Schlager Sunday – Barbie Girl

Today’s Schlager Sunday proudly presents Barbie Girl. This song is truly one of its kind. The trashy song has been written by the band members and was the biggest economic success of Aqua. Barbie Girl was released in 1997 on the debut album Aquarium. The Eurodance song hit the charts worldwide and made it to number one in many countries, including the UK, Italy and Australia. The song sold so well that it got a diamond record in France and numerous platinum records, including 4 x platinum in Belgium.

From Canada to New Zealand Barbie Girl was certainly a hit. The song divided with the honest lyrics about your everyday Barbie usage, the high-pitched delivery, and the kitschy video. Søren Nystrøm Rasted was indeed inspired to write Barbie Girl after visiting an exhibition about kitsch culture in Denmark. This song got the honor of performing during the interval at the Eurovision Song Contest in 2001, in a best-of medley of Aqua (whatever that may mean). The song scored number 4 in the poll of VH1 Best Number One of All Time and is way up amongst the best-selling singles in the UK of all time.

It has also been a part of the (in)famous lawsuit Mattel v. MCA Records. To cut it short, Aqua got away on grounds of satire and the First Amendment of the Constitution and the Supreme Court was not gonna deal with any of this. Aqua’s defamation lawsuit on the other hand was dismissed by Judge Alex Kozinski who ruled, “The parties are advised to chill”.

Schlager Sunday Aqua Barbie Girl

Now, after all this glory, Barbie Girl is also featured in many worst songs of all times lists, including a striking number 1 on Rolling Stone’s “Worst Songs of the Nineties”.

What do you think – art or kitsch?

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21 thoughts on “Schlager Sunday – Barbie Girl

  1. Yes I remember this. Warning! Dangerously high kitsch content! Really awful but you’ve just got to watch it all the way through anyway!

  2. I didn’t know there was a legal dispute between Mattel and MCA! I love Barbie and Mattel but Mattel are no angels themselves in the grand scheme.
    Remember the song well when I was living in the UK… def kitsch, with a bit of art thrown in 🙂

    1. When we sprinkle kitsch with art, it almost becomes impossible to tell them appart. With Barbie Girl it’s certainly in the ear of the beholder 😉

  3. That was a great little song and video Barbie Girl. 💖 The singer was very cool. I have the CD. Ha!!!! My nieces and nephews also loved it. I remember I went on holiday to Florida years ago and ended up in a club called Baja I think it was and all of a sudden they played that song and people were doing a dance routine to it. Very fun. 😀

    1. Ha ha, it seems this song is still pretty popular 😉 Aqua is actually still touring here and there (and the 90s were not even good in the 90s)

  4. Barbie Girl. OMG. I love it- Why can’t it be kitsch *and* art at the same time? Because for me it’s clearly both- 🤔 😅


    1. That is actually a good question! I’ll let this simmer for a bit… they are actually still touring and performing this song and look like they are having a great time! Always perspective…

    2. Mmh, so kitsch sprinkled with some art? I like! (Now I just need to find a way to get this song out of my head again …)

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