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Although Cudmore believes that the music video as a medium is "disappearing ... Swift's acceptance speech was interrupted by rapper Kanye West, who grabbed her microphone to declare the "Single Ladies" video as "one of the best videos of all time".
from the mainstream public eye", he accredited "Single Ladies" with its resurgence, and stated that after the video appeared on the Internet, people began to "consciously look for music videos because of its art". Online placed the video at number one on their list of Beyoncé's ten best music videos writing, "[It has] All of the sex appeal. Beyoncé doesn't need anything but an empty room in this one. Footage of Beyoncé in the audience looking shocked was then shown.
However, the main intention is to attract the viewers' attention toward their hands and ring fingers as they do the hand-twirl move. "Single Ladies" was nominated for nine awards at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, ultimately winning three including Video of the Year.
Daniel Brockman of The Phoenix complimented the song's use of the word "it", and wrote that the technique "sums up her divided musical persona far more effectively than the [album's] two-disc split-personality gimmick." She further commented that it was pleasant hear a voice which "changes timbre naturally, a voice with actual cracks and fissures (however slight)" in contrast to the "Auto-Tune epidemic that seems to be plaguing so many of her mainstream pop peers".
Several news media sources named it as one of the best songs of 2008, while some considered it one of the best songs of the decade.
It topped the US Billboard Hot 100 chart and has been certified quadruple-platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), with more than 5 million paid digital downloads.
Beyoncé told Simon Vozick-Levinson of Entertainment Weekly that the inspiration for the video was a 1969 Bob Fosse routine entitled "Mexican Breakfast" seen on The Ed Sullivan Show, which featured Fosse's wife, Gwen Verdon, dancing with two other women. [The dancers] had a plain background and it was shot on the crane; it was 360 degrees, they could move around.
And I said, 'This is genius.' We kept a lot of the Fosse choreography and added the down-south thing—it's called J-Setting, where one person does something and the next person follows. It's like the most urban choreography, mixed with Fosse—very modern and very vintage.