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I Kissed a Girl

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"I Kissed a Girl"
Single by Katy Perry
from the album One of the Boys
ReleasedApril 28, 2008 (2008-04-28)
Katy Perry singles chronology
"I Kissed a Girl"
"Hot n Cold"
Music video
"I Kissed a Girl" at YouTube

"I Kissed a Girl" is the first single by pop singer Katy Perry from her album One of the Boys (2008), produced by Dr. Luke. On June 26, 2008, the song topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart, becoming the 1000th chart-topper of the Rock Era.[2] The song has since become a major worldwide hit, and along with the United States it has topped the charts in more than 20 countries, including Canada, Sweden, Australia, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Italy, Germany, and Ireland.

Inspiration[change | change source]

Perry said the song is "about the magical beauty of a woman."[3] Perry told Steppin' Out magazine: "'I Kissed a Girl' was inspired when I opened up a magazine and I saw a picture of Scarlett Johansson ... I was with my boyfriend at the time, and I said to him, 'I'm not going to lie: If Scarlett Johansson walked into the room and wanted to make out with me, I would make out with her. I hope you’re okay with that?'"[4]

Music video[change | change source]

A music video for the song was released on May 16, 2008, on Perry's personal website and on MySpace. The video was directed by Kinga Burza and features a Moulin Rouge and burlesque-type setting with scenes containing Katy, along with many other flamboyantly-dressed women, including Ke$ha, dancing to the song.[5] Eventually she wakes up next to a male companion. Despite the song's title, there is not any depiction of same-sex kissing. Katy features her real life friend and DJ, Mia Moretti and her main gay, Markus Molinari's dog Bella in the video.[6] Even her cat, Kitty Purry, makes an appearance.

The video made its television debut on June 12 on TRL with the visit and interview by Perry in set show. And on June 24, 2008 it became #1 on TRL. The video obtained high airplay on this music video channel, as well as on VH1. It debuted at #20 on VH1's VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown on June 28, 2008. On June 30, 2008 the video was premiered on MTV Latin America. On July 6, 2008, it rose to #4 on VH1's VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown. The video received five nominations for the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards, including Best Female Video and Best New Artist. The video has had over 24 million views on YouTube. Due to the video and the songs popularity around the world, there are several videos on YouTube which imitate and mock the song such as "I Kissed a Pig" and "I Kissed a Dog", both of which use the same tune and similar lyrics, while the videos use similar scenes to the original.

Critical reception[change | change source]

"I Kissed a Girl" has drawn mixed reviews from critics. Blogcritics Magazine called it "an instantly catchy number,"[7] and About.com said, "fueled by an instrumental wallop provided courtesy of producer Dr. Luke, 'I Kissed a Girl' is the perfect breakthrough."[8]

However, Rolling Stone, while giving her album 2/5 stars, despite describing the song as a "New Wave-y club single," says the supposedly rebellious "attention-grabbing" lyrics are "a vanilla recounting of her chick-on-chick exploits" and that this "acting out" is "just to get a dude's attention."[9] AllMusic praises "the stomping Gary Glitter beat" before criticizing the producers for turning it "into a leaden stumble and burying Perry's voice underneath Pro Tools overdubs so it all winds up as a faceless wash of sound designed to be placed in TV shows, movie trailers, and malls."[10]

Sal Cinquemani of Slant Magazine wrote, Perry's "lead single 'I Kissed a Girl' features a throbbing beat and an infectious, bi-curious hook, but its self-satisfied, in-your-face posturing rings phony in comparison to the expertly constructed ambiguities of 'Justify My Love' or practically anything in the first decade of Ani DiFranco's catalogue; it's like a tween version of DiFranco's tortured bisexual confession 'Light of Some Kind.'"[11] Hiponline.com wrote that the song is "not nearly as interesting or exciting as you’d expect. It’s not even half as good as Jill Sobule’s song 'I Kissed a Girl'.”[12] Glitterati Gossip agrees Sobule's song "was ten times better, because there was actual emotional content to her lyrics."[13]

Popular reception[change | change source]

The song was premiered on BBC Radio 1 in the UK on July 21, 2008 on The Scott Mills Show. It was praised by many fans on their text lines and was made his record of the week. On July 23, 2008, "I Kissed a Girl" was added to the station's C-List, "The Playlist," being, "where most songs on daytime Radio 1 are selected from". The song has since made it to the station's more popular A-list.[14]

Previous to its debut on Radio 1, it had been (and continues to be) on the playlist of some of the UK radio stations which are part of The One Network for a number of weeks. In addition it had received at least one play a week on BBC Radio 2 on its Saturday evening America’s Greatest Hits show hosted by Paul Gambaccini due to the song’s number status in the Billboard chart.

