"Barbie Girl" is a song by Danish dance-pop group Aqua. It was released in April 1997 as the third single from the group's debut studio album, Aquarium (1997). The song was written by Søren Rasted, Claus Norreen, René Dif, and Lene Nystrøm, and was produced by Johnny Jam, Delgado, Rasted, and Norreen. It was written after Rasted saw an exhibit on kitsch culture in Denmark that featured Barbie dolls.
The song topped the charts worldwide, particularly in European countries such as the United Kingdom, where it was a number-one hit for four weeks and remains one of the best-selling singles of all time. It also reached number two in the group's homeland and peaked at number seven on the US Billboard Hot 100, where it remains Aqua's biggest hit single and their only one to reach the top 10 of the Hot 100. It is Aqua's most popular work. The song was performed as the interval act in the Eurovision Song Contest 2001. It also became the subject of the controversial lawsuit Mattel v. MCA Records.
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.
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." "Barbie Girl" is written in the key of C-sharp minor.
"Barbie Girl" has sold more than eight million copies worldwide. It went on becoming a huge hit on several continents, remaining the most successful song by the band. It reached number one in more than 10 countries. In Europe, the single peaked at the top position in Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Scotland, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, as well as on the Eurochart Hot 100. In the band's native Denmark, the song debuted and peaked at number two. In the United Kingdom, it debuted on the UK Singles Chart at number two and reached number one the next week, on 26 October 1997. It stayed at that position for four weeks and has sold 1.84 million copies in the United Kingdom as of April 2017, making it the thirteenth best-selling single in the UK. Outside Europe, "Barbie Girl" peaked at number-one in Australia and New Zealand, number four in Canada and number seven on the US Billboard Hot 100. On the latter, it debuted at that position. It sold 82,000 copies in its first week and debuted at number five on the Billboard Hot Singles Sales chart.
The music video was directed by Danish directors Peder Pedersen and Peter Stenbæk. It depicts the band members in different scenes that a Barbie doll would be in. Uploaded to YouTube in August 2010, as of February 2022 the video has more than 1 billion views.