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I Won't Give Up

"I Won't Give Up"
Single by Jason Mraz
from the album Love Is a Four Letter Word
Released January 3, 2012 (2012-01-03)
Format Digital download
Recorded 2011
Genre Folk rock, pop rock
Length 4:00 (album version)
3:50 (radio edit)
Label Atlantic
Writer(s) Jason Mraz, Michael Natter
Producer(s) Joe Chiccarelli
Jason Mraz singles chronology
"I Won't Give Up"
Music video
I Won't Give Up on YouTube

"I Won't Give Up" is a song by American singer-songwriter Jason Mraz. It was released as the first official single from his fourth studio album, Love Is a Four Letter Word on January 3, 2012 via iTunes.[1] It was written by Mraz and Michael Natter, and produced by Joe Chiccarelli.

The acoustic folk ballad was written during his activist outings and discusses not giving up on loving someone, loving oneself, and not giving up on one's dreams. It received mostly positive reviews from music critics, who agreed that the song is straightforward, emotional and inspiring.

The song was also a success on the charts, debuting at number 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, becoming his second top-ten single, after "I'm Yours" (2008). Internationally, the song achieved large success, reaching top-ten positions in Ireland and Netherlands, while reaching top-twenty positions in Austria, Canada, the United Kingdom and more.


  • Background 1
  • Composition 2
  • Critical reception 3
  • Chart performance 4
  • Live performances 5
  • Music video 6
  • Track listing 7
  • Personnel 8
  • Charts and certifications 9
    • Weekly charts 9.1
    • Certifications 9.2
    • Year-end charts 9.3
  • Titanium version 10
    • Chart performance 10.1
    • Music video 10.2
  • Cover versions 11
  • External links 12
  • References 13


After "Free the Slaves. Later, Mraz was in Antarctica, spending time with Al Gore and learning about climate change aboard the National Geographic Explorer. During his activist outings, Mraz wrote and recorded his fourth album, Love Is a Four Letter Word, with producer Joe Chiccarelli.[2] In an interview for Billboard, he confessed that he was less interested in following up his biggest hit than using the power that "I'm Yours" gave him to fuel positive change.[2] He further elaborated: "The pressure I put on myself, or what I hope my 'I Won't Give Up' does, is to make a difference in people's lives . . . With 'I'm Yours,' I got to go out and set my feet on different continents, and expose myself to different cultures and causes. I wanted to see who I was, outside of music."[2]

Mraz explained the track, in a "track-by-track" commentary for Billboard:

"'I Won't Give Up' was written selfishly. As many of my songs are, I write for the purpose of understanding what the hell's going on in my life, my position in the world, processing that lesson and that miracle that I'm learning. Seeing it on the page, proving to myself that I understand the lesson, that I'm applying it to my life, and that I can move on. Ultimately it was about, you know, regardless of what happens in this relationship, I don't have to give up on loving this person, or loving myself, or give up on whatever my dreams are. Even though its written through the filter of relationships, it's not necessarily specific for relationships. For me, the true meaning exists in the bridge saying 'I don't want to be someone who walks away so easily, I'm here to stay and make a difference.' That is for all of us. We all have something that we're fighting for or that we're striving for. Whether we want to coach our soccer team to victory or lose five pounds in a month, whatever it is, there's nothing too small worth fighting for and there's nothing too big worth going after."[3]


A 25 second sample of "I Won't Give Up".

Problems playing this file? See .

"I Won't Give Up" was written by Jason Mraz and Michael Natter, while production was handled by Joe Chiccarelli.[4] The acoustic folk[5] ballad features a slower tempo and a sparse arrangement written in the key of E Major.[2] Lyrically, it is a poignant ode to a long-lasting relationship, which Mraz says he won't give up on her whatever happens.[6] "Well, I won't give up on us/Even if the skies get rough/I'm giving you all my love/I'm still looking up," he sings.[3] It is guitar led with some additional vocal landscapes towards the end of the song. Mraz told Billboard magazine: "That, to me, has always been my favorite part of making music; the singing and what voices can do and the voices singing in harmony."[6] It is likely that the song was inspired by Mraz's relationship with singer-songwriter Tristan Prettyman. Mraz showcases his light and versatile range singing from B2 to Ab4.

