|Single by Rihanna featuring Jay Z|
|from the album Good Girl Gone Bad|
|Released||March 29, 2007|
2007; Westlake Recording Studios |
(Los Angeles, California)
|Rihanna singles chronology|
"Umbrella" is a song by Barbadian singer Rihanna from her third studio album Good Girl Gone Bad (2007). It features American rapper Jay Z, who co-wrote the song with its producers Tricky Stewart and Kuk Harrell, with additional writing from The-Dream. The song was originally written with Britney Spears in mind, but her label rejected it. "Umbrella" is a pop and R&B song referring to a romantic and platonic relationship and the strength of that relationship.
Entertainment Weekly ranked the song number one on the 10 Best Singles of 2007, while Rolling Stone and Time listed the song at number three on the 100 Best Songs of 2007. The song has earned Rihanna several awards and nominations. In 2007, the song won two awards at the MTV Video Music Awards, when it was nominated for four. At the 2008 Grammy Awards, "Umbrella" also earned Rihanna and Jay Z a Grammy Award for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration in addition to receiving nominations for Record of the Year and Song of the Year. The song is also listed on Rolling Stone's The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time at 412.
The song serves as the lead single to the album, and was released worldwide on March 29, 2007 through Def Jam Recordings. "Umbrella" was a commercial success, topping the charts in Australia, Canada, Germany, Spain, the Republic of Ireland, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States. In the United Kingdom, where the song's chart performance generated controversy when the country was experiencing excessive flooding and large amounts of rain at the time, it was one of the most played songs on radio in the 2000s (decade). It managed to stay at number one on the UK Singles Chart for 10 consecutive weeks, the longest run at number one for any single of that decade, and is also one of the few songs to top the chart for at least 10 weeks. The single was one of the highest digital debuts in the United States and remained at the top of the US Billboard Hot 100 for seven consecutive weeks.
The single's accompanying music video was directed by Chris Applebaum and features, among all, Rihanna's nude body covered in silver paint. The video earned Rihanna a Video of the Year at the 2007 MTV Video Music Awards and Most Watched Video on MuchMusic.com at MuchMusic Video Awards. Along with countless amateurs, "Umbrella" has been covered by several notable performers from a variety of musical genres, including All Time Low, the Baseballs, Biffy Clyro, Manic Street Preachers, McFly, Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park, OneRepublic, Taylor Swift, and Vanilla Sky. Rihanna performed the song at the 2007 MTV Movie Awards, 2008 BRIT Awards and was the closing song of the "Good Girl Gone Bad Tour" (2008), the "Last Girl on Earth" (2010), and the "Loud Tour" (2011). It was included in the "Diamonds World Tour" (2013), and the "Anti World Tour" (2016).
American songwriter and producer Christopher "Tricky" Stewart convened with Terius "The-Dream" Nash and Kuk Harrell in January 2007 at the Atlanta-based Triangle Studios to create new material. In the studio, Stewart was "messing around with a walloping hi-hat sound", which he found in the free music software GarageBand, which is included in all Mac computers. With his attention caught by the sound, Nash asked Stewart what he was doing: "Oh, my Gosh, what is that beat?". When Stewart incorporated chords onto the hi-hat, "immediately the word popped into [Nash's] head"; he went to the vocal booth and started singing. Nash wrote the first two verses and the chorus over Stewart's skeleton track. They quickly wrote the lyrics, completing the first verse in 60 seconds. They continued into writing, adding the hook while "[Stewart] would put the next chord". In a matter of hours, they had recorded a demo of the track. The song was written with American pop singer Britney Spears in mind, whom Stewart had previously worked with on her 2003 single "Me Against the Music". Stewart and Nash thought that Spears, who had "her personal life ... a little out of control" at the time, needed a hit as musical comeback. Spears was working on her fifth album, Blackout, so they sent a copy of the demo to Spears' management. However, Spears did not hear of the song because her label rejected it, claiming they had enough songs for her to record.
