Rihanna first announced that "Cheers (Drink to That)" would be the next single to be released from Loud via her official Twitter account, when she tweeted to celebrity internet blogger Perez Hilton that his "favourite song" from the album would become the next single. The song was sent for Mainstream and Rhythmic radio adds in the United States on August 2, 2011. "Cheers (Drink to That)" was written by hip-hop production duo Andrew Harr and Jermaine Jackson, Stacey Barthe, Laura Pergolizzi, Corey Gibson, Chris Ivery, Lauren Christy, Graham Edwards, Avril Lavigne and Scott Spock, and was produced by Harr and Jackson under their stage name, The Runners. The song also contains interpolations of Lavigne's song "I'm with You", which is featured on her album Let Go (2002), and incorporates the musical elements of dancehall, dance-pop, pop rock, and R&B.
Rihanna "Cheers (Drink to That)" Song
According to the digital music sheet published at Musicnotes, the song is written in the key of E major and is set in simple time with a moderated hip-hop groove. Lyrically, "Cheers (Drink to That)" is a party-drinking song that contains the verse "Life's too short to be sittin' around miserable/ People are gonna talk whether you're doin' bad or good/ Don’t let the bastards get you down/ Turn it around with another round". According to Ryan Dombal of Pitchfork, the lyrics sum up the general sentiment of Loud and there's no tabloid back story, as it was in most cases on her previous release Rated R (2009). In an interview with MTV News in late 2010, Rihanna spoke of how "Cheers (Drink to That)" was one of her favorite songs on the album, saying "I love that song ['Cheers']. That is one of my favorite songs on the album. It makes you feel like celebrating ... It gives you a great feeling inside, like you want to go out and have a drink ... People can't wait for the weekend.". Also in an interview with MTV News in late 2010, Lavigne spoke about being included on the song, saying, "It was really exciting because 'I'm With You' is one of my favorite songs that I've done, I always love performing it."
Upon the songs release, the song received generally positive reviews from music critics. Mark Savage of BBC Music described the song as "a funky, loping guitar groove for to a night out on the town," which Rihanna dedicated to "all the semi-alcoholics in the world". Robert Copsey of Digital Spy praised the use of interpolating Lavigne's song, calling it "unbelievably catchy", as well as commenting that it will be a success in bars and clubs, due to the references of alcohol and going out of a weekend in the lyrics. Jon Pareles of The New York Times stated that as rock-arena song, which contains sample by Avril Lavigne is written for barroom singalongs, with Bill Lamb of About.com also concurring that the song is a "rocking bar singalong 'Cheers (Drink To That)' intriguingly blends Rihanna's occasional robotic style with the voices of the crowd in addictive repetition. According to Leah Greenblatt from Entertainment Weekly, "the Jameson-swilling, TGIF-toasting 'Cheers (Drink to That)', folds a left-field Avril Lavigne sample into a crunked party anthem". Amy Sciarretto of PopCrush also commended the song and its musical style, saying "The song is infused with the tropical, island groove that she has explored on ‘Loud’ and which harks back to her upbringing in Barbados." Sciarretto also noted that the song would be very popular in bars and clubs because of the lyrical content. Andy Gill of The Independent called the song an anthem with which the weekend can start. Thomas Conner of The Chicago Sun-Times said that "Cheers (Drink to That)" is the best song on the album, saying "[the song is] a wise, world-weary paean from a gal at the bar who's seen some stuff, has moved on and wants to buy everybody a round of fruity shots". However, Chris Richards of The Washington Post stated that the song did not meet his expectations and commented that the song is a lowlight in Rihanna's career, stating "'Turn it around with another round', Rihanna bellows over the mid-tempo slog, as if setting ad copy to music".
