ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

‘Don’t Stop The Music’: Rihanna’s Dance Music Triumph

The EDM smash might just be her most influential song.

Published on

Rihanna Good Girl Gone Bad album cover
Cover: Courtesy of Island Def Jam Music Group

It’s hard to remember, but in 2007, it was relatively rare to hear dance music on pop radio. Leave it to the consummate risk-taker Rihanna to change all that with “Don’t Stop The Music,” a song that arguably kicked off the EDM / pop crossover in earnest. In a catalog filled with enormous hits, it may just be one of the most influential in Rihanna’s career.

When asked about the song’s dance-inspired rhythm and melodies, production duo StarGate outlined their thinking for the production, saying in an interview with EW, “It was a seminal record in the sense that, prior to that song and Justin Timberlake’s ‘SexyBack,’ dance music was basically non-existent in American pop.” The song showed that dance music had a home in the U.S. “People would always say, ‘That four-to-the-floor kick-drum pattern doesn’t work in America, it’s not going to work on radio.’ And up until that point, they would’ve been right.”

Listen to Rihanna’s “Don’t Stop the Music” now.

The infectious “Mama-say, mama-sa, ma-ma-koosa” hook you hear throughout the song? That was inspired by Michael Jackson’s 1980s hit “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’.” That song interpolated it from the legendary 1970s disco smash “Soul Makossa.” David Mancuso, one of the most celebrated New York DJs ever, made “Soul Makossa” a staple of his sets. It’s a fascinating bit of history, to be able to draw such a clear throughline from one of the original New York disco hits to the rise of EDM on pop radio in the United States.

Rihanna - Don't Stop The Music

Click to load video

“Don’t Stop the Music” was the fourth single from Good Girl Gone Bad, following the smash “Umbrella,” “Shut Up and Drive,” and “Hate That I Love You.” While it didn’t quite reach the stratospheric chart heights of “Umbrella,” it was an enormous hit around the world. Two years later, David Guetta’s One Love album would ride on that wave to huge success. And Rihanna? She was busy setting new trends with Rated R.

Listen to Rihanna’s “Don’t Stop the Music” now.

Click to comment
Comments are temporarily disabled and will return shortly.
John Lennon - Mind Games The Ultimate Collection
John Lennon
Mind Games (The Ultimate Collection)
ORDER NOW
Frank Zappa - Apostrophe 50th Anniversary Edition
Frank Zappa
Apostrophe (50th Anniversary Edition)
ORDER NOW
Johnny Cash - Songwriter LP
Johnny Cash
Songwriter LP
ORDER NOW
Paul McCartney & Wings - One Hand Clapping 2LP+7
Paul McCartney & Wings
One Hand Clapping (Limited 2LP + 7″)
ORDER NOW
Paul McCartney & Wings - One Hand Clapping 2CD
Paul McCartney & Wings
One Hand Clapping 2CD
ORDER NOW
Paul McCartney & Wings - One Hand Clapping 2LP
Paul McCartney & Wings
One Hand Clapping 2LP
ORDER NOW
uDiscover Music - Back To Top
uDiscover Music - Back To Top