Following the management's rejection of the track, Stewart and Nash dealt it out to other record labels. It was also given to English singer-songwriter Taio Cruz, who failed to convince his record company to release it. It was then opted by Island Def Jam chairman Antonio "L.A." Reid, a friend of Stewart who established his first studio. By early February 2007, the demo was sent to Reid's right-hand woman, A&R executive Karen Kwak, who passed it along to Reid with a message confirming that they had found a song suited for Rihanna, who was working on her third studio album, Good Girl Gone Bad, at the time. Reid immediately sent the demo to Rihanna, who was also positive of it: "When the demo first started playing, I was like, This is interesting, this is weird. ... But the song kept getting better. I listened to it over and over. I said, 'I need this record. I want to record it tomorrow."
However, since it was the Grammy season of 2007, Stewart and Nash eyed American R&B singer Mary J. Blige for the demo. Upon calling them to set the record aside for Rihanna, Stewart had played it to an associate of Blige, subsequently promising the song to her. Having heard the move of the writers, Kwak began calling Stewart and his manager, Mark Stewart, incessantly. Meanwhile, considering Blige's nominations at the Grammys, Stewart and Nash agreed to wait for her response. However, Blige failed to hear the song in full due to her obligations to the Grammys at the time and "had to sign off on the record before her reps could accept it". Finally, Reid "stepped in, trading on his power-broker status and longstanding relationship with Stewart", and admits, "I made the producers an offer they couldn't refuse." By the time Reid had successfully persuaded Stewart's camp, they "just couldn't say no". On giving up the record to Reid's camp, Mark Stewart comments, "We knew Rihanna's album would be out in a few months. Mary wasn't even in an album cycle yet. We made the sensible business decision."
Rihanna recorded the song, with vocal production by Thaddis "Kuk" Harrell, in a Westlake Recording Studios in Los Angeles. Initially, Stewart admitted he was still reluctant as to whether Rihanna was the right artist to record the song, but following the recording of the "ella, ella" catch phrase, he felt they were onto "something". Following Rihanna's recording, Def Jam CEO-rapper Jay-Z added his rap. However, Jay-Z rewrote his verse without the awareness of Stewart and Nash. Stewart could not understand it, but later realized it made "sense" instead of the first version. Stewart noted that "from a songwriter's standpoint, he just really made it more about the song, with the metaphors about umbrellas and about the weather versus what he had before".
"Umbrella" was released worldwide on March 29, 2007, debuting on Rihanna's Def Jam website. The song was released digitally in the United Kingdom on May 14, 2007, along with its physical release following two weeks later.
"Umbrella" is a pop and R&B song. The song's musicscape is based on the hi-hat, synthesizers, and a distorted bassline. According to Entertainment Weekly magazine, the song's beat can be recreated through a drum loop from the Apple music-software program GarageBand (Vintage Funk Kit 03). The song is written in the key of B ♭ minor. The song's lyrics are written in the traditional verse-chorus form. They open with a rap verse, and the hook "ella, ella" follows every chorus. A bridge follows the second hook, and the song ends in a fadeout.
Andy Kellman of AllMusic commented: "'Umbrella' is [Rihanna's best song] to date, delivering mammoth if spacious drums, a towering backdrop during the chorus, and vocals that are somehow totally convincing without sounding all that impassioned - an ideal spot between trying too hard and boredom, like she might've been on her 20th take." Alex Macpherson of British newspaper The Guardian, "Umbrella" is "evidence" that Rihanna's "strict work ethic is paying off", adding that she "delivers [in the song] an impassioned declaration of us-against-the-world devotion". Tom Breihan of Pitchfork Media, though he complimented the production, dismissed Rihanna's voice which "takes on an unpleasant icepick edge when she tries to fill the space between the slow-tempo beats", adding that the song is "uncompelling as event-pop, particularly because of the disconnect between Rihanna's cold, clinical delivery and the comforting warmth of the lyrics".
