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What Is Love
"What Is Love" is a song recorded by Trinidadian-German Eurodance artist Haddaway for his debut album, The Album. The song was released on 8 May 1993 as

View Wikipedia Article

1993 single by Haddaway This article is about the Haddaway song. For other songs of this name and all other uses, see What Is Love (disambiguation).

"What Is Love"Single by Haddawayfrom the album The AlbumB-side"Sing About Love"Released
  • 8 May 1993 (Europe)
  • August 1993 (US)
Format
  • 7" single
  • 12" single
  • CD single
  • cassette single
GenreEurodance[1][2]Length4:29LabelCoconutSongwriter(s)
  • Dee Dee Halligan
  • Junior Torello
Producer(s)
  • Dee Dee Halligan
  • Junior Torello
Haddaway singles chronology "What Is Love"
(1993) "Life"
(1993) Music video"What Is Love" on YouTube

"What Is Love" is a song recorded by Trinidadian-German Eurodance artist Haddaway for his debut album, The Album. The song was released on 8 May 1993 as the album's lead single. It was a massive hit in Europe, becoming a number-one hit in at least 13 countries and reaching number two in Germany, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. Outside Europe, the song was moderately successful, reaching number 11 in the United States, number 12 in Australia, number 17 in Canada, and number 48 in New Zealand.

Contents
  • 1 Background
  • 2 Release and legacy
  • 3 Critical reception
  • 4 Music video
  • 5 Accolades
  • 6 In popular culture
  • 7 Formats and track listings
  • 8 Charts
    • 8.1 Weekly charts
      • 8.1.1 Original version
      • 8.1.2 "What Is Love" – Remix
      • 8.1.3 "What Is Love" – Reloaded
      • 8.1.4 Other reissues
    • 8.2 Year-end charts
    • 8.3 Certifications and sales
  • 9 Cover versions and sampling
    • 9.1 Klaas version
    • 9.2 Lost Frequencies version
      • 9.2.1 Music video
      • 9.2.2 Track listing
      • 9.2.3 Weekly charts
      • 9.2.4 Year-end charts
      • 9.2.5 Certifications
  • 10 See also
  • 11 References
  • 12 External links
Background

"What Is Love" was written and produced by German music producer and composer Dee Dee Halligan (Dieter Lünstedt a.k.a. Tony Hendrik) and Junior Torello (Karin Hartmann-Eisenblätter a.k.a. Karin van Haaren) of Coconut Records in Cologne. They were waiting for the right singer for the song. Trinidadian-born singer Nestor Alexander Haddaway was then chosen to sing it. He used to work as a producer, dancer and choreographer before he was signed to Coconut Records.[3] In a 2012 interview Haddaway said about the making of "What Is Love":

“ We just used ideas that were fresh at that time and tried to make something that nobody else had, (...) The song came really fast. I had the idea for the melodies in about 45 minutes and the total structure of the song was done in a day and a half.[4] ” Release and legacy Haddaway in the "What Is Love" music video.

"What Is Love" was released in Europe in May 1993 and in the US in August 1993. It peaked at number two in the United Kingdom and Germany and hit number one in 13 other countries: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland and Zimbabwe. Debuting at number 87 on 28 August 1993, the song reached number 11 on the Hot 100 in the United States. The song also peaked at number 12 in Australia. By March 1994, worldwide sales of "What Is Love" had already reached 2.6 million.[5]

When asked about the meaning of "What Is Love" in a 2015 interview, Haddaway said:

“ People always ask me about what I meant, (...) I meant that 'what is love' needs to be defined by everyone by his own definition. It's unique and individual. For me, it has to do with trust, honesty, and dedication.[6] ” Critical reception

Billboard wrote about the song: "Glorious pop/house ditty recently topped English pop charts, and was an international club hit almost a year ago. Wildly catchy chorus is complemented by a slick, synth-happy arrangement. Haddaway will conjure up images of Seal and Sydney Youngblood with his worldly baritone delivery. A sure-fire dance hit that has the muscle to push its way onto pop formats with ease."[7]

Music & Media noted that the song has "a fast house beat augmented by Nestor Haddaway's deeply soulful vocals. This is definitely on par with anything that has come out of Chicago's deep house scene for quite some time."[8]

The Gavin Report wrote: "Try sitting still seconds after this upbeat entry kicks in. Still hot in the U.K. where it had a Top 10 run, Haddaway's style is reminscent of the Fine Young Cannibals and just as exciting."[9]

Music video

The music video of "What Is Love" was directed by German music video director Volker Hannwacker.[10] It features Haddaway performing in an old castle, surrounded by vampire-like dominatrices.

