"Hot N Cold" is a song written by Katy Perry, Dr. Luke, and Max Martin. The song appears as track seven on One of the Boys. It was released on September 30, 2008 as the second single from the album and is Perry's second U.S. number one single. The song topped charts in fifteen countries worldwide in places such as the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Ireland, Ireland, Germany, and New Zealand. Along with these achievement, it is also the second top 5 single in dozens of other countries. The song is featured in the Guinness Book of World Records for most downloaded song from a female artist.
Blender magazine calls the track a "spunky, climate-controlled kiss-off." The song went for ads on the North-American radios on September 9 and remained the song with one of the biggest bullets of the entire media base for weeks. Katy Perry made the live television premiere performance of "Hot N Cold" on NBC's Today show outdoor concert series on August 29. Perry revealed in an interview with Radio 1 that "Hot N Cold" would in fact be the follow up single to her number one hit "I Kissed a Girl" in the United Kingdom and Australia. There are currently four radio edits: in one, "bitch" is replaced with the word "chick", ("You PMS, like a chick, I would know"); in the second, mostly used on radio program Open House Party, this version uses "girl" instead of "bitch" or "chick" (in a version once played on Ryan Seacrest's American Top 40 radio show, the lyrics are "You PMS, I would know"); in another edit, the lyrics first line of the song was repeated after the line was sung in full ("You change your mind, like a girl, I would know") this edit can be heard in theme parks; finally, the radio edit that is used on UK music channels cuts out the word altogether.
Perry confirmed in an interview with Open House Party that the song was about ex-boyfriend Travis McCoy in the early stages of their relationship.
"Hot n Cold" debuted on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 on June 17, 2008, due to digital downloads after the album's release. It debuted on the US Hot 100 at number 88 and fell off the next week. It re-entered the Hot 100 on August 5, again at number 88. It peaked at number 3 on the Hot 100 on November 11, making it her second top three hit. It was in the top ten for 18 weeks ("I Kissed a Girl" spent 14 weeks there). The song was later certified 4× platinum by the RIAA with sales of 4,381,000. In Canada the song debuted at number 73 and reached number 1 on the chart dated, November 20, 2008. The song was an even bigger radio hit than "I Kissed a Girl", where it became Perry's first number 1 on both U.S. Mainstream Top 40 and Adult Top 40 radio charts.
The U.K. Singles Chart singles chart saw the song peak at number four on December 7 after slowly creeping up the top ten the previous weeks, despite seeming set to drop in midweek figures. On December 21 it fell out the top 10 to number 12 before climbing back up to number 9 the following week and has continued to climb since then reaching number 7 on January 4, 2009. In Ireland, the song peaked at number 3.
The song entered the German Singles Chart at number 2 due to high digital download sales. This is the highest entry ever of a single based on downloads alone in Germany. In its second week it peaked at number 1 in Germany, and spent eight consecutive weeks on its peak position. In Australia, the single debuted in the top 50, then quickly reached the top 10. It then slowly reached its peak at number 4 on digital downloads alone, with no physical release planned. It also peaked at number 1 on the Australian Airplay Chart. In Greece it reached number 3 on the airplay chart. It peaked at number 1 in the Czech Republic, and spent ten consecutive weeks on its peak position.
Reference in popular culture
- A Simlish version of the song was recorded for the PC game, The Sims 2: Apartment Life.
- The song appears as a part of soundtrack and commercial of the Just Dance video game.
- The song also appears in the trailer for the movie The Proposal.
- The song is played in the beginning of the movie The Ugly Truth.
- The song appears in the intro for the Australian television show, Masterchef.
Sesame Street version
Perry performed a special version of the song with Elmo from Sesame Street, which was originally scheduled to run on the premiere of season 41 of the educational children's program on September 27, 2010. The sketch (and song) is about Perry wanting to play dress up with Elmo, but instead he runs away from her. All this time she chases him while singing. In the end, Elmo was just playing tag.
When the video of it was uploaded onto YouTube on September 20, 2010, parents started arguing that the cameo was too racy for television. Four days before the airing, Sesame Workshop announced, "In light of the feedback we've received on the Katy Perry music video ... we have decided we will not air the segment on the television broadcast of Sesame Street, which is aimed at preschoolers. Katy Perry fans will still be able to view the video on YouTube." The main reason was due to parents complained about what appeared to be a great amount of cleavage shown by her dress. However, Perry was actually wearing in flesh-colored mesh that goes all the way to her neck.
Sesame Street version
The music video for "Hot N Cold", which was partially filmed at First Christian Church of North Hollywood, casts Perry at a wedding, about to exchange vows with her diffident fiancé Alexander (played by Perry's friend, actor/model Alexander Rodriguez). He flees the altar before taking his vow, she pursues him, and they proceed to play a cat-and-mouse game. Perry and her backup dancers (including supermodel Kim Lee) corner him several times in different clothing: as a bride leading bridesmaids carrying baseball bats, as a club singer in red leather, and in street clothes. As she sings the song's verses to him, she appears alternately anguished, angry, and seductive. At the end of the video, it is revealed that the whole pursuit was Alexander's fantasy, and he is still standing at the altar while Perry waits for him to say "I do". He does, and the crowd in the church breaks out into cheers as Perry runs victoriously down the aisle with him. Perry's friend Jadyn Maria appeared in the music video as a bridesmaid.
- Guitars — Dr. Luke and Max Martin
- Bass — Dr. Luke
- Drums and programming — Dr. Luke and Benny Blanco
- Mix enginerred — John Hanes
- Engineered — Emily Wright, Sam Holland, Nick Banns, Tatiana Gottwald, Tina Kennedy
- Recorded — DR. Luke's NYC, Conway Recording Studio (Hollywood, CA) and Legacy Recording Studio, (New York, NY)
- Mixed — Serban Ghenea at MixStar Studios (Virginia Beach, VA)
- Published by When I'm Rich You'll Be My Bitch (ASCAP) administrated by WB Music Corp.
- Rocket Carousel Music/Art in the Fodder Music (BMI) administered by Arthouse Entertainment