Billionaire (song)

This article is about the Travie McCoy song. For the Peaches song, see I Feel Cream.
Single by Travie McCoy featuring Bruno Mars
from the album Lazarus
Released March 9, 2010[1]
Recorded 2009
Genre Hip hop, R&B
Length 3:29
Label Fueled by Ramen
Producer(s) The Smeezingtons
Travie McCoy singles chronology
"Need You"
Bruno Mars singles chronology
"Nothin' on You"
"Just the Way You Are"

"Billionaire" is the debut single by American recording artist Travie McCoy, featuring guest vocals from Bruno Mars. It is the lead single from McCoy's debut studio album, Lazarus. The song was produced by The Smeezingtons, which consists of Mars, Philip Lawrence and Ari Levine. Lyrically, McCoy imagines what would happen if he became a billionaire, referencing all the good he would do to others with the money along with his desire to be on the cover of Forbes magazine, "smiling next to Oprah and The Queen".[2] As of July 2011, the song has sold 3 million digital downloads, making it Mars' third single to do so.[3] The song was also included in Mars' performance in Super Bowl XLVIII halftime show in 2014.


Bruno Mars came up with the lyrical concept for "Billionaire" during a trip to London in which he was given £240 ($350) by his record label to spend for 11 days. He found the amount of money to be insufficient, and explained "We were like, 'Is this the biggest mistake we've ever made? We thought we were broke in California; what are we going to do here?' So we've got no money, and I'm walking the streets and came up with, 'I wanna be a billionaire, so freakin' bad.'"[4] With the song, McCoy intended to avoid "superficial" lyrics in the wake of an economic recession, and added "There’s something to sing about here; if I was in the position to have a ridiculous amount of money, would I be selfish or selfless?’ I just took that concept and ran with it."[5]

Later, Mars explained to Forbes that his own finances inspired him to write the tune.“I wouldn’t have to worry about, you know, ‘I can’t afford to get breakfast, so I’ll wait until lunchtime to eat,’” he said, explaining the song’s origins at his manager’s Hollywood Hills home. “If I was a billionaire, none of that would matter. I’d be eating diamond cereal.”[6]

During the summer of 2009, The Smeezingtons (Mars, Philip Lawrence and Ari Levine) were booked for a week of studio sessions writing for Lupe Fiasco, B.o.B and McCoy.[7] At the end of the week the group had created a scratch demo version of "Billionaire". The B.o.B song "Nothin' on You" was also conceived at this time.[7] McCoy later joined The Smeezingtons in the studio to complete the full song.[7] The radio edit of the song replaces the word Fucking with freaking and is 3:06 long instead of 3:30. The radio edit is available for download on iTunes.

The music video appeared in MTV animated series Beavis and Butthead in the episode "Whorehouse".


The song features a "reggae backbeat" and acoustic guitar.[8]


In January 2014, Bruno Mars and Travie McCoy were sued by Demetrius Orlandus Procter regarding copyright infringement allegations made by Procter relating to "Billionaire"; Procter accused the song's authors of stealing the song from him, despite the fact that Procter didn't put any dollar amount on what he was owed. In the lawsuit, McCoy and Mars were requested to take charge to "destroy all copies of Plaintiffs' Recording that Defendants have downloaded onto any computer hard drive or server without Plaintiffs' authorization and shall destroy all copies of that downloaded recording transferred onto any physical medium or device."[9]


The official remix features Mars, his Nappy Boy labelmates T-Pain & R&B group One Chance, Jon A. Gordon, Michael A. Gordon and Atlanta-based rapper Gucci Mane. The remix was produced by Young Fyre.[10] There is also a Jawaiian remix done by a band called Big Every Time (known has B.E.T. for short) from Hawaii a DJ Mike D remix. UK rapper Professor Green also covered the song on BBC Radio 1.[11] In 2011, Only Won released a "Geeked out" remix video titled, "I Wanna Be An Engineer" which was a parody that reached viral status and caught the attention of CNN, Discovery Channel, and FIRST Robotics Competition.[12]