Accolades Year Publisher Country Accolade Rank 2011 Paste United States "Awesome One-Hit Wonders of the 1990s"[11] 6 2011 MTV Dance United Kingdom "The 100 Biggest 90's Dance Anthems of All Time"[12] 57 2012 Porcys Poland "100 Singli 1990-1999"[13] 77 2013 Complex United States "10 Essential Eurodance Classics"[14] * 2013 Vibe United States "Before EDM: 30 Dance Tracks from the '90s That Changed the Game"[15] 4 2014 Idolator United States "The 50 Best Pop Singles of 1994"[16] 5 2017 BuzzFeed United States "The 101 Greatest Dance Songs of the '90s"[17] 11 2019 Elle United States "52 Best 1990s Pop Songs"[18] 39 2019 Insider United States "The 57 best one-hit wonders of all time"[19] *

(*) indicates the list is unordered.

In popular culture

"What is Love" experienced a revival as the song from the Saturday Night Live "Roxbury Guys" sketches later expanded into the 1998 feature film A Night at the Roxbury, where two brothers (played by Chris Kattan and Will Ferrell) frequently went to dance clubs with a third person (including actors such as Sylvester Stallone and Jim Carrey), credited as "Barhop". It was also used in the 2013 video game Saints Row IV and included as one of the tracks in Just Dance 2017.[20][21] The song was used in an season 2 episode of Sex Education (TV series)

Formats and track listings
"What Is Love"
CD single / 7"
  1. "What Is Love" – 4:28
  2. "Sing About Love" – 3:12
CD single – United Kingdom
  1. "What Is Love" Radio Edit 7" Mix – 3:57
  2. "What Is Love" Club Mix – 5:00
  3. "What Is Love" 12" Mix – 6:40
  4. "What Is Love" Tour De Trance Mix – 6:00
  5. "What Is Love" Refreshmento Extro Mix – 5:42
CD maxi – France
  1. "What Is Love" (7" mix) – 4:29
  2. "What Is Love" (12" mix) – 6:40
  3. "What Is Love" (club mix) – 5:02
  4. "Sing About Love" – 4:36
"What Is Love" – remix
CD single – France
  1. "What Is Love" (eat-this mix – radio edit) – 4:19
  2. "What Is Love" (refreshmento extro mix) – 3:52
CD maxi
  1. "What Is Love" – remix (eat-this mix) – 6:54
  2. "What Is Love" (tour de trance-mix) – 6:00
  3. "What Is Love" (7" mix) – 4:27
"What Is Love" – reloaded
CD maxi
  1. "What Is Love" – reloaded (video mix) – 3:16
  2. "What Is Love" – reloaded (reloaded mix) – 6:09
  3. "What Is Love" – reloaded (what is club mix) – 6:39
  4. "What Is Love" – reloaded (Jens O.'s hard remix) – 5:32
  5. "What Is Love" – reloaded (Nathan Jolly's NRG remix) – 6:48
  6. "What Is Love" – reloaded (radio edit) – 2:56
  7. "What Is Love" – reloaded (lunaris remix) – 6:21
Charts Weekly charts Original version Chart (1993–1994) Peak
position Australia (ARIA)[22] 12 Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[23] 1 Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[24] 1 Canada Dance/Urban (RPM)[25] 2 Canada Top Singles (RPM)[26] 17 Denmark (IFPI)[27] 1 Europe (Eurochart Hot 100)[28] 1 Finland (Suomen virallinen lista)[29] 1 France (SNEP)[30] 1 Germany (Official German Charts)[31] 2 Iceland (Íslenski Listinn Topp 40)[32] 3 Ireland (IRMA)[33] 1 Italy (FIMI)[34] 1 Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[35] 1 Netherlands (Single Top 100)[36] 1 New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[37] 48 Norway (VG-lista)[38] 1 Portugal (AFP)[39] 1 Spain (AFYVE)[40] 1 Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[41] 2 Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[42] 1 UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[43] 2 US Billboard Hot 100[44] 11 US Billboard Hot Dance Club Play[44] 9 US Billboard Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales[44] 6 US Billboard Rhythmic Top 40[44] 15 US Billboard Top 40 Mainstream[44] 4 US Cash Box[45] 9 Zimbabwe (ZIMA)[46] 1 Chart (2019) Peak
position Poland (Polish Airplay Top 100)[47] 55