Controversy[change | change source]

The song gained a significant amount of controversy Archived 2008-08-25 at the Wayback Machine after its rise in popularity due to its perceived promotion of bisexuality and promiscuity. While community members and parents may be concerned over "the coarseness of the sexual behavior," including its public nature and intoxicated state, they may or, such as Unitarian minister Debra W. Haffner, may not be concerned over "the sex or gender of the person she's talking about."[15]

While Haffner, who holds a degree in public health, believes Perry "obviously is using the whole issue of sexual orientation in a positive way, raising awareness, or she's doing it because it gets attention,"[15] AllMusic concludes that, "the problem is not with Katy's gender-bending, it's that her heart isn't in it; she's just using it to get her places, so she sinks to crass, craven depths."[10] Slant Magazine agrees, saying, the song, "isn't problematic because it promotes homosexuality, but because its appropriation of the gay lifestyle exists for the sole purpose of garnering attention—both from Perry's boyfriend and her audience."[11]

Adam Holz of PluggedinOnline, a division of Focus on the Family, wrote an article entitled "A Tale of Two Katys"[16] about the singer's image transformation from a Contemporary Christian Music artiste to one of the "girls gone wild". He criticizes the song for being the latest, "high-profile message to young women and men that our sexuality is a malleable commodity that can be reshaped at will." Holz also argues that Perry's message carries with it, "no need to worry about who might get used or objectified in the process," causing Katy to live, "down to a damaging, demeaning stereotype."

In some areas of the world the song's bi-curious lyrics have kept it from reaching the Top 40 or to even be released at all. Though the Toronto Star, of Canada, describes it as "a lesbian-friendly tune,"[17] whether anti-gay bias fuels negative reactions to the song or the song itself appears to divide critics. While Slant and other critics[18][19] suggest that Perry may be homophobic, especially given her single "Ur So Gay", which makes "I Kissed a Girl" seem like "a classic example of the 'Guys kissing is gross, girls kissing is hot' line of thought"[20] The Star Ledger quotes a listener who proposes that negative reactions to the song are due to homophobia, saying that it would not draw disapproval if sung by a male artist, and who compares the level of explicitness in the lyrics with other songs on the radio such as rap lyrics.[15] MomLogic.com writer Vuv-A-Licious agrees, asking, "'What's the big deal?'...When this tune is playing and my son and daughter are dancing, I will be trying to dance along, or trying to acknowledge that they may one day dance to the beat of a different drummer than me."[21]

During her Washington concert at Warped Tour, Perry actually did kiss a girl from the audience.[22]

In an August 2008 interview with the Daily Mail, Perry's mother, Mary Hudson, who is an evangelical Christian preacher, was reported as saying that she disliked the song, stating: "It clearly promotes homosexuality and its message is shameful and disgusting..."[23] However, Perry took to her official blog stating that her mother's supposed comments were completely fabricated, while also saying her parents love and support her and attend many of her shows.

Regarding the question of her own sexuality that the song has raised, Perry told Santa Barbara magazine (which featured her on the cover), "I like to kiss boys, but there is no doubt in my mind if Angelina Jolie or Gisele Bündchen came a callin', who wouldn't pucker up?"[24]

Track listing and available formats[change | change source]

  1. "I Kissed a Girl" (Single Version) — 3:00
  • Official versions
  1. "I Kissed a Girl" (Single Version) — 3:00
  2. "I Kissed a Girl" (Album Version) — 2:59
  3. "I Kissed a Girl" (Dr. Luke & Benny Blanco Remix) — 3:31
  4. "I Kissed a Girl" (Jason Nevins Remix) — 3:28
  5. "I Kissed a Girl" (J-Kits Remix) (featuring Mims) — 4:09[25]
  6. "I Kissed a Girl" (MR. GASPAR Remix) — 5:38[26]
  7. "I Kissed a Girl" (Rock Mix)
  8. "I Kissed a Girl" (Breez Remix) (featuring Flo Rida)
  • Special versions
  1. "I Kissed a Girl" (acoustic version performed on The Howard Stern Show on 08/21/08)

Chart performance[change | change source]

