song on the "Billboard" Hot 100 chart. In the United Kingdom, where "Stranger" was the album's second single, a WaWa-produced remix of the song was released in September 2007. [http://www.teenfi.com/music/WAWA+v+Hilary+Duff++Stranger+-3445.html "WAWA v Hilary Duff 'Stranger'"] . Teen First. August 22 2007.] "Blender" magazine included the song on its list of the top 209 songs of 2007.
The song was rumored to be about Duff and her relationship with her ex-boyfriend,
Joel Madden; [Bercovici, Jeff. [http://www.radaronline.com/exclusives/2007/03/post-3.php "Hilary Duff Settles Score — In Song!"] . "Radar". March 7 2007. Retrieved April 9 2007.] [Greene, Andy. [http://www.rollingstone.com/reviews/album/13967536/dignity "Hilary Duff - Dignity"] . " Rolling Stone". April 2 2007. Retrieved April 9 2007.] " Entertainment Weekly" wrote, "When the fairy-tale romance between [Duff and Madden] went belly-up late last year, the Good Charlottefrontman speedily rebounded into the twiglike arms of Nicole Richie, and the world moved on. Duff, it seems, did not, and hell hath no fury like a young woman scorned." [Bernstein, Jonathan. [http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20016438,00.html "Dignity (2007) - Hilary Duff"] . " Entertainment Weekly". March 30 2007. Retrieved April 9 2007.]
According to Duff, the song is actually about how she thought her mother feels around her father, who had an extramarital affair with another woman. Duff said she wrote "Stranger" to appear to be about one of her own relationships, because she didn't want people to know about the strained relationship between her parents. "But I've realized that so many people can relate to what I've gone through", she said. Another song on the album, "Gypsy Woman", was inspired by the same situation.Gardner, Elysa. [http://www.usatoday.com/life/music/news/2007-04-02-hilary-duff-inisde_N.htm "The focus is on Hilary"] . "
USA Today". April 2 2007. Retrieved April 3 2007.] Duff told " Access Hollywood" that writing the song "was like therapy, you know. Just a total release of all the things you hold inside". [ [http://www.accesshollywood.com/news/ah5415.shtml "Hilary Duff: All Grown Up & Coming Clean"] . " Access Hollywood". May 18 2007. Retrieved June 28 2007.]
A writer for
BBC Radio 1gave the song three stars, commenting on how it "continues the more grown-up, serious side of Hilary Duff"; he called the vocals "definitely more in the ballpark of 'husky' rather than 'impressive'" and said the Eastern sound owed much to songs such as the Pussycat Dolls' "Buttons". Although he stated he would prefer "Danger", another song on "Dignity", to be a single, he said "Stranger" " [wouldn't] sound out of place on a Britney Spearsalbum, which suggests to me that she's done a passable job of leaving behind her bubblegum past", and that it made him " [do] a fair bit of seat-dancing". [ [http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/chartblog/2007/06/hilary_duff_stranger.shtml "Chart Blog - Hilary Duff - 'Stranger'"] . BBC Radio 1. June 30 2007. Retrieved July 14 2007.]
A review from Music Focus called the track "unashamedly pop" and said that it was "one of the strongest cuts from Duff's latest album and pushes her into a maturer pop sound". They gave the song a positive review, adding that "Stranger" "need [ed] to be a success" and was "cool, confident slice of dance pop and some of Duff's best work to date". [ [http://music.entertainment-focus.com/reviewsingle142.php "Hilary Duff - Stranger"] . Music Focus.
