AskDefine | Define irreplaceable

Dictionary Definition

irreplaceable adj
1 impossible to replace; "irreplaceable antiques" [syn: unreplaceable] [ant: replaceable]
2 not possible to replace

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. That cannot be replaced.



that cannot be replaced

Extensive Definition

"Irreplaceable" is a song by American R&B singer Beyoncé Knowles. The song was written by Beyoncé, Ne-Yo, Tor Erik Hermansen, Mikkel S. Eriksen, Espen Lind, Amund Bjørklund, and co-produced by Stargate and Beyoncé for her second solo album, B'Day (2006). Originally not created for her, Beyoncé re-arranged the demo presented by the producers—a country-turned-R&B-pop song. The lyrics refer to breaking up with an unfaithful man, part of Beyoncé and Ne-Yo's vision of creating a record that people could relate to, and was considered an anthem to female empowerment.
Following the less successful chart performances of "Déjà Vu" and "Ring the Alarm", "Irreplaceable" was released on December 5, 2006 in the United States as the album's third single, and the second single in most international music markets. "Irreplaceable" was a worldwide commercial and critical success, becoming Beyoncé's second best-selling single in her solo career after "Crazy in Love" and B'Days most successful release. The single performed well on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, remaining at the top spot for ten consecutive weeks. Certified as multi-platinum, "Irreplaceable" is U.S.'s best-selling single in 2007, and its addition to Beyoncé's achievements established her among the most successful American female artists and songwriters to date.
"Irreplaceable" was lauded by contemporary critics, citing its distinct production compared with most tracks featured on the album. The song won awards, including one during the 2007 Soul Train Music Award. The single's music video features the debut performance of Beyoncé's all-female band Suga Mama, and earned Beyoncé additional awards.

Background and inspiration

<blockquote class="toccolours" style="text-align:left; width:30%; float:left; padding: 10px 15px 10px 15px; display:table;">What happens sometimes, is you think about a specific artist and you put them in this box, the song has to be this way or that, and then you're usually confining yourself to the thing they did three years ago.—Tor Erik Hermansen, MTV News
"Irreplaceable" was originally not made for Beyoncé. While Beyoncé was working on material for B'Day after filming Dreamgirls, she heard the demo of the song that was presented to her, and was pleased with it. The recording of Beyoncé's vocals was engineered by Jim Caruana and mixed by Jason Goldstein at Sony Music Studios in New York City. while also aiming to make a record that women could relate to, in keeping the theme of the album.


sound sample box align left pop song, with ballad and R&B influences. Written in the key of B♭ major, the beat is set in common time and moves at a moderate 88 bpm.
"Irreplaceable" uses a gently strummed acoustic guitar, following the B♭5-F5-Cm7-E♭6/9 chord series. A 2007 Stargate-produced single "With You" performed by American R&B-pop singer Chris Brown features the same element, which Rob Sheffield of the Rolling Stone magazine stated that "Stargate was just trying to roll out 'Irreplaceable' one more time", while a review from Billboard stated that it "leans a bit too heavily" to the song.
"Irreplaceable" refers to a woman breaking up with a boyfriend after she found him cheating, and the lyrics were considered a statement of independence. When interviewed about the song, she replied: "Basically we can't forget our power and our worth. And're so in love, you forget that. And sometimes you feel like you're not being...appreciated. And...sometimes they forget that they can be replaced."
The song's lyrics are constructed in the verse-pre-chorus-chorus form. Starting with a guitar strum, Beyoncé sings the hook-intro "To the left, to the left", repeating for three times in alternating bars. A 12" single was released in the same country the following week. Beyoncé recorded a Spanish version of the song called "Irreemplazable", and was included in the second disc of the deluxe edition of B'Day released on June 12, 2007. An Irreemplazable EP was released in the United States on August 28, 2007 and on September 10 in the United Kingdom. The EP includes "Irreemplazable" and the Norteña Remix of "Irreplaceable", "Amor Gitano", three versions of "Beautiful Liar", the Timbaland remix of "Get Me Bodied" featuring Voltio, and "Oye", the Spanish version of "Listen". American country band Sugarland, who was known for covering Beyonce's songs in their live performances, was joined by the singer for a performance of the country version of "Irreplaceable" at the 2007 American Music Awards. "Irreplaceable" was the closing song during her 2007 The Beyoncé Experience world tour. It was originally performed towards the end of the set in earlier tour dates, but was shifted when she embarked on the United States leg. The footage of the performance at the Staples Center, Los Angeles was included in The Beyoncé Experience Live! DVD.

Critical reception

While most of the tracks featured in B'Day are upbeat, "Irreplaceable" was well received by critics for its guitar-driven melody. Bill Lamb of About complimented Stargate for the "simple, pop-oriented production", For a review in Entertainment Weekly, Jody Rosen said the track is "a lilting tune unlike anything Beyoncé has ever performed". Sarah Rodman of The Boston Globe wrote that the song is "gentle but maddeningly hook-y", and Bill Lamb called it a "gorgeous, lightly swinging Stargate arrangement". Spence Abbott of IGN observed that "Irreplaceable", alongside "Resentment", "go for a much more traditional contemporary R&B vibe" compared to the other tracks in the album, and stated that it made them "stand out as if they were recorded separately from the rest of the album". Barry Schwartz of Stylus Magazine wrote that "Irreplaceable" recaptured Beyoncé's debut single "Crazy in Love"'s "near-perfection and features her most genuinely emotional vocal to date, equal parts vulnerable, upset, pissed off, vindictive, resigned, and apathetic".
"Irreplaceable" won at the 2007 Soul Train Music Award for Best R&B/Soul Single, Female, and the 2007 Nickelodeon Kid's Choice Award for Favorite Song. It was nominated for Record of the Year in the 2008 Grammy Awards, as well Song of the Year at the VH1 Soul Vibe awards show.

