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YouTube Uploader: AquaVEVO

Music video by Aqua performing Barbie Girl. (C) 1997 Universal Music (Denmark) A/S

#Aqua #BarbieGirl #Vevo

Retrieved from Wikipedia:
Barbie Girl on Wikipedia
"Barbie Girl"
Single by Aqua
from the album Aquarium
Released14 May 1997
  • CD single
  • 7" single
  • 12" single
  • cassette
GenreEurodance, bubblegum dance
LabelUniversal, MCA (US)
  • Søren Rasted
  • Claus Norreen
  • René Dif
  • Lene Nystrøm
  • Johnny Jam
  • Delgado
  • Søren Rasted
  • Claus Norreen
Aqua singles chronology

"Barbie Girl" is a song by the Danish-Norwegian dance-pop group Aqua. It was released in May 1997 as their third single overall, and the first United Kingdom release, it is included on the album Aquarium. The song was written by Søren Rasted, Claus Norreen, René Dif, and Lene Nystrøm, and it was produced by Johnny Jam, Delgado, Rasted, and Norreen.[1] It was written after Rasted saw an exhibit on kitsch culture in Denmark which featured Barbie dolls.[2][3]

The song topped the charts worldwide, particularly in European countries such as the UK, where it was a number-one hit for three weeks. It was also on top of the charts in Australia for the same length of time, and debuted and peaked at No. 7 on the US Billboard Hot 100 on 6 September 1997 and it remains Aqua's biggest hit single in the US to date, and their only one to reach the top 20 of the Billboard Hot 100. It is Aqua's most popular work. The song became the subject of the controversial lawsuit Mattel v. MCA Records.


  • 1 Background
  • 2 Reception
    • 2.1 Critical reception
    • 2.2 Commercial performance
  • 3 Music video
  • 4 Controversy
  • 5 Track listings
  • 6 Credits
  • 7 Release history
  • 8 Charts and sales
    • 8.1 Weekly charts
    • 8.2 Year-end charts
    • 8.3 Certifications
    • 8.4 Successions
  • 9 Kelly Key version
    • 9.1 Critical reception
    • 9.2 Music video
    • 9.3 In popular culture
    • 9.4 Track listings
    • 9.5 Release history
  • 10 Cover versions and parodies
  • 11 References
  • 12 External links


The lyrics of the song are about Barbie and Ken, the dolls made by Mattel. Both the song and its music video feature Lene Nystrøm as Barbie and René Dif as Ken. As such, the lyrics drew the ire of Barbie's corporate owners, and a lawsuit was filed by Mattel. It is a melody consisting of baroque chords mixed with dance rhythm.

A footnote on the back of the Aquarium CD case precisely stated that "The song 'Barbie Girl' is a social comment and was not created or approved by the makers of the doll."

The song was performed as the interval act in the Eurovision Song Contest 2001.[citation needed]

Critical reception

Stephen Thomas Erlewine from AllMusic called the song "one of those inexplicable pop culture phenomena" and "insanely catchy," described it as "a bouncy, slightly warped Euro-dance song that simultaneously sends up femininity and Barbie dolls."[4]

The song was voted the fourth "Best Number One of All Time" in a VH1 poll, and was featured in spot No. 32 on VH1's "Most Awesomely Bad Songs... Ever" countdown. In an unrelated VH1 countdown, VH1's 100 Greatest One-Hit Wonders, it was featured at #88.

In 2007, Rolling Stone Magazine named "Barbie Girl" as one of the 20 Most Annoying Songs.[5] But in 2007, MuchMoreMusic featured the song at No. 27 on the list of the 50 Guilty Pleasures. In 2009, Same Difference voted it No. 2 in their Ultimate Cheese-Fest Top 20 on 4Music. Five years before, Blender Magazine voted it at No. 33, as one of the 50 Worst Songs Ever.[6] In 2011, Rolling Stone readers voted it the number one most annoying song of the 1990s.[7]

Rob Swire has said that "'Another Night' by Real McCoy and 'Barbie Girl' by Aqua are pretty much the same tune."[8]

In 1999, it was placed as the fourteenth worst music on MTV special 25 Lame.

The song won the 1998 NME Award for Worst Single.