Sal Cinquemani from Slant Magazine wrote "That the song is just plain good, regardless of genre, proves that Jay and Rihanna, who's already scored hits across several formats with a string of singles that couldn't be more different from each other, are dedicated to producing quality hits—however frivolous they may be." Quentin B. Huff of PopMatters.com said that ""Umbrella" is a monster, so much so that I'll even confess to spending a portion of a rainy afternoon practicing the hook." Jonah Weiner of Blender magazine called the song the album's highlight and stated that it "would be far less engrossing if it wasn't for the way Rihanna disassembles its ungainly title into 11 hypnotic, tongue-flicking syllables". The New York Times' Kelefa Sanneh described the song as "a space-age hip-pop song".
The song has earned Rihanna several awards and nominations. In 2008, "Umbrella" earned Rihanna and Jay-Z a Grammy Award for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration in addition to receiving nominations for Record of the Year and Song of the Year. "Umbrella" has also been recognized in various forms of accolades by the music press. The song is listed number three on the 100 Best Songs of 2007, published by the music magazine Rolling Stone. Time magazine also listed the song number three on their Top 10 Songs of 2007. "Umbrella" is listed at number two on The Village Voice's Pazz & Jop annual year-end critics' poll, behind Amy Winehouse's "Rehab". The song is listed number one on Entertainment Weekly magazine's list of the 10 Best Singles of 2007, while topping the magazine's poll for the best single of 2007. Blender magazine awarded the song Song of the Year in their Readers' Poll 2007. The music press has considered "Umbrella" as 2007's Song of the Summer, while The New York Times writer Kelefa Sanneh regarded it as "arguably 2007's signature slow jam". In 2009, Pitchfork ranked the song as the #25 song on list of The Top 500 Tracks of the decade. Entertainment Weekly put it on its end-of-the-decade, "best-of" list, saying, "In 2007, Rihanna had us all singin' in the rain." On Rolling Stone's updated version of their The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, "Umbrella" was listed at number 412, making Rihanna one of the youngest living artists in that list. In October 2011, NME placed it at number 63 on its list "150 Best Tracks of the Past 15 Years".
|2007||MOBO Awards||Best Video||Nominated|
|Best International Artist Video||Nominated|
|MuchMusic Video Awards||Best International Artist Video||Nominated|
|Teen Choice Awards||Choice Music: Single||Nominated|
|MTV Video Music Awards||Video of the Year||Won|
|Best Female Video||Nominated|
|Monster Single of the Year||Won|
|Best Direction in a Video||Nominated|
|MTV Video Music Awards Japan||Best Video Of The Year||Nominated|
|Billboard Music Awards||Hot Dance Airplay: Song of the Year||Won|
|European Hot 100: Song of the Year||Won|
|MTV Europe Music Awards||Best Song||Nominated|
|VH1 Soul VIBE Awards||Video Of The Year||Won|
|Barbados Music Awards||Best Music Video ― Female||Won|
|Belgian TMF Awards||Best International Video||Nominated|
|Belgian TMF Awards (Nederland)||Best International Video||Nominated|
|Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards UK||MTV Hits Best Music Video||Nominated|
|2008||Grammy Awards||Song of the Year||Nominated|
|Record of the Year||Nominated|
|Best Rap/Sung Collaboration||Won|
|MuchMusic Video Awards||Most Watched Video on MuchMusic.com||Won|
|Image Awards||Best Music Video||Nominated|
"Umbrella" entered the Australian Singles Chart at number one on June 10, 2007, becoming Rihanna's second number one in the country following "SOS" (2006). It spent six consecutive weeks at the top, and has since earned earned a 5× Platinum certification by the Australian Recording Industry Association, denoting sales of 350,000 copies. It spent a total of 32 weeks on the chart, ending the year as the country's third best-selling single of 2007. "Umbrella" debuted on the New Zealand Singles Chart at number 34 on May 14, 2007. Over the following two weeks, it dropped one place, then climbed to a new peak of number 33. In its fourth week on the chart, it leaped to the top of the chart, becoming Rihanna's second number one single following "Pon de Replay" (2005). It remained atop the chart for six consecutive weeks and on the chart for a total of 24 weeks. The song received a Platinum certification from the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand, denoting sales of 15,000 copies, subsequently becoming the country's best-selling single of 2007.
