‘Glee’ Covers Jamie Foxx’s ‘Blame It’: The Story Behind The Song

Show addresses underage drinking in latest episode.

The cast of “Glee” has not only covered a wide array of songs in their two seasons on the air, but some pretty varied topics about teenage life.

From gay rights to coping with death, the show has typically addressed these issues in song. But there’s one subject that almost every high-schooler has experienced in one way or another that “Glee” has all but ignored until now: underage drinking.

In Tuesday’s (February 22) aptly titled “Blame It on the Alcohol” episode, some of the kids of McKinley High partook of libations, causing them to get tipsy and, in turn, make bad decisions. Cue the very song that inspired the name of the episode, Jamie Foxx’s smash hit “Blame It (on the Alcohol).”

While the whole ensemble has a hand in the cover of the tune, Kevin McHale (Artie), Amber Riley (Mercedes) and Lea Michele (Rachel) are highlighted in the song that had everyone blaming it on the a-a-a-a-a-alcohol in 2009.

The second single off of Foxx’s 2008 platinum album Intuition, the track featured two of today’s current hip-hop staples: T-Pain and Auto-Tune. That winning combination (plus those deliriously catchy lyrics laying blame on culprits Grey Goose and Patrón, written by Foxx and T-Pain, along with James T. Brown, John Conte Jr., Christopher Henderson, Brandon R. Melanchon, Terius Nash, Breyon Prescott, Christopher Stewart and Nathan L. Walker) helped propel “Blame It” to become the multitasking star’s most successful single to date.

“Blame It,” which was released on January 26, 2009, peaked at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, but even more impressively, the 21st-century bar anthem hit #1 on the chart and spent a staggering 48 weeks there.

With heavy rotation on radio and impressive sales in digital downloads, “Blame It” began to pick up some awards as well. The song walked away with the 2009 Soul Train Music Award for Record of the Year. The accolades didn’t end there for Foxx, who hosted the 2009 BET Awards, where he performed “Blame It,” and the song took away the award for Best Collaboration. That was followed by the Grammy for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocals in 2010 (where Foxx, along with collaborator T-Pain and guests Doug E. Fresh and Slash, performed the song live).

Perhaps even more memorable than Foxx’s awards and live performances of “Blame It” (including performing his own kid-friendly parody called “Blame It on the Apple Juice” on “The Jay Leno Show”) is the celeb-filled music video.

Directed by hip-hop’s visual master Hype Williams, it was named BET’s #1 music video for 2009, and featured one of the most unexpected celebrity cameos ever. Joining fellow Hollywood heavyweights like Samuel L. Jackson, Forest Whitaker and Foxx’s Jarhead co-star Jake Gyllenhaal, is none other than … Ron Howard!

The director/writer/actor talked to Entertainment Weekly about his head-scratching cameo in the “Blame It” video. Turns out, Foxx sat next to Howard at President Barack Obama’s inauguration, where he asked the fellow Oscar-winner to be a part of his latest music video.

Howard explained to EW that he said yes to the gig, “picturing a sort of ‘We Are the World’ thing,” before realizing it was a hard-core party song. The director revealed that he was told by Williams to “stop smiling” and had to adjust to a hip-hop attitude for the video, which features Foxx and friends at a lively club.

Howard said of his appearance in “Blame It,” “I had no idea what in the world it was or what I was doing. I do not have a secret night-clubbing side. I’m the opposite of a big pimpin’ kind of dude.”

Big pimpin’ or not, the video and song gained quite a few crossover fans, including punk rockers Of Mice & Men, who covered it for the compilation album Punk Goes Pop 3. And now “Glee” will likely usher in a whole new legion of listeners for Foxx.

What did you think of the “Blame It” episode of “Glee”? Tell us in the comments.