"What Is Love" – Remix Chart (1993) Peak
position Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[48] 15 Spain (AFYVE)[40] 4 "What Is Love" – Reloaded Chart (2003) Peak
position Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[49] 49 Denmark (Tracklisten)[50] 20 Germany (Media Control Charts)[51] 51 Netherlands (Single Top 100)[52] 100 Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[53] 92 Other reissues Chart (2008) Peak
position US Billboard Hot Digital Songs[44] 68 Chart (2012) Peak
position Denmark (Tracklisten)[54] 31

Year-end charts Chart (1993) Position Australia (ARIA)[55] 78 Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[56] 3 Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[57] 3 Canada Dance/Urban (RPM)[58] 2 Europe (Eurochart Hot 100)[59] 2 Germany (Media Control Charts)[60] 2 Italy (FIMI)[61] 5 Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[62] 2 Netherlands (Single Top 100)[63] 4 Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[64] 2 UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[65] 8 US Billboard Hot 100[66] 82 Chart (1994) Position US Billboard Hot 100[67] 97

Certifications and sales Region Certification Certified units/sales Australia (ARIA)[55] Gold 35,000^ Austria (IFPI Austria)[68] Platinum 50,000* Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[69] Gold 45,000^ Germany (BVMI)[70] 3× Gold 750,000^ Sweden (GLF)[71] Gold 25,000^ United Kingdom (BPI)[72] Gold 400,000^ United States (RIAA)[73] Gold 500,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

Cover versions and sampling
  • In 2007, the song was covered by indie band The Gossip, with lead singer Beth Ditto changing the lyrics to "When Is Lunch?, Baby I'm Hungry, I'm Hungry, For More".[74]
  • In 2009, singer and songwriter Diane Birch completely rearranged the song,[75][76] that later was featured on Billboard magazine's Mashup Monday in 2010.[77]
  • In 2010, Sharaya J sampled the chorus for her performance on Missy Elliott's European tour.[78]
  • In 2010, Swedish boy band E.M.D. released a piano ballad version of "What Is Love" as the second single from their sophomore studio album Rewind.[79]
  • In 2010, American rappers Eminem and Lil Wayne sampled the song for the single "No Love" from Eminem's seventh studio album, Recovery.[2]
  • In 2013, it was covered by the band Foolstop in a rock style.[80]
  • In 2014, Canadian singer Kiesza did a "piano-and-synth cover" of the song.[81]
Klaas version "Klaas meets Haddaway – What Is Love 2K9"Single by KlaasReleased2009LabelMostikoSongwriter(s)
  • Dee Dee Halligan
  • Junior Torello
Producer(s)KlaasMusic video"What is Love 2K9" on YouTube

In 2009, German DJ Klaas remixed the song under the title "Klaas meets Haddaway – What Is Love 2K9". This remix charted in several European countries.

