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Story of Song

In an interview with Rolling Stone, singer Nate Ruess said that the song was inspired by “[My] worst drinking night of all time.” Nate was kicked out of a taxi that night for throwing up in it: “The cabbie was demanding all this money, and all I could do was stand on the corner with my head against the wall. It took me another day before I was a functioning adult and could actually write down the verses.”
Jack Antonoff, the band’s guitarist, explained to MTV News how important this song is to them and the album: “That song, to us, is like bull’s-eye center of what we wanted to do with this album. It’s a brilliant song to have out as a single, because it’s saying all the things to people that we want to say. It’s showing how, artistically, the album is different, it’s showing all the influences brought by Jeff Bhasker, who produced the album. And one of our favorite things about ‘We Are Young’ is that, if it’s the center of the album, every song is sprouting out of it in different directions, and if you like the song then I think the album is just going to be a rollercoaster ride, because it just flies in every direction in and out of that song.”

Release date

Released September 20, 2012


Nate Ruess – Andrew Dost – Jack Antonoff – Jeffrey Bhasker


Fueled by Ramen – Nettwerk- Atlantic

Chart Rankings


‘We Are Young’ was played at the US Super Bowl in 2011, which helped it achieve success and peak at the top of the US Billboard Hot 100 charts for 6 consecutive weeks. It became the first song of 2012 to be certified 5 times Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) with over 6.830 million copies sold, after which the RIAA certified it 7 times Platinum. In the UK, the song topped the Official Charts Company and became Britain’s 3rd biggest-selling single of 2012. The British Phonographic Industry (BPI) certified it Double Platinum for sales over 1.2 million copies. ‘We are Young’ peaked at number 1 in several countries, including Australia, Austria, Canada, Iceland, Ireland, Mexico, Poland, Portugal, and Scotland. It was in the 10 charts in Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Japan, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Slovakia, Sweden, and Switzerland. It was certified 7 times Platinum in Canada, 5 times Platinum in Australia, Quadruple Platinum in Sweden, and Double Platinum in Italy, New Zealand, and Switzerland. In Mexico the song was certified Double Platinum and Gold simultaneously, while in Austria, Denmark, and Germany, it was certified Platinum.

Artist’s age on release date

The band had been active for 4 years when this song was released. Janelle Monae Robinson was 26 years of age at the time that this song was released

Cover Versions

Glee (Hold on to sixteen) episode – Pentatonix (acapella) – Little Mix (acoustic) – Tiffany, Alex & Luke – Kevin Hammond – Mike Tompkins – Boyce Avenue (acoustic) – Jake Coco, Corey Gray & Caitlin Hart – Madilyn Bailey (acoustic) – Savannah Outen & Max Schneider (acoustic) – Hozier – Alex G & Jon D (acoustic) – Heroes of the Night (rock version) – Sam Tsui & Kurt Scheider – 5 Seconds of Summer – MattyBRaps – Other amateur artists covered this song on Youtube.



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