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After recording another version, Foxx decided to re-record it once more as he felt it contained too many explicit lyrics.Once the track was finally in place, it was layered with additional instruments provided by American film score composer Jon Brion and individually selected by West.It was 2005's second-longest running number one on the Billboard Hot 100 behind "We Belong Together" by Mariah Carey and is the joint sixth longest ever at ten weeks.At the 2006 Grammy Awards, "Gold Digger" was nominated for Record of the Year and won the award for Best Rap Solo Performance.
West originally produced and recorded "Gold Digger" in Ludacris's home in Atlanta for Shawnna's 2004 debut album Worth Tha Weight and had written the chorus from a female first-person viewpoint: "I'm not sayin' I'm a gold digger, but I ain't messin' with no broke niggas." However, for reasons unknown, Shawnna passed on using the song.
The song lists at number 60 on Billboard magazine's All Time Top 100 and at number 9 on the Billboard Hot 100 Songs of the Decade.
Upon its release, many surmised that West conceived "Gold Digger" after watching Jamie Foxx's Oscar-winning portrayal of Ray Charles in the biographical film Ray.
The idea of employing Jamie Foxx specifically to sing an interpolation of Ray Charles' "I Got a Woman" in place of its initial sample did in fact arise from West seeing Ray with his friend John Mayer.
Foxx's vocals were recorded over many takes; in one version he sang from start to finish, but the track was retracted as his performance didn't coincide well with the song's instrumentation.