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"Bang!" is a song by American pop band AJR. It was released on February 12, 2020, through their own label AJR Productions. The song is the lead single from the band's fourth album OK Orchestra.


AJR released their third studio album Neotheater on April 26, 2019. That fall, they embarked on an extensive North American tour in support of the album.[1] Neotheater debuted to critical and commercial success, with album sales buoyed by the hit single "100 Bad Days". As a result, AJR announced the "Neotheater World Tour Part II" on November 15, 2019, with tour stops in North America, Europe, and South America, including festival appearances at Lollapalooza Argentina, Chile, and Brazil.[2] The 2020 leg of the tour was postponed indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[3] AJR began working on "Bang!" in the process of writing Neotheater, and continued to work on the song throughout the subsequent tour. After struggling with how to make "Bang!" "sound current", the band sidelined the song to finish Neotheater, only returning to it after they finished touring.[4]

AJR explained their motivation for writing the song: "We wrote 'BANG!' about the weird middle-ground between being a kid and becoming an adult; a time when we're doing all the things adults are supposed to do, but we don't yet feel grown up. The fact is, adulthood is bound to hit us at some point, so the plan we made in the song is to 'go out with a bang'. Sonically, with every new song we make, we try to stretch out of our AJR comfort zone. With 'BANG!,' it felt exciting to step into this darker, horn-heavy vibe, where the verses are small and mysterious, and the chorus explodes into this theatrical trap chorus".[5]

The voice of the song that announces "Here we go!" and "Metronome!" is Charlie Pellett, best known for his voice used on the New York City Subway. When the song was first recorded, Ryan Met initially did the voice,[6] but the group opted to get someone else to do. Their first choice was their father, Gary, and then a neighbor friend of his. AJR had used Pellett's voice for a live show years ago and he had emailed them; thanking them for the tribute. Realizing that they now had his email in their inbox, they asked him to help with the song and he happily obliged.[7]

Composition and lyrics

"Bang!" is composed in [[Time signature|Template:Music common time]] and in the key of C-sharp minor, with a moderately fast tempo of between 138 and 144 beats per minute (bpm). AJR's vocals on the song range from B2 at the low end to C#5 at the high end.[8]

Music video

The official video was uploaded on February 12, 2020, directed by Se Oh and features AJR hosting a dice game. The camera remains facing in one direction, only moving back and forth, as the participants playing are seen going through various costume changes with every pan out, ranging from sailors to tuxedos to even being naked.[9]

Chart performance

The song entered the US Billboard Hot 100 chart at number 99 and peaked at number 8 on the chart, becoming both the band's first top 40 entry and first top 10 entry, and their highest-charting single overall.[10]

Use in media

In November 2020, Apple used an instrumental version of the chorus in "Bang!" in their holiday commercial.[11] The use in advertisement, coupled with a $0.69 cost on iTunes, pushed "Bang!" to number one on the US iTunes Sales Chart on December 26, dethroning Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas Is You".[12] "Bang!" was also used as the soundtrack of the opening montage at the 27th Screen Actors Guild Awards in 2021.[13]


Credits adapted from Tidal.[14]

Other versions

Title Release date
Bang! – Younotus Remix May 15, 2020
Bang! (featuring Hayley Kiyoko) – AhhHaa Remix August 17, 2020
Bang! – Nathan Dawe Remix October 9, 2020
Bang! – Acoustic


At the 2021 Billboard Music Awards, "Bang!" took home the award for Top Rock Song, beating out "Monsters" by All Time Low, "Heat Waves" by Glass Animals, "My Ex's Best Friend" by Machine Gun Kelly, and "Level of Concern" by Twenty One Pilots. AJR also received nominations in the Top Duo/Group and Top Rock Artist categories, ultimately losing to BTS and Machine Gun Kelly, respectively.[15]

Awards and nominations for "Bang!"
Year Organization Award Result Ref.
2021 Billboard Music Awards Top Rock Song Template:Won [16]
iHeartRadio Music Awards Alternative Rock Song of the Year Template:Nom [17]



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Weekly charts

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Chart (2020–2021) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[18] 37
Israel (Media Forest)[19] 7
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[20] 14
South Korea (Gaon)[21] 106
US Rolling Stone Top 100[22] 15

