4 Minutes is a song by American singer and songwriter Madonna from her eleventh studio album Hard Candy, featuring vocals by American singers Justin Timberlake and Timbaland. It was released as the single from the album on March 17,2008. According to Madonna, the song is about saving the environment and she also cited the song as the inspiration for the documentary I Am Because We Are. The song was recorded at Sarm West Studios, in London, while the mixing of the track was finished at The Hit Factory studio, sound engineer Demo Castellon first worked on the vocals and then on the beats, while the synths were composed by Timbaland and Danja. The songs lyrics carry a message of awareness, inspired by Madonnas visit to Africa. 4 Minutes received positive reviews critics, who called it a busy dance track and complimented its music. Some reviewers noted that it was Madonna who appeared more of a featured artist on the track, rather than Timberlake. The song peaked at three on the US Billboard Hot 100, giving Madonna her 37th top-ten single, breaking the record previously held by Elvis Presley. It remains Madonnas best-selling digital single in the United States, with sales of three million copies. Internationally,4 Minutes topped the chart in 21 countries, including Australia, Canada, Germany, Italy, Spain, in the songs accompanying music video, Madonna and Timberlake sing and run away from a giant black screen that devours everything in its path. At the end of the video, both of them are consumed by the screen,4 Minutes was performed by Madonna on the promotional tour for Hard Candy and the 2008–09 Sticky & Sweet Tour. In the latter, the served as the opener of the rave segment. During performances of the song, Timberlake and Timbaland appeared on video screens, the song received two Grammy Award nominations for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals and Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical at the 2009 ceremony. Following the release of her studio album, Confessions on a Dance Floor. When asked by producer Stuart Price what kind of music appealed to her, Madonna replied that she loved the records of singer Justin Timberlake and producer Timbaland, so she collaborated with them. 4 Minutes was written by all three artists, along with Nate Danja Hills, and produced by Timbaland, Timberlake and Danja, the song, initially named 4 Minutes to Save the World, was one of the last to be produced for Madonnas album Hard Candy. In an interview with MTV News, Madonna said that the concept of the song was developed through discussions with Timberlake and she further explained the meaning of the song, I dont think its important to take it too literally. We cant just keep distracting ourselves we do have to ourselves and wake up
Madonna and her dancers emerge from behind the moving screens for the performance of "4 Minutes" on the Sticky & Sweet Tour.
Image: Akai MPC3000
Image: 4Minutes 2009
A still from the music video showing Madonna and Timberlake. The black background is seen behind Timberlake, devouring his sides.