Commercial performance

In the United States, the song debuted at number seven on the Billboard Hot 100. It sold 82.000 copies in its first week and debuted at number five on the Hot Singles Sales chart.[9]

"Barbie Girl" has sold more than 8 million copies worldwide.[10] It has sold 1.84 million copies in the United Kingdom as of April 2017, making it the thirteenth best-selling single in the UK.[11]

Music video

The music video was directed by Peder Pedersen and Peter Stenbæk.[citation needed]


Main article: Mattel v. MCA Records

In December 2000, toy manufacturer Mattel sued MCA Records, Aqua's record label. Mattel claimed that "Barbie Girl" violated their trademark and turned her into a sex object, referring to her as a "Blonde Bimbo".[12] They alleged the song had violated their copyrights and trademarks of Barbie, and that its lyrics had tarnished the reputation of their trademark and impinged on their marketing plan. Aqua claimed that Mattel injected their own meanings into the song's lyrics and MCA Records was not about to let their hit single be suppressed without a fight. They contested Mattel's claims and countersued for defamation after Mattel had likened MCA to a bank robber.[13]

The lawsuit filed by Mattel was dismissed by the lower courts, and this dismissal was upheld, though Mattel took their case up to the Supreme Court of the United States, but that appeal was later rejected. In 2002, a Court of Appeals ruled the song was protected as a parody[14] under the trademark doctrine of nominative use and the First Amendment to the United States Constitution; the judge Alex Kozinski also threw out the defamation lawsuit that Aqua's record company filed against Mattel, concluding his ruling: "The parties are advised to chill."[15] The case was dismissed, and in the process, it garnered lots of media attention for the song and the band.

In 2009, Mattel released a series of advertisements and a promotional music video of the song,[16] with modified lyrics, as part of a new marketing strategy brought in to revive sales.[17] Mattel also uses the song in its product Barbie Shopping Time.

As the interval act during the 2001 Eurovision Song Contest, the Danish band Aqua performed with a medley of their singles, with percussion ensemble Safri Duo performing in the medley.[18] Some people complained about it being a little bit "rude" as there was some swearing during the performance, both at the beginning and end of "Barbie Girl".[citation needed]

Track listings

These are the formats and track listings of major single releases of "Barbie Girl".[1]


  • Written by Norreen, Nystrøm, Dif, Rasted
  • Performed by Norreen, Rasted
  • Vocals by Nystrøm, Dif
  • Hair and make-up by Fjodor Øxenhave
  • Styling by Aqua, Bjarne Lindgreen
  • Artwork by Peter Stenbæk
  • Photo by Robin Skoldborg
  • Produced, arranged and mixed by Norreen, Jam, Delgado, Rasted

Kelly Key version

"Barbie Girl"
Kelly Key - Barbie Girl (2005).jpg
Single by Kelly Key
from the album Kelly Key
ReleasedAugust 15, 2005[54]
  • Airplay
  • CD single
GenreTeen pop
  • Claus Norreen
  • Søren Nystrøm Rasted
  • Gustavo Lins
  • Humberto Tavares
Producer(s)DJ Cuca
Kelly Key singles chronology

In 2005, Brazilian recording artist Kelly Key recorded a version in Portuguese for her third studio album Kelly Key.[55] The version was released as second single on August 15, 2005.[54] Key said she loved the song and wanted to do a version for honor: "I really like this song since I heard. I wanted to record without thinking about whether my fans will like it or not".[56]

Critical reception

The song received generally negative reviews from music critics. Vinícius Versiani Durães of IMHO said that that version was funny and a future success.[57] Marcos Paulo Bin of Universo Musical commented that the song was really different from previous releases – known for explicit lyrics – but was positive and said the version was good.[56] Rodrigo Ortega of Pilula Pop said "Barbie Girl" was sensational, funny and chose as the best of the album. He also said that Key was wrong to released "Escuta Aqui Rapaz" as first single, because "the song was boring", but "Barbie Girl" saved the era.[58] Carlos Eduardo Lima of Scream & Yell was negative and said the song was "childish, silly, boring" and killed Kelly Key sex-symbol.[59]

