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First Dance (song)

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"First Dance"
Song by Justin Bieber featuring Usher
from the EP My World
GenreR&B, teen pop
LabelIsland, RBMG
Songwriter(s)Justin Bieber, Usher Raymond IV, Jesse Wilson, Ryan Lovette, Dwight Reynolds, Alexander "Prettyboifresh" Parhm, Jr.

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"First Dance" is a song by Canadian recording artist Justin Bieber, included as a track on his debut release, My World, released on November 17, 2009. Featuring his mentor, R&B singer Usher, the song was written by the two with Jesse Wilson, Ryan Lovette, Dwight Reynolds, and Alexander "Prettyboifresh" Parhm, Jr., with the latter also producing the track. "First Dance" is a R&B and teen pop ballad that sees Bieber and Usher trade lines, with lyrics about a first dance. Most music critics were skeptical of the lyrical content presented in the song, and according to Jon Caramanica of The New York Times, the song's melody is similar to that of Michael Jackson's "You Are Not Alone". After the release of My World, due to digital sales, the song charted in the lower regions of charts in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

Background and composition[edit]

"First Dance" was written by Bieber, Usher, Jesse Wilson, Ryan Lovette, Dwight Reynolds, Alexander "Prettyboifresh" Parhm, Jr. With the exception of Usher, all other contributors to the song do not have any other credits on the album. The track was one of three songs on the standard edition of the album that Bieber co-wrote.[1] The song was recorded by Jeremy Stevens at Icon Studios in Atlanta, Georgia, and was mixed at Larrabee Studios in North Hollywood, California, by Jaycen Joshua and Dave Pensado, assisted by Giancarlo Lino.[1] Dwight "Skrapp" Reynolds is responsible for the keyboards in the song.[1]

"First Dance", described to be in a moderate pace, is a R&B song with a length of three minutes and forty-two, with inclinations toward teen pop.[2] Bieber described the song as "a slow groovy song that people can dance to".[3] Jon Caramanica of The New York Times said that the song echoed Michael Jackson's "You Are Not Alone."[4] It is written in the key of A minor, and vocals in the piece span from the low note of G3 to the high note of E5, and the song features the chord Em7.[2]


Critics appreciated the appearance of Usher (pictured) as the album's only feature.

Critical reception[edit]

Ashante Infantry of the Toronto Star complimented the song containing the album's only feature, commenting "but good to see the business minds didn't overwhelm the young 'un's [sic] first recording with guests or gimmicks".[5] Allison Stewart of The Washington Post called the song a "yearning ballad".[6] Jon Caramanica of The New York Times was skeptical of the lyrical content presented in the song, commenting, "unlike teen-pop stars a whole two or three years older than he is, Mr. Bieber isn't shy about planting the seeds of corruption".[4] Marc Hirsh of The Boston Globe said that the song combines the Disney route of songs comparing love to a fairytale, and unintentional comedy in the lines "'Ain't no chaperones... Girl, I promise I'll be gentle/ I know we gotta do it slowly' in a song literally about prom."[7]

Chart performance[edit]

On the week ending December 5, 2009, due to digital sales after the release of My World, "First Dance" debuted on the US Billboard Hot 100 and the Canadian Hot 100, at the positions of ninety-nine and eighty-eight, respectively.[8] It dropped off both charts the following week.[8] In both territories, it was also the lowest non-previously released song from My World to appear on the charts.[8] In the United Kingdom, after the release of My World, "First Dance" appeared at number 156.[9]

Credits and personnel[edit]

  • Songwriting – Justin Bieber, Usher Raymond IV, Jesse Wilson, Ryan Lovette, Dwight Reynolds, Alexander "Prettyboifresh" Parhm, Jr.
  • Production – Prettyboifresh
  • Vocal recording – Jeremy Stevenson
  • Mixing – Jaycen Joshua and Dave Pensado, assisted by Giancarlo Lino.



Chart (2009) Peak
Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[10] 88
UK Singles (The Official Charts Company)[9] 156
US Billboard Hot 100[11] 99


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Justin Bieber My World (Digital booklet) Island, RBMG. (2009).
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Justin Bieber, "First Dance" – Composition Sheet Music". Alfred Publishing.
  3. "Justin Bieber Bio". Island Records. Archived from the original on 2010-05-18. Retrieved 2011-01-11. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  4. 4.0 4.1 Caramanica, Jon (2009-11-20). "Playlist – New Music from Justin Moore, Bomshell and Flyleaf". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-01-11.
  5. Infantry, Ashante (2009-11-16). "CD review: 'My World' by Justin Bieber". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2010-12-05.
  6. "Quick Spins: Reviews of albums by Justin Bieber, Clipse, and Animal Collective". The Washington Post. 2009-12-08. Retrieved 2011-01-11.
  7. Hirsh, Mark. "Justin Bieber, 'My World'". Boston Globe. Retrieved 2011-01-11.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 "Justin Bieber Album & Song Chart History". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 2011-01-12.
  9. 9.0 9.1 "CHART LOG UK – 3.04.2010 (wk12)". Zobbel Website. Retrieved 2011-01-12.
  10. "Justin Bieber Chart History (Canadian Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 2011-01-12.
  11. "Justin Bieber Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 2011-01-12.

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