On the issue dated August 3, 2011, "Cheers (Drink to That)" debuted on the US Billboard Hot 100 at number ninety-one, and leaped to a peak of fifty the following week. The following week the song rose to number twenty-five and by its fourth week, "Cheers (Drink to That)" rose again to number 17, giving Rihanna her twenty-second top-twenty single on the Billboard Hot 100. On its fifth week, the song charted at #11, which is its current peak. The subsequent week, it rose again to number eleven. "Cheers" (Drink To That) also debuted on the US Pop Songs at number thirty-five in the issue dated August 3, 2011. The following week, the song climbed ten positions to a new peak of twenty-five, and became that weeks "Greatest Gainer" on the chart, and Rihanna's twenty-sixth song to reach the top 40. The following week, the song reached a new peak of sixteen, and in its subsequent week, it rose to number thirteen. In Canada, the song debuted at number eighty-nine on August 17, 2011, and leaped to a new peak of thirty-seven the following week. In Australia, the song debuted at number forty-six on the Australian Single Charts on August 14, 2011, and peaked at number eighteen the following week. In its fourth week on the chart, the song reached a new peak of thirteen. In New Zealand, the song debuted at number fourteen on the New Zealand Singles Chart on August 8, 2011 and reached a peak of number five the following week, however it fell to number eight in its third week. The song also debuted inside the the Top 40 of the UK R&B Chart at number thirty-eight on August 27, 2011, after having charted at number forty-seven the week before. The following week, the song rose to number twenty-one, sitting one position lower than Rihanna's previous single "California King Bed", as well as charting within the Top 100 singles on the UK Singles Chart, leaping from number one hundred and twenty two to number sixty-seven.
The video begins with Rihanna's fans screaming and cheering her name before the concert is about to start, whilst Rihanna is shown walking to her dressing room in preparation to perform, by doing her make-up and changing outfits. As a firework explodes in the sky, scenes of Rihanna driving through her hometown and having a drink at the bar are intercut. As the song starts to play, Rihanna is seen in a variety of different outfits, which she wears for various difference parts of the each concert, whilst also showing clips of the audience dancing and singing. Rihanna is also seen holding a handheld camera, which she uses to film herself and other people, as well as goings-on backstage. Lavigne, who makes a cameo appearance in the video, is seen raising her glass to the camera before being pushed into a swimming pool on a skateboard fully clothed. Jay-Z, Kanye West and Cee Lo Green are also featured in the various clips of the video, as the former two were special guests at Rihanna's tour on certain dates, while the latter was an opening act on selected dates during the North American leg of the tour. Shots of Rihanna flying on a private jet, avoiding paparazzi and participating in the Barbados Kadooment Day are also intercut throughout the video. Other scenes include her taking pictures together with her mother and grandmother, swimming, relaxing, partying with her brother, and spending time with her friends and family. The video ends with Rihanna on a boat shouting "Rihanna Navy!", referring to her fan group.
During the Loud Tour concert in Kensington Oval, Barbados, on August 5, 2011, Rihanna announced that a taping of "Cheers (Drink to That)" had been recorded during the show for the song's music video. It was later announced that the video would be expected to feature footage of her homecoming, as well as clips of her performing during the North American leg of the tour. Via Rihanna's official Twitter account, she replied to a fan's tweet announcing that the video would premiere on August 24, 2011, on iTunes. However, it was later announced that the video would premiere the following day on August 25, 2011. The video premiered officially via iTunes and Rihanna's VEVO account on August 26, 2011. A 15 second teaser video was released the day before it officially premiered, and featured Rihanna applying make make-up before taking to the stage, as well as fans screaming her name whilst fireworks were launched into the night sky.Upon its release, the video received general acclaim from critics. Iona Kirby of The Daily Mail praised the documentary-style video, which gives fans an opportunity to see the life of Rihanna and insight as to what she likes to do. A reviewer from Rap-Up praised the video, commenting that is a "real blast in a glass!". According to PopDash's Giovanna Falcone "showing Rihanna goofing around with friends and family, on stage and loving life, you can’t help but smile throughout". Amy Sciarretto of PopCrush stated that the video is completely different from her previous single's controversial video for "Man Down", as well as commenting that this is her most "candid and loose" video, saying "we’ve seen RiRi as she goes bar hopping and slices open a coconut". Robbie Daw of Idolator commented that the music video looks "like one big, drunken night out".