This grungy party anthem dedicated to a night on the town is a track from Barbadian recording artist Rihanna's fifth studio album, Loud. The song had a working title of "Drink It Up."
Bet you didn't think Avril Lavigne would be sampled anytime soon, but this track samples Lavigne's 2002 ballad "I'm With You." As credit is given to the writers of the sampled song, "Cheers" was officially written by Stacey Barthe, Corey Gibson, Andrew Harr, Jermaine Jackson, Avril Lavigne and the record production team The Matrix, and the Runners produced the cut. Another Lavigne connection, another song on the album is called "Complicated," the same title of Avril's first hit.
Rihanna told Spin magazine: "It's a song you would hear in a bar but I think you could also hear it all over pop radio. It's really grungy and melodic and catchy. And the way the producers sampled Avril — it's like she's an instrument. It's really cool how they combined [the song] with her vocals."
Rihanna told MTV News about this tune: "I love that song. That is one of my favorite songs on the album. It makes you feel like celebrating. It gives you a great feeling inside like you want to go out and have a drink. ... People can't wait for the weekend." Rihanna added that though her busy schedule doesn't really warrant her having the weekend off, she still loves them. "I work all weekend, but I still can't wait. I still get excited about it being Friday, even though I'm not getting the weekend off," she explained. "I got to be up at 5 a.m. on Saturday anyway. I just like the fact that it's Friday. It's just something that became a habit, so you get that feeling Friday night [and] it doesn't matter what time you have to wake up on Saturday. You want to get excited about the weekend, you want to go out and have a drink with your girls, who have the weekend off."
Rihanna told MTV News why the decision was made to sample Lavigne, rather than getting the Canadian pop singer to come in and re-record the vocal for the song. "I asked the same thing, but when I heard the track, it was already embedded in the music, so the producers already had it that way," she explained. "But it wouldn't have made a difference. It would have sounded the same. But I'm just glad that we could use her sample, because it became such a huge part of the instrumental that if it were not to be in the song, it would change the whole vibe of the song."
Rihanna told Q magazine the "don't let the bastards get you down" refrain of this song is a riposte to, you guessed it, bastards. "There are always haters saying I'm too this and that. Bastards in the media. Bastards on the internet," she complained.
The song's music video was directed by SRP Records founder Evan Rogers, and Ciara Pardo. It features footage from Rihanna's Loud Tour concert in Kensington Oval, Barbados, on August 5, 2011 and Avril Lavigne is seen raising her glass to the camera before being pushed into a swimming pool on a skateboard. Jay-Z, Kanye West and Cee Lo Green also make cameo appearances as all three performed on certain dates during Rihanna's tour.
This was Long Island native Laura Pergolizzi's major breakthrough as a songwriter. She recalled to The Independent. "Getting a Rihanna song was nuts… I was invited to a session by my friend, we wrote the song in a few hours. I feel like emotional content is the most important of any song, for any artist."
"Every artist wants to connect with the listener," Pergolizzi continued. "But it's a daunting task to walk into a room full of strangers and write something from the heart."
Pergolizzi added that while the Caribbean songstress added some of her "Rihanna-isms" at certain points, the final version of "Cheers (Drink to That)", was essentially the same as the demo she recorded.