How Teen Titans Go! Turned An Obscure Song Into A Billboard-Charting Hit

Image: Warner Bros.
Image: Warner Bros.

You might have heard “The Night Begins To Shine,” the rockin’ ‘80s-styled track that’s Cyborg’s favorite song on Teen Titans Go! Turns out, the story behind the song is almost as great as the song itself.


This comes courtesy of NPR, who recently recounted the whole affair for an All Things Considered segment. Here’s the short version: Teen Titans Go! is scored by music from corporate-licensed music archives, and when looking for an ‘80s-evoking track, director and producer Peter Michail fell in love with a song called “The Night Begins to Shine” by B.E.R. So he put it in the show. And everyone—the fans, the writers, even eventually Warner Brothers themselves—just ran with it.

I love how NPR puts it:

“Off that episode, people started saying, ‘What’s this song? Is this a song I’ve heard before?’” says Teen Titans Go! executive producer Michael Jelenic.

So the show’s producers decided: You know what? This song rules. B.E.R. rules. In the next season, it became Cyborg’s favorite song — even if fellow Titans didn’t agree with his taste.

And that was that. Next came fan remixes, further references in the show, and eventually we got a four-part story arc in Teen Titans Go! about the song, a Fall Out Boy cover that frankly rules, and the song itself rising to number 23 on the Billboard Rock Charts.

For a song initially written for an archive, that’s pretty incredible. In fact, I’d say it’s downright heroic.


io9 Weekend Editor. Videogame writer at other places. Queer nerd girl.



But is it as catchy as “Shake It, Bake It, Booty Quake It”?