The song "Moves Like Jagger" has been on the Billboard Hot 100 for five months — it peaked at No. 1 and is still holding on at No. 5. The band behind the song is Maroon 5, led by singer and songwriter Adam Levine, who is also a coach on the TV singing competition The Voice.
Maroon 5 has cranked out a number of hit singles in the past decade, but Levine says this one is different: It marks one of the first times he's turned to songwriters outside of the band for help.
"What I've learned from the recent few months is that it's OK to collaborate with other songwriters," Levine tells NPR's Guy Raz. "I was always kind of staunchly opposed to it in the past, I think almost to a fault. I think I've got a lot to offer as a songwriter, but everybody hits a wall.
Adam Levine (center) and the rest of Maroon 5.
Adam Levine (center) and the rest of Maroon 5. Matt Beard
"I love pop music, and every once in a while you kind of need to check in with what's happening," Levine adds. "I don't like to listen to the radio obsessively or anything like that — but there's nothing wrong with looking to other people to see what they're doing, and kind of getting involved with what's happening currently, so that you can kind of offer your twist on things."
The "Jagger" in the song is, obviously, Mick Jagger. Levine says that what's appealing about the Rolling Stones frontman is that his onstage moves, while impressive, are also attainable.
"Only Jagger has the moves like Jagger. That being said, if there was ever someone to aspire to ... I don't think anyone could claim to have the moves like James Brown, or the moves like Michael Jackson, or the moves like Prince," Levine says. "There's something about the way [Jagger] moves that is uniquely his own and hard to imitate, but also accessible and silly and fun, and not taking itself too seriously."