Music video

The music video for "Barbie Girl" was recorded on August 2005, between 17 and 18. It was directed by Ricardo Vereza, Bidu Madio, Rentz and Mauricio Eça.[60] The video was released on August 30. Kelly plays a determinate and feminist woman, who doesn't need a man.[61]

In popular culture

This song is internationally notable to be wrongly attributed to Czech model Dominika Myslivcová as she uploaded a video in YouTube lip-synching to this song and, later, it became a viral video.[62]

Track listings

  1. "Barbie Girl" – 3:20
  2. "Barbie Girl" (Cuca Mix) – 5:12
  3. "Barbie Girl" (Music video) – 3:23

Cover versions and parodies

The song has been covered by several artists throughout years, including U.S. electric duo Velva Blu,[63] Rob Mayth (2006, released as single ;[64] in summer 2006, German Eurodance project Bangbros played live the remix of this version in a DJ set), Andrea featuring Sergio (Eurobeat cover for Super Eurobeat Vol. 199 ~Collaboration of Eurobeat~), Electric Chairs (2001, melancholy and down-tempo version). Other covers have been performed by bands Home Grown, My Favorite Band (MFB), Mars Moles and Ben l'Oncle Soul. An Easy listening version also exists by Axel Boys Quartet (1999) which was featured in a Dior television ad.

There are also many parodies of the song, notable made by The Dog House (a "gay" version in which Barbie is insulted behind her back by Garrett and Raoul with gratuitous words because they pine for Ken, however the conclusion of the song sees Barbie approach the pair who proceed to assault her and run off. This song is featured on their 2000 album, How Many People Must Get Dissed?), German duo Lynne & Tessa (a lip-synched internet video of the song, May 2006), British Indian comedy sketch show Goodness Gracious Me (titled "Punjabi Girl" both in the radio series and later on television), Ome Henk - Dutch song "Neem Een Ander in de Maling (Barbie Girl)", WPLJ (entitled "Jersey Girl", using stereotypes of Jersey girls as the basis for the whole song). In 2000, in India, a parody of this song "Chalu girl" was published by Times Music in the album "PatelScope I" by musician Devang Patel.

Identical twin sisters Amanda and Samantha Marchant, better known as Samanda, who came to fame appearing on the eighth series of Big Brother, released their cover of the song on 8 October 2007, and it entered the UK Singles Chart at number 26.

Girls' Generation's Jessica Jung covered this song as her solo performance during the first Asian concert tour Girls' Generation 1st Asia Tour: Into the New World. Mattel in 2009–2010 used an edit of the song as the 'theme song' of Barbie.

In 2010, It was used in Just Dance: Summer Party. In the Family Guy episode "Bill and Peter's Bogus Journey," president Bill Clinton is seen singing and dancing to "Barbie Girl" while playing Dance Dance Revolution.

HBO comedy series Mr. Show with Bob and David did a parody of the song called "Party Girl" in the episode "Life is Precious and God and the Bible".

The Swedish artist Loke Nyberg did a new version of this song for the Swedish radio show Morgonpasset. He interprets the song as criticism of today's beauty ideals.[65]

In 2012, the song was parodied in an Australian lamb advertising campaign, relying on the Australian use of the term "barbie" to refer to the outdoor barbecue popularly held in Australia. The advertisement starred Melissa Tkautz and Sam Kekovich.[66]

The song was referred to in the 2013 set-up of the musical We Will Rock You. In 2013, Ludacris sampled the song in his single Party Girls featuring Wiz Khalifa, Jeremih and Cashmere Cat. In 2014, the song was used in the South Park episode "Cock Magic", during Randy Marsh's "cock magic" show.

