Rihanna ft. Mikky Ekko - Stay (2013)
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"Stay" is a song by Barbadian recording artist Rihanna from her seventh studio album Unapologetic (2012). Featuring guest vocals by Mikky Ekko, the song was released as the second single from the album on January 7, 2013. "Stay" was co-written by Mikky Ekko and Justin Parker. It is a pop and R&B ballad, featuring piano and guitar chords. The lyrical content regards the temptation and failure of resisting a true love. The song garnered a mostly positive response from music critics. They were divided in their opinion regarding the balladry, with most describing it as a standout track on the album, while a few labeled it as boring. However, critics were unified in their opinion of praising her vocal performance and emotion.
The song's music video, directed by Sophie Muller, depicts Rihanna naked in a bathtub filled with cloudy water, while Mikky Ekko performs in a separate bathroom. Critics compared the vulnerability and raw emotion in the video to the song itself. Rihanna premiered "Stay" on Saturday Night Live in the United States, while she performed the song in the United Kingdom on the ninth series of The X Factor. The track was also included on the set list of the majority of her 777 Tour promotional tour dates, in support of the album. Rihanna and Mikky Ekko also performed "Stay" at the 2013 Grammy Awards.
The video opens with a shot of running water. Rihanna is then presented undressing and climbing into a bathtub. Throughout the rest of the video, the singer is presented nude in the tub full of cloudy green water; subtle camera angles protect her modesty. Rihanna is shown wearing little make-up and with long hair tangled and wet over one side of her face. The singer seems morose and sad as she occasionally flickers her eyes to the ceiling and puts her head in her hands, showing off long manicured nails and a diamond stud earring. The low-key video also features Mikky Ekko, who performs his parts of the song separately including scenes of him perched on the edge of a different bathtub, gazing into a mirror, in front of an unlit fireplace, and sitting on a grand chair. The video switches between the pair throughout the course of the video until it concludes with a single tear falling from Rihanna's eye as she sinks lower into the bathtub.
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