|Single by Leona Lewis|
|from the album Echo|
|B-side||"Let It Rain" (Europe, Japan)
"Fly Here Now" (Japan)
|Released||15 September 2009
(see release history)
|Format||CD single, digital download|
|Label||Syco / J|
|Writer(s)||Evan Bogart, Leona Lewis, Ryan Tedder|
|Leona Lewis singles chronology|
"Happy" is a song performed by British pop/R&B singer Leona Lewis. It was written by Lewis, Ryan Tedder, Evan "Kidd" Bogart, and produced by Tedder for Lewis's second album Echo. It was released on 15 September 2009, in the USA and Canada, serving as the album's worldwide lead single. The single's cover features Lewis wearing a one-off Vivienne Westwood creation.
In a blog entry, Tedder wrote:
"I honestly feel it is the most beautiful song I've ever been a part of. My goal when I started working on Leona's new album was to "NOT" chase or be influenced by any of her previous hits—or any songs [I]'ve ever done with anyone else—including "Bleeding Love". True artists do not look back to previous successes; they look forward to creating new moments and songs the world can connect with in a different way. And that is what Leona has done with "Happy". I hope [you] like it as much as we do, and I hope the lyrics hit [you] as hard as they hit me."
Lewis discussed the inspiration for the song in an interview with Entertainment Weekly: "[W]e felt like happiness is something everyone strives to have, and sometimes it's not just about being happy, but if you have obstacles in your life that you have to get over to be happy. And it's just about that striving to get there. [I]t was kind of like looking back at all of the things I've been through, just kind of putting that into the song."
She also explained the lyrics and interpretation of "Happy":
"It's a contradiction of song because, yes, it's named "Happy", but the song's kind of dark, a bit sad, sombre. In my songs, I want people to go on a journey, and [to get to] happiness, you go through a lot of pain and sadness to get there sometimes and that's what we wanted to convey on the song."
The song, which is four minutes and two seconds in length, was recorded immediately after it was written. Lewis commented, "The vocal was totally spontaneous. I sang it as soon as we finished writing. Sometimes it's better not to over-think things." According to Gordon Smart of The Sun, the song is about a relationship breakup and features "distorted drums" and "groaning keyboards". Nick Levine from entertainment website Digital Spy says "the song's message is essentially Seize The Day, Take A Chance In Life, Don't Be Afraid Of Moving On".
"Happy" had its radio premiere on 6 September 2009 on The Radio 1 Chart Show on BBC Radio 1 in the UK. Lewis performed the song on the fourth season finale of America's Got Talent on 16 September 2009, and at the VH1 Divas concert on 17 September 2009. On 26 October, Lewis was a guest on the BBC's The One Show where she talked about "Happy", Echo and her pictorial autobiography, Dreams. She performed "Happy" on The X Factor on 8 November 2009 and The Paul O'Grady Show on 9 November. Other performances include the Malmö Arena's Breast Cancer Pink Ribbon Gala in Sweden on 29 October, Dutch television show Life4You on 25 October, Swiss show Benissimo on 24 October and the 2009 MTV Europe Music Awards on 5 November. on November 17th Lewis performed on Dancing with the Stars and on November 19th on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. The Jason Nevins remix of the song was also used as runway-soundtrack for the 2009 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show airing on December 1st, 2009.
"Happy" has received generally positive reviews from music critics. It has been described as "an amazing song" by Rick Krim, the executive producer of VH1 Divas, while Ryan Seacrest has stated on his American Top 40 radio show that it is "going to be a number one song." A reviewer for music website Popjustice said, "In short: the Leona Lewis single is above average. A brilliant way to open the second album campaign and a proper world class piece of pop tuneage which doesn't have quite all the indecipherable mysterious magic of "Bleeding Love" but still boasts more than 97% of other pop tunes." Nick Levine of Digital Spy favoured the song, saying, "Leona delivers it beautifully. In fact, her vocal run from 2:39 to 2:44 could be the most incredible five seconds of singing we've heard all year. [...] It's a really strong lead single that sounds like a number one, and a typically muscular production from Tedder, but above all it's a powerful and moving song." Gordon Smart from British tabloid newspaper The Sun said, "It's welcome evidence that Leona can take her place alongside the planet's premier divas. [...] The subject matter of Happy is actually not very happy, but the vocal pyrotechnics on display more than make up for that." Jennifer Adeeko from the organisation behind the MOBO Awards said, "Within the song Lewis is able to show how spectacular her vocal range is, with her softer sounding vocals to her more powerful, belting vocals. [...] Bound to get a few guys flustered if their girlfriends listen to the track and follow the lyrics; we predict that this is going to be one of her biggest track[s] to date."