"Umbrella" debuted on the US Billboard Hot 100 on the chart issue dated April 28, 2007, at number 91. The following week it climbed to number 72, and to number 63 in its third week. In its fourth, fifth and sixth week on the chart, it progressively ascended to numbers 52, 44 and 41. Prior to its physical release, "Umbrella" achieved the biggest debut in the six-year history of iTunes in the United States, breaking a record previously held by Shakira and Wyclef Jean's "Hips Don't Lie". Following its digital release, "Umbrella" soared to number one for the issue dated June 9, 2007 on its seventh week on the chart. It subsequently debuted atop the Hot Digital Songs chart, with first-week sales of over 277,000 units. The single became the highest digital debut in the United States since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking downloads in 2003, surpassing Justin Timberlake's "SexyBack" 250,000 sales record in 2006. The single's rise to the top of the Hot 100 marked Rihanna's second number one single following "SOS" (2006), which was also noted for its huge leap on the Hot 100 to the top spot based on digital sales alone. Significantly sustained by the strong airplay of the single and preventing American rap group Shop Boyz' "Party Like a Rockstar" from advancing on the chart, "Umbrella" spent seven consecutive weeks at the top of the chart. "Umbrella" eventually became the second best-performing single of 2007 on the Hot 100, only behind Beyoncé's hit single "Irreplaceable" which topped the chart for ten weeks total.
"Umbrella" entered the top fifty of the US Radio Songs chart on the issue dated April 28, 2007, at number 42. The following week it climbed to number 29, and reached the top twenty in its fourth week on the chart, at number 17. It entered the top five of the chart on the chart issue of June 2, 2007, at number three. It eventually reached number one on the issue dated July 14, 2007, and remained at the top for four consecutive weeks. On the Pop Songs chart, "Umbrella" debuted at number 77 on the chart issue dated April 28, 2007. The following week it rose to number 61, and to 51 in its third week. In its fourth week on the chart, it climbed to number 36. On the chart issue of June 9, 2007, "Umbrella" soared from number 31 to number one in its eighth week on the chart. It spent six consecutive weeks at the top. "Umbrella" debuted at number 69 on the Hot R&B/Hip Hop Songs chart on the issue dated April 21, 2007. The following week it rose to number 52 and by the issue dated June 9, 2007, it had climbed into the top twenty at number 17. It reached the top ten for the chart issue of June 16, 2007, and rose to number six the following week, earning the 'Greatest Gainer' in both sales and airplay for the week. It made its peak of number four in the issue of July 14, 2007. "Umbrella" entered the Hot Dance Club Songs chart as the 'Hot Shot Debut' at number 36, for the issue dated June 9, 2007. The following week it leaped to number 25. It ascended into the top ten of the chart the week after, landing at number nine, and rose to number four in its fourth week on the chart. It topped the chart on the issue dated July 7, 2007 and remained at number one for a second week.
As of June 2015, "Umbrella" has sold 4,470,000 digital copies in the United States, and is Rihanna's sixth best-selling single in the country. The song debuted at number one in Canada, becoming the first song to top the then recently launched Canadian Hot 100, a singles chart in Canada issued by Billboard magazine, similar to that of the Billboard Hot 100.