In January 2016, Caramella Girls released a version called "Candy Girl" on iTunes[67] as well as a YouTube music video.[68]


  1. ^ a b "Aqua – Barbie Girl". Discogs. Retrieved 6 August 2009. 
  2. ^ Aqua : the official book. [S.l.]: Back Stage Watson-Guptill. 1998. p. 38. ISBN 9780823078486. 
  3. ^ Ewing, Tom. "Aqua – "Barbie Girl"". Freakytrigger. Retrieved 23 March 2017. 
  4. ^ "Aquarium - Aqua | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-10-09. 
  5. ^ "The 20 Most Annoying Songs". Rolling Stone. 2 July 2007. Retrieved 8 August 2007. 
  6. ^ [1] Archived 9 January 2010 at the Wayback Machine.
  7. ^ "Readers Poll: THe Worst Songs of the Nineties". Rolling Stone. 31 August 2011. Retrieved 2 September 2012. 
  8. ^ "Rob Swire on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 2016-10-09. 
  9. ^ Eriksen, Jan (August 28, 1997). "Ind på toppen i USA" [In at the top in the US]. BT (in Danish). Copenhagen: Berlingske Media A/S.  |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  10. ^ "Aqua's 'Barbie Girl': Worst Song of the '90s?". 7 September 2011. Archived from the original on 4 April 2012. Retrieved 11 April 2012. 
  11. ^ a b Myers, Justin (7 April 2017). "5 random chart facts of the week that will make you go "whoa"". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 7 April 2017. 
  12. ^ "Aqua Now Faces Lawsuit Over "Barbie Girl"". MTV News. 12 September 1997. Archived from the original on 10 June 2007. Retrieved 8 August 2007. 
  13. ^ "Supreme Court rejects ugly fight over Barbie doll". CNN. 27 January 2003. Archived from the original on 27 March 2007. Retrieved 8 August 2007. 
  14. ^ Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music, Inc., 510 U.S. 569 (1994)
  15. ^ "Barbie loses battle over bimbo image". BBC News. 25 July 2002. Archived from the original on 6 July 2007. Retrieved 8 August 2007. 
  16. ^ "The Barbie Music Video". Mattel. Retrieved 15 October 2012. 
  17. ^ Elliott, Stuart (26 August 2009). "Years Later, Mattel Embraces Barbie Girl". New York Times. Retrieved 11 July 2010. 
  18. ^ Bakker, Sietse (2009-12-22). "The end of a decade: Copenhagen 2001". European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 22 December 2009. 
  19. ^ "Barbie Girl [US 2 Tracks] - Aqua | Credits". AllMusic. 1997-08-19. Retrieved 2014-03-31. 
  20. ^ a b c d e f g ""Barbie Girl", in various singles charts". Lescharts. Archived from the original on 21 July 2009. Retrieved 30 June 2009. 
  21. ^ "Aqua – Barbie Girl –". Archived from the original on 1 March 2016. Retrieved 7 February 2016. 
  22. ^ "Top Singles – Volume 66, No. 3, September 22, 1997". RPM. Retrieved 20 December 2011. 
  23. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved 2014-03-31. 
  24. ^ "Hits of the World: Denmark (IFPI/Nielsen Marketing Research) 06/04/97". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media. 109 (25): 51. 21 June 1997. ISSN 0006-2510. 
  25. ^ "Aqua singles, German Singles Chart" (in German). musicline. Retrieved 20 April 2010. 
  26. ^ "Irish Singles Chart, database". Irishcharts. Archived from the original on 3 June 2009. Retrieved 6 August 2009. 
  27. ^ "Hit Parade Italia - Top Annuali Single: 1997". Retrieved 2014-03-31. 
  28. ^ a b "Single top 100 over 1997" (PDF) (in Dutch). Top40. Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 December 2011. Retrieved 20 April 2010. 
  29. ^ Billboard - Google Books. 1997-11-01. Retrieved 2014-03-31 – via Google Books. 
  30. ^ ""Barbie Girl", UK Singles Chart". Chartstats. Archived from the original on 1 November 2012. Retrieved 6 August 2009. 
  31. ^ a b "Aqua, Billboard charts". AllMusic. Retrieved 6 August 2009. 
  32. ^ "1997 Australian Singles Chart". aria. Archived from the original on 12 September 2009. Retrieved 6 August 2009. 
  33. ^ "1997 Austrian Singles Chart". Austriancharts. Retrieved 6 August 2009. 