Entertainment Weekly critic Michael Slezak wrote that "while "Happy" is a solidly written, professionally produced song with a Velcro-ey hook, it has the emotional resonance of a so-so, big-budget romantic comedy. [...] In the hands of a singer who could achieve both technical perfection and emotional depth, "Happy" might've been my early autumn jam. But delivered in Lewis’'s lovely-but-vacant style, I'm gonna have to rifle through my iPod for a more substantial diva anthem."
"Happy" debuted on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 at number 50, with sales of almost 52,000 digital downloads, making it Lewis's highest chart debut in that market. Initially it did not improve upon its debut, falling down the chart, however upon the release of 'Echo' the single rebounded up the chart to achieve a new peak of 31.  The same week, "Happy" debuted at position 22 on the Hot Digital Songs chart and number 15 in the Canadian Hot 100, making it her second highest debut there, behind "Run". "Happy" also debuted on the Pop Songs chart at number 40.
The song made its first European chart appearance when it debuted at 25 in Sweden, peaking at number 11 the following week. The song entered the Australian ARIA Singles Chart at number 44 before dropping out of the top 50 the following week, it then re-entered back at number 44 two weeks later and has so far climbed to number 26, and Billboard's Japan Hot 100 at number 7. It also charted in the Dutch Single Top 100 at number 74 and in New Zealand at 35.
On 10 November 2009, after two days of sales in the UK, "Happy" had sold 36,000 copies. By 11 November the song had sold 49,000 copies, outselling its nearest rival, Black Eyed Peas' "Meet Me Halfway", by 5,000 copies; however, on 13 November it was confirmed that "Meet Me Halfway" was outselling "Happy". "Happy" entered the UK chart at number 2, marking Lewis's 6th consecutive top 5 single in the UK. On January 7, 2010 the song was certified Silver (200,000+) in the UK.
The video shows Lewis flirting and falling in love with a man, giving the watcher a sense that the feelings are reciprocal.  The wedding proceeds and it is revealed that he marries a different woman, and Lewis regrets not taking a chance at love. . The video is interspersed with Lewis preparing herself for the wedding, leading the viewer to believe it is she who is going to be married.
|Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)||2|
|Belgium (Ultratip Flanders)||6|
|Belgium (Ultratop Wallonia)||21|
|Canada (Canadian Hot 100)||15|
|Netherlands (Mega Single Top 100)||74|
|Eurochart Hot 100||3|
|Germany (Media Control AG)||3|
|Japan (Japan Hot 100)||6|
|New Zealand (RIANZ)||20|
|Switzerland (Media Control AG)||4|
|United Kingdom (Official Charts Company)||2|
|UK R&B Chart||2|
|US Billboard Hot 100||31|
|U.S. Billboard Hot Gospel Songs||26|
|United Kingdom||6 September 2009||Radio premiere||Syco Music|
|United States||15 September 2009||Digital download||J Records|
|United States||21 September 2009||Airplay|
|Sweden||25 September 2009||Digital download||Sony Music Entertainment|
|Germany||6 November 2009||CD|
|Ireland||CD, digital download|
|United Kingdom||8 November 2009||Digital download||Syco Music|
|9 November 2009||CD|
|Hong Kong||9 November 2009||Sony Music Entertainment|
|Japan||11 November 2009||Sony Music Japan|