July 4 2007. Retrieved July 20 2007.] Gary Lancaster of TeenSpot gave the song four stars, calling it an "example of how a modern pop anthem really should sound". He also called it "sleek and sophisticated" and a "catchy, chart worthy track". [Lancaster, Gary. [http://www.teenspot.com/reviews/view.html?id=292 "Review - Hilary Duff"] . TeenSpot.com. July 19 2007. Retrieved July 26 2007.] The song was well-received by "Billboard" reviewer Chuck Taylor, who called it "uptempo" and "dance-friendly", but said that "Top 40 is a tough call". [Taylor, Chuck. [http://www.billboard.com/bbcom/content_display/reviews/singles/e3i2530f60f036b288e372149b2a2b9f1c3 "Stranger - Hilary Duff"] . "Billboard". 2007. Retrieved August 13 2007.]
"Blender" magazine included the song in the "Dangerously in Love" category on its year-end "Oh Yeah... 209 Songs We Like" list. [ [http://www.blender.com/articles/default.aspx?key=10512&pg=3 "OH YEAH... 209 SONGS WE LIKE - Dangerously In Love"] . "Blender".
December 25 2007.]
ingle release and chart performance
In mid April 2007, in a post on Duff's blog, she told her fans that they could vote for what they thought should be the next single from "Dignity". [ [http://www.hilarynews.com/2007/04/17/new-hilary-duff-blog-post/ "New Hilary Duff blog post"] . hilarynews.com; original post on hilaryduff.com only available to members of her official fan club.
April 13 2007. Retrieved June 28 2007.] According to a later post, fan feedback via votes was "overwhelmingly" in favor of "Stranger" as the next single. [http://www.hilarynews.com/2007/05/02/hils-blog-update/ "Hil's blog update"] . hilarynews.com; original post on hilaryduff.com only available to members of her official fan club. May 2 2007. Retrieved June 28 2007.] Duff promoted the song with a performance on " So You Think You Can Dance". [Staff. [http://uk.tv.ign.com/articles/802/802489p1.html "So You Think Hilary Duff Can Dance"] . IGN TV. July 9 2007.] [Pisarra, Drew. [http://nymag.com/daily/entertainment/2007/07/so_you_think_you_can_dance_4.html "'So You Think You Can Dance': Overdosing on 'Hairspray'"] . " New York Magazine". July 13 2007.]
In mid-2007, concurrent to the preparation of the radio release of "Stranger", Duff was featured in a bikini on the July covers of the magazines "
Us Weekly" and "Shape", and on the August cover of "Maxim" accompanied by the declaration that she had gone "from the queen of teen to breakout sex symbol". The Associated Presswrote that the first two were representative of "a clear move [on Duff's part] to put her Lizzie McGuire past behind her", and that more provocative imaging of her would help her singles to garner mainstream radio play: "Ultimately, nature, time and genetics may help Duff in a way Disney, despite all its might, cannot." Guy Zapoleon, a radio consultant and former programmer for top 40 radio, said such imaging would "definitely have a positive effect on the attitude of programmers, who are mostly male, as Disney tries to mature her image".Newman, Melinda. [http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2007/07/18/entertainment/e105924D37.DTL "Hit Disney Acts Find No Love at Top 40"] . Associated Press. July 18 2007.]
The single was released to U.S. mainstream
contemporary hit radiostations on July 10 2007. [http://www.fmqb.com/Article.asp?id=69239#2007 "Available for Airplay - 2007 - 7/10 Mainstream"] . FMQB.] It reached number ninety-seven on the U.S. "Billboard" Hot 100 to become Duff's lowest peaking song on the chart, on which it spent one week. [http://acharts.us/song/27028 "Hilary Duff - Stranger"] . aCharts.us.] The single received frequent airplay in U.S. nightclubs, peaking at number one on the "Billboard" Hot Dance Club Playchart—it was Duff's third entry on the chart, and her second consecutive number-one single. [http://www.billboard.com/bbcom/retrieve_chart_history.do?model.vnuArtistId=499349&model.vnuAlbumId=899294 "Hilary Duff - Artist Chart History - Singles"] . "Billboard".] [http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=11:fxfpxqw0ldae~T51 "Hilary Duff - Billboard Singles"] . Allmusicand "Billboard".] On the year-end Hot Dance Club Play Tracks chart, "Stranger" was ranked thirty-ninth. [ [http://www.billboard.com/bbcom/esearch/chart_display.jsp?cfi=475&cfgn=Year-end+Singles&cfn=Hot+Dance+Club+Play+Tracks&ci=3090133&cdi=9600470&cid=12%2F31%2F2007 "Hot Dance Club Play Tracks - Stranger"] . "Billboard". December 31 2007.] It reached number eighty-six on the Canadian Hot 100, and is included on the MuchMusiccompilation album "MuchDance 2008". [ [http://www.muchmusic.com/music/muchdance2008/ "MuchDance 2008"] . MuchMusic.]
