This song, which describes a love that is so phenomenal that it is heavenly, was written by OneRepublic frontman Ryan Tedder and Evan "Kidd" Bogart, a prolific songwriter and the son of Casablanca Records founder Neil Bogart - other songs he has co-written include "Take You There" for Sean Kingston and "S.O.S. (Rescue Me)" for Rihanna.
In the summer of 2008, Bogart visited his friend Tedder, who was laid up at home after rupturing his Achilles tendon on tour with OneRepublic. As Bogart explained to NPR, the pair went into Tedder's home studio and wrote "Halo" in three hours. Bogart says the song was intended for Beyoncé, and they wrote it thinking about what was going on in her life and her relationship with Jay-Z.
Bogart is a big fan of Ray LaMontagne, who has a song on his 2004 debut album called "Shelter." Bogart thought about expressing that same sentiment - being there for someone and being an encompassing halo - in a song for Beyoncé. Tedder came up with some angelic keyboard parts and they quickly had their song. They sent the demo to Jay Brown at Roc Nation (Jay-Z's label/management company), who begged them not to give the song to anyone else, since he thought it was perfect for Beyoncé. The song went "on hold" for Beyoncé, which meant had the rights to it, but when she took a while to record it, Tedder, who wrote "Bleeding Love," told Leona Lewis' management that Lewis could have it if Beyoncé passed. This led to some rumors that the song was written for Lewis, which Tedder and Bogart denied.
The day after they wrote this song, Tedder and Bogart spent another three hours writing a bridge for the song, but this bridge ended up getting dropped from the recording.
In the song's music video Beyoncé gets up close and cosy with the actor Michael Ealy (2 Fast 2 Furious, Seven Pounds). Ealy also featured in the clip for Mariah Carey's 2005 UK hit, "Get Your Number."
This won the award for Best Song at the 2009 MTV Europe Music Awards, and it also won the 2009 Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.
Accompanied by Coldplay frontman Chris Martin on piano, Beyoncé performed a re-worked version of this song on the charity telethon, Hope for Haiti Now: A Global Benefit for Earthquake Relief, which was held on January 22, 2010. The former Destiny Child's singer injected the earthquake devastated country directly into her lyrics: "Haiti, we can see your halo, you know you're my saving grace," she sang. "You're everything I need and more, it's written all over your face/ Haiti, we can see your halo, I pray you won't fade away."
There is a parody of this song on YouTube called Hallows, about a girl who wants to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2. The song, recorded by The Maynard Triplets, lists some feats of Harry's from earlier movies and books.
Suggestion credit: Rodger - Frontenac, MO
Beyoncé performed this at halfime of the 2013 Super Bowl between the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers. She had the show to herself, which was rare for a Pop act, but her act incorporated some stunning visual effects and went over quite well.
Speaking with Billboard magazine, Ryan Tedder recalled how he penned the song with Evan "Kidd" Bogart: "I was playing a pick up game right before a show in Michigan and I tore my Achilles heel," he recalled. "It was the most intense pain I ever experienced in my life. I passed out. So I ended up going home for two weeks. My wife forbade me from writing or doing any work whatsoever."
"Evan Bogart and I were super close friends," Tedder continued. "He was having his explosion as a songwriter, and I texted him and said, 'My wife's gone for three hours, will you come over? Let's write one song.' Beyoncé had contacted me because of a song on our first album called 'Come Home.' So he came over and I said, 'Dude, Beyoncé wants me to do a song. Let's do a song in three hours.' I had this idea for a patch of this weird choir of angels thing, started playing it and within three hours we had 'Halo.'"
Speaking with British newspaper The Guardian, Tedder backed Beyoncé against accusations that she unfairly adds her name to her song's credits. "I can't speak for all of the songs that she does but I'll say this: she does stuff on any given song that, when you go from the demo to the final version, takes it to another level that you never would have thought of as the writer," he explained.
"For instance, on 'Halo', that bridge on her version is completely different to my original one. Basically, she came in, ditched that, edited it, did her vocal thing on it and now it's become one of my favorite parts of the song. The whole melody, she wrote it spontaneously in the studio. So her credit on that song stems from that."
Alana from Abingdon, MdActually it wasn't written for Lewis. The writter of the song said: "There was this huge scandal that originally 'Halo' was meant to go to Leona. That was never the case, I'm putting that rumour to bed right now. That song was written for Beyoncé. What happened was that Beyoncé waited long enough to record that song that I had no communication with her and didn't know if she was going to do it or not. I thought this would be a brilliant first single for Leona, which it would have. When you have a song as special as 'Halo', you don't want anyone else to sit on it. So sometimes you have to pull the whole, 'Well, I'm going to get someone else on it', to prove a point. What I did was foolishly say to Leona's camp, 'I have it on hold for another A-list artist and I'm pretty sure they'll take it, but if they don't, I just want to know if you like it enough to consider it. I sent it to them and they flipped on it. They loved it and instantly said they wanted to do it. I was like, 'Wait, wait, wait, no, it's not free yet!" It's believed that Cowell leaked the story of the song being for Lewis then given to Knowles. There was evensome controversy about a Kelly Clarkson song which has the same composition as Halo (Already Gone), that she didn't want the album released with said track on it feelin people would accuse her of ripping of Beyonce but the label refused to stop it.
Chryssie from Canberra, AustraliaI love the mash up of this song and Walking On Sunshine by Katrina & the Waves on Glee. The girls do such a good job. I keep getting the song stuck in my head over and over.
Abdullaah from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysiai think leona lewis would give better credit to this song rather than beyonce
Sahsa from Florida, Flthis is ULTIMATELY my fave song... every time i hear i it i get chills
Jeana from Sterling Heights, Mithis song is prob her best...it's such am pretty song
D'ellis from Pelahatchie, Ms, Msi think that this song is portraying the way that beyonce feels about her man(whom i wish were me). but she knows how she feels so she should tell him that.
Cheetah from Syracuse, NyThis song fits Beyoncé like a glove! Wonderful range and wonderful every other way! She sings from her heart, taht's so obvious!
Ramon from Cleveland, OhBeyonce is a great competitive singer. Her upper register on this song matches the fervor that Leona Lewis has on "Bleeding Love". This kind of artistic approach keeps her very interesting.