September 6, 2023
Barbie first revived the film industry, now it’s dominating the music business as well.
Released in mid-July, the movie based on Mattel Inc.’s popular fashion doll is on its way to becoming the highest-grossing film of 2023. It’s already the biggest box office hit for Warner Bros. Discovery Inc. Then came the soundtrack.
Mark Ronson was one of the producers of Barbie The Album, which debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 with multiple singles that have soundtracked a hot-pink summer. A website for the album offers various versions for sale including colored vinyl and cassettes. The soundtrack was released by Warner Music Group, a separate company from the film studio.
Global artists contributing to the record include Latin singer Karol G, K-pop group FIFTY FIFTY and Australian psychedelic rockers Tame Impala. Aqua, the Danish-Norwegian pop group behind the 1997 Barbie Girl single, even got a boost with a sample in rappers Nicki Minaj and Ice Spice’s new song Barbie World. Both Barbie World and Aqua’s Barbie Girlwere listed as TikTok’s songs of the summer because they soundtracked so many videos.
Dance the Night, Dua Lipa’s disco anthem that serves as the film’s primary dance number, especially took off. Her team dropped the music video in May, and it skyrocketed to over 78 million views on YouTube. It’s the album’s most streamed song on Spotify, having reached over 200 million plays, and the song’s success has been so meteoric that it propelled Lipa to No. 18 on Bloomberg’s Pop Star Power Rankings for the month.
Even artists not directly featured on the Barbie soundtrack have seen a boost. Matchbox Twenty, a band that had its heyday more than 20 years ago, has seen an uptick in streams of their music since the film’s debut. Their song Push, released in 1997, is featured prominently in a scene during which the Ken dolls serenade the Barbies. It charted on Billboard for the first time since the ‘90s because of the placement, and the band’s Spotify traffic jumped by over 960,000 listeners in the month after the movie’s July 21 release, according to data from Chartmetric.