“Barbie Girl,” Aqua’s ridiculously catchy dance-off, a ’90s marvel, has joined the rarefied ranks of YouTube’s billion-view club.
The official video for the 1997 hit single has now surpassed one billion views on YouTube since it was uploaded to the video platform by the Danish-Norwegian pop group in 2010. According to YouTube, “Barbie Girl” has recorded averaged over 400,000 daily views over the past 12 months.
The calculated and kitschy “Barbie Girl” video features the four band members – Søren Rasted, Claus Norreen, René Dif and Lene Nystrøm – against garishly colored sets. The song and video are apparently a satire of Mattel’s iconic doll, chronicling the implied sexual relationship between Barbie and Ken. According to the song’s chorus: “I’m a Barbie girl, in the world of Barbie / Life in plastic is fantastic / You can brush my hair, strip me everywhere / Imagination, life is your creation.”
Mattel had sued MCA Records, Aqua’s label, over “Barbie Girl”, alleging that the song’s lyrics “associated sexual and other unsavory themes with its Barbie products”. An appeals court ruled that “Barbie Girl” was protected as a parody under the First Amendment, and the case was dismissed. In 2009, Mattel licensed “Barbie Girl” for use in an advertising campaign.
Other ’90s music videos that hit the billion-view club on YouTube include “November Rain” by Guns N’ Roses, “Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana, “What’s Up” by 4 Non Blondes, ” Zombie” by The Cranberries, “Whitney Houston “I Will Always Love You” and “I Want It That Way” by the Backstreet Boys.
Aqua’s “Barbie Girl” topped the global music charts when it was released, and it remains among the UK’s best-selling singles.
The band celebrated reaching one billion views on YouTube in social media posts: