"One Dance" reached number one in 15 countries, including Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States, becoming Drake's first number-one single in all 15 countries as the lead artist. It topped the US Billboard Hot 100 for 10 non-consecutive weeks and became the joint-second longest consecutive number one in the UK Singles Chart with 15 consecutive weeks at the summit. Featured artist Wizkid became the first Nigerian artist to (chart on and) top the US Billboard Hot 100. "One Dance" became the second dancehall song of 2016 to top the Billboard Hot 100 after Rihanna's "Work" which also featured Drake.
In early 2016, UK funky artist Kyla was first contacted by Drake's production team regarding the use of her 2008 song "Do You Mind (Crazy Cousinz remix)", in a new afrobeats and dancehall song with Drake and Nigerian artist Wizkid, whom Drake had met one year previously through British grime artist Skepta, to work on a remix of Wizkid's song Ojuelegba. Drake had reportedly been a fan of Kyla's song for several years and so convinced his producer Nineteen85 to use "Do You Mind (Crazy Cousinz remix)" as a bridge within their new song. "Do You Mind" was subsequently worked on by South African DJ Maphorisa who slowed down its tempo before adding Wizkid's background vocals. Production of "One Dance" was finished within one week and quickly released in early April 2016 due to fear of it being leaked, as had occurred with Drake's "Controlla" (which the original version featuring Jamaican dancehall artist Popcaan) was leaked onto the internet in March 2016. In addition to Wizkid's work on "One Dance", Drake provided vocals for the Wizkid track "Come Closer", which was recorded at the same time, but released a year later in March 2017.
Drake and his team were unsure over how "One Dance" would be received upon being released since they considered it to be a considerable shift from his previous work. They therefore decided on it being released jointly with the song "Pop Style", featuring The Throne (Kanye West and Jay Z), since they felt it was a more conventional rap record and would therefore cushion the criticism had it been negative.
According to the sheet music published at Musicnotes.com, "One Dance" is written in the key of B♭ minor and has a tempo of 104 beats per minute in common time. The song follows a chord progression of B♭m – D♭ – E♭m, and Drake's vocals span from A♭3 to B♭4.
Jon Caramanica of The New York Times wrote "One Dance" is a transnational dance-floor lullaby, one of Drake's breeziest and most accessible songs, and also one of his savviest."Pitchfork stated of the song: "Kyla's voice and that resonant piano mash are the first things heard before they cave into a throbbing, wine-worthy tropical thumper. The message is as simple as the beat is mesmerizing: "One Dance" is about the spiritual connection two people can have in a club, when vibrations charge the air and they lose themselves. Drake's verses drift while Wizkid's echoing chirps melt into the fabric of the rhythm. In the closing seconds, a series of tones and polyrhythms collapse in on one another as Kyla's croons give way the Drake's once more. It feels symbolic of the full-fledged multiculturalism on display." Luke Morgan Britton of NME called "One Dance" a "dancehall-indebted dancefloor-filler, the size of which we've not heard since 'Hotline Bling'." Similarly, Mikael Wood of Los Angeles Times praised the song's "swirl warm, bubbly dance styles from Africa and the Caribbean."
"One Dance" was placed at number three on Rob Sheffield's list of "50 Best Songs of 2016" in Rolling Stone, describing it as a "tropical summer jam with a Caribbean lilt that evokes Lionel Richie in pastel-shirt mode. When he mixes in Nigerian singer Wizkid and London diva Kyla, he turns "One Dance" into a utopian fusion of global styles, by way of Toronto."Billboard ranked "One Dance" at number seven on their "100 Best Pop Songs of 2016" list: "With a molasses-sweet-and-slow Kyla hook (lifted from her own "Do You Mind?") and a bouncing, piano-led dancehall groove so hypnotic not even a midsong round of gunfire could break its spell, the tropical track served as an infinitely repeatable summer jam."Pitchfork considered it the 30th best song of the year, and NME the 17th. In the annual Village Voice's Pazz & Jop mass critics poll of the year's best in music in 2016, "One Dance" was ranked at number 15.
Nigerian artist Wizkid was involved in the writing and production of "One Dance"
In the United Kingdom, "One Dance" debuted at number 21 on the UK Singles Chart on April 8, 2016—for the week ending date April 14, 2016—with just three days of sales. The following week, the single jumped twenty spaces to the top of the chart, becoming Drake's first number-one single in the UK as a lead artist, having previously peaked at the top in collaboration with Rihanna on "What's My Name?" in January 2011. Furthermore, "One Dance" became Kyla's first chart-topping song in her home country. In its ninth week at number-one, it gained the lowest ever paid-for sales for a number-one single, with just 16,903 downloads. The following week, on its tenth week at the top, it sold even less, with just 13,152 paid-for sales; it also equalled Rihanna's ten-week reign with "Umbrella" in 2007 to become the longest-lasting number one single of the century. It remained at number one for fifteen consecutive weeks, tying with Wet Wet Wet's "Love Is All Around" as the second longest consecutive number-one hit in UK chart history and behind only "(Everything I Do) I Do It for You" by Bryan Adams. The song was later replaced at the top by Major Lazer's "Cold Water" on the week of August 4, 2016. It was later named the best-selling single of 2016 in the United Kingdom, selling a total of 1.95 million combined units consisting of 530,000 digital copies and 142 million streams. As of September 2017, the song has gained 554,000 copies in sales, 179 million in streams, making a total of 2,345,000 combined units.
In the United States, the single debuted at number 21 on the Billboard Hot 100 on April 12, 2016—for the week ending date April 18, 2016. The following week, it moved to number 13. It sold 104,000 copies during its first week of release, debuting at four on the US Digital Songs chart. The song reached number one on the Digital Songs chart the following week, its sales increasing by 14% to 119,000 copies, becoming Drake's seventh leader on the chart. In its third week, "One Dance" jumped to number three, aided by large gains on radio and streaming. In its fourth week, it climbed to number two, tying with "Best I Ever Had" and "Hotline Bling" as Drake's highest-charting Billboard Hot 100 singles as a lead artist. In the next week, the song topped the chart, making it Drake's first number one on the chart as a lead artist. In the next week, "One Dance" fell to number two on the US Billboard Hot 100 behind Justin Timberlake's "Can't Stop the Feeling!" but regained the spot for an additional nine weeks until it was knocked off by Sia's "Cheap Thrills" on the week ending August 6, 2016. On the issue dated July 30, 2016, "One Dance" became the 32nd song to top the Billboard Hot 100 for at least ten weeks. As of December 2016, "One Dance" sold 2 million copies in the US, thus being the fifth best-selling song of the year, behind Lukas Graham's "7 Years", Flo Rida's "My House", The Chainsmokers' "Closer" and Justin Timberlake's "Can't Stop the Feeling!".
In his native Canada, the single debuted at number 13 on the Canadian Billboard Hot 100 on the week of April 23, 2016 and moved up to number two on the week of April 30, 2016. On the week of May 7, 2016, Drake received his first number-one as the lead artist in his native Canada, having previously peaked at the top in collaboration with Rihanna on "Work" in March 2016.
Lack of music video
David Bakula, Nielsen's SVP of Analytics said in an interview that "If a song is going to reach that pinnacle of success, it's got to be everywhere". However, the lack of a music video for "One Dance" contributed to its success in countries where YouTube streams do not influence the singles charts, such as in the UK, as those wanting to listen to "One Dance" were forced to stream it on services such as Spotify or Apple Music, which do count towards the singles charts.
A scene with "One Dance" featured on the short film Please Forgive Me directed by Anthony Mandler, released on September 26, 2016 exclusively on Apple Music. The short film was produced in South Africa. Material Culture, part of the country's dance battle subculture, is part of the dance crew.
A remix of the song, featuring lead vocals by Canadian singer Justin Bieber, premiered on Drake's Beats 1 radio show OVO Sound on June 4, 2016, but was never released to music outlets or mainstream music sites.
Usage in media
The song was heard in an episode of the television series Skam.