This song is producer DJ White Shadow’s favorite one on Gaga’s album, In an interview with MTV News he explained how this duet came about, he said: “When she started singing the song, we were on a bus in Europe and I was like, instantly, ‘This is my favorite song. It’s never going to stop that this is my favorite song on the whole record.’ We had gone over the idea. and I was like ‘You know what would be awesome? R. Kelly.’ And she was like ‘Sure, let’s do it.’” In an interview with USA Today, Gaga explained that R. Kelly is her close friend, she said: “It’s not that unlikely. I’ve been living in Chicago, and he’s from Chicago. When it comes to R&B, there’s really nobody else to call. The thing we have very much in common is that a lot of people write very untrue things about me, and a lot of people write very untrue things about him. Look, it was the perfect marriage in that way. It was very emotional singing the song with him. He wanted to be my friend. We’re both songwriters. When I talk to him he gets it and vice versa.” But the story of the song was told by Gaga during a listening party at Berlin’s famed Berghain club, she said: “I’ve been living in Chicago and spending a lot of time there, and that’s where R. Kelly hails from. I was working on ARTPOP and I wrote ‘Do What U Want’ on tour. It was about my obsession with the way people view me. I have always been an R. Kelly fan and actually it is like an epic pastime in the Haus of Gaga that we just get fucked up and play R. Kelly. This is a real R&B song and I said I have to call the king of R&B and I need his blessing.’ It was a mutual love. He’s a very, very, very talented man. I’m so excited to be on this album with him.” Gaga was pleased to have him feature on her song, she said: “Can you believe that R. Kelly is on my album? He sounds so amazing and the song is so great. It’s an R&B record. I did a lot of genre tripping on this album.”
Release Date: October 21, 2013
Songwriter/s: Stefani Germonotta – Paul Blair – Robert Kelly – Martin Bresso – William Grigahcine
Label: Streamline – Interscope
Chart Rankings: In the US, the song reached number 13 on the Billboard Hot 100, number 7 on the Mainstream Top 40, number 8 on the Rhythmic charts and number 22 on the Adult Top 40 charts. The Recording industry Association of America (RIAA) certified Platinum for sales over 1.3 million copies. In the UK, it peaked at number 9 on the Official Charts Company and was certified Gold by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI). ‘Do What You Want’ topped the charts in Portugal, Hungary and Greece, and reached the top charts in several countries including Australia, Austria, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Ireland, Italy, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Mexico, Norway, Scotland, South Korea and Spain. It was certified Platinum in Italy and Sweden, Gold in Canada and Double Gold in Mexico.
Artist’s age on Release Date: Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta known as Lady Gaga was 27 years old and Robert Sylvester Kelly known as R. Kelly was 46 years old when they released this song.
Cover Versions: Lady Gaga and Christina Aguilera – Andie Case – Deepjack, Mr. Nu featuring Christina – Mohan – Craig Yopp – Heaven’s Basement – Alison – Postmodern Judebox & Marie Digby – Andy Scalise – Mac Faoro – BriaAnd Chrissy – Olaf – Mirko Ciulla – Paul Hurley – Samara York – Rozzi – Liza and Robbie – Pia Ashley – Guilherme Godoy – other Youtubers have covered this song.