Background and release
After winning the eighth series of The X Factor UK, British girl-group Little Mix released their debut album, DNA, in November 2012. The album received generally favorable reviews from music critics, while also being a success on the charts, besides spawning the number-one single "Wings", as well as the top-three hit "DNA" and the top-twenty singles "Change Your Life" and "How Ya Doin'?". A few months later, the group stated that they were working on a new album, stating: " I think we probably might mature slightly for this album, but we want to keep the kind of uplifting message we had on the last one. [...] We’re just gonna make it better; step it up." "It's definitely matured more and it's a bit more R&B," they completed in another interview. The girl group recorded material in Los Angeles with producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, as well as TMS, who produced their number-one single "Wings". The production team produced six tracks on the album, including "Salute", which also became the album's title. On 5 April 2014, the group announced the track as the album's third single. They teased their single announcement with a video of them rehearsing a dance routine to the track alongside their backing dancers. Later, on 19 April 2014, the group revealed the single's cover art.
Jon O'Brien wrote for Yahoo! that the song is "a perfect attitude-laden statement of intent." Lewis Corner of Digital Spy noted that the "Blitzkreig siren and fierce attitude on female empowerment call-out 'Salute' is primed for an arena tour intro," while McGrath of Entertainment Wise called it "one of the strongest openers of 2013." Mongredien of The Observer thought that "it shouldn't work, but is delivered with such chutzpah that it has a certain ludicrous charm", while Clarke of So So Gay named it a "perfect, in-your-face opening track." Nick Barnes of Unreality TV was very positive, writing that the song "has everything you’d want in a track," noting that "Salute" "would serve as an amazing opening to the girls’ tour to get the audience really pumped and it would, strangely, work as a single as it’s very infectious."
"Salute" debuted at number 74 on the UK Singles Chart week of 11 May 2014, becoming the "greatest gainer" the following week, climbing to number 51. It cracked the top-forty in its third week, climbing to number 35. After falling to number 40, the song climbed once again to number 24. The song peaked at number 6 the following week, on 21 June 2014, becoming the band's sixth top-ten single. 
The music video for the song was directed by Colin Tilley. It was released on May 1, 2014.
It features the band dancing in an underground warehouse with an entourage of male dancers, some of whom are on leads. As noted by Kadeen Grifiths of Bustle, band members Nelson and Edwards "even march with the men on leashes at one point. And yet they are next to her rather than behind her or beneath her, dancing with her rather than against her or in front of her, as if the girls wanted to be clear that men and woman are equal, but it’s the women who are in control right now."
Click here to listen to it on Deezer