Mattel Sues Aqua Over "Barbie Girl"

September 13, 1997 12:00 AM ET

Mattel Inc. has filed suit against MCA Records Inc. and Universal Music & Video Distribution Inc. for trademark infringement and dilution resulting from the alleged unauthorized use of the toy manufacturer's Barbie doll trademarks and likeness in the hit song "Barbie Girl" by Danish pop group Aqua. Filed Thursday, the suit, which also names MCA's British, Danish, and Swedish affiliates, claims that the song, which is currently No. 9 on Billboard's Hot 100 Singles chart, contains lyrics that "associate sexual and other unsavory themes with Mattel's Barbie products." Among the lyric examples cited are "kiss me here, touch me there, hanky panky" and "make me walk, make me talk, do whatever you please, I can act like a star, I can beg on my knees." The suit seeks an injunction forcing the defendants to stop their alleged infringement of the Barbie doll trademarks, the recall and destruction of all infringing products, and unspecified damages. In a prepared statement, MCA responds: "In our view, Aqua's 'Barbie Girl' is just a fun, funny pop song and every copy is clearly marked with a disclaimer that reads: The song 'Barbie Girl' is a social comment and was not created or approved by the makers of the doll."

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Song Stories

“Whoomp! (There It Is)”

Tag Team | 1993

Cecil Glenn — a.k.a., "D.C." — was a cook at Magic City, a nude dance club in Atlanta, when he first heard women shout "Whoomp — there it is!" Inspired by the party chant, he and partner Steve "Roll'n" Gibson wrote a song around it. Undaunted by label rejections, they borrowed $2,500 from Glenn's parents and pressed 800 singles, which quickly sold out in the Atlanta area. A record deal came soon after. Glenn said the song was meant for positive partying. "If you're going to say 'Whoomp there it is,' and you're doing something negative, we'd rather it not have come out of your mouth."

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