In this flashback, we’re looking at David Guetta’s iconic 2009 track, “When Love Takes Over,” featuring American vocalist Kelly Rowland.
If you’ve been keeping up with Top 40 radio in the last 15 years, you’ve heard the name, David Guetta. The French DJ and master music producer has been on the electronic scene since 2002 with the release of his first album, Just a Little More Love. Two subsequent albums were released in 2004 (Guetta Blaster) and 2007 (Pop Life), but it was 2009’s One Love that launched Guetta into a smashing global success.
One Love’s lead single, “When Love Takes Over,” boasts hundreds of millions of streams across various platforms. David had played an instrumental version of the track at one of his sets in the summer of 2008. Kelly Rowland, a vocalist from the disbanded group Destiny’s Child, instantly fell in Love with the pulsing dance beats and reached out to the DJ in hopes of adding her lyrics and vocal talent. Guetta and fellow producer Frederic Riesterer used melodic piano tracks as the perfect foundation for Rowlands’s enchanting and alluring voice. Nervo co-wrote the final track.
With its powerful vocals and euphoric feel, “When Love Takes Over” was met with incredible global impact in the world of music. The song topped the charts in 10 countries, including Switzerland, Italy, Ireland, and the United Kingdom. At the time, the track became Guetta’s highest charting single on America’s Billboard Hot 100. In addition, the song was placed at number one on Billboard’s Best of 2009 Dance Club songs. A few years later, in 2013, Billboard named “When Love Takes Over” the “number one dance-pop collaboration of all time,” recognizing the track’s wild success as a majorly impactful moment in America’s growing electronic scene.
The music video for “When Love Takes Over” takes a nostalgic look at the unique way the track came together. Throughout the video, the two prepare for a party before coming together to show the final product. Guetta and Rowland promoted the track at several awards shows, including the NRJ Music Awards, the World Music Awards, and the MTV Latin Music Video Awards. The duo even performed together at the 2009 Miss Universe pageant.
Critically acclaimed, “When Love Takes Over” has earned seven platinum and five gold certifications. The track scored Guetta two well-deserved Grammy nominations for “Best Dance Recording” and “Best Non-Classical, Remixed Recording.” The French producer won the latter award for his extended electro mix of the track.
“When Love Takes Over deeply” impacted the future musical direction of both featured artists. With her 2011 album Here I Am, Kelly explored a dancier sound, inspired by the sound of her and David’s highly successful track. The track was a pivotal moment in her career and proved that she had earned her place as a solo vocalist after her time with Destiny’s Child. In addition, her new album spawned hit singles like “Commander” (featuring her friend David Guetta), “Down for Whatever,” “What a Feeling,” and “Motivation,” featuring American rapper Lil Wayne.
Meanwhile, David followed up with the highly anticipated 2011 album Nothing but the Beat. A string of drool-worthy singles followed with “Without You,” “Titanium,” “Turn Me On,” and “Little Bad Girl.” Guetta collaborated with big names like Jason Derulo, G-Easy, Sia, and Nicki Minaj. In July of 2020, in collaboration with fellow producer MORTEN, the DJ dropped the Future Rave EP for fans to enjoy during the global COVID-19 pandemic. Shortly after, he released another collaboration with Sia called “Let’s Love.”