Watch: Who is Taio Cruz and why is his song with Ludacris No. 1?

03.11.10 8 years ago


Today Billboard is touting that a song has set a new record for biggest jump to No. 1 on the Hot 100 singles chart: Taio Cruz’ “Break Your Heart” featuring Ludacris rises 53-1.

It beats out the previoius best, Kelly Clarkson’s “A Moment Like This,” which she sang as her victory song in the first season of “American Idol” in October 2002. Yes, you may get the sensation that you’re getting old.

So what’s the fuss, and who is this Taio Cruz?

First, it should be noted that “Break Your Heart” debuted at No. 1 on the U.K. singles chart, too, only all the way back in September. It was in November that an alternate version with contributions from rapper Ludacris appeared, which is the version we have and hear today.

The song is about being single and explaining to your li’l gal that she’s probably not your only li’l gal and if she doesn’t understand that, her heart is going to be broken. This point is further indicated by the accompanying music video, below, which has our dueling protagonists trying to break each others’ hearts, he with his I-don’t-give-a-f-ness as he licks other girls and she with a shiny bikini and a jealous eye. Guess who “wins.” Also, Cruz plugs his entertainment company Rokstarr (with a logo that suspiciously resembles another “rockstar” brand) and branded Rokstarr eyewear.

So why is it a hit? Judging from the music video below, it’s not for Cruz’ acting chops. Instead, there’s a comforting, yet edgy, meld of house and dance-pop music with Taio’s (pronounced Tie-Oh) melodic, street delivery. Especially with those “ehs” and “ohs,” think Rihanna, think Justin Timberlake when he’s trying to talk game. Even with Ludacris’ rhymes, its not too urban to alienate listeners who aren’t as keen on hip-hop and not too sugary to be a boy band throwback.

(P.S. Isn’t Ludacris everywhere these days? “How Low,” “Baby,” “My Chick Bad,” “Break My Heart”…)

This plus the relative success of Jay Sean and Leona Lewis, major record labels must be feeling some relief that artists that get a U.K. start can still translate overseas.

Cruz’ bio indicates that he’s produced hits from Britney Spears, JT and Rihanna, but the truth is those efforts have gone uncredited; Cruz was actually part of Tricky Stewart’s RedZone production team, submitting songs that he wrote or came his way to plethora of clientele that the house worked with. He more directly submitted tunes to artists like Cheryl Cole, for whom “Break Your Heart” was originally written.

Cruz also released his debut album back in 2008, produced, written and performed all on his own. His follow-up “Rokstarr” was released last year and included “Break Your Heart” after Cole passed on it.

Meanwhile, back on the Hot 100, “Break Your Heart” keeps Lady Antebellum’s “Need You Now” from the top spot, hold it at No. 2. I fear, like Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy,” that the excellent song will be kept at bay there, always the bridesmaid but never the bride.

How long do you think “Break Your Heart’s” No. 1 run will last? Is it worth the No. 1 spot?

Follow HitFix”s Katie Hasty on Twitter for more music and movie news at /katieaprincess.

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