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"Headlines" is a song by Canadian rapper Drake. It is the second single from Drake's second studio album Take Care.[2][3][4] The song, produced by Matthew "Boi-1da" Samuels, and Noah "40" Shebib, first premiered on Drake's blog October's Very Own on July 31, 2011,[5] and was sent to all radio formats in the US on August 9, 2011. It was released on iTunes and Amazon on August 9, 2011 in the U.S.[1] The song debuted and peaked on the Billboard charts at number 13, his second highest debut. It was re-released to US Top 40/Mainstream radio on October 18, 2011.[6]

Single by Drake
from the album Take Care
ReleasedAugust 9, 2011[1]
FormatDigital download
GenreHip hop, R&B
Length3:56 (Single and digital album version)
3:27 (Physical album version w/intro to "Crew Love")
Drake singles chronology
"Marvins Room"
"She Will"
Music video
"Headlines" (Explicit) on YouTube
Music video
"Headlines" (Edited) on YouTube



On July 18, 2011 Drake told The Invasion Radio Show that he was mixing a new single. Drake also revealed the name of the single on July 18 when posting the lone word "Headlines" on his Twitter account.[7]

In an interview with Billboard, Drake talked about "Headlines" saying, "By no means is it the best song on my album, it's really just the song for this moment, right now." Drake talked about why he released the song as the first single saying: "I always try to put forth a song with a message. A lot of people pick their single by what's the strongest song. I don't really do that. I like to make sure that the content is very relevant to right now." Drake also said, "I want people to party to it but at the same time the fans, the people that care about my career, the people that follow me, will hear a message in it."[8] Drake told MTV News in early September that "Headlines" was the perfect tune to launch the project: "I think it's great; the purpose of that record was solely to deliver a message", he said. "I could've gone with the record that was sort of super radio-friendly, but I really just wanted to talk to the people with the first record."[9]

Live performancesEdit

The first live performance of "Headlines" took place at Caesars Windsor in Windsor, Ontario, Canada on August 4, 2011.[10] On October 15, Drake made his Saturday Night Live debut in an episode hosted by Anna Faris and was set to perform "Headlines" as the musical guest of the week.[9] On November 20, 2011, Drake sang "Headlines" at the American Music Awards of 2011. In December 31, 2011, Drake performed on Times Square a Medley of "Headlines" with Make Me Proud and The Motto

Music videoEdit

The Guild Park ruins is where one of the scenes in the music video was filmed.

The music video was directed by Lamar Taylor and Hyghly Alleyne, both related to The Weeknd's "XO" crew. It officially premiered on October 2, 2011 on Vimeo.[11] It doesn't feature anyone from Young Money, but has appearances by T-Minus, Noah "40" Shebib, The Weeknd, Boi-1da and Kromatik. It was shot in Canada, mainly in Toronto, Drake's home town. No narrative is followed, yet Drake is depicted rapping in different environments : in the centre field of Toronto's Rogers Centre (as the stadium's scoreboard is lit up with the title of his November 15 album, Take Care);[12] in front of a rundown building with the letters "OVOXO" (the name of Drake's crew: "October's Very Own" or "OVO" standing for Drake and "XO" standing for The Weeknd) sprayed in graffiti by 'Mer' on the wall; in the glass elevator of the C.N. Tower, going up, allowing few symbolic interpretations in relation to Drake's ascension to fame, the main topic of the song; at the head of a dining table, puffing on a cigar, Drake being dressed with an unprecedented retro as well as geeky style, with a knitted jumper and vintage half-tainted glasses; and most notably in front of Toronto's historic Guild Park, surrounded by his crew. The video shows obvious traces of sponsorship by Nike sportswear.

Critical receptionEdit

Overall the video for "Headlines" was received positively by most music critics. MTV commented on the video by saying "Headlines", like the previously released "Marvin's Room" video (also from Take Care), is set in Canada and gives a more intimate look into who the superstar rapper really is."[12] Spin commented on the video by saying "the clip finally shows the perpetually conflicted star finally appearing to enjoy his success -- well, at least a little bit. Backed by imperial-style columns, standing in a vast but empty stadium, or chewing a stogie on the escalator at a high-rise office building, Drake looks every bit a leader, and he has a crew of solemn-faced men to back him up."[13] Consequence of Sound commented by saying "if you want to smoke cigars while riding elevators and have posse meetups outside local monuments, Drake can show you the ropes. Most folks are lucky their name on a scoreboard for a birthday."[14] Complex commented on the video by saying "Headlines takes us on a journey through Toronto: The city where he's from. Drizzy brings us high above ground level in the window-surrounded elevator of Toronto's CN Tower, to the Rogers Centre—home of the Toronto Blue Jays—and to the dinner table where he and his OVO crew puff fat cigars and sip expensive wines."[15]

Critical receptionEdit

The song received positive reviews. According to Spin, the song "finds Drake ruminating on the ups and downs of celebrity." Spin also called the production matching "Drake's defiant tone with a martial beat and heavy staccato strings."[2] The Huffington Post compared "Headlines" to "Marvins Room" saying, "Whereas "Marvins Room" is more devastating, "Headlines" doesn't dwell so much in its despair, and has the kind of flash you would expect a song titled "Headlines" to have."[16] The Baltimore Sun said the song has "buoyant, staccato synth line and Casio snares" and that "The beat calls for such a sing-song flow that few rappers could tackle it."[17] Rolling Stone gave the song three stars out of five, saying that "The spare beat never takes off, and the hook is a slight thing, almost an afterthought – or maybe the clearest sign that even with booze, cynics and fame buzzing about, hip-hop's great hope isn’t overeager to please."[18]

Chart performanceEdit

The song debuted on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart at number 98[19] and has since reached number two on the chart. The following week, it debuted at number 13 on the Billboard Hot 100.[20] On the week of October 15, 2011 "Headlines" reached the top of the Hot Rap Songs chart which was his 10th time overall achieving this. With the ascension of "Headlines", Drake became the artist with the most number one's of all time on the chart; tied only with rappers Diddy and Ludacris.[21] The single was eventually certified quadruple platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for sales of over four million digital copies in the United States.



