It is performed by the Broadway company's original Glinda , Kristin Chenoweth , on the original Broadway cast recording. The song is about a popular girl Glinda trying to help her unpopular roommate Elphaba become more popular. It is sung by the character Glinda. While writing the song, Schwartz imagined one of "those cheerleaders" - "She was the most popular girl at school, and she always went out with the captain of the football team. She was always the homecoming queen, blonde with a perky nose - the whole thing. In "Popular", Glinda attempts to get Elphaba, the future Wicked Witch of the West, to conform to the accepted ideas of beauty and popularity. Schwartz described the lyrics as "empty calories" and shallow. The composition of the song is a more bubblegum sound than the rest of the musical, with Beatles influences.
Stephen Schwartz songs like Popular
What makes a pop song a classic? A catchy melody, for sure. A beat that makes you want to move.
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The radio version featuring Ariana Grande was produced by Jason Nevins. It was released as a promotional single on 21 December The song is an updated cover of the original version, based on the song " Popular " from the musical Wicked. The album version of the song features vocals from Priscilla Renea , and features mature language. The single version replaces Renea with Ariana Grande , removes the mature language, and modifies the instrumental arrangement and tempo to create a version which heavily links to Mika's former hits, " Grace Kelly " and " We Are Golden ". The version with Ariana Grande is the main version which was officially released. The original version of the song was made available on Mika's third studio album, The Origin of Love , and features vocals from songwriter Priscilla Renea. This version is based on the original from Wicked , and uses a very rough tempo and instrumentation, to fit in with the theme of the album. However, for the track's release as a single, Mika decided to completely change the arrangement, and create something similar to his hit single " Grace Kelly ".