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Year-end charts

Chart (2020) Position
US Adult Top 40 (Billboard)[23] 21
US Mainstream Top 40 (Billboard)[24] 50
US Rock Airplay (Billboard)[25] 14
US Hot Rock & Alternative Songs (Billboard)[26] 4
Chart (2021) Position
Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[27] 66
US Billboard Hot 100[28] 56
US Adult Contemporary (Billboard)[29] 41
US Adult Top 40 (Billboard)[30] 12
US Hot Rock & Alternative Songs (Billboard)[31] 7
US Mainstream Top 40 (Billboard)[32] 30



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  1. Blistein, Jon (March 15, 2019). "AJR Plot Headlining North American Headlining Tour". Rolling Stone. 
  2. Corcoran, Nina (November 15, 2019). "AJR announce 2020 North American tour". Consequence. 
  3. Tracy, Brianne (April 22, 2020). "Adam Met of AJR Opens Up About How He and His Brothers Stay Sustainable on Tour". People. 
  4. Pettican, Luke (May 14, 2020). "AJR Interview". Euphoria. 
  5. Mamo, Heran (February 12, 2020). "AJR Truly Go Out With a 'Bang!' in New Video: Watch". Billboard. Retrieved September 17, 2020. 
  6. Template:Cite AV media
  7. Template:Cite AV media
  8. "AJR "Bang!" Sheet Music in C# Minor". Hal Leonard Publishing Company. June 18, 2020. 
  9. "AJR Unveils New Single and Video "BANG!"". Music Mayhem Magazine. February 12, 2020. Retrieved September 17, 2020. 
  10. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Hot100
  11. Template:Cite tweet
  12. Cantor, Brian (December 26, 2020). "AJR's "Bang!" Returns To #1 On US iTunes Song Sales Chart". Headline Planet. 
  13. Grein, Paul (April 4, 2021). "At 2021 SAG Awards, Actors of Color Swept All Four Film Acting Awards (Yes, That's a First)". Billboard. 
  14. "Credits / Bang! / AJR". Tidal. February 12, 2020. Retrieved December 18, 2020. 
  15. Lash, Jolie; Lamphler, Jason (May 24, 2021). "The Weeknd wins big at the Billboard Music Awards: See the full winners list". Entertainment Weekly. 
  16. Havens, Lyndsey (May 23, 2021). "AJR Perform 'Bang!' & 'Way Less Sad' at 2021 Billboard Music Awards". Billboard. 
  17. Zhan, Jennifer (May 27, 2021). "The Weeknd, BTS Lead 2021 iHeartRadio Music Awards Winners". Vulture. 
  18. "ARIA Top 50 Singles Chart". Australian Recording Industry Association. April 5, 2021. 
  19. "Media Forest charts". Media Forest.!#menu2. 
  20. "NZ Top 40 Singles Chart". Recorded Music NZ. April 12, 2021. 
  21. "Digital Chart – Week 6 of 2021" (in ko). 
  22. "Top 100 Songs, September 11, 2020 - September 17, 2020". Rolling Stone. Retrieved September 21, 2020. 
  23. "Adult Pop Songs – Year-End 2020". Billboard. January 2, 2013. Retrieved December 4, 2020. 
  24. "Pop Songs – Year-End 2020". Billboard. January 2, 2013. Retrieved December 4, 2020. 
  25. "Rock Airplay Songs – Year-End 2020". Billboard. December 13, 2013. Retrieved January 25, 2021. 
  26. "Hot Rock & Alternative Songs – Year-End 2020". Billboard. January 2, 2013. Retrieved December 4, 2020. 
  27. "Canadian Hot 100 – Year-End 2021". Billboard. January 2, 2013. 
  28. "Hot 100 Songs – Year-End 2021". Billboard. January 2, 2013. 
  29. "Adult Contemporary Songs – Year-End 2021". Billboard. January 2, 2013. 
  30. "Adult Pop Songs – Year-End 2021". Billboard. January 2, 2013. 
  31. "Hot Rock & Alternative Songs – Year-End 2021". Billboard. January 2, 2013. 
  32. "Pop Airplay Songs – Year-End 2021". Billboard. 


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