Earned It

Album: Fifty Shades of Grey (2014)
Charted: 4 3
  • One of two of The Weeknd's contributions to the Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack, this song finds Abel Tesfaye impressed by his girl's sexual performance:

    Girl you're worth it
    Always worth it
    And you deserve it
    The way you work it
    'Cause girl you earned it

    The sultry song links into the Fifty Shades of Grey storyline. The movie details the sexual relationship between literature student Ana Steele, and the intimidating, controlling, wealthy entrepreneur Christian Grey, who rewards her with lavish gifts.
  • The primary instrumentation on this song is piano and strings. It was one of the few hits of the time with mainly acoustic instruments in the mix ("Photograph" by Ed Sheeran was another).
  • The song's music video was filmed at the Palace Theater in Los Angeles and directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson, who also helmed Fifty Shades of Grey. The kinky clip features The Weeknd watching burlesque dancers performing onstage wearing close to nothing. Fifty Shades star Dakota Johnson appears for the grand finale wrapped in rope and hanging above the stage.

    Sam Taylor-Johnson told E! News that the Toronto crooner's sex appeal added greatly to the movie's subject matter. "He's just instantly seductive, and it's sort of gentle seduction that just pulls you and pulls you and pulls you in," she said.

    "The film and my music is a match made in heaven," added the Weeknd. "If you listen to my album or any of the past work I've done, it's very 'Fifty Shades of Grey.'"
  • The song plays during the 50 Shades of Grey end credits along with Skylar Grey's "I Know You." Both tunes were co-penned by Canadian composer and arranger Stephan Moccio, whose other credits include Celine Dion's "A New Day Has Come," Nikki Yanofsky's "I Believe" and Miley Cyrus' "Wrecking Ball."

    In his Songfacts interview, Moccio said of his connection with the risqué film: "It's kind of ironic, because I'm a guy who fundamentally just composes beautiful songs and beautiful music. I'm really a classical writer."
  • It was Miley Cyrus' hit tune that got Moccio the 50 Shades gig. A few weeks after "Wrecking Ball" hit the top of the Hot 100, Mike Knobloch, the president of film music and publishing at Universal Pictures asked him to take a stab at writing the end title for the movie adaptation of the E.L. James novel.
  • The soundtrack for Fifty Shades of Grey debuted at #2 on the US album chart with 258,000 units (of which 210,000 were traditional album sales). The record's 210,000 start was the largest sales debut for a multi-artist compilation soundtrack since Get Rich Or Die Tryin' arrived with 317,000 in the week ending Nov. 13, 2005.
  • When Ariana Grande introduced The Weeknd at the Grammy Awards in 2016, she said, "How did this next performer land his seven nominations tonight, including album of the year and song of the year? He earned it."

    This song picked up the award for Best R&B Performance and The Weeknd also won Best Urban Contemporary Album for Beauty Behind The Madness.
  • The Weeknd performed this song at the Oscars in 2016, where it was nominated for Best Song. It lost the award to "Writing's On The Wall" from Spectre.


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