The single experienced major success, most notably, in the United Kingdom. The song entered the UK Singles Chart at number one based on digital sales alone, becoming Rihanna's first chart-topper in the country. During the single's fourth week on the chart, Rihanna earned her first 'Chart Double' with both the single and subsequent album (Good Girl Gone Bad) topping the UK Singles and Albums charts simultaneously. Having reached nine straight weeks at number one on the chart, it broke the record of American group Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy" as the longest chart-topper of the decade. "Umbrella" eventually reached a total of ten weeks at number one on the chart, becoming the country's longest-running number one single of the 21st century. In addition, Rihanna become the seventh artist in history to top the chart for ten consecutive weeks. By the end of 2008, "Umbrella" had sold over 600,000 copies, making it her biggest-selling single at the time, before being succeeded by "Love the Way You Lie", a collaboration with Eminem two years later in 2010. It became Britain's second biggest-selling single of 2007, only behind Leona Lewis' "Bleeding Love". On December 12, 2008, it was certified Platinum by the British Phonographic Industry, for sales of 600,000 copies. In total, "Umbrella" has amassed 51 weeks in the official Charts, making it the joint 20th longest runner of all time. It has spent a further 20 weeks to tally 71 total weeks inside the Top 100, in which it has appeared in three consecutive years; number one in 2007, 18 in 2008 and number 99 in 2009.
"Umbrella" had similar success elsewhere in Europe, topping charts for lengthy periods including Switzerland for nine weeks, Norway for seven weeks, Germany for five weeks, Austria for four weeks and Belgium for three weeks. It also reached number one in Denmark and Hungary. In Spain, the song achieved an eight-times platinum certification from PROMUSICAE, denoting sales of over 160,000 units. Furthermore, "Umbrella" attained top five positions in the Czech Republic, Finland, Italy, the Netherlands and Sweden. It also reached the top ten of France.
Worldwide the song has sold more than 8.0 million copies, making it one of the best selling singles of all time.
Background and concept
While working on the album, ideas began to circulate concerning Rihanna's image, extending into her music videos. She asked American music video director Chris Applebaum to send her "something" to work on. Def Jam representatives were expecting Applebaum of the treatment. In response, Applebaum hurriedly made a treatment for the video, one of his first ideas being the silver body paint that Rihanna is seen in. Applebaum was doubtful whether Rihanna would embrace the idea, but her "positive response" following a letter the director sent to the artist ensured its approval. Makeup artist Pamela Neal mixed a silver paint that would give Rihanna such a look. During the session, the paint was re-applied between takes to ensure she was completely covered. The set was closed to Rihanna, Applebaum and a camera assistant. Rihanna also contributed her own ideas towards the video shoot, suggesting to Applebaum that she dance en pointe, an idea which he accepted.
Visual effects at Kroma were supervised by Bert Yukich and produced by Amy Yukich. A key part of the video is a 24-second visual effects sequence in which Rihanna is surrounded by silvery strands of liquid that crisscross the frame in graceful arcs in response to her movements. Water elements were recorded on a special effects stage using a high-speed 35mm camera. Bert Yukich then composited them into the scene with the singer. He then added lighting effects to the practical water elements to give them the mirror-like texture of mercury.
The music video premiered on April 26, 2007 at her website. Downloads were made available for those in the U.S. only from the website for a limited time. The video was officially released on the iTunes Store on May 11, 2007, peaking at number one for a period of eight weeks. On May 1, 2007, "Umbrella" debuted on MTV's Total Request Live at number 10, before reaching number one on May 9 where it remained for fifteen days, making it the longest running number one of 2007. The video was well-played in MTV during the second half of 2007; it has reached over 8,000 plays, receiving a platinum recognition at the MTV Platinum and Gold Video Awards. Such was the success of the promotional video that it received five nominations at the 2007 MTV Video Music Awards, including "Female Artist of the Year", "Video of the Year" and "Monster Single of the Year", going on to win the latter two.
Umbrella's reign at number one in the United Kingdom occurred as the country was hit by extreme rainfall and flooding, which led the British national newspaper The Sun to humorously suggest the two events were related, with the media referring to it as the "Rihanna Curse." The tabloid also highlighted the date of the single's video shot which was Friday the 13th (April 13, 2007), adding further coincidence of the curse. Before the single's release on May 14, the temperature in London was relatively high, reaching 20 °C. However, just a day after the release, "severe weather warnings hit the headlines". An article in The Sun urged readers to join the campaign to knock the song off the chart's top spot, suggesting to readers several other songs to download instead, all of which shared the theme of sunshine or summer.