"I Kissed a Girl" debuted at number 76 on the Billboard Hot 100. After a couple of weeks, the single hit the top 5, due to the rising digital downloads and increasing radio airplay. It continued to rise the next week, reaching #2 just behind her labelmate, Coldplay. The following week, the song reached the summit of the US chart, becoming the 1000th #1 song of the rock era (the 961st #1 on the Billboard Hot 100).[27] In addition the song also gave the Capitol label two consecutive Hot 100 #1's, as the week's prior #1 was fellow Capitol artist Coldplay's "Viva la Vida", making it the first time since 1976 Capitol has had two back to back chart toppers on the Hot 100.[28] The single also crossed over to Billboard's sister publication R&R's Rhythmic chart in its July 5 issue, where not only did she have the highest debut ever for a non-rhythmic track, entering at number 26 with 1,065 spins, she also had the highest debut from a new artist in over five years. The bow is the best for a debut track at Rhythmic since Beyoncé entered at No. 21 with "Crazy in Love" in 2003.[29][30] It also became the first song since Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy" to simultaneously appear on the Mainstream Top 40, Rhythmic, Adult Top 40 and Alternative charts.[31] On July 26, 2008, the track also made history by reaching the number one spot on Billboard's Hot Dance Airplay chart by three weeks, a first for a solo act with a debut single. The song topped the Hot 100 for seven weeks in a row before finally being dethroned by Rihanna's "Disturbia". It is the second longest running number one on the Hot 100 of 2008 so far, with only Flo Rida's "Low" topping the chart for longer. The single has sold more than 2,500,000 downloads in the United States to date.

In Canada, the single debuted at #55 at Canadian Hot 100. On June 12th the song soared to #1, jumping 26 spots from #27 position. Also on the Canadian iTunes Top 100, the song remained at #1 for over 6 weeks, until rapidly being pushed to #4 on August 7, 2008, behind Lady GaGa's "Just Dance", the Jonas Brothers' "A Little Bit Longer" and Rihanna's "Disturbia".

In New Zealand, the song debuted at number 38, the single's first appearance in other countries chart outside North America, moving to number three the following week. The song was certified Gold after seven weeks with sales of over 7,500. On August 11, eight weeks after debuting on the chart, "I Kissed A Girl" finally made it to number one.

In Australia, the song debuted at #11 on the 30th of June on downloads alone, then the next week jumped to second position behind Jordin Sparks, still on downloads alone. The next week it jumped to number one still solely off downloads, becoming only the second single to do so. Ironically, by the time the song went number 1, this was the time when World Youth Day 2008 had started and the event held anti-gay views. On 21st July, 2008, after the singles physical release, the track retained its number one position and was certified Gold. The single has held the number one position since and has gone on to be certified Platinum.[32]

In the United Kingdom, a cover version released by the artist Nicki Bliss was climbing up the UK iTunes Chart. It debuted on the UK Singles Chart (published 3 August 2008) at position number 50.[33]

A second cover version, by Barnicle, entered the UK Singles Chart (published 3 August 2008) at position #116.[33]

Because of the success of the cover versions, the official release of Katy Perry's version was brought forward from September 1 to July 30, 2008. On August 3, 2008, the song, which had entered the UK Singles Chart at number 139 the week before,[34] climbed 135 places to reach position number 4.[33] The song has become one of the most requested on Radio 1's request hour. The following week it climbed 3 places to reach number 1. The following week it stayed at the top spot for a second consecutive week and then went on to spend 5 consecutive weeks at #1.

Even parodies of "I Kissed a Girl" are seeing chart success. Robert Lund's spoof "I Peed in the Pool"[35] reached #1 on Dr. Demento's August 2008 comedy music countdown.[36] Including the MADtv parody, I'll Kiss a Girl featuring Nicole Parker as Ellen DeGeneres and fellow cast member Arden Myrin as Portia de Rossi, by Ellen saying that she's been kissing girls since the 9th grade.