Chart (2009) Peak
position Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[82] 37 Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[83] 41 Belgium (Ultratip Wallonia)[84] 9 France (SNEP)[85] 5 Germany (Official German Charts)[86] 60 Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[87] 49 Lost Frequencies version "What Is Love 2016"Single by Lost Frequenciesfrom the album Less Is MoreReleased7 October 2016Length2:52Label
  • Armada
  • Mostiko
Songwriter(s)
  • Dee Dee Halligan
  • Junior Torello
  • Felix De Laet
Producer(s)
  • Hal Ritson
  • Felix De Laet
Lost Frequencies singles chronology "Beautiful Life"
(2016) "What Is Love 2016"
(2016) "All or Nothing"
(2017) Music video"What Is Love 2016" on YouTube

In 2016, Belgian DJ Lost Frequencies released a cover titled "What Is Love 2016", as a single from his debut album Less Is More.[88] It was actually already produced back in 2014 as a remix for Jaymes Young's cover version of "What is Love". This version was remade for the album and became a hit on a number of European singles charts and topped the Belgian Ultratop Official Singles Chart.

Music video

An official music video was released directed by Soulvizion. It features the Dutch professional basketball player Don Rigters[89] who plays the role of David Rose, a basketball player who is severely injured trying to make a comeback to the game with encouragement from his girlfriend, (played by Melissa Kanza), his three teammates, (Alkenah Wansing, Jeroen Jansen and Lindy Chippendel) and by his basketball coach (played by J E Rigters).

Track listing
  • Armada / Mostiko, 7 October 2016
  1. "What Is Love 2016" – 2:52
  • Armada / Mostiko, 28 October 2016
  1. What Is Love 2016" (Regi & Lester Williams Remix) – 4:21
  • Lost & Cie / Armada, 11 November 2016
  1. "What Is Love 2016" (Regi & Lester Williams Remix) – 3:08
  2. "What Is Love 2016" (Regi & Lester Williams Extended Remix) – 4:10
  • Armada / Mostiko, 6 January 2017
  1. "What Is Love 2016" (Mike Mago Remix) – 3:29
  2. "What Is Love 2016" (Zonderling Remix) – 3:11
  3. "What Is Love 2016" (Galactic Marvl Remix) – 2:54
  4. "What Is Love 2016" (Rose Remix) – 3:08
  5. "What Is Love 2016" (Mike Mago Extended Remix) – 5:49
  6. "What Is Love 2016" (Zonderling Extended Remix) – 4:27
  7. "What Is Love 2016" (Rose Extended Remix) – 4:08
Weekly charts Chart (2016–2017) Peak
position Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[90] 20 Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[91] 1 Belgium (Ultratop 50 Wallonia)[92] 12 France (SNEP)[93] 92 Germany (Official German Charts)[94] 24 Germany (Airplay Chart)[95] 2 Hungary (Rádiós Top 40)[96] 40 Netherlands (Single Top 100)[97] 73 Poland (Polish Airplay Top 100)[98] 29 Slovakia (Rádio Top 100)[99] 38 Slovenia (SloTop50)[100] 20 Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[101] 99 Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[102] 52 Year-end charts Chart (2016) Peak
position Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[103] 41 Certifications Region Certification Certified units/sales Belgium (BEA)[104] 2× Platinum 80,000* Germany (BVMI)[105] Gold 200,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

See also
  • List of Dutch Top 40 number-one singles of 1993
  • List of number-one hits of 1993 (Austria)
  • List of number-one hits of 1993 (Italy)
  • List of number-one singles of 1993 (Finland)
  • List of number-one singles of 1993 (France)
  • List of number-one singles of 1993 (Spain)
  • List of number-one singles of the 1990s (Switzerland)
  • VG-lista 1964 to 1994
  • VRT Top 30 number-one hits of 1993
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External links
  • "What Is Love" at Discogs
  • Lyrics of this song at MetroLyrics
  • v
  • t
  • e
HaddawayStudio albums
  • The Album
  • The Drive
  • Let's Do It Now
Singles
  • "What Is Love"
  • "Life"
  • "I Miss You"
  • "Rock My Heart"
  • "Stir It Up"
  • "Fly Away"
  • "Catch a Fire"
  • v
  • t
  • e
Lost FrequenciesDiscographyStudio albums
  • Less Is More (2016)
  • Alive and Feeling Fine (2019)
Singles
  • "Are You with Me"
  • "Reality"
  • "Beautiful Life"
  • "What Is Love 2016"
  • "Here with You"
  • "Crazy"


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