Critical reception

The song received generally favorable reviews. David Greenwald of MTV wrote, "The fresh track's wispy acoustic guitars and patient melody remind us of Irish crooner Damien Rice's 'Delicate,' though when Mraz soars into the chorus, it's with his own signature full-blast hook."[7] Loh Chuan Junn of MSN Music wrote that "The string-drenched, acoustic-guitar-based sound makes for easy listening, and gets into the listener's head after just the first listen. With such an honest revelation of emotions in his lyrics, it's hard to imagine the tune does not stir hearts."[8]

According to Katherine St Asaph of PopDust, the song was probably the closest to his and Colbie Caillat collaboration "Lucky." She added that it was "a gentle acoustic ballad with a hint of speak-singing a ways in but otherwise straightforward and straight-faced [that] soft-rocks its way through sentiments like "when I look into your eyes, it's like watching the night sky or a beautiful sunrise–there's just so much they hold"–still earnest, but joke-free."[9] Amy Dawson of Metro UK called it "a delicate, countrified guitar ballad that drives into a power-chorus singalong conclusion."[10] Colin McGuire of PopMatters was mixed in his review, writing that "'I Won't Give Up', for instance, is acoustic guitar-laden folky pop that falls at least a little bit flat with its predictably bland approach. While the song's hook proves itself memorable enough, the track never graduates into anything other than the ballad-like tediousness the singer has a tendency to revert into."[11]

Chart performance

While the song debuted at number 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, it immediately hit the top spot on the Hot Digital Songs chart selling 229,000 downloads for its first week.[12] On the Hot 100, the track's launch is the highest for a male pop/rock singer-songwriter since David Cook burst in at number 3 with "The Time of My Life" the week of June 7, 2008, after he was crowned "American Idol" champion.[6] On Adult Pop Songs it began at number 36.[13] On the week of October 18, 2012, the song became the "Greatest Gainer" on the Hot Adult Contemporary chart, reaching number 7.[14] After the success, his manager Bill Silva commented: "What surprised us is how the fans reacted. We didn't pre-promote the single, we didn't go to radio with it, and this song did 229,000 units its first week in the U.S. There was clearly something resonant about the song, and it immediately shifted the strategy for what the rollout of the album was going to be."[2] The song has sold over 4 million digital copies as of April 23, 2014 in the US.[15]

Internationally, the song also achieved success. In Austria, the song debuted at number 23 on the Ö3 Austria Top 40 chart, on March 23, 2012. Later, the song jumped to number 22, before falling for two consecutive weeks, until it reached again number 22, on April 20, 2012. Later, the song reached number 20, before climbing to number 17. On May 11, 2012, the song fell to number 21, but the next week the song peaked at number 12.[16] It spent 22 weeks on the chart.[16] In Netherlands, the song was a big hit, debuting at number 52 on the Dutch Top 40 chart, on January 7, 2012. After climbing the charts for six consecutive weeks and reaching number 11, the song fell for two consecutive weeks, until it climbed to number 10.[17] The song kept on climbing for 2 weeks, until it peaked at number 3, on April 21, 2012. It spent a total of 32 consecutive weeks on the chart.[17] In the UK, the song debuted at number 16 on the UK Singles Chart week of March 24, 2012, and peaked at number 11. It remained for 30 weeks on the chart and became the 46th biggest selling single of 2012.[18]

Live performances

Mraz first performed the song live during his 2011 concert tour, well before an official version was released.[12] He performed it live on Today on February 16, 2012, later on the Late Show with David Letterman[12] and on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.[19] Mraz performed "I Won't Give Up" with Daryl Hall in episode 55 of Live from Daryl's House.

Music video

On January 2, 2012, a lyric video was released. Mark Blankenship from NPR found "I Won't Give Up" the best lyric video because "the lyrics are integrated into a story about a man who writes his girlfriend until they can finally reunite." He added he preferred this video to the official one.[20] The official music video was directed by Mark Pellington and released on February 17, 2012. Mraz explained "The story of the video is that we all have our stories. We all have our own version of suffering….and everybody has many things to not give up on."[21]

