"River"
Single by Eminem featuring Ed Sheeran
from the album Revival
ReleasedDecember 15, 2017 (2017-12-15)
Genre
Length3:41
Label
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)Emile Haynie
Eminem singles chronology
"Walk on Water"
(2017)
"River"
(2017)
"Nowhere Fast"
(2018)
Ed Sheeran singles chronology
"Perfect Duet"
(2017)
"River"
(2017)
"Perfect Symphony"
(2017)
Music video
"River" on YouTube

"River" is a song by American rapper Eminem featuring guest vocals by English singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran. It is the fifth track from his ninth solo studio album Revival (2017).[1][2][3] The song was written by Mathers, Sheeran and Emile Haynie, and produced by Haynie. "River" was released to radio on December 15, 2017, in Italy, and in the UK on January 5, 2018, as the album's second single.[4][5] The music video received a nomination for Best Cinematography at the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards. "River" details the struggles of a failing relationship that culminates in an abortion.

Release and promotion

Ed Sheeran served as the featured vocalist on the song.
Ed Sheeran served as the featured vocalist on the song.

The song was released on the radio on January 5, 2018. An audio video was uploaded to Eminem's YouTube channel on December 14, 2017. As of May 14, 2020, the video has over 150 million views and 2.2 million likes.

Reception

Spin magazine panned it, saying that it's "a song whose perfection of form is matched only by its emptiness of content. It could be beautiful."[6]

Commercial performance

Commercially, it reached number one in the United Kingdom, making it Eminem's ninth number one there and Sheeran's fifth.[7][8] It also reached number one in Austria, Norway, Scotland and Sweden as well as the top 10 in Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lebanon, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, Switzerland, and the top 20 in Belgium and the United States.

Music video

A music video for the song was released on February 14, 2018. It was directed by Emil Nava. The video garnered over 5 million views in the first 24 hours of its release. As of March 11, 2020, the video has been viewed over 146 million times and has accumulated over 2.2 million likes.[9][10][11][12][3][13][14] The music video received a nomination for Best Cinematography at the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards.

In their review of the video, Fuse described some of the scenes as "tense and serious", further stating that a "dark-haired Eminem plays the role so well and raps rhymes about making a woman give up her baby so convincingly, it's not entirely clear what's true and what's made up."[15][16][17][18]

Live performances

Eminem and Ed Sheeran performed the song live together for the first (and to date, only) time on the final night of Eminem's Revival Tour at Twickenham Stadium on July 15, 2018.

Awards and nominations

See also: List of awards and nominations received by Eminem

Year Ceremony Award Result
2018 MTV Video Music Awards Best Cinematography (with Ed Sheeran) Nominated

Charts

Certifications

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[81] 3× Platinum 210,000double-dagger
Austria (IFPI Austria)[82] Platinum 30,000double-dagger
Belgium (BEA)[83] Platinum 20,000double-dagger
Brazil (Pro-Música Brasil)[84] Platinum 40,000double-dagger
Canada (Music Canada)[85] Platinum 80,000double-dagger
Denmark (IFPI Danmark)[86] Platinum 90,000double-dagger
France (SNEP)[87] Platinum 200,000double-dagger
Germany (BVMI)[88] Gold 200,000double-dagger
Italy (FIMI)[89] Platinum 50,000double-dagger
New Zealand (RMNZ)[90] Platinum 30,000double-dagger
Norway (IFPI Norway)[91] Platinum 60,000double-dagger
Portugal (AFP)[92] Gold 5,000double-dagger
Sweden (GLF)[93] 2× Platinum 16,000,000dagger
United Kingdom (BPI)[95] 2× Platinum 1,200,000[94]

double-dagger Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.
dagger Streaming-only figures based on certification alone.

Release history

Country Date Format Label Ref.
Italy December 15, 2017 Contemporary hit radio Universal [4]
United Kingdom January 5, 2018 Polydor [5]

See also

References

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