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|"U + Ur Hand"|
|Single by P!nk|
from the album I'm Not Dead
October 31, 2006 (US radio)
|P!nk singles chronology|
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|"Who Knew"||"Nobody Knows"|
|I'm Not Dead track listing|
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"U + Ur Hand" is a song by American singer and songwriter P!nk. It was lined up as the third single from her fourth studio album I'm Not Dead. It was released in August 2006, igniting controversy due to its explicit lyrical content and strong language. The song was written by P!nk, Max Martin and Dr. Luke, the same trio who wrote P!nk's previous hit single "Who Knew" and the song is also co-written by Rami Yacoub. The two songs eventually became P!nk's first two singles to receive Platinum certifications from RIAA, and the first two among a series of hits by Martin and Dr. Luke that followed, including P!nk's first solo number one hit on the Hot 100, "So What". "U + Ur Hand" is credited for re-energizing P!nk's career in the USA and sales of I'm Not Dead in the country, as the album re-entered the Billboard 200 with the song's success, after weeks out of the chart. It was ranked #29 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100 singles of 2007 chart and peaked at #9 on the Hot 100, becoming P!nk's seventh Top 10 hit on the chart.
Writing and controversy
P!nk wrote the song with Max Martin, Luke Gottwald, and Rami to mock the men who would flirt with her in clubs. The title refers to the line "looks like it's just me and my hand tonight", which was a phrase she'd heard guys using. The song caused controversy in the U.S. because of its allegedly "racy" references to masturbation, and consequently some radio stations refused to play it. P!nk and her publicist stated that she wasn't allowed to sing "U + Ur Hand" on the U.S. television show American Idol because of such references. After being asked to change the title and lyrics to "U + Ur Heart", she said, "You want me to rewrite my song for you. For American fucking Idol? What does that even mean, how do you have sex with your heart?" She performed "Who Knew" instead.
Release and reception
Pink reportedly wanted "U + Ur Hand" to be the second single from I'm Not Dead, but "Who Knew" was released as the second and "U + Ur Hand" was instead released as the third. The single had success in Europe, reaching number ten in the United Kingdom, number four in Germany and number 11 in France; it peaked inside the top ten on the European Hot 100 Singles chart. In Australia the song peaked at number five on the ARIA Singles Chart and is certified platinum for sales of 70,000 copies. It was ranked at number 25 on ARIA's Top 100 Singles of 2006. It was released to radio in the United States on October 30. In January 2007 "U + Ur Hand" debuted on the Hot 100 at number 94, and it peaked at number nine. It was the most successful single from I'm Not Dead in the U.S., and her highest charting song since "Just Like A Pill". "U + Ur Hand" peaked at number 24 on the Canadian Hot 100, in the first edition of the chart provided by Billboard. Billboard magazine credited the single with causing an increase in the U.S. sales of I'm Not Dead, which returned to the Billboard 200 albums chart in the same period the single entered the Hot 100. The album later re-entered the top 100 on the strength of "U + Ur Hand" and a resurgence of interest in "Who Knew". According to Tom Carraba, Zomba Label Group general manager and executive vice president of sales and marketing, the "patience" of radio stations, the "great" music video for the single and P!nk's participation in Justin Timberlake's FutureSex/LoveShow tour was responsible for the increase in popularity of "U + Ur Hand", which consequently led to renewed interest in the album. Carraba said the single "is the vehicle that will reignite the U.S. marketplace. We think we have a number-one record on our hands." One program director at the radio station WBBM-FM attributed the success of the single to its appeal to women, calling it "a female anthem" and "very fitting to people who are sick of getting hit on by guys at the club, and want to give them a nice buzz off ... [i]t's relevant to what's going on with young people". Rolling Stone said in their review of I'm Not Dead that P!nk "sets a proudly bitchy tone in the song", and Allmusic described Pink as "taunting and teasing" in "U + Ur Hand". British newspaper The Guardian wrote, "the pithy put-downs of ["U + Ur Hand"] make bearable the sudden shift from classy beats to lumpen power pop".
Pink shot videos for "U + Ur Hand" and "Stupid Girls" at the same time, before the decision was made to release the latter as the first single from I'm Not Dead. Dave Meyers directed both videos. The "U + Ur Hand" video was shot in Sun Valley, California, at the Haziza Gallery in Los Angeles, at La Center Studios and at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood, California in December 2005. Pink stated that in the "U + Ur Hand" video she was "glammed" up and that it took four hours of make-up and one hour of shooting for every different look in the video. She said she wanted it to be "a colorful video". The outfit that Pink was wearing in the bedroom scene consisted of pieces of black lace that was imported from France and cost US$300 per yard of the fabric. The actor in the tea garden scene is Tristan Castro.
The music video for "U + Ur Hand" premiered on Canada's MuchMusic network on July 18, 2006, and was released in Europe at the end of August. In the United States it premiered on MTV's Total Request Live on September 29 as the "First Look" for that day. The video reached number one on TRL six days after its debut, Pink's second video to reach the top on the countdown after the video for her 2003 single "Trouble". It shows P!nk as "Lady Delish", in a Garage, training in a Gym, sitting on a balcony, in a 'Tea Garden', at a party and on a bed.
The video features P!nk posing as several of New Zealand artist Martin Emond's characters, including "Baby Red Knuckles", "Rocker Bikergirl" and "Hard Candy". In the video, she has six different looks. During the video, P!nk is shown reading a book with pictures of each scene that follows. The use of these characters was uncredited and unauthorised. At the time of the video release, Illicit Streetwear and the Martin F. Emond estate were reviewing their options to take action.