1997: Barbie Girl By Aqua

Composed by Søren Rasted, Claus Norreen, René Dif and Lene Nystrøm (all of Danish-Norwegian dance-pop group Aqua) and recorded by the same group for their debut album, Aquarium. The inspiration for the song came from a an exhibit (seen by Søren Rasted) on kitsch culture in Denmark that featured Barbie dolls. The lyrics of the song are about Barbie and Ken, the dolls made by American toy manufacturer Mattel. The song was very successful commercially, reaching No.1 in multiple countries. Genres: Dance, Novelty Song.

The manufacturer of the Barbie doll, Mattel, sued the record label (MCA Records Inc) for copyright infringment and trademark violation. Mattel claimed that MCA Records Inc had turned Barbie into a sex object and impinged on their marketing plan, likening MCA to a bank robber. In response, MCA contested the case and sued Mattel for defamation of character. Both lawsuits were dismissed, with one judge remarking “The parties are advised to chill.” In 2009, Mattel released a series of advertisements and a promotional music video of the song (with modified lyrics) as part of a new marketing strategy brought in to revive sales.

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Chart History (1997)Peak Position
Australia1
Austria2
Belgium Ultratop 50 Flanders Region Chart1
Belgium Ultratop 50 Wallonia Region Chart1
Canada Dance / Urban Chart1
Canada Top 100 Singles Chart4
Denmark1
Finland3
France1
Germany1
Hungary4
Iceland15
Ireland1
Italy1
Netherlands Dutch Top 40 Chart1
Netherlands Top 100 Singles Chart2
New Zealand1
Norway1
Scotland1
Spain2
Sweden1
Switzerland1
United Kingdom1
USA Billboard Dance Club Play Chart21
USA Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart7
Year-End Chart (1997)Final Position
Australia2
Austria11
Belgium Ultratop 50 Flanders Region Chart 2
Belgium Ultratop 50 Wallonia Region Chart 2
Canada Dance / Urban Chart 5
Canada Top 100 Singles Chart 67
France5
Germany8
Netherlands Dutch Top 40 Chart 3
New Zealand49
Switzerland34
United Kingdom2
USA Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart 94
Year-End Chart (1998)Final Position
France33
Germany45
Switzerland19