Stay

Album: F--k Love 3: Over You (2021)
Charted: 2 1
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Songfacts®:

  • This vulnerable song finds The Kid Laroi begging for another chance after messing up a relationship. He keeps making the same mistakes, getting drunk and behaving badly; the teenage rapper beseeches his lover to forgive him and "stay."
  • Justin Bieber enters halfway through with a verse addressed to his wife, Hailey. He admits to causing problems in their relationship because of trust issues, but cannot live without her.

    Laroi and Bieber previously joined forces on the Canadian star's Justice track, "Unstable."
  • The Kid Laroi and Justin Bieber wrote the fast-paced song with Omer Fedi, Cashmere Cat, Blake Slatkin, Charlie Puth, the Australian songwriting duo FNZ, and Haan. Fedi, Cashmere Cat, Slatkin, and Puth also produced the track.
  • Laroi told NME the song originated one day in 2020 when he was hanging out at his friend Blake Slatkin's house with singer-songwriter Charlie Puth and his rapper/producer buddy Haan ("Addison Rae," "Not Sober"). Puth started playing around on the keyboard and came up with the sleek "Stay" melody. Kid Laroi immediately responded to it and asked him to pull up a Pro Tools session and record his improv. "It was probably the most organic way of making a song I've ever done – ever," he said. "It reminded me of the first time [I got to] get into a studio and stuff. We didn't plan for the song to happen. We never planned a studio session or anything like that, so it was crazy."

    Laroi asked Haan to flesh out the song. Haan recruited his homies FnZ to help him add some bells and whistles to make it more complete.

    Kid Laroi sat on the demo for a while, and when he returned to it a few months later he realized Justin Bieber would be a perfect fit.
  • The Aussie rapper told Audacy's Julia that after Bieber sent him "Unstable" he'd wanted to get the Canadian pop star on one of his songs. "I was scrambling through my notes and I came across 'Stay,'" Laroi recalled.

    He sent him both "Stay" and another song, but it was "Stay" that Bieber really liked. "Everytime I would see him he'd be like 'yo this 'Stay' song is special man, this song is special,'" Laroi said. "Eventually I just pulled up on him in the studio with the files and was like 'hey man, ready to record?'"

    The Biebs stepped into the booth and freestyled some rhymes. Bieber questioned whether what he was coming up with was any good, but Laroi urged him to keep going and was excited about the end result.
  • The Kid Laroi previewed the song on his Instagram story in September 2020. He performed it for the first time during his Genius Live concert two months later.
  • Laroi released the song on July 9, 2021, making it the first project from the Australian artist since signing to Scooter Braun's management company, SB Projects, the previous month.
  • Director Colin Tilley filmed the cinematic video in an abandoned hotel in downtown LA. "I usually have ideas for music videos," Laroi said, "but for this one I had no idea where the music video was going to go for this. I couldn't think of anything for the life of me."
  • When this song debuted at #3 on the Hot 100, the 27-year-old Justin Bieber became the youngest solo artist to hit 100 entries on the chart. Drake previously held the record having racked up his century of Hot 100 entries at 28 years old in 2015.
  • When "Stay" climbed to #1 on the Hot 100, The Kid Laroi became just the second Australian solo male artist to top the chart, following Rick Springfield's 1981 hit, "Jessie's Girl." Sia was the last Australian act to reach #1 with 2014's "Chandelier."
  • "Stay" spent 14 weeks, nonconsecutively, in the #2 position of the Hot 100, more than any other song in the chart's history. It usurped Whitney Houston's "Exhale (Shoop Shoop)" and Olivia Rodrigo's "Good 4 U," both of which spent 11 weeks in the runner-up spot, in 1995-96 and 2021, respectively.

    "Stay" spent seven non-consecutive weeks at #1, breaking the record for the most weeks spent in the Hot 100's top two spots, with 21 weeks in total. It passed Lil Nas X's "Old Town Road," which accumulated 19 weeks at #1, and none at #2.

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