California King Bed

Album: Loud (2010)
Charted: 8 37
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Songfacts®:

  • This power pop ballad about a couple who sleep beside each other but feel "10,000 miles apart" is a track from Barbadian recording artist Rihanna's fifth studio album, Loud.
  • After the darker sounds of Rihanna's previous album Rated R, which she recorded in the wake of her former boyfriend Chris Brown's violent assault on her, Loud generally has more upbeat sounds. However, this is one of the slower tracks the Bajan singer recorded for the album. Rihanna explained to UK radio station 95.8 Capital FM: "The ballads on this album are really special. I didn't want to just put a bunch of ballads on the album, I actually wanted to keep it minimal with slow records. But there are really two powerful ballads. One is called 'Straight Up Beautiful' and the other one is called 'California King Bed,' which is one of my favorite songs on the album. It's probably going to be the biggest song on the album."
  • Rihanna explained the meaning of the song to Capital FM: "It's talking about being this close to someone yet feeling so far away, like falling out of love."
  • At the beginning of March 2011, Rihanna asked fans to help her select her fourth single from Loud via twitter. They were requested to choose from "California King Bed," "Cheers (Drink To That)," Man Down or "Fading". The most popular choice proved to be this ballad, which was then released as the next single from the album.
  • The Nivea company helped pay for the video in exchange for using the song in its commercials.
  • The song's music video was shot in one day on a Hollywood stage in West Hollywood and is set mainly in a bedroom, but also on a tropical sandy beach. The director was Anthony Mandler, who is a regular collaborator of Rihanna. He told MTV News: "I think the song and the theme of this song, she wanted to obviously show a softer side, a lighter side, one that's caught in maybe a tumultuous relationship. But not let the tumultuous relationship dominate the visual, really counterbalance it with tension-filled chaotic beauty."

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