Recalling the song’s video, Normani began the performance lounging on a basketball hoop before descending to a neon pink, makeshift court where she belted the track and ran through a impressive routine with an array of back-up dancers. Halfway through the song, Normani commandeered the stage solo for her own dance break before welcoming the troupe back for a bombastic finale.
Normani wrote “Motivation” with pop’s heaviest hitters: Ariana Grande, Max Martin, Savan Kotecha, and Ilya Salmanzadeh, the same team behind previous Grande singles like “Break Up With Your Girlfriend, I’m Bored” and “No Tears Left to Cry.” “I recorded this song a while back,” Normani told Rolling Stone before the release of the single. “And it’s crazy because, I’ll be on Twitter, and [fans] will be like, ‘Sis, where’s the new music? Where’s the new music? I’m like, ‘Guys, it’s coming. I promise it’s coming’… It’s going to be worth the wait.”
When Normani finally released the track on August 16th, pent-up demand caused “Motivation” to immediately take off on streaming services. The dance-filled video quickly racked up more than 25 million views on YouTube.
Previous Normani singles have also performed well at radio — both “Love Lies” and “Dancing With a Stranger” went Number One at Top 40 — and “Motivation” is off to a strong start on the airwaves as well, up 1,000 spins week over week. The track debuted at Number 25 on the RS 100.