  34. ^ "1997 Belgian (Flanders) Singles Chart". Ultratop. Archived from the original on 26 June 2009. Retrieved 6 August 2009. 
  35. ^ "1997 Belgian (Wallonia) Singles Chart". Ultratop. Archived from the original on 26 June 2009. Retrieved 6 August 2009. 
  36. ^ "Top Singles – Volume 66, No. 15, December 15, 1997". RPM. Retrieved 20 December 2011. 
  37. ^ "1997 French Singles Chart". Snep. Archived from the original on 29 July 2012. Retrieved 6 August 2009. 
  38. ^ "Top 100 Single-Jahrescharts". GfK Entertainment (in German). Retrieved July 15, 2015. 
  39. ^ "New Zealand End of Year Chart 1997". THE OFFICIAL NZ MUSIC CHART. Retrieved 23 November 2016. 
  40. ^ "1997 Swiss Singles Chart". Hitparade. Retrieved 6 August 2009. 
  41. ^ "Billboard Top 100 – 1997". Archived from the original on 11 June 2009. Retrieved 28 August 2010. 
  42. ^ "1998 French Singles Chart". Snep. Archived from the original on 5 September 2012. Retrieved 6 August 2009. 
  43. ^ "1998 Swiss Singles Chart". Hitparade. Retrieved 6 August 2009. 
  44. ^ "1997 Australian certifications". Aria. Archived from the original on 12 September 2009. Retrieved 6 August 2009. 
  45. ^ "Austrian certifications, database". Ifpi. Archived from the original on 1 February 2010. Retrieved 6 August 2009. 
  46. ^ "Ultratop 50 Albums/Singles Wallonie 1997". Ultratop. Retrieved 2012-01-05. 
  47. ^ "French single certifications – Aqua" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. Retrieved 2011-09-28. 
  48. ^ "InfoDisc : Les Certifications (Singles) du SNEP (Les Singles de Diamant)". Archived from the original on 21 October 2013. Retrieved 2014-03-31. 
  49. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Aqua)" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Retrieved 2011-09-28. 
  50. ^ "Top 50 Singles Chart, 14 September 1997". Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Retrieved 2012-01-05. 
  51. ^ "Swedish certifications" (PDF). Ifpi. Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 May 2012. Retrieved 11 July 2009. 
  52. ^ "1997 Swiss certifications". Swisscharts. Archived from the original on 13 June 2011. Retrieved 6 August 2009. 
  53. ^ "British single certifications – Aqua – Barbie Girl". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter Barbie Girl in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select single in the field By Format. Select Platinum in the field By Award. Click Search
  54. ^ a b c "Kelly Key – Barbie Girl". Discogs. Retrieved 2007-08-08. 
  55. ^ "Kelly Key participa de quadro do programa Zorra Total". O Fuxico. July 12, 2014. 
  56. ^ a b "De olho no prazo de validade". Universo Musical. Retrieved 2007-08-08. 
  57. ^ "Bomba! "Novo" sucesso da Kelly Key". IMHO. August 8, 2005. [better source needed]
  58. ^ "Sim, ela teve a audácia". Pílula Pop. Retrieved 2007-08-08. 
  59. ^ "Estou preocupado com Kelly Key". Scream and Yell. Retrieved 2007-08-08. 
  60. ^ "5 Recriações Musicais Genuinamente Brasileiras". Pseudo Nerds. July 12, 2014. 
  61. ^ "KELLY KEY - New ALBUM IS COMING". Musica Sim. 12 July 2014. Archived from the original on 10 July 2011. 
  62. ^ "Conheça Dominika Myslivcová, a Barbie Girl do Youtube!". News e você. April 17, 2015. 
  63. ^ "Velva Blu - Barbie Girl (CD) at Discogs". Retrieved 2014-03-31. 
  64. ^ "Rob Mayth - Barbie Girl (CD) at Discogs". Retrieved 2014-03-31. 
  65. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 10 October 2012. Retrieved 2011-04-30. 
  66. ^ "Eat Lamb This Australia Day". Retrieved 10 January 2012. 
  67. ^ Candy Girl - Single
  68. ^ Caramella Girls - Candy Girl

External links

  • Official Barbie Girl video on YouTube
  • Aqua: Barbie Girl at the Internet Movie Database
  • Text of Mattel, Inc. v. MCA Records, Inc., the verdict that favored MCA (PDF file)
  • Lyrics of this song at MetroLyrics

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