|Released May 23, 2011|
Studio Bus Tour, Europe
Label Streamline Interscope Kon Live
"Americano" is a song recorded by American singer Lady Gaga, taken from her second studio album, Born This Way (2011). The song was written and produced by Lady Gaga, DJ White Shadow, and Fernando Garibay, with additional songwriting by Cheche Alara. The song is Garibay's favorite on the album. It combines mariachi, house, and techno genres with elements from Latin music. Lyrically, the song talks about same-sex marriage.
Critical response to "Americano" was mixed, and the song charted at number 17 on the US Hot Dance/Electronic Digital Songs and number 98 on the South Korean Gaon International Download Chart. Gaga debuted the song in Guadalajara, Mexico on May 3, 2011, and later she performed the track on a number of shows, including her 2012 Born This Way Ball tour.
A collaborative effort between Gaga, Fernando Garibay, DJ White Shadow, and Cheche Alara, "Americano" was influenced by the events surrounding the repeal of the controversial California Proposition 8—a ballot proposition that defined marriage as a union between opposite-sex couples, thereby prohibiting and invalidating same-sex marriage throughout the state—as well as the growing struggles of Mexican immigrants. "The song was directly inspired by events that happened that day," recalled Garibay, in his interview with MTV. "It was in August, in the middle of summer, last year, and it was when Prop 8 was overturned in California. And there was a lot happening with immigration and the border issues and she pushed, she said she wanted to make this song really Mexican, with the struggle the Mexican people have gone through for freedom, for a better life, and so those ideas are directly implemented in the song." Gaga, an ardent opponent of the law, was compelled to create new music following the repeal of Proposition 8. The singer's main objective was to "go full on Mexicano", a sentiment that Garibay was not used to hearing, as most people in the music industry professed that Latin-inspired music was "a bit cheesy". According to the producer, "We started with me on guitar and her on piano, kind of wrote the lyric on the spot, and she sang it all the way through, and that's how the song was born." "Americano" was previewed on FarmVille on May 20, 2011 in conjunction with the release of Born This Way.
"Americano" is a mariachi, house, and techno track. It also features elements from Latin music.
Andrew Unterberger of Popdust wrote that the pulsating synths are pretty cool and if you thought that "Hernando's Hideaway" needed a homoerotic dancefloor update, then you will be very, very happy that this song exists. He also added that Gaga's attempt at a Spanish accent is predictably miserable, and the entire exercise ends up sounding grating and impossibly cheesy. The song was given two out of five "lightning bolts".
"Americano" debuted and peaked at 17 on the Billboard Hot Dance/Electronic Digital Songs on the week ending in June 11, 2011. The song stayed on the chart for five weeks.
Live performances and media usage
Gaga debuted the song in Guadalajara, Mexico on May 3, 2011. She said in Spanish "Escribí ésta canción acerca las injustas leyes de inmigración en mi país. Queremos justicia" (I wrote this song about the unjust immigration laws in my country. We want justice). Then in Mexico City, she performed the song at Foro Sol to 55,000 per show on May 5 and 6, 2011. Garibay appeared on the stage to play the guitar on May 5, 2011. Gaga performed "Americano" on her The Born This Way Ball Tour. She wore a modified version of her famous meat dress and performed the song while carrying a shot gun.
American TV series Glee covered the song in the episode "The New Rachel". Sung by Kate Hudson, it was in a mashup with the Jennifer Lopez (featuring Pitbull) song "Dance Again". The song was also used in the ending of Puss in Boots.
Credits and personnel
Credits adapted from Born This Way album liner notes.