Better Days

Album: yet to be titled (2020)
Charted: 94

Songfacts®:

  • New Jersey native Ant Clemons began his songwriting career in 2016, flying to Los Angeles every two weeks in pursuit of his dream. By 2018, he'd permanently moved to LA and was writing a song a day in exchange for a floor to sleep on. One of his demos made its way to Kanye West, who used it as the basis of his hit single "All Mine." The relationship with West led to further collaborations on Jesus Is King as well as writing credits for the likes of Camilla Cabello ("My Oh My"), and H.E.R. (" Damage"). Clemons released his debut EP, Happy 2 Be Here, in March 2020. This single is a collaboration with Justin Timberlake.
  • Released on December 3, 2020, "Better Days" is a hopeful offering at the end of a year when the coronavirus pandemic, social unrest, and political divisions wreaked havoc. The song is a reminder to the world that despite all we've endured, "there is a light at the end of the tunnel."
  • Clemons explained that he birthed the song during a Zoom conversation with Timberlake when they discussed the state of the world. "I started on this idea, sent it over to Justin and we collaborated over the next few months and piece by piece, we constructed this small offering to the world," he said. "I pray the song empowers and uplifts everyone listening."
  • Clemons and Justin Timberlake debuted the song on December 3, 2020 at Democratic politician Stacey Abrams' Fair Fight at their Rock The RunOff virtual concert. All proceeds from the event went towards Fair Fight's work to ensure every eligible Georgian had resources and information for the January 5 runoff election.
  • Justin Timberlake returned to his hometown of Memphis, Tennessee, on January 20, 2021, for a performance of this song with Ant Clemons. Their rendition took place at the Stax Museum of American Soul Music as part of the Celebrating America primetime broadcast special, in honor of the inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. The two singers were joined by students and alumni of Stax Music Academy, and a band led by musical director Adam Blackstone.
  • Clemons and Timberlake released a remastered inauguration version of "Better Days" featuring gospel artist Kirk Franklin, who adds an inspirational message to the song.
  • Following Clemons and Timberlake's performance during the Biden-Harris inauguration festivities, "Better Days" topped the record for most-Shazamed song in a single day in the US. Approximately 90,000 hits were recorded on the music recognition app worldwide in the 24 hours after the pair's performance of the tune.

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