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I Don't Wanna Live Forever

Lead Single | Fifty Shades Darker: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (2016)

“I Don’t Wanna Live Forever”, alternatively titled “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever (Fifty Shades Darker)”, is an electro-R&B ballad recorded by English singer Zayn and Taylor for the soundtrack to the 2017 film Fifty Shades Darker. It was written by Taylor, Sam Dew, and its producer Jack Antonoff. The lead single was released on December 9, 2016, by Republic Records to international commercial success.

Background and Lyrical Theme

Zayn was already working on the song when he reached out to Taylor, asking her to jump on the track. “Taylor heard an unfinished version of ‘I Don’t Wanna Live Forever’ and was immediately inspired to go into the studio, finish writing the song and lend her vocals to the track,” a source said at the time.

«We were kind of in separate places when I mentioned the idea to her. I spoke to her on the phone and she heard the song because Jack [Antonoff] had played it to her. So she really liked it and she went in the studio the next day.»

Zayn Malik
“I Don’t Wanna Live Forever” seems to mirror the plot of the book Fifty Shades Darker, in which one main character is estranged from the other and eventually gives the relationship another chance. More generally speaking, it is a sultry ode about feeling like life is hopeless without an ex-lover. The song is sung as a duet between ZAYN and Taylor Swift who represent different sides of the relationship.

Music Video

The official music video for “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever” takes place on a rainy night in London at the St. Pancras Renaissance London Hotel as Zayn feels the paparazzi. It was directed by Grant Singer and was produced by Saul Germaine and released on January 27, 2017 through both Zayn’s and Taylor’s official YouTube accounts at the same time, and was later uploaded through the official Fifty Shades Vevo account as well.

Critical Reception

Nolan Feenery of Entertainment Weekly gave the song a B+ rating, stating: “Welcome to Taylor Swift’s Sexy Side.” He also praised the vocals of both artists.

Commercial Performance

Upon release, the song was only available on iTunes and Tidal. It was serviced to Spotify two weeks later. In the United States, “I Don’t Wanan Live Forever” sold 188,000 copies in its first week, in addition to a 25 million radio audience and 3 million streams. It debuted at No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was Taylor’s 20th top 10, making her the 16th artist and sixth woman to do so. It also debuted at No. 1 on the Digital Songs chart, as Taylor’s 11th song to top the chart, tying her with Katy Perry for the second-most in the chart’s history, behind Rihanna.

The song later reached a new peak of No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100, behind Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You” with 109 million radio audience and 25.7 million streams, becoming Taylor’s 11th top 5 single, and the highest-charting “Fifty Shades” single.

Across European charts, the song debuted at No. 1 in Spain and Sweden, becoming Taylor’s first number-one single in both countries. It reached the top 10 in Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Scotland, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

“I Don’t Wanna Live Forever” has over 1 billion streams on Spotify.

Award Recognition

“I Don’t Wanna Live Forever” received a nomination for “Best Collaboration” at the 2017 Radio Disney Music Awards and won the award for “Best Collaboration” at the 2017 MTV Millennial Awards. It was also nominated for “Choice Music Collaboration” award at the Teen Choice Awards 2017. The music video won the MTV Video Music Award for “Best Collaboration” at the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards. Finally, “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever” was nominated for “Best Song Written for Visual Media” at the 2018 Grammy Awards.

Lyrics

[Verse 1: Zayn]
Been sitting eyes wide open behind these four walls, hoping you’d call
It’s just a cruel existence like there’s no point hoping at all

[Pre-chorus 1: Zayn]
Baby, baby, I feel crazy, up all night, all night and every day
Give me something, oh, but you say nothing
What is happening to me?

[Chorus: Zayn]
I don’t wanna live forever, ’cause I know I’ll be living in vain
And I don’t wanna fit wherever
I just wanna keep calling your name until you come back home
I just wanna keep calling your name until you come back home
I just wanna keep calling your name until you come back home

[Verse 2: Taylor]
I’m sitting eyes wide open and I got one thing stuck in my mind
Wondering if I dodged a bullet or just lost the love of my life, oh

[Pre-chorus 2: Taylor]
Baby, baby, I feel crazy
Up all night, all night and every day
I gave you something, but you gave me nothing
What is happening to me?

[Chorus: Taylor & Zayn]
I don’t wanna live forever, ’cause I know I’ll be living in vain
And I don’t wanna fit (fit, babe) wherever (wherever)
I just wanna keep calling your name until you come back home
I just wanna keep calling your name until you come back home
I just wanna keep calling your name until you come back home

[Bridge: Taylor]
I’ve been looking sad in all the nicest places
Baby, baby, I feel crazy
I see you around in all these empty faces
Up all night, all night and every day
I’ve been looking sad in all the nicest places
Give me something, oh, but you say nothing
Now I’m in a cab, I tell ’em where your place is
What is happening to me?

[Chorus: Taylor & Zayn]
I don’t wanna live forever, ’cause I know I’ll be living in vain
And I don’t wanna fit wherever
I just wanna keep calling your name until you come back home
I just wanna keep calling your name until you come back home
I just wanna keep calling your name until you come back home

I just wanna keep calling your name until you come back home
I just wanna keep calling your name until you come back home
I just wanna keep calling your name until you come back home

Until you come back home

General Information
ReleasedDecember 9, 2016
Recorded2016
StudioRough Customer (Brooklyn)
Record Plant (Los Angeles)
GenreElectro R&B
Length4:05
LabelRepublic Records
SongwritersTaylor Swift
Sam Dew
Jack Antonoff
ProducerJack Antonoff
Single Certification
Taylor & Zayn
Mini Vlog
Music Video
Live Performance
Lyric Video
Making of