Shame

Songfacts®:

  • This Fuse cut was a collaborative effort between a number of top-ranking songwriters. They were:

    Norwegian producers Stargate (Rihanna's "Diamonds," Katy Perry's "Firework")

    American hitmaker Benny Blanco (Katy Perry's "I Kissed a Girl," Kesha's "TiK ToK")

    Pakistani-American songwriter Ammar Malik (Marron 5's "Moves Like Jagger," Gym Class Heroes "Stereo Hearts")

    New York City producer RoboPop (Maroon 5's "Payphone")

    Illinois songsmith Ross Golan (Justin Bieber's "Take You")

    English songwriter Justin Parker (Rihanna's "Stay")
  • Urban told Suzanne Alexander on GAC's Daily Countdown that the song particularly spoke to him. "We're talking about the human condition, which is universal," he said. "I heard the song and I was just, 'I know that guy.' I've been that guy, you know. The chorus starts, 'I'm not trying to be perfect, I'm just trying to do the next right thing in my life.'"
  • Urban recalled that after recording his vocal for this song with Stargate in New York, he indicated that he would lay down some back-up harmonies, "But Tor Hermansen of Stargate, stopped me," the singer added, "and he said, 'No, not on this song—you sing one vocal, top to bottom, storytelling. Pure, honest, true, no other singers, just you.' And I went, 'Gosh, you're so right.' It was a very raw, naked vocal, and if ever there was a song that needed to be left alone, it was this one."
  • Urban commented during a Q&A at New York's Apple Store in Soho that it was the first time a banjo had been brought in on a Stargate session.
  • The track came out of profitable week-long songwriters' camp that also produced Lady Antebellum's hit tune "Compass." Ross Golan recalled to The Boot:

    "That was one of the more enjoyable weeks, because I think it was the next day, or two days later, [after writing 'Compass'] ... we're in another room, and this time, Ammar's playing bass, and I think I'm playing guitar, and we just start writing ... and out comes the verse from 'Shame' in a very short amount of time. And this was one of those where we literally had all the writers on that song ... all of us in an actual room together, just like, 'Hey, what about that?' and 'Let me play this line!' and 'What do you think about this melody?'"
  • Keith Urban was first played the song when he was hanging out with Stargate's Mikkel Eriksen and Tor Erik Hermanse. Golan recalled:

    "I'd written with a lot of pop artists, and at the BMI Awards that year, Keith came up to me and said, 'Thank you for letting me have the opportunity to cut that song,' because I sang the demo vocals... You would never expect Justin Bieber or Nicki Minaj to walk up to the songwriters and say, 'Hey, thank you for the opportunity to cut this song;' that's never gonna happen. But Keith went out of his way to do that ... The artists in country are just - they're the best."

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