Jason Lipshutz from Billboard found some similarities to Terrence Malick's film The Tree of Life, "with its lingering shots of wholesome Americana, sun-stroked imagery, non-linear structure and contrast between out-of-focus landscape shots and striking close-ups." The video was also compared to Bruce Springsteen's "We Take Care of Our Own" music video, "with its gritty portraits of beleaguered U.S. citizens of every race and creed."[22] Andrew Unterberger from PopDust described the video as "a stately, if somewhat boring, assemblage of nature shots mixed with pictures of people young and old looking semi-contemplative."[23]

Track listing

  • Digital download[24]
  1. "I Won't Give Up" – 4:05


  • Jason Mraz - vocals, acoustic guitar
  • Matt Chamberlin - drums
  • Paul Bushnell - bass guitar
  • Tim Pierce - guitar
  • Jeff Babko - keyboards
  • Joe Chiccarelli - drum programming
  • David Davidson - string arrangement
  • Toca Rivera, Arnold McCuller, Amy Keys, Valerie Pinkston - backing vocals

Charts and certifications

Titanium version

"I Won't Give Up"
Single by Titanium
from the album All for You
Released 19 October 2012
Format Digital download, CD single
Recorded 2012
Genre Pop
Length 3:41
Label Illegal Musik, Warner Music, Atlantic Records
Writer(s) Jason Mraz, Michael Natter
Producer(s) Joe Chiccarelli
Titanium singles chronology
"Come On Home"
"I Won't Give Up"
Music video
"I Won't Give Up" on YouTube

The song was recorded by and released as a single by New Zealand boy band Titanium which features on their debut studio album All For You (2012).[52] It was released as the album's second single.

Chart performance

"I Won't Give Up" debuted and peaked at number sixteen on the New Zealand Singles Chart in 2012. In Australia after a short two week tour in early 2013 and heavy promotion the song reached number 69 on the Australian Singles Chart.

Music video

The original music video debuted on YouTube and topped 800,000 views but was replaced with a new video that has since reached over 200,000 hits. The video shows all six boys singing in the recording studio.

Cover versions

Australian singer Cody Simpson performed it during a concert in the Bahamas.[53] American Idol contestant from the season 12 Johnny Keyser also sang it.[54] The song was also covered by Lea Michele as Rachel Berry in the season 3 episode of Glee, entitled "Props". "I Won't Give Up" is also covered by a cappella group Straight No Chaser in which Jason Mraz is featured on the recording Under the Influence. Also Christina Grimmie sung the song during the playoffs of The Voice Season 6.