Music video

The music video was filmed in Los Angeles, California and was first broadcast on MtvU on May 6, 2010. It begins with Mars playing a guitar whilst sitting on a wall at Venice Beach and singing the opening chorus. The scene switches to McCoy rapping while driving a Mini Cooper with Mars in the passenger seat. Throughout the video, McCoy is shown helping four people, as well as one large group at the end. The first thing he does is give a guy a new skateboard after he broke his own in half; the second is buying an unknown, aspiring artist's CD; the third is getting out of the Mini Cooper and giving the keys to a teenager trying to hitchhike to New York and the fourth is giving a graffiti artist some more spray paint after his ran out. The video then switches to Venice Beach, where the group in question run dry on beer in their cooler, but McCoy and Mars come in and hand out more beers to restore life to the party. Fall Out Boy's Pete Wentz can also be seen in the video riding on the back of a scooter with McCoy.

Track listing

  1. "Billionaire" – 3:29
  2. "Bad All By Myself" – 3:24
  3. "Superbad (11:34)" – 3:12
  1. "Billionaire" – 3:29
  2. "Billionaire" (Acoustic) – 3:28
  3. "Billionaire" (Music Video)
  4. "Billionaire" (Party Rock Remix)(ft LMFAO) – 3:14
  1. "Billionaire" – 3:29
  2. "Bad All By Myself" – 3:24

Glee version

The song was covered on the television show Glee during the second season premiere episode "Audition". Sung by Chord Overstreet, Cory Monteith, Harry Shum, Jr., Kevin McHale and Mark Salling, the song debuted and peaked at No. 28 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Charts and certifications

Weekly charts

Chart (2010–11) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[16] 5
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[17] 11
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[18] 18
Brazil (Billboard) Hot 100[19] 93
Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[20] 12
Denmark (Tracklisten)[21] 8
Germany (Official German Charts)[22] 16
Hungary (Rádiós Top 40)[23] 5
Ireland (IRMA)[24] 2
Israel (Media Forest)[25] 1
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[26] 1
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[27] 2
Norway (VG-lista)[28] 11
Poland (Polish Airplay Top 100)[29] 2
Romania (Romanian Top 100)[30] 8
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[31] 17
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[32] 14
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[33] 3
UK R&B (Official Charts Company)[34] 1
US Billboard Hot 100[35] 4
US Adult Top 40 (Billboard)[36] 33
US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs (Billboard)[37] 76
US Hot Rap Songs (Billboard)[38] 9
US Latin Pop Songs (Billboard)[39] 15
US Mainstream Top 40 (Billboard)[40] 3
US Rhythmic (Billboard)[41] 5

Year-end charts

Chart (2010) Position
Australia (ARIA)[42] 30
Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[43] 45
Netherlands (Mega Single Top 100)[44] 32
Hungary (Rádiós Top 40)[45] 34
New Zealand (RIANZ)[46] 13
Romania (Romanian Top 100)[47] 31
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[48] 23
US Billboard Hot 100[49] 23
US Mainstream Top 40 (Billboard) 19
US Rap Songs (Billboard) 31
Chart (2011) Position
Hungary (Rádiós Top 40)[50] 32


Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Australia (ARIA)[51] 2× Platinum 140,000^
Canada (Music Canada)[52] 2× Platinum 160,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[53] Platinum 15,000*
United Kingdom (BPI)[54] Gold 400,000^
United States (RIAA)[55] 3× Platinum 3,272,000[56]

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

Claudia Leitte version

Single by Claudia Leitte featuring Travie McCoy
from the album As Máscaras
Released May 7, 2010[57]
Format Airplay
Genre Reggae, soul
Length 3:30
Label Sony BMG Music Entertainment
Writer(s) Travie McCoy, Bruno Mars, Ari Levine, Philip Lawrence
Producer(s) Robson Nonato
Claudia Leitte singles chronology
"As Máscaras (Se Deixa Levar)"
"Don Juan"
Travie McCoy chronology
"Need You"

"Famo$.a.", (English: Famous) is the second single from the album As Máscaras of Brazilian singer Claudia Leitte featuring McCoy. The name features the dollar sign and S.A. (which generally designates corporations) – in this case, ironically used to indicate the strong money appeal of the song and its storyline. The song is a version of McCoy's "Billionaire". Leitte's version consist of the same lines by McCoy while she sings in Portuguese new verses instead of Mars'.