A similar situation occurred in New Zealand, where the song hit number one in the early winter of 2007 as the country was experiencing some of the worst storms in its history. During the weather conditions, Taranaki, Tauranga, and Auckland had experienced tornadoes and flooding in the Far North of the country. Once the single was replaced on the top spot, weather conditions throughout New Zealand pacified, although Hawke's Bay was still stormy.
The same happened in Romania where "Umbrella" hit the stations in the nation during the summer. That summer was in its first half the hottest and driest period of time in Romania since 1946. As the song reached the top ten and then its number-one peak, the country experienced the worst storms and most pouring rains in its history. As the song was losing positions in the charts, the storm ended and the temperatures lowered step-by-step.
Pop culture and gaming
With the record-breaking success of the single and the reported coincidence with the weather, Def Jam's marketing team collaborated with British umbrella manufacturer Totes. The company produced five types of Rihanna umbrellas, one of which was a two-tone satin umbrella that Rihanna debuted in public during her performance of the song at the 2007 MTV Movie Awards. Although manufactured by a UK-based company, the collection was made available only to US residents online through the company's website.
Krystal Weedon, one of the central characters in J.K. Rowling's The Casual Vacancy, was very apt at doing Jay-Z's rap from "Umbrella" during their rowing competition bus trips. "Umbrella", to the shock of the attendees, is also played at the church during the funeral service of Barry Fairbrother who used to coach the girls' rowing team prior to his death. Similarly, the song was also played at the funeral service of another character.
In November 2007 MADtv's Nicole Parker and Keegan-Michael Key, who were impersonating U.S. Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama respectively, performed a parody of "Umbrella".
"Umbrella" has been featured in the karaoke video games SingStar Pop Volume 2 and Lips, both accompanied by the music video. A cover of the song is also featured in Dance Dance Revolution Hottest Party 2 as a playable track. The original version of the song appears in dance games Just Dance 4 and Dance Central 3 as DLC.
"Umbrella" was performed by Rihanna during the 2007 MTV Movie Awards on June 3, 2007. In the United Kingdom, she performed the song on the ITV morning show GMTV and on The Brit Awards in 2008. She also performed "Umbrella" during her AOL sessions. In France, she performed it on Star Academy. "Umbrella" was added to the setlist of her first headlining Good Girl Gone Bad Tour where it was performed as the final song for the encore. It was also included as the closing act of the Last Girl on Earth Tour and The Loud Tour. Rihanna performed "Umbrella" at Radio 1's Hackney Weekend on May 24, 2012, as the sixteenth song on the set list. The performance featured a giant sphinx on the stage. The song is also performed during the Diamonds World Tour and the 'Anti World Tour'.
Formats and track listings
Sides A & B
|Australia (ARIA)||5× Platinum||350,000^|
|Denmark (IFPI Denmark)||2× Platinum||30,000^|
|New Zealand (RMNZ)||Platinum||15,000*|
|Spain (PROMUSICAE)||8× Platinum||160,000^|
|Sweden (GLF)||2× Platinum||80,000^|
|Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)||Gold||15,000^|
|United Kingdom (BPI)||Platinum||859,219|
|United States (RIAA)||6× Platinum||4,470,000|
| United States (RIAA)
*sales figures based on certification alone
Radio and release history
|United States||April 26, 2007||Mainstream radio||Def Jam|
|Rhythmic contemporary radio|
|United Kingdom||May 14, 2007||Digital download||Mercury Records|
|May 28, 2007||CD single|
|Germany||May 25, 2007||Universal Music|
|France||July 23, 2007||Def Jam|
Cover versions and remixes
Then-upcoming singer Marié Digby recorded an acoustic version of "Umbrella" which was released August 3, 2007 as the debut single from her Hollywood Records Start Here EP and included as the closing track on Digby's debut album Unfold. Scottish rock group Biffy Clyro also released an acoustic version of the song, just like the Italian singer Neja has done in her cover – album Acousticlub, while Italian band Vanilla Sky went in the opposite direction and released a punk cover of the song, and Norwegian band Bare Egil Band have made a doom metal version of the song.