External links

  • "I Won't Give Up" lyrics


  1. ^ "I Won't Give Up - Single".  
  2. ^ a b c d e f Lipshut, Jason (April 14, 2012). "Jason Mraz Is Focusing on Green Issues With New Album".  
  3. ^ a b Benjamin, Jeff (April 16, 2012). "Jason Mraz, 'Love Is a Four Letter Word': Video Track-By-Track".  
  4. ^ "Jason Mraz – Love Is A Four Letter Word (Album) at Discogs".  
  5. ^ Sullivan, Caroline (April 12, 2012). "Jason Mraz: Love Is a Four-Letter Word – review | Music | The Guardian".  
  6. ^ a b c Trust, Gary (January 11, 2012). "Jason Mraz's 'I Won't Give Up' Storms Hot 100's Top 10". Billboard. Retrieved November 23, 2012. 
  7. ^ Greenwald, David (January 4, 2012). "'"New Lyric Video: Jason Mraz, 'I Won't Give Up.  
  8. ^ "Xin MSN launches weekly music reviews".  
  9. ^ St Asaph, Katherine (January 3, 2012). "The Singles Bar: Jason Mraz, "I Won't Give Up". Popdust. Retrieved January 12, 2012. 
  10. ^ Dawson, Amy (April 16, 2012). "Jason Mraz's Love Is A Four Letter Word has mainstream appeal".  
  11. ^ McGuire, Colin (May 29, 2012). "Jason Mraz: Love Is a Four Letter Word > PopMatters".  
  12. ^ a b c Keith Caulfield & Gary Trust (January 11, 2012). "Jason Mraz's 'I Won't Give Up' Storms Hot 100's Top 10".  
  13. ^ Trust, Gary (January 26, 2012). "Weekly Chart Notes: Adele, Kelly Clarkson, Gavin DeGraw".  
  14. ^ "Chart Highlights: Adele's 'Skyfall' Rises On Adult Charts".  
  15. ^ "Chart Watch Extra: Former Teen Stars Make Good!". Chart Watch. Yahoo Music. April 23, 2014. Retrieved January 23, 2014. 
  16. ^ a b c " – Jason Mraz – I Won't Give Up" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  17. ^ a b "Jason Mraz – I Won't Give Up (Song)" (in Dutch). Hung Medien / Retrieved 2012-01-08. 
  18. ^ "ChartArchive - Jason Mraz - I Won't Give Up". Chart Archive. Retrieved November 24, 2012. 
  19. ^ "'"Jason Mraz Sings 'I Won't Give Up. The Ellen DeGeneres Show. March 2, 2012. Retrieved March 16, 2012. 
  20. ^ Blankenship, Mark (February 29, 2012). "More Than Words: The Art Of The Lyric Video".  
  21. ^ Luoma, Sarah (February 22, 2012). "Jason Mraz 'I Won't Give Up' Music Video". KOvideo. Retrieved March 16, 2012. 
  22. ^ Lipshutz, Jason (February 16, 2012). "Jason Mraz Releases Arty 'I Won't Give Up' Official Video".  
  23. ^ Unterberger, Andrew (February 16, 2012). "Will Jason Mraz's Awful Hair Ruin His Best Single Ever?". Popdust. Retrieved March 16, 2012. 
  24. ^ "I Won't Give Up – Jason Mraz". Amazon. Retrieved 2012-01-07. 
  25. ^ " – Jason Mraz – I Won't Give Up". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  26. ^ " – Jason Mraz – I Won't Give Up" (in Dutch). Ultratip.
  27. ^ " – Jason Mraz – I Won't Give Up" (in French). Ultratip.
  28. ^ "Jason Mraz Album & Song Chart History" Canadian Hot 100 for Jason Mraz.
  29. ^ "Die ganze Musik im Internet: Charts, News, Neuerscheinungen, Tickets, Genres, Genresuche, Genrelexikon, Künstler-Suche, Musik-Suche, Track-Suche, Ticket-Suche –" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  30. ^ "Chart Track: Week 40, 2012". Irish Singles Chart.
  31. ^ " – Jason Mraz – I Won't Give Up" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  32. ^ " – Jason Mraz – I Won't Give Up". Top 40 Singles.
  33. ^ " – Jason Mraz – I Won't Give Up". VG-lista.
  34. ^ "Archive Chart: 2012-03-31". Scottish Singles Top 40.
  35. ^ "South Korea Gaon International Chart (Week: January 01, 2012 to January 07, 2012)".  
  36. ^ " – Jason Mraz – I Won't Give Up" Canciones Top 50.
  37. ^ " – Jason Mraz – I Won't Give Up". Swiss Singles Chart.
  38. ^ "Archive Chart: 2012-04-28" UK Singles Chart.
  39. ^ "Jason Mraz Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot 100 for Jason Mraz.
  40. ^ "Jason Mraz Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Pop Songs for Jason Mraz.
  41. ^ "Jason Mraz Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Adult Alternative Songs for Jason Mraz.
  42. ^ "Jason Mraz Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Adult Pop Songs for Jason Mraz.
  43. ^ "Jason Mraz Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Adult Contemporary for Jason Mraz.
  44. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2013 Singles".  
  45. ^ "Canadian single certifications – Jason Mraz – I Won't Give Up".  
  46. ^ "New Zealand single certifications – Jason Mraz – I Won't Give Up".  
  47. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (Jason Mraz; 'I Won't Give Up')". Hung Medien. Retrieved January 9, 2013. 
  48. ^ "British single certifications – Jason Mraz – I Won't Give Up".   Enter I Won't Give Up in the field Search. Select Title in the field Search by. Select single in the field By Format. Click Go
  49. ^ "American single certifications – Jason Mraz – I Won't Give Up".   If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH
  50. ^ "Top 100 Singles of 2012".  
  51. ^ "Best of 2012 - Hot 100 Songs".  
  52. ^
  53. ^ "Cody Simpson - I Won't Give Up (Jason Mraz Cover) LIVE". YouTube. November 5, 2012. Retrieved February 23, 2013. 
  54. ^ Weatherby, Jager (February 22, 2013). "Watch Johnny Keyser Sing "I Won't Give Up" in American Idol 2013 Las Vegas Round 2 - Video".  
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