In the version written by Leitte, the lyrics makes references to Jô Soares' talk show, the reality show Big Brother Brasil, the social network Twitter and the TV host Hebe Camargo.[58]

Music video

The single's music video was filmed in São Paulo and was released in July. The video shows the singer Claudia Leitte scenes in Oscar Freire, the city street known to contain numerous sophisticated stores and be the point of buying artists and millionaires. Features McCoy's footage from the original "Billionaire" music video.

Chart positions

Chart (2010) Peak
BR Billboard Hot 100 Airplay[59] 3

See also


  1. "Billionaire (feat. Bruno Mars) – Single by Travie McCoy – Download Billionaire (feat. Bruno Mars) – Single on iTunes". March 9, 2010. Retrieved 2010-12-18.
  2. "Billionaire Songfacts". Retrieved 2010-12-18.
  3. Grein, Paul (July 20, 2011). "Week Ending July 17, 2011. Songs: Demi's Breakthrough | Chart Watch – Archives – Yahoo! Music". Retrieved 2011-12-05.
  4. Lipshutz, Jason (April 10, 2010). "Bruno Mars Steps Into Spotlight on 'Doo-Wops & Hooligans'". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 2011-05-08.
  5. Graff, Gary (May 2, 2010). "Travie McCoy: New Name, New Direction". The Oakland Press. Retrieved 2011-01-22.
  6. Zack O'Malley Greenburg (January 6, 2014). "From Cereal To Super Bowl: The Evolution of Bruno Mars". Forbes. Forbes, Inc. Retrieved March 1, 2014.
  7. 1 2 3 "Interview with Aaron Bay-Schuck". HitQuarters. December 13, 2010. Retrieved December 14, 2010.
  8. Paine, Kelsey (May 6, 2010). "Pete Wentz in New Travie McCoy Video". Spin. SpinMedia. Retrieved May 9, 2016.
  9. Ryan Book (January 30, 2014). "Bruno Mars and Travie McCoy sued over 'Billionaire' and bizarre time-traveling, song-stealing scheme". MusicTimes. MusicTimes Inc. Retrieved February 22, 2014.
  10. "Nah Right! News". June 14, 2010. Retrieved 2010-12-18.
  11. professorgreentv (July 21, 2010). "Professor Green covers Travie McCoy 'Billionaire' for Radio 1 Live Lounge". YouTube. Retrieved 2011-12-05.
  12. Onlywon (January 18, 2011). "I Wanna Be An Engineer – (Billionaire Geeked Out Mix) by: Only Won – the Lyrical Engineer". YouTube. Retrieved 2011-12-05.
  13. "iTunes - Music - Billionaire - EP by Travie McCoy". iTunes.
  14. "iTunes - Music - Billionaire (feat. Bruno Mars) - Deluxe Single by Travie McCoy". iTunes.
  15. "Billionaire by Travie Mccoy, Bruno Mars: Music".
  16. " – Travie Mccoy feat. Bruno Mars – Billionaire". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  17. " – Travie Mccoy feat. Bruno Mars – Billionaire" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  18. " – Travie Mccoy feat. Bruno Mars – Billionaire" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  19. "Brazil Hot 100 Airplay" (in Portuguese). Billboard Brasil (Brazil: bpp) (2): 100. October 18, 2010.
  20. "Travie Mccoy – Chart history" Canadian Hot 100 for Travie Mccoy.
  21. " – Travie Mccoy feat. Bruno Mars – Billionaire". Tracklisten.
  22. " – Travie Mccoy feat. Bruno Mars Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  23. "Archívum – Slágerlisták – MAHASZ" (in Hungarian). Rádiós Top 40 játszási lista. Magyar Hanglemezkiadók Szövetsége.
  24. "Chart Track: Week 1, 2010". Irish Singles Chart.
  25. "Travie Mccoy feat. Bruno Mars – Billionaire Media Forest". Israeli Airplay Chart. Media Forest.
  26. "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 35, 2010" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40
  27. " – Travie Mccoy feat. Bruno Mars – Billionaire". Top 40 Singles.
