"The Cure" is a song written and produced by Lady Gaga and Nick Monson with co-writing credits with DJ White Shadow, Lukas Nelson and Mark Nilan, and co-production with Detroit City. It was released as a single on April 15, 2017.
Gaga debuted the song at Coachella on April 15, 2017 and was released at the end of the set. That performance was the debut of the song, which was released on streaming platforms and iTunes shortly after.
In early March 2017, Gaga was spotted venturing back into the recording studio. Many fans speculated a follow up to 2016’s Joanne was in the works, until the release of “The Cure.” Gaga confessed before premiering the song at Coachella that she “had trouble keeping the next part of her show a secret”.
"The Cure" was written after Gaga's performance at the Super Bowl LI halftime show. Gaga worked with longtime collaborator DJ White Shadow (aka Paul Blair) for the track. He recalled sitting with Gaga and feeling a positive vibe, which led them to write the track described by Blair as "upbeat and cool". Their camaraderie originated due to the "terrible stuff going on in the world right now, it's like when you're a creative person you do your best to try and combat evil with creative stuff, so that was kind of the vibe." Gaga and her team wanted to release the "one-off" single as soon as production was completed.
The song was developed in Los Angeles, where Gaga and her team were working on some other music before filming A Star Is Born. Gaga utilized the free time from her schedule and asked Blair to meet up and see if they could come up with any new music. "The Cure" was released due to the positive nature and message in the track, although Gaga had already released Joanne, her fifth studio album, six months prior. According to Jocelyn Vena from Bravo, "The Cure" reminded her of the singer's dance-pop songs. Blair explained that the release happened after agreement between all the personnel involved: "Joanne's a great record... we weren't sitting there like, 'Oh, we need to make a song for the summertime and put it out this weekend'."
“The Cure” is a feel-good anthem about unconditional love for someone. During her first live performance of this song at Coachella 2017, Gaga told the crowd: “I love you guys so much. I have been through so much in my life and I’ve seen so much. And you cure me every time with your love”
The song is highly speculated to be written in tribute to Gaga’s dear friend, Sonja Durham, who was battling a losing fight with cancer at that time and sadly passed away a few months later. As seen in Gaga’s documentary Gaga: Five Foot Two, she gets a call from Sonja telling her things were going worse. Gaga tells her to stay strong, and that she will be with her right away, canceling her other work-related plans. After hanging up, she tears up and says “I’m losing everyone I love”. She might not have the Cure for Sonja’s cancer, but she will do her best to make her feel loved and cherished during her last days.
“The Cure” might sounds similar to the vibe and lyrical content of some of the Ally pop tracks from A Star Is Born, which Gaga was also working on at the same time with Blair and the song's other co-writers Lukas Nelson, Mark Nilan and Nick Monson, he swears it's just a coincidence :
|“||I would say you're not completely off base, but here's how things work. Before A Star Is Born came up, we were just writing stuff for whatever. Even before ARTPOP, before Born This Way, after Born This Way, she just writes and I just make tracks. I mean, that's what we do, right? So I'll send her stuff sometimes or Nick would send her stuff or she'd send us stuff. So there's stuff floating around, going around. 'The Cure,' I wouldn't say was written for the film. It definitely was not written for the film, to go in that direction. It was just like, once one cup gets full, things start spilling out into other cups and you start pouring the water into other cups and maybe there was some cross pollination from one thing to another. But honestly, it wasn't it wasn't written for—it was just a good song.
If anything, it's probably my fault because I was probably producing stuff. It's probably more the production stuff than the song stuff, to be honest, if that's how you're feeling, because the way that that came up was just like, 'Yo, we want to do something new at Coachella.' And I was like, 'What about this song?' 'The Cure' is one of my favorite songs I've ever done with her. I love that song. I think it's fucking crazy. It's a great song. I think the message is dope. And I think that music sounds dope and I love her voice in it. It was just intended to be a standalone single for the Coachella thing and to do something new and kind of be out there and people kind of just fell in love with it.
—DJWS to E! Online in 2020
Released: April 16, 2017
Photography: Ruth Hogben & Andrea Gelardin
Design: Lobster Eye
|Worldwide||April 16, 2017||Digital download|
|Italy||April 21, 2017||Contemporary hit radio|
|United States||April 25, 2017|
|May 8, 2017||Hot adult contemporary|
Critical Reception & Chart Performance
Most of the reviews of the song positively described it as a fresh and catchy summer hit.
Immediately after its release, the single got into the iTunes charts in over 70 countries and took the #1 spot in about 40 of them, including the USA, UK, France, Spain, Australia, etc. It became the first (and so far the only) song released by a solo female artist to top the worldwide iTunes chart in 2017 by dethroning Ed Sheeran's 'Shape of You' which was on the lead position for 97 days.
The song debuted at #23 at the UK singles chart.
|Written by||Lady Gaga, DJ White Shadow, Lukas Nelson, Mark Nilan & Nick Monson|
|Produced by||Detroit City, Lady Gaga and Nick Monson|
|Recorded||at Dragonfly Creek Recording Studio, Malibu, CA|