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20 Years of P!nk… Lady Marmalade

Lady Marmalade

Release History
27th March 2001

Written by
Bob Crewe, Kenny Nolan, Kimberly Jones, Missy Elliott

Album
Moulin Rouge! Soundtrack

Peak Position
Australia – 1
Austria – 3
Canada – 17
France – 12
Germany – 1
Ireland – 1
Italy – 6
Netherlands – 2
Sweden – 1 
UK – 1
US – 1

In 2001, the song Lady Marmalade appeared as part of a medley in the film Moulin Rouge!. For the film’s soundtrack album, Christina Aguilera, Lil’ Kim, Mýa, and Pink recorded a cover version; it was released as the soundtrack’s first single in spring 2001. Produced by Missy Elliott and writing partner Rockwilder, it includes an intro and outro from Elliott. Lyrics were changed from the original version, transferring the song’s setting from New Orleans to the Paris nightclub Moulin Rouge.

This version of the song reached number-one in its eighth week on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and spent five weeks at the top of the chart, 26 years after Labelle’s version had reached number-one, making Lady Marmalade the ninth song in history to top the U.S. chart as performed as different artists. It was the third airplay-only song in Billboard chart history (after Aaliyah’s 2000 single Try Again and Shaggy’s 2001 single Angel) to hit number one without being released in a major commercially available single format.

The song also holds the record for the longest reigning number one on Billboard‘s Mainstream Top 40 chart for an all female collaboration, topping the chart for nine consecutive weeks. Lady Marmalade is the best-selling single for Lil’ Kim and Mýa. Lil’ Kim also held the record for having the longest number one single on the Billboard Hot 100 for a female rapper, with Lady Marmalade being on the top of the charts for 5 consecutive weeks, until Australian rapper Iggy Azalea’s Fancy surpassed the record by holding on to the number one position for seven weeks in 2014. The song was included on non-US versions of Aguilera’s first greatest hits album, Keeps Gettin’ Better: A Decade of Hits. Lady Marmalade was the top selling song of 2001 and has sold 5.2 million copies worldwide as of December 2001.

The music video, directed by Paul Hunter, shows all four performers in lingerie in a cabaret-style video (with rapper Missy Elliott giving an introduction) and was filmed in Los Angeles with sets built to resemble the actual Moulin Rouge night club around the turn of the 20th century. Interviewed by MTV News, the singers expressed their excitement about the video. P!nk predicted the clip would be like a “circus on acid”. Christina gushed, “The video’s going to be dope”, while elaborating on the video’s concept, “We’re going to be having cabaret costumes. It’s something you’ve never seen from us before. So, it’s going to be fun.” The video’s art direction anachronistically merged hip-hop sensibility with the film’s French cabaret setting, thanks to some props and costumes actually used in the movie, according to Hunter’s office. Choreographer Tina Landon was hired to choreograph the video. Speaking on the collaboration, Christina said she embraced the idea of collaborating with Elliott, Pink, Mýa and Lil’ Kim on the track as soon as it was pitched to her. “I’m a fan of all of theirs, and just to be in the same song doing something with them—collaborating, which I love to do, is a really big thing for me”, she said. “And it’s cool to be out there before my next album comes out there, too.”

The video won the MTV Video Music Award for “Best Video of the Year” and “Best Video from a Film”. The song won the 2002 Grammy Award in the category of “Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals”.

Music video

Making of

Pink talks about Lady Marmalade 

Try This Tour

Grammy Awards

Wango Tango

MTV Movie Awards 2001

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