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The lead single from Panic! At The Disco's Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die! album was written by the band's Spencer Smith, Brendon Urie and Dallon Weekes and produced by Butch Walker. It was released on July 15, 2013 on iTunes.
The Too Weird To Live, Too Rare To Die! album title is taken from Hunter S. Thompson's ode to excess, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
Lyrically, the song finds Urie telling the story of being compulsively in love with an elusive woman. It references Janet Jackson's classic hit "Nasty
." Urie told MTV News it's a true tale from his personal life. "'Miss Jackson' is about something that actually happened to me when I was younger. I hadn't really talked about it, and I felt that if I didn't, I would keep thinking about it, it would drive me crazy," he explained. "When I was younger, I would mess around; I'd sleep with one girl one night, sleep with her friend the next night, and not care about how they felt, or how I made them feel. And then it happened to me and I realized 'Wow, that's what that feels like? I feel really sh---y.'"
"I knew I had to change, because I didn't want to feel that way again, or make other people feel that way," Urie continued. "So I wrote the song. It's based off someone who is real, though I don't think they would know it. They might suspect it, and if they figure it out, I'd love to talk to them about it."
The darkly anthemic track features guest vocals from Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter Lauren Pritchard who performs under the name of Lolo.
The accompanying video was directed by Jordan Bahat (Grouplove, Fitz and The Tantrums) and features Urie and actress Katrina Bowden who is best known for her role as Cerie in 30 Rock. Drummer Spencer Smith and bassist Dallon Weekes only make fleeting cameos. "I love being the center of attention, I'm shameless about it. And being the lead singer, everyone thought it made sense, for me to be front and center," Urie told MTV News.
This was the first Hot 100 hit for Lolo, though she has featured on the Billboard 200 before. The singer was part of the original Broadway cast of the Tony Award winning rock musical, Spring Awakening, which saw its cast album peak at #96 in 2007.
The word "hey" is repeated a couple of times as part of the hook. Urie commented to American Songwriter magazine: "It's kind of funny – it can be seen as cheating to be like 'woah' and not using real words to write a hook. But for the most part, I do say that a lot. I'm saying like 'woo-hoo' and 'hey' a lot. Sometimes it's just right for the melody, for the part. It just amps up the part a little bit more. Yeah, I love it."
Brendon Urie told Radio.com
how Hip-Hop was an influence on this song: "The way hip-hop has gone from 'look at all the stuff I have' — which it still does, it has its moments in its roots in doing that — to getting just raw and confessional: that's something that we started doing a little bit more," explained the singer. "The lyrics for 'Miss Jackson' were inspired by something that I actually went through, that I experienced and had something done to me as well that made me see myself in a new light."
This originally borrowed some vocals from Fiona Apple's "Every Single Night
," the opening track from her album The Idler Wheel...
. However, the singer-songwriter refused to allow the sample to be used. "She was not having it, man, she was so bummed on us," Urie told Revolt TV
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