"Single Ladies" was placed at number two on MTV News' list of The Best Songs of 2008; James Montgomery called it "hyperactive and supercharged in ways I never thought possible.
Globally, it was 2009's seventh best-selling digital single with 6.1 million units sold thus becoming one of the best-selling singles of all time.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.In an interview with Billboard magazine, Beyoncé added that she was drawn to the song because of the universality of the topic, an issue that "people are passionate about and want to talk about and debate".According to the sheet music published at by Sony/ATV Music Publishing, "Single Ladies" is written in the key of E major and played in a moderate groove of 96.9 beats per minute.