Commercial success and impact

During the production of "Irreplaceable", Hermansen thought that the track would not receive radio play because of its acoustic guitars, and deemed the song too pop-oriented. Hermansen did not expect "Irreplaceable" to conform to any genre. Beyonce's A&R Gousse always believed in the song from the original demo and championed the record throughout the making of the album. The song became successful on urban charts;it was played in New York- and country-based radio stations. It climbed the charts rapidly because of heavy airplay, and received the Greatest Airplay Gainer certification for six consecutive weeks in early December 2006. Three weeks after its release, it helped B'Day re-enter the top ten on the Billboard 200. and her second in 2006, following "Check on It" featuring Slim Thug. The single spent ten consecutive weeks at the top spot, and was replaced by Canadian singer Nelly Furtado's 2006 single "Say It Right" on January 24, 2007. The feat was achieved since 2006 after Kanye West's 2005 single "Gold Digger" featuring Jamie Foxx took ten weeks at the top spot. The single remained on the chart for thirty weeks, "Irreemplazable" charted equally well, peaking at number four on the Hot Latin Songs. The EP appeared on the Latin Pop Albums at number two, Top Latin Albums at number three, Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums at number forty-one and on the Billboard 200 at number 105. "Irreplaceable" was the U.S.'s best-selling single in 2007, beating Rihanna's 2007 single "Umbrella".
Internationally, "Irreplaceable" received similar responses from music markets. Across Oceania, the single reached number one on the Australian Singles Chart, becoming Beyoncé's first number-one single in the country, and remained on the top spot for four weeks. and was the forty-second best-selling single in Australia. The single debuted at number three on November 6 on the New Zealand Singles Chart, and was "Irreplaceable"'s highest entry; it peaked at number one, and charted for eighteen weeks. "Irreplaceable" peaked at number four in the United Kingdom, and generally inside the top fifteen across European music markets. The single reached number one on December 16, replacing Justin Timberlake's single My Love's third-week run on the top spot. "Irreplaceable" remained on the top spot early in 2007, and accumulated 2,000,000+ United World Chart points since its debut. The single stayed at number one for twelve consecutive weeks, and spent twenty-seven weeks on the United World Chart. before it was replaced by Gwen Stefani's 2007 single "The Sweet Escape". The single has sold over 3,000,000 digital copies. It is the forty-seventh top achiever since 1999 for 5,805,000 points, becoming the second best-selling single of Beyoncé's solo career, behind her 2003 hit debut single "Crazy In Love".

Music video

"Irreplaceable" was directed by Anthony Mandler, who co-directed the video of "Get Me Bodied". The video features the debut performance of Beyonce's all-female band, Suga Mama, who also appeared in the "Green Light" music video. Her acting-then-ex-boyfriend in the video is model Bobby Roache, who played police officer for the "Ring the Alarm" music video and warrior during Jay-Z and Beyoncé's performance at the 2006 Fashion Rocks show. The video was included on the 2007 B'Day Anthology Video Album, and a video edit was produced for "Irreemplazable". Part of the video which shows Beyoncé dancing in silhouette in front of a glass door is inspired by a James Bond movie.
The music video follows the storyline of the song's lyrics. "She told me to pack up all my stuff, I'm getting kicked out — the video starts off like that", said Roache. and peaked at number one. "Irreplaceable" retired on the video program on January 18, 2007 at number one, staying the chart for forty days. Late in January 2008, "Irreemplazable" premiered on the MiTRL, a video countdown show on the bilingual channel MTV Tr3s.
At the 2007 BET Awards, Beyoncé won Video of the Year Award for "Irreplaceable", an award "Beautiful Liar" was nominated. It was nominated for Video of the Year during the 2007 MTV Video Music Awards, but was beaten by Rihanna's contemporary worldwide hit single "Umbrella". At the 2007 Soul Train Music Awards, the video was nominated for the Michael Jackson Award for Best R&B/Soul or Rap Music Video, but lost to rapper Jay-Z's "Show Me What You Got" video. |align="center"|7 |- |align="left"|Euro 200 |align="center"|2 |- |align="left"|Finnish Singles Chart |align="center"|13 |- |align="left"|French Singles Chart |align="center"|10 |- |align="left"|German Singles Chart |align="center"|11 |- |align="left"|Irish Singles Chart |align="center"|1 |- |align="left"|Italian Singles Chart |align="center"|8 |- |} 1 "Irreemplazable"


irreplaceable in Spanish: Irreplaceable
irreplaceable in French: Irreplaceable
irreplaceable in Korean: Irreplaceable
irreplaceable in Italian: Irreplaceable (singolo)
irreplaceable in Polish: Irreplaceable
irreplaceable in Portuguese: Irreplaceable
irreplaceable in Romanian: Irreplaceable
irreplaceable in Simple English: Irreplaceable
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