"Stranger" entered the Italian Singles Chart at number six (its peak position) in late June. The
WaWaclub mix of the song was premiered at the opening party of the Ibizanightclub Space, which named it "Single of the Week" in its weekly podcast. The UK single release of "Stranger" was to be on July 9, according to FemaleFirst.co.uk, [http://www.femalefirst.co.uk/music/Hilary+Duff++Stranger+-3021.html "Hilary Duff 'Stranger'"] . FemaleFirst.co.uk. May 24 2007. Retrieved June 30 2007.] but it was moved back to August 20to allow the remix to gain airplay in clubs, [M, Fraser. [http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/chartblog/2007/07/the_etiquette_of_remixes.shtml "Chart Blog - The Etiquette Of Remixes"] . BBC Radio 1. July 9 2007. Retrieved July 12 2007.] and then to September 3, when it received a download-only release. "Stranger" debuted at 196 on the UK Singles Chart. [ [http://www.zobbel.de/cluk/070901cluk.txt "CHART LOG UK: NEW ENTRIES UPDATE"] . zobbel.de. September 1 2007.] In Australia, the song was the third most-added to radio in the week ending October 24; ["hit list;most-added songs on radio". " Herald Sun". TVGUIDE, pg. 10.] it entered the Australian ARIA Singles Charton November 12at number sixty-eight on download sales alone. [http://www.ariacharts.com.au/pages/chartifacts.htm "Chartifacts"] . Australian Recording Industry Association. November 13 2007.] It subsequently left the chart, and re-entered at number forty-nine. [http://www.ariacharts.com.au/pages/charts_display.asp?chart=1U50 "Top 50 Singles Chart"] . Australian Recording Industry Association. January 6 2008.]
The video for the single was directed by
Fatima Robinsonand shot in Los Angeles, California, including at a mansion in Silver Lake, between May 10and May 12. [http://www.hilarynews.com/2007/05/13/hilary-duff-blog-entry-may-12th/ "Hilary Duff blog entry - May 12th"] . hilarynews.com; original post on hilaryduff.com only available to members of her official fan club. May 12 2007. Retrieved June 28 2007.] Duff said she was ill during the shoot, but that it went well because she liked the song and the director; she also said she thought it was her best music video to date. The video premiered on Yahoo! Musicon May 30 2007[ [http://music.yahoo.com/premieres "Video premieres"] . Yahoo! Music. Retrieved May 17 2007.] and had its "First Look" on " Total Request Live" on June 6, 2007. It debuted on the show's countdown at number ten on June 11, subsequently rising to number two. [ [http://www.atrl.net/?t=45797 "TRL Recap (June 2007)"] . ATRL.net. Retrieved June 14 2007.] In Canada, in the week beginning June 8, the music video debuted at number twenty-six on the MuchMusictop thirty "Countdown", [ [http://www.muchmusic.com/countdown/index.aspx?CountdownDate=8/6/2007 "Countdown - Week Beginning: Fri, Jun 8, 2007"] . MuchMusic"Countdown". June 8 2007. Retrieved June 26 2007.] and has since peaked at number one in the week of August 17. [ [http://www.muchmusic.com/tv/countdown/ "MuchMusic Countdown"] . MuchMusic. August 10 2007. Retrieved August 13 2007] The video reached number two on MTV Asia's The Pop 10 chart. [ [http://www.mtvasia.com/Onair/pop10.htm "The Pop 10"] . MTV Asia. August 18 2007. Retrieved August 20 2007.] It was ranked twenty-third on a year-end list of music videos in Latin America. [http://www.americatop100.com/iberoamerica/videos.htm]
