The original pop star to be featured on the chorus of Timber was supposed to be Rihanna, but she was busy working Shakira on the Top-20 single Can’t Remember to Forget You. As a result, Kesha was featured resulting in a fourth number one for her and a second for Pitbull.
The song has a country feel given by the harmonica credited to Paul Harrington. Pitbull admitted to the influence and mentioned the source to Ryan Seacrest: “I’ve been all around the world touring and it was a record from Avicii that was so big and had this country feel to it, so when this record came down produced by Dr. Luke, Cirkut… and I said, ‘Man I need to get my hands on that’.” Billboard felt the “screeching harmonica hook” was a highlight element of Timber along with “Ke$ha’s earnestly delivered chorus”. Even more praise was given to the harmonica touch by Carl Williott of Idolator who thought its pairing with “club-pop” was “a stroke of genius”.
The same harmonica line brought Pitbull a lawsuit on his hands, when songwriters Lee Oskar, Keri Oskar and Greg Errico sued over similarities between Timber and Oskar’s 1979 song San Francisco Bay.
Timber spent 3 consecutive weeks at number one in Billboard Top 100 before being dethroned by Katy Perry’s Dark Horse (featuring Juicy J).