Region Certification Certified units/sales
Canada (Music Canada)[34] Platinum 80,000*
United Kingdom (BPI)[35] Gold 400,000 
United States (RIAA)[36] 4× Platinum 4,000,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone
 sales+streaming figures based on certification alone

Release historyEdit

Region Date Format
United States August 9, 2011 Digital download,[37] Urban,[38] Rhythmic,[39] Urban AC,[40] Hot AC,[41] Alternative,[42] and Mainstream[43] radio
October 18, 2011 Mainstream radio Re-release[6]


  1. ^ a b Headlines: Drake: MP3 Downloads
  2. ^ a b "Drake Drops First Single from Album". Spin. Retrieved January 1, 2011.
  3. ^ "Drake Reveals Lead Take Care Single: 'Headlines'". MTV News. Retrieved July 22, 2011.
  4. ^ "Drake to Make "Headlines" on First 'Take Care' Single". Complex. Retrieved July 21, 2011.
  5. ^ Octobers Very Own: Drake - Headlines Retrieved 2011-08-05
  6. ^ a b "CHR archive 10/11 Rhythm Crossover". FMQB. Retrieved October 11, 2011.
  7. ^ "Drake's New Single Named, More Album Songs Detailed". July 22, 2011. Retrieved October 3, 2011.
  8. ^ "Drake Claims "Headlines" Is "By No Means" The Best Song On "Take Care"". HipHopDX. August 2, 2011. Retrieved August 2, 2011.
  9. ^ a b "Drake To Perform On 'Saturday Night Live'". MTV. September 26, 2011. Retrieved October 3, 2011.
  10. ^ "Drake at Casino Windsor – and more Casino Windsor Shows and Events". Caesars Windsor.
  11. ^ "Drake ~ Headlines (Official Video)". Vimeo. October 2, 2011.
  12. ^ a b "Drake Takes Center Field In 'Headlines' Video". MTV. September 26, 2011. Retrieved October 3, 2011.
  13. ^ "Watch Drake's New "Headlines" Video". Spin. Retrieved October 13, 2011.
  14. ^ "Video: Drake – "Headlines"". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved October 13, 2011.
  15. ^ "Video: Drake "Headlines"". Complex. Retrieved October 13, 2011.
  16. ^ "Drake, 'Headlines'". Huffington Post. August 1, 2011.
  17. ^ "Drake and 'Headlines': A charming surprise with real bounce". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved August 1, 2011.
  18. ^ Herrera, Monica (August 8, 2011). "Song Review, "Headlines"". Rolling Stone. Retrieved October 28, 2011.
  19. ^ "Hip-Hop and R&B Songs – Biggest Jump". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved August 5, 2011.
  20. ^ Grein, Paul (August 17, 2011). "Week Ending Aug. 14, 2011. Songs: Not Bad". Yahoo! Chart Watch. Retrieved August 17, 2011.
  21. ^ "Marc Anthony, Toby Keith, Drake, Coldplay Score Landmark No. 1s". Billboard. October 3, 2011. Retrieved October 3, 2011.
  22. ^ " – Drake – Headlines" (in French). Ultratip. Retrieved September 16, 2014.
  23. ^ "Drake Chart History (Canadian Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved December 25, 2011.
  24. ^ " – Drake – Headlines" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved 25 December 2011.
  25. ^ "Official R&B Singles Chart Top 40". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 25 December 2011.
  26. ^ Singles Chart Archived February 4, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  27. ^ "Drake Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved December 25, 2011.
  28. ^ "Drake Chart History (Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved February 7, 2012.
  29. ^ "Drake Chart History (Pop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved February 7, 2012.
  30. ^ "Drake Chart History (Rhythmic)". Billboard. Retrieved December 25, 2011.
  31. ^ "2011 Year End Charts – Hot 100 Songs". Billboard. Retrieved December 25, 2011.
  32. ^ "2011 Year End Charts – Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs". Billboard. Retrieved December 25, 2011.
  33. ^ "2011 Year End Charts – Rap Songs". Billboard. Retrieved December 25, 2011.
  34. ^ "Canadian single certifications – Drake – Headlines". Music Canada. Retrieved February 10, 2012.
  35. ^ "British single certifications – Drake – Headlines". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved February 8, 2019. Select singles in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Type Headlines in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  36. ^ "American single certifications – Drake – Headlines". Recording Industry Association of America. February 7, 2012. Retrieved October 24, 2015. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH. 
  37. ^ "Headlines – Single by Drake". iTunes. Retrieved October 13, 2011.
  38. ^ "®R&R :: Going For Adds™ :: Urban". Radio & Records. August 9, 2011.
  39. ^ "®R&R :: Going For Adds™ :: Rhythmic". Radio & Records. August 9, 2011.
  40. ^ "®R&R :: Going For Adds™ :: Urban AC". Radio & Records. August 9, 2011.
  41. ^ "®R&R :: Going For Adds™ :: Hot AC". Radio & Records. August 9, 2011.
  42. ^ "®R&R :: Going For Adds™ :: Alternative". Radio & Records. August 9, 2011.
  43. ^ "®R&R :: Going For Adds™ :: CHR/Top 40". Radio & Records. August 9, 2011. Archived from the original on March 31, 2012. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)

External linksEdit