What R&B singer is responsible for that line dance called the Cupid Shuffle?

Don't scroll until you've answered.

Published February 22, 2024

Duh! is a weekly column that gives circuitous answers to obvious questions. If you dig it, you can find 100 more of these essays in the Geeks Who Drink book, Duh!.

As a general rule, people who make splashes with dance-instruction songs–you know, like the Louisiana singer Cupid–don’t tend to linger on the charts.1 Let’s check the record:

  • Despite having her pick of the Goffin-King litter–she was Gerry and Carole’s 16-year-old babysitter–Little Eva never made much of a splash beyond “The Loco-Motion”… although she did inspire the songwriters’ most un-unhearable tune, the Crystals’ “He Hit Me (And It Felt Like a Kiss).”
  • An on-again-off-again hip-hop collective, Terror Squad never even followed up the album that gave us “Lean Back”–which also, by the way, holds the distinction of being the only chart-topping song to say “That’s why I sport the chinchilla.”
  • We were also gonna make fun of “The Cha Cha Slide,” which hit #1 in the U.K., but then we found out its creator died last year. In lieu of flowers, do two hops this time.

Cupid (aka Bryson Bernard) cleverly tried to avoid this fate by never actually getting very high on the charts with “Cupid Shuffle.” Despite eventually going five times platinum–the same as “Señorita” and “Shut Up and Dance”–his 2007 line-dance anthem never rose above #66 on the Hot 100.

But beyond those eye-popping download numbers, it had a relatively enviable life for a one-hit wonder. A couple weeks after its chart peak, Cupid performed an eight-minute marathon version of the (admittedly not very demanding) song at Coca-Cola’s Ebony Black Family Reunion, with some 17,000 line dancers setting a (since eclipsed) Guinness World Record.2 A few years after that, he took it to The Voice; nobody spun their chairs around, but again, it’s not a very demanding song. (Even Cee-Lo was confused as to why Cupid chose it.3)

Finally, in 2013, the song took its inevitable final form as the inspiration for a line of workout DVDs. CuRobiks, as it was called, had an Instagram account that lasted from March 29 to November 28 of that year, racking up 554 followers. So it may not have set the world on fire–nor gotten many people fit–but at least it showed us that Cupid was capable of writing another song. Kind of.

Now, if you don’t mind, we’re going to get back to our usual Thursday pastime: Listening to “Do the Bartman” on repeat.

  1. What about Chubby Checker, you ask? Well, he made a fine art of the novelty dance song: After hitting #1 with “The Twist,” he did it again with “Pony Time,” which is pretty much the same damn song. His other Top 10s were “Let’s Twist Again,” “The Fly,” “Slow Twistin’,” and a nuclear-proliferation protest songLimbo Rock.” (somehow “Let’s Limbo Some More” stalled out at #20.)
  2. That wasn’t the only record set that year by the Atlanta-based sugar-water juggernaut. In May, they marked the rebirth of Vanilla Coke by mixing up a 3,000-gallon float. They say the burps could be heard from Biloxi.
  3. “Then, Cupid talks about how ‘Cupid Shuffle’ pigeon-holed him,” wrote HuffPo at the time, “which is literally the opposite of explaining why he chose to sing ‘Cupid Shuffle.’ It’s all so uncomfortable.”