  28. " – Travie Mccoy feat. Bruno Mars – Billionaire". VG-lista.
  29. "Listy bestsellerów, wyróżnienia :: Związek Producentów Audio-Video". Polish Airplay Top 100. Retrieved 2012-06-09.
  30. "Editia 03.10.2010". Archived from the original on October 5, 2010. Retrieved 2010-12-18.
  31. " – Travie Mccoy feat. Bruno Mars – Billionaire". Singles Top 100.
  32. " – Travie Mccoy feat. Bruno Mars – Billionaire". Swiss Singles Chart.
  33. "Archive Chart: 2010-08-07" UK Singles Chart.
  34. "Archive Chart: 2010-08-07" UK R&B Chart.
  35. "Travie McCoy – Chart history" Billboard Hot 100 for Travie McCoy.
  36. "Travie McCoy – Chart history" Billboard Adult Pop Songs for Travie McCoy.
  37. "Travie McCoy – Chart history" Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs for Travie McCoy.
  38. "Travie McCoy – Chart history" Billboard Hot Rap Songs for Travie McCoy.
  39. "Travie McCoy – Chart history" Billboard Latin Pop Songs for Travie McCoy.
  40. "Travie McCoy – Chart history" Billboard Pop Songs for Travie McCoy.
  41. "Travie McCoy – Chart history" Billboard Rhythmic Songs for Travie McCoy.
  42. "ARIA Charts – End Of Year Charts – Top 100 Singles 2010". Australian Recording Industry Association. Archived from the original on December 5, 2010. Retrieved 2011-01-08.
  43. "Charts Year End: Canadian Hot 100". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved 2010-05-02.
  44. " – Dutch charts portal". (in Dutch). Hung Medien / Archived from the original on November 22, 2010. Retrieved 2011-01-03.
  45. "MAHASZ Rádiós TOP 100 2010". Mahasz (in Hungarian). Retrieved March 10, 2011.
  46. "Top Selling Singles of 2010 | The Official New Zealand Music Chart". December 31, 2010. Retrieved July 13, 2015.
  47. "Topul celor mai difuzate piese în România în 2010" (in Romanian). România Liberă. Retrieved January 21, 2011.
  48. "2010 Year-end UK Singles". BBC (BBC Online). December 26, 2010. Retrieved 2010-12-26.
  49. "Best of 2010: Hot 100 Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 2011. Retrieved 2010-12-09.
  50. "MAHASZ Rádiós TOP 100 2011". Mahasz (in Hungarian). Retrieved February 23, 2012.
  51. "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2010 Singles". Australian Recording Industry Association.
  52. "Canadian single certifications – Travie McCoy feat. Bruno Mars – Billionaire". Music Canada. Retrieved May 15, 2015.
  53. "NZ Top 40 Singles Chart > 6 September, 2010". Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Retrieved March 1, 2014.
  54. "British single certifications – Travie McCoy feat. Bruno Mars – Billionaire". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved September 5, 2013. Enter Billionaire in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select single in the field By Format. Select Gold in the field By Award. Click Search
  55. "American single certifications – Travie McCoy feat. Bruno Mars – Billionaire". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH
  56. Paul Grein (September 27, 2012). "Week Ending Sept. 23, 2012. Songs: The Song That Is Sweeping The Globe". Yahoo! Chart Watch. Retrieved September 27, 2012.
  57. "Claudia Leitte lança nova música "Famo$a"". Retrieved 2010-12-18.
  58. Do G1, em São Paulo. "G1 – Nova música de Claudia Leitte faz referências a Jô Soares e 'BBB' – notícias em Pop & Arte". Retrieved 2010-12-18.
  59. "Brasil Hot 100 Airplay" (in Portuguese). Billboard Brasil (Brazil: bpp) (2): 84. Agosto de 2010.

External links

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