Release History[change | change source]

Region Date Label Format
United States May 6, 2008 Capitol CD, Digital download
Europe July 11, 2008 Capitol CD, Digital download
United Kingdom August 4, 2008 Capitol CD, Digital download

Certifications[change | change source]

Country Certification Sales
Australia Platinum 70,000
United States 2x Platinum 2,500,000
New Zealand Gold 7,500
United Kingdom Silver 338,615

Charts[change | change source]

Chart (2008) Peak
Argentina Singles Chart 28
Australian Singles Chart[37] 1
Austrian Singles Chart 1
Belgium Singles Top 50[38] 1
Billboard Canadian Hot 100 1
Danish Singles Chart[39] 1
Dutch Top 40 1
European Billboard Hot 100 1
Finnish Singles Chart 4
French Singles Chart[40] 5
German Singles Chart 1
Greek Singles Chart[41] 1
Irish Singles Chart[42] 1
Israeli Singles Chart[43] 1
Italian Singles Chart 1
Mexico Top 100[44] 25
Latvian Singles Chart 1
New Zealand Singles Chart 1
Norwegian Singles Chart[45] 1
Polish Singles Chart 1
Spanish Singles Top 40 14
Swedish Singles Chart[46] 1
Swiss Singles Top 100[38] 1
Turkish Singles Chart[47] 3
UK Singles Chart[42] 1
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 1
U.S. Billboard Pop 100 1
U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Club Play 1

Chart procession and succession[change | change source]

Preceded by
"4 Minutes" by Madonna featuring Justin Timberlake
Canadian Hot 100 number-one single
June 21, 2008 – August 16, 2008
Succeeded by
"Just Dance" by Lady GaGa featuring Colby O'Donis
Preceded by
"Viva la Vida" by Coldplay
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 number-one single
July 5, 2008 – August 16, 2008
Succeeded by
"Disturbia" by Rihanna
Preceded by
"Bleeding Love" by Leona Lewis
U.S. Billboard Pop 100 number-one single
July 5, 2008 – August 16, 2008
Succeeded by
"Forever" by Chris Brown
Preceded by
"No Air" by Jordin Sparks with Chris Brown
Australian ARIA Singles Chart number-one single
July 14, 2008 – August 25, 2008
Succeeded by
"All Summer Long" by Kid Rock
Preceded by
"Nesian 101" by Nesian Mystik
New Zealand Singles Chart number-one single
August 11, 2008
Succeeded by
"Disturbia" by Rihanna
Preceded by
"We Break the Dawn" by Michelle Williams
U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Airplay number-one single
July 26, 2008 – August 23, 2008
Succeeded by
"Closer" by Ne-Yo
Preceded by
"All Summer Long" by Kid Rock
UK Singles Chart number-one single
August 10, 2008 – September 14, 2008
Succeeded by
"Sex on Fire" by Kings of Leon
Irish Singles Chart number-one single
August 21, 2008 – September 18, 2008
European Hot 100 Singles number-one single
August 23, 2008
Succeeded by
Swiss Singles Chart number-one single
August 24, 2008
Succeeded by
"So What" by Pink
Preceded by
"Das hat die Welt noch nicht gesehen" by Söhne Mannheims
German Singles Chart number-one single (first run)
August 30, 2008 – September 12, 2008
Succeeded by
"Gib Mir Sonne" by Rosenstolz
Preceded by
"Gib Mir Sonne" by Rosenstolz
German Singles Chart number-one single (second run)
September 26, 2008 –
Succeeded by
"So What" by Pink
Preceded by
"This Is The Life" by Amy Macdonald
Belgium Singles Chart number-one single
September 12, 2008 –
Succeeded by
Preceded by
"Kids" by MGMT
Norwegian VG-lista number-one single
September 16, 2008 – September 23, 2008
Succeeded by
"Sweet About Me" by Gabriella Cilmi
Preceded by
"Non ti scordar mai di me" by Giusy Ferreri
Italian Singles Chart number-one single
September 19, 2008 –
Succeeded by

Awards and nominations[change | change source]

Year Title Award Nominated work Result
2008 MTV Video Music Awards Best Art Direction "I Kissed a Girl" Nominated
MTV Video Music Awards Best Cinematography "I Kissed a Girl" Nominated
MTV Video Music Awards Best Editing "I Kissed a Girl" Nominated
MTV Video Music Awards Best Female Video "I Kissed a Girl" Nominated
MTV Video Music Awards Best New Artist "I Kissed a Girl" Nominated
Teen Choice Awards Choice MySpacer MySpace Page Nominated
MTV Video Music Brasil International Artist Katy Perry Nominated
MTV Europe Music Award Best New Act Katy Perry Nominated
MTV Europe Music Award Most Addictive Track "I Kissed a Girl" Nominated
Los Premios MTV Latinoamérica Best International New Artist[48] Katy Perry Nominated
Los Premios MTV Latinoamérica Song of the Year[49] "I Kissed a Girl" Nominated

References[change | change source]

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