What Makes You Beautiful
September 11, 2011 (Digital)
"Na Na Na"
Digital download, CD single
Cosmos Studio & Kinglet Studio
Rami Yacoub, Carl Falk
It has been certified double-platinum in the US after selling 2,060,303 units since February 2012. The single peaked at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100, and #1 on the UK singles chart.
The music video, uploaded to YouTube on August 19 2011, was, at one point, one of the twenty most viewed videos of all time, after garnering more than 600 million views since its premiere.
What Makes You Beautiful was written by Rami Yacoub, Carl Falk and Savan Kotecha, and produced by Yacoub and Falk. The song is about a girl who is attractive, yet she doesn't believe it herself, and, as a result, feels insecure when complimented.
What Makes You Beautiful has a similar melody and guitar riff to Grease's 'Summer Nights' and the guitar riff is also similar to the Beatles "Twist and Shout".
Critics have questioned whether the song's lyrical content is more harmful to female self esteem than encouraging. The most prominent critic was US talk show host Steven Colbert, who stated in 2012: "What Makes You Beautiful” isn’t just catchy, it has a great message. “You don’t know you’re beautiful. That’s what makes you beautiful. Great dating advice. Remember girls, low self esteem – very attractive to men. The boys are singing “You don’t know you’re beautiful, that’s what makes you beautiful.” But they’ve just told the girl she’s beautiful. So since she now knows it, she’s no longer beautiful! It goes deeper! She’s listening to the song, too. So she knows she’s not beautiful. Therefore, following the syllogism of the song, she’s instantly beautiful again! It’s like an infinite fractal recursion, a flickering quantum state of both hot and not."
"What Makes You Beautiful" debuted at number one on the Irish Singles Chart on September 15, 2011. It held on to its spot for four weeks. The singles B-side, "Na Na Na" also entered the Irish Singles Chart at number twenty-seven. "What Makes You Beautiful" re-entered the top ten in its sixteenth week of release and has spent twenty-five weeks on the chart. "What Makes You Beautiful" became the fourteenth best-selling single of 2011 on the Irish Singles Chart.
In the United Kingdom, "What Makes You Beautiful" received the most pre-orders for a Sony Music Entertainment single. It sold 82,000 copies in its first two days, and rose to 100,000 by the third day. The single entered the UK Singles Chart at number one on September 18, 2011, shifting 153,965 copies that week. It was the highest first-week UK sales for any song in 2011 at the time. "What Makes You Beautiful" was the twentieth best-selling single of 2011, moving 540,000 copies. On 8 October 2016, the Official Charts announced What Makes You Beautiful had become a million-selling single, only the 167th single in UK chart history to pass the seven-figure milestone.
The single debuted at number one on the Scottish Singles Chart.
"What Makes You Beautiful" debuted at number fifteen on the Australian Singles Chart and has since peaked at number seven in its ninth week. The single has been certified triple platinum by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) for selling 210,000 copies. "Na Na Na" also charted on the Australian Singles Chart of November 28, 2011 at number eighty-four.
On the New Zealand Singles Chart, the single entered at number sixteen, then jumped to number three the following week. It peaked at number two in its fourth and fifth weeks, and spent eleven consecutive weeks in the New Zealand Singles Chart top ten. In its fifth week of release it was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand (RIANZ) for 7,500 sales, and in its ninth was certified platinum for 15,000 sales.
The single debuted on the Canadian Hot 100 at number nine, while debuting at number two on the digital songs chart with 19,000 downloads sold, the biggest debut for a first time charted artist since the Stereos's "Summer Girl" entered at number two in June 2009. The single has been certified gold by Music Canada (MC) for 40,000 sales.
In the United States, "What Makes You Beautiful" became the highest Hot 100 début for a U.K. act since 1998. The single debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 at number twenty-eight, and at number twelve on the Hot Digital Songs Chart, selling 132,000 downloads in its first week. It currently peaked at number four in Hot 100.
In June 2018, the single was certified 2x platinum with 1.2 million copies sold.
|Released||August 19, 2011|
|VEVO views||1,003,845,537 (as of November 9, 2018)|
"What Makes You Beautiful" is One Direction's debut music video. It was directed by John Urbano and filmed in Malibu, California, in July 2011, over two days. According to Urbano, the video is about "...these five guys who are on a road trip meeting up with three friends, who happen to be girls, they meet up at the beach". Louis further described the premise by saying, "It's like a group of girls who are friends, but there's one in particular that's really hot, but she actually doesn't know it. That's the whole point of the song, like she's so hot, but she doesn't realize it... but we do!"
The video premiered in the UK on August 19, 2011 with a five day countdown leading up to it. On each of the five days preceding the video's premiere, One Direction posted a teaser trailer of the video on YouTube. Each teaser showed footage from the video and behind the scenes, and one member of the band announcing how many days were left until the video premiere.
On 30 October 2018, seven years after premiering, the video surpassed one billion views on Youtube. It is their first and only video to achieve this.
- What Makes You Beautiful is considered One Direction's signature song and is the track most people associate the band with.
- The 1975 covered What Makes You Beautiful during their BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge set in 2013.
- The Piano Guys covered What Makes You Beautiful in 2012. The YouTube video of their cover has garnered over 43 million views. They would later cover "Story of My Life".
- In the US, the song is featured in TLC's advert for their 2012 summer wedding reality shows, as well as playing a small portion of the song during The Voice's commercials.
- The song was covered on Glee by Kevin McHale, Damian Mcginty, Chord Overstreet, Samuel Larsen, and Harry Shum for the episode "Prom-asaurus". The episode premiered on May 8, 2012.
- The song is featured on Just Dance 4, and holds the 2016 Guinness World Record for 'Most Popular Dance Game Track'.
- Harry Styles covered the song on his debut solo world tour in 2017 and 2018
Being the band's debut single, the song has been performed on all of One Direction's tours so far. Harry Styles also covered the song on his 2017/8 solo arena tour.
- Tom Coyne — mastering
- Carl Falk — writing, production, programming, instruments, guitar
- Serban Ghenea — mixing
- John Hanes — mix engineering
- Savan Kotecha — writing
- Phil Seaford — mix engineering assistance
- Rami Yacoub — writing, production, programming, instruments, bass
|Australia||Digital||September 11, 2011||Syco|
|CD single||September 12, 2011|
|Australia||Radio||October 4, 2011|
|CD single||November 25, 2011|
|Canada||Digital||January 31, 2012||Columbia|
|United States||February 14, 2012|
|Radio||February 28, 2012|
- While shooting the video, Louis was pulled over twice for driving too slow.
- Its working title was "You Don't Know You're Beautiful."
- It is believed that Louis dated one of the girls in the video but this statement has never been confirmed.
- ↑ Stephen Colbert Criticises WMYB
- ↑ One Direction's 'What Makes You Beautiful' breaks pre-order sales record. Digital Spy. August 19, 2011.
- ↑ One Direction: What Makes Flew Beautiful. The Sun. September 15, 2011.
- ↑ The Top 20 biggest selling singles of 2011 revealed!. The Official Charts Company. January 2, 2012.
- ↑ One Direction's What Makes You Beautiful is the UK's latest million-selling song
- ↑ One Direction—What Makes You Beautiful. Australian-chart.com.
- ↑ ‘What Makes You Beautiful’ Reaches Triple Platinum in Australia!. One Direction Music. February 2, 2012.
- ↑ One Direction Has Highest Hot 100 Debut For New U.K. Act Since 1998 Billboard.com. February 22, 2012.