I Kissed a Girl
Writer(s): Katy Perry, Lukasz "Dr. Luke" Gottwald, Max Martin, Cathy Dennis (see lyrics here)
Released: April 28, 2008
First Charted: May 18, 2008
Peak: 17 US, 16 DG, 2 RR, 16 A40, 27 MR, 15 UK, 19 CN, 16 AU, 7 DF (Click for codes to charts.)
Sales (in millions): 6.0 US, 0.7 UK, 12.9 world (includes US + UK)
Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 0.3 radio, 169.1 video, 723.35 streaming
Click on award for more details.
About the Song:
Perry’s “I Kissed a Girl” marked a clear break from her earlier days as a Christian artist. The song’s homosexual theme whipped the prudish into a frenzy and guaranteed an audience looking for controversy. Of course, none of that would have mattered if “I Kissed a Girl” wasn’t “an extremely catchy pure pop hit.” AB’00
The “pop rock song with elements of new wave” WK was assembled by a hit-making machine. Lukasz “Dr. Luke” Gottwald helped write Kelly Clarkson’s “Since U Been Gone,” which helped her jettison her own overly clean cut image. Max Martin penned “Baby…One More Time” and co-penned “Oops!...I Did It Again” for Britney Spears. Writer Cathy Dennis helped Spears and Kylie Minogue return to the spotlight with “Toxic” and “Can’t Get You Out of My Head,” respectively.
Perry has given conflicting accounts that the song was about a female friend she kissed as a teen and that it was a fantasy and she’d never actually kissed a girl. WK Miley Cyrus has said the song was about her; Perry has also said it was inspired by Scarlet Johansson. WK
According to Perry, the chorus popped into her head one night, but she didn’t do anything with it for a year-and-a-half. When she was working in the studio with Dr. Luke on her album, they decided they had to finish it since “it’s so catchy because it won’t get out of our heads.” WK
Dennis Reese, a VP at Capitol, saw the song’s potential and pushed it to radio despite the record company’s initial resistance to release it. It became the Billboard Hot 100’s 1000th number one song of the rock era, marking Perry’s breakthrough. It also topped the charts in 18 other countries. WK
Critics weren’t completely sold on the song. The online All Music Guide said “the problem is not with Katy’s gender-bending, it’s that her heart isn’t in it.” WK Slant criticized the song “because its appropriation of the gay lifetstyle exists for the sole purpose of garnering attention.” WK
Last updated 7/27/2023.