The video begins with Duff's character running out of her home to look for her romantic partner (played by model
Caleb Lane), who drives away. It cuts to her waking up and finding a letter and a bracelet, and then shows Duff watching a woman seducing her partner. At a dinner party, Duff's partner kisses her and then flirts with the other woman. The video cuts to a scene at a lounge where dancers entertain the guests, among whom are Duff's partner and two other men. Duff's partner flirts with one of the dancers. Recurring shots of Duff wearing a hooded jacket are edited into the video. The second verse begins with Duff belly dancingin a haremcostume and wearing Indian henna tattoos and beads; according to Duff, they took several hours to apply and reflected the "Indian type beat" in the song. During the second chorus, the dinner party scene is shown again. Duff is introduced to the other woman, and she talks to other guests. The chorus plays again with Duff walking into a nightclub and teasing her partner, before dancing with another man. She then breaks into another dance routine with two other dancers. The final two choruses show Duff and her partner fighting, and Duff looking at a cellphone before leaving the house with a suitcase.
Bill Lamb of
About.comnamed it the week's "Friday Fun Video", writing "Visually, this is probably Hilary Duff's best video yet." [Lamb, Bill. [http://top40.about.com/b/a/209145.htm "Friday Fun Video - Hilary Duff - Stranger"] . About.com. Retrieved June 2 2007.] "Blender" magazine wrote, "Her dancing skills are still a tad stilted but she makes up for it with some key "despondent" and "perturbed" acting faces", also noting what it described as "shameless close-ups of a certain cell phone". [http://www.blender.com/news/comments.aspx?article=9429 "Blender Blog - Hilary Duff Tries to Belly Dance"] . "Blender". Retrieved June 26 2007.] "The Sun" editorialized, "Nope this isn't the next big Bollywoodstar—it's Hilary Duff taking her image to a whole new level. The singer's reinvention from squeaky teen star to sexy pop starlet is obviously well underway [...] all well and good for Hilary—just as long as she doesn't do a Britney." [ [http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/showbiz/bizarre/article261860.ece "Duff in the buff for new song"] . "The Sun". August 3 2007.]
For the WaWa mix of the song, another edit of the video was released. [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gnR5219jXco] [http://new.uk.music.yahoo.com/Hilary-Duff/videos/view/Stranger--WAWA-Remix---45593795]
;Spanish CD [ [http://www.elcorteingles.es/musica/producto/producto.asp?referencia=05111273586 "Stranger"] . El Corte Inglés.]
#"Stranger" (album version)
#"Stranger" (Smax & Thomas Gold club mix)
#"Stranger" (WaWa mix)
#"With Love" (
Bimbo Jonesclub mix)
;Mexican CD [ [http://articulo.mercadolibre.com.mx/MLM-16236776-_JM "CD SENCILLO REMIXES NUEVO DE HILARY DUFF Stranger"] . MercadoLibre. Retrieved
July 31 2007.]
#"Stranger" – 4:12
#"Stranger" (WaWa mix) – 7:09
#"Stranger" (A. Castillo club mix) – 6:46
UK CDr, Promo
* 1 Stranger [Wawa Club Mix] 7:04
* 2 Stranger [Wawa Dub Mix] 6:17
* 3 Stranger [Wawa Radio Mix] 3:10
UK CDr, Maxi-Single, Promo
* 1 Stranger [Wawa Remix] 7:08
* 2 Stranger [Smax & Gold Remix] 8:50
* 3 Stranger [Wawa Dub] 6:20
* 4 Stranger [Smax & Gold Dub] 8:34
Number-one dance hits of 2007 (USA)
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