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This Day in Pop: S&M (Remix) ft. Britney Spears is released in 2011 (April 11)

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On April 11, 2011, Rihanna released the remix version of S&M, the fourth single off her fifth studio album Loud. It featured Britney Spears as a guest artist.


The song, recorded in 2010, was originally written and produced by Stargate (Mikel S. Eriksen + Tor Erik Hermansen) and Sandy Vee, with additional songwriting by Ester Dean. It's an uptempo EDM track that talks about ***, sadomasochism (S&M) and bondage, though Rihanna revealed the lyrics were metaphoric and it was really about a "love-hate relationship with the media". It was released as the fourth single off her Loud album in January, and it had already reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 before the remix featuring Britney dropped. A music video, directed by Melina Matsoukas was released on February 1st, gaining a lot of positive reviews, but also the ban in eleven countries due to its explicit nature, as well as a lawsuit from David LaChapelle and Philipp Paulus who both claimed the video violated the copyright of each of their photoshoots.


After the success the song had on radio despite the critics, Rihanna asked her fans on Twitter about potential collaborators to jump on a remix of the track. Britney turned out to be the most popular suggestion, and that's how the duet came about. In the new version, Rihanna and Britney both sing on the original chorus, but Britney sings a whole new second verse.

Rihanna talked to Elvis Duran on radio about this feature saying


"At first, we didn't know what the song was going to do because of the lyrics, but it became really big on radio and it's number one at Pop this week. In order to do a remix, it had to be major. I asked my fans last week who they wanted me to collaborate with, and Britney was one of the most popular names.

It's very strange - Britney never does features. It was really amazing that she really wanted to be part of this song. She really liked the song to begin with, but it was a different story when she had to sing it, and she really wanted to be a part of it. It made it really special, because you never see two pop female artists doing songs together anymore. Just call us 'RNB'."


Despite Rihanna's interest in doing a music video for the track, this ultimately never came to fruition.


The day before the release, Rihanna wrote on Twitter "I got a #**** collabo comin your way supa dupa soon!!!! OH YEAH!!! By popular demand. Its BRITNEY *****!!!! One of the biggest worldwide popstars! U gangsta #EPIC" to which Britney replied "You're such a tease! I like it, like it... You think they're ready Ri Ri?".



The week after the release of the remix, S&M finally topped the Billboard Hot 100, after 293,000 digital downloads across all of its versions, the Britney remix counting for 66% of the overall sales. It became Rihanna's 10th #1 single on the chart, becoming only the ninth act to achieve this and the fifth female to do so, behind Mariah Carey, Madonna, Whitney Houston and Janet Jackson. It became Britney's fifth #1 hit, and her second one that year, after Hold It Against Me debuted at #1 in January.


In May of that year, Rihanna performed the song at the Billboard Music Awards, with Britney making a surprise appearance towards the end.


Britney also performed the track on her Femme Fatale Tour that summer, in a medley with her debut single ...Baby One More Time.


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I was so stoked to learn they were collaborating on this epic song. 

I was still riding a high from Rated R and felt that S&M should have replaced Rude Boy tbh.

Anyway, two of my pop faves singing and performing this epic song was a dream come true. I hope when britney's free, they collab again one day.

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This duet is so weak. The origional is fire though. I remember someone playing this version at a party and I was disgusted.  Britneys vocals are very lack luster on this song and the performance is very poor also. It always gives me anxiety watching britney here.. She is so uncomfortable. 

I wasn't following her around then but used to jam to till the world ends and never knew it was her singing.. That autotune is too much. I'm amazed the fans bought into this era. 

Not a morning to remember 

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I didn't know/forgot she wrote her verse. I like how it gave Brit another #1 though. I loved the crowd reaction at the BBMAs. I didn't hear this on the radio much maybe like twice cause they played the regular version.

But the bad part was the criticizing of her vocals. I thought she sounded fine but I remember people saying she sounded like she didn't take her cold medicine.

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