For her debut album a.K.a. Cassandra, Filipina singer and actress KC Concepcion covered the song in English, while singer Miss Ganda recorded a version in Filipino entitled "Payong" (which means umbrella in Filipino). Singer and actress Mandy Moore sang an acoustic version of the song in 2007 and its video on YouTube has more than 5,700,000 views by November, 2012
Pop-punk outfit All Time Low covered the song for the Fearless Records compilation album Punk Goes Crunk, and British rock band Manic Street Preachers produced their own version of "Umbrella", which was originally recorded for the album NME Awards 2008. Produced in celebration of the Shockwaves NME Awards 2008 and Big Gig, that album was given free with a special souvenir box set of the magazine NME on February 27. Two additional versions (acoustic and Grand Slam mix) were later made available on iTunes, and the trio is now released together on an Umbrella EP; a video for the cover is available on the band's official website.
British pop rock band McFly performed their own version of "Umbrella" during their Greatest Hits So Far Tour in 2007, and Finnish melodic death metal band Children of Bodom performed their 2008 cover live at Wacken Open Air. Country-pop singer-songwriter Taylor Swift recorded a live version of the song, which was later included in an iTunes Store exclusive EP titled Live from SoHo – EP (2008). Her version of the song peaked at number seventy-nine on Billboard Pop 100.
There have also been notable mixed versions of the song. American rapper Lil Mama recorded a version of "Umbrella" that replaced Jay-Z's opening rap verse. An article by Blender magazine, who dismissed Jay-Z's version, said "Lil Mama actually seems to understand the song's metaphorical themes of protection and loyalty". American punk band Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker remixed the song, adding to the track "quicksilver snare flourishes and... real-life guitars".
Singer Chris Brown created an answer song titled "Cinderella", replacing some of the verses and part of the chorus of "Umbrella" with his own lyrics. This version is the official remix. This version has been performed as a duet between Brown and Rihanna when he joined Rihanna on a late-2008 tour in the Asia-Pacific region. R&B/hip-hop singer The-Dream, who wrote "Umbrella", recorded the demo with a slightly different intro and instrumental.
Recently, Korean girl group 2NE1 covered this song on Music Bank. The song's drum beat is sampled in "Symphonies" by Dan Black. An episode of Glee featured this song performed by Gwyneth Paltrow in a mash-up with "Singin' in the Rain". The song has also been covered by Tiffany, an American-Korean singer from the popular girl group Girls' Generation in their first Asia Tour. In 2009, Lady Gaga incorporated the "Eh, Eh" hook for her song "Eh, Eh (Nothing Else I Can Say)".
At the end of 2007, Internet mash-up artist DJ Earworm used "Umbrella" as the base track for "United State of Pop", his breakthrough mix that included the top 25 songs on Billboard's Hot 100 year-end chart of 2007 (on which "Umbrella" appeared at #2). On Friday, August 28, 2015, country music duo Maddie and Tae covered it on the Bobby Bones Show.
On October 15, 2015, Scott Bradlee's Postmodern Jukebox released a "Singin' in the Rain" style cover, featuring Casey Abrams & The Sole Sisters, surpassing 1.8mil views.
The Baseballs version
|Single by The Baseballs|
|from the album Strike!|
|Released||May 1, 2009|
|The Baseballs singles chronology|
- Track listings
|Promo CD and CD single|
- Release history
|May 1, 2009||Europe||CD||Warner Bros. Records|
- Chart performance
|Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)||70|
|Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)||30|
|Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)||4|
|Netherlands (Single Top 100)||5|
|Finland (Suomen virallinen lista)||1|
|Spanish Airplay Chart||17|
|Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)||9|
- Year-end charts
|Dutch Singles Chart||28|
|Swiss Singles Chart||36|
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