"Airplanes" is a song by American rapper B.o.B, featuring vocals from Hayley Williams, lead singer of American rock band Paramore. The song was released in April 2010, as the third single from his debut studio album, B.o.B Presents: The Adventures of Bobby Ray. B.o.B co-wrote the song alongside Kinetics & One Love, Alex da Kid, DJ Frank E, and Christine Dominguez. DJ Frank E also co-produced the song with Alex da Kid. The song was released to iTunes on April 13, 2010 and then to urban radio on April 27, 2010.
"Airplanes" peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100. Outside of the United States, the song topped the charts in New Zealand and the United Kingdom, and peaked within the top ten of the charts in Australia, Canada and the Republic of Ireland. "Airplanes, Part II", the sequel to the song, features new verses from B.o.B, and a verse from fellow American rapper Eminem, while Williams's vocals remained identical to the original. This collaboration led to a Grammy nomination for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals.
"Airplanes" was composed by B.o.B, Jeremy "Kinetics" Dussolliet, Tim "One Love" Sommers, DJ Frank E, Alex "da Kid" Grant, and Christine Dominguez. B.o.B wrote his rap verses, while Kinetics & One Love and Christine Dominguez wrote the chorus sung by Paramore lead singer Hayley Williams, and DJ Frank E & Alex da Kid co-produced the music. The original version had verses written by Lupe Fiasco. Later, the song was given to B.o.B by his label.
Williams' part in the song was explained by herself and B.o.B in different interviews to MTV. Williams said Paramore was on tour when she was given the song and she "liked the part too much" and accepted to appear on it. B.o.B said he has "always been a Hayley fan" and he did not expect a collaboration between them too soon. The duo did not get in the studio together to record the song, they were not together to shoot the music video, and had never even met each other in person, according to Williams. The only time that B.o.B and Williams were able to meet was when they performed "Airplanes" live for the first time together during the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards. The second time the song was performed together live was during Vanderbilt University's Fall 2010 "Commodore Quake" concert in Nashville. During B.o.B.'s performance, Williams came out as a special guest to perform the song.
A music video was filmed with Williams. B.o.B shot his scenes for the video in April, but Williams was only able to shoot her parts after the end of Paramore's Spring tour, so they were never in the same room during filming. The music video, directed by Hiro Murai, premiered on iTunes on June 15, 2010. The video features several frames of B.o.B rapping his verses in a party setting, on stage, and a room filled with lights and occasional song lyrics while a barefoot Williams sings the hook in a light filled room and walking through photographs.
The video was nominated for Video of the Year at the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards and the BET Awards of 2011.
"Airplanes" sold 138,000 digital downloads in its first week and debuted at number five on the Billboard Hot Digital Songs chart. The sales made the song debut at number twelve on the Billboard Hot 100, making it B.o.B's highest debut on the chart and Williams' first entry as a solo act. The song continued to rise in the chart and peaked at number two on its sixth week, losing the top position to Usher's "OMG". "Airplanes" entered in numerous Billboard charts, including the Pop Songs and Rap Songs charts, where the song peaked at number two. "Airplanes" had sold over 4 million digital downloads by December 2010, according to Nielsen Soundscan, becoming a bigger success in the United States than his debut single, "Nothin' on You".
Elsewhere, "Airplanes" was well received. The song debuted at number 62 on the Canadian Hot 100 and reached its current peak position of number two on its ninth week on the chart. In the Australian chart the song debuted at number eighteen and peaked at number two within three weeks on the chart and has been in that position for six non-consecutive weeks. It was in New Zealand where the song got its first number one position. After three weeks of its debut (at number three), the song reached number one and stayed in that position for five consecutive weeks. "Airplanes" later received a Platinum certification in New Zealand, due to its successful chart performance.
In Europe, the song has been released in a number countries, including the United Kingdom, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden. "Airplanes" first appearance in a European chart was in Norway and Ireland and the song peaked within the top ten of the charts in both countries. In the United Kingdom, the song debuted at number 23 on the UK Singles Chart and within five weeks, the song climbed to number three. In the same week, "Airplanes" was number one on the UK R&B Chart. The following week, "Airplanes" climbed to the summit of the chart from downloads alone of 75,892, becoming B.o.B's second chart-topping song in Britain following his debut single "Nothin' on You", which had reached the top of the chart almost two months earlier. The song is the twenty-first most downloaded single in British chart history. "Airplanes" has also peaked at number two in the European Hot 100 chart.
The song was No. 6 on Billboard's Year End Chart. As of January 2020, the official music video on YouTube has over 515 million views.
"Airplanes, Part II"
A sequel to the song, titled "Airplanes, Part II", has two new verses by B.o.B and Eminem and features vocals by Hayley Williams. The song also features a faster beat and chorus by Hayley Williams compared to the original song. The song was produced by Alex da Kid with additional production added by Eminem. Alex da Kid said that the beat for "Airplanes, Part II" was the original beat for the song. In the song, Eminem and B.o.B wonder what would happen if they had not pursued musical careers. B.o.B posted the song on his official Twitter account, claiming he wanted the song to leak from him since the other songs of his album were leaking. When asked how he got to collaborate with Eminem, B.o.B stated:
"Paul Rosenberg played him the Cloud 9 mixtape and it kind of gave him an idea of what my music . Eventually he started playing Eminem more of my stuff and was keeping him updated on my progress and eventually he wanted to get in the studio with me, so that was a gift."
B.o.B, Eminem, and Keyshia Cole (filling in for Hayley Williams) performed the song at the 2010 BET Awards on June 27, 2010 in a medley with Eminem's "Not Afraid". B.o.B performed the song with Eminem on his Home & Home Tour. "Airplanes, Part II" received a Grammy nomination for Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals, although it was not made into a single.
Track descriptions on Last.fm are editable by everyone. Feel free to contribute!
All user-contributed text on this page is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply.