I Kissed a Girl

Album: One of the Boys (2008)
Charted: 1 1


  • In this song Perry dips her toes into the experimental sea when she kisses a girl after a night of clubbing (drinks are involved). She admits to liking it, but it isn't anything meaningful, and besides, she has a boyfriend - just another crazy club night. The Californian has drawn criticism from some quarters for targeting a young audience with a song about bisexual experimentation.

    It was Perry's first single, but she had to convince her record company to release it, as they didn't even want it on the album at first. Perry explained in 2010, "I was really excited to put that out because it was such a fun song that could be both silly and mean something to someone. It was a subject matter that was on the tip of everyone's tongue at that moment, so it was kind of like a snapshot of things that were happening in 2008."
  • This was not the first song where Perry had referred to matters of sexual orientation in her lyrics. In the Los Angeles singer-songwriter's previous release "Ur So Gay" she disses an effeminate guy who isn't interested in her:

    You need SPF-45 just to stay alive
    Ur so gay and you don't even like boys

    Interestingly, Perry's debut album, which was released in 2001 under the name of Katy Hudson, was a Christian music album released by a Christian record label. Both her parents are pastors and she grew up listening to gospel music - secular music was banned at home. Some commentators expressed surprise at this turnaround from a Christian singer-songwriter to a hard-drinking party girl who sings about gayness. Some churches were not pleased.
  • In addition to Katy Perry, Dr. Luke ("Behind These Hazel Eyes," "Since U Been Gone," "Girlfriend"), Max Martin ("Oops... I Did It Again," "Baby One More Time," "I Want It That Way") and Cathy Dennis ("Can't Get You Out Of My Head," "Toxic," "About You Now") have songwriting credits on this song. Dr. Luke also produced the track.
  • On Thursday June 26, 2008, Billboard announced that this song had officially become the 1,000th #1 US single of the Rock era, which began in 1955 when "Rock Around The Clock" by Bill Haley and the Comets reached #1 on what was then called the Best Sellers chart.
  • Perry was signed to Capitol Records, which is also the home of Coldplay, who had the previous #1 with "Viva La Vida." This was the first time Capitol had two consecutive #1 hits since 1976 when "Silly Love Songs" followed "Boogie Fever" into the top slot. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France, for above 2
  • In an interview with the Ventura County Star, Perry claimed this song is all about exploration and female bonding. She said: "There's just a magical beauty that women hold that can definitely slay men of all kinds. If Angelina Jolie, Natalie Portman or Gisele Bündchen walked into the room, everybody would watch."
  • This song shares a name with a Jill Sobule song that was a hit in 1995. Perry told MTV News: "If my song directs traffic to Jill, that's awesome. She's deserving."
  • This was the first US #1 for co-songwriter Cathy Dennis. In 1991 she'd recorded three American Top 10 hits including "Touch Me (All Night Long)", which peaked at #2. Dennis also co-penned three other Top 10 entries, the previously most successful having been "Can't Get You Out Of My Head," which reached #7.
  • In July 2008 this became the first song since Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy" to simultaneously appear on the Mainstream Top 40, Rhythmic, Adult Top 40 and Alternative charts.
  • Perry came up with the chorus for this song a year and a half before she recorded it. It went unfinished until a session with Dr. Luke where she decided to complete it.
  • Perry told the Observer Music Monthly that this song is about drunken curiosity, not as some have interpreted it, a call to change sexual orientation. She explained: "I'm talking about the way girls are really touchy-feely and sisterly. Especially when we're growing up. We're holding hands, we're having sleepovers, we're doing choreographed dance moves in our pajamas, we're painting each other's nails and practicing kissing on our arms - or maybe practicing kissing on one another. It wasn't something that we were doing for the sake of anybody else because we were scared of boys. I know I was scared of boys! My first kiss was with a boy, and he almost swallowed me alive. I wish I had kissed that girl I had the girl-crush on when I was growing up. I would have been much more prepared for my dating life, I think."
  • This topped the Billboard Hot 100 for seven weeks in a row, equaling the record for a song released on Capitol Records in the rock era - The Beatles' "I Want To Hold Your Hand" (also on Capitol) reigned for seven weeks in 1964.
  • This was also the longest-running #1 by a female artist having her debut hit since Ciara's "Goodies" topped the Hot 100 for seven weeks in September-October 2004.
  • Kinga Burza, who directed the song's video, told MTV News that originally the promo was set in a hotel room but due to budget concerns and tight time constraints the location was switched. Instead it was filmed in a 1970s castle in the Hollywood Hills that has often been used as the setting "for pornos and horror films."

    Burza explained in the same interview why rather than taking a literal approach to the song's lyrics, she used the video to show off Perry's charisma. She said: "I just really wanted to have Katy performing, whilst being surrounded by loads of really sexy girls. Of course, I didn't want to feature them too much, as the video was all about Katy, and for me, it was more about insinuating and being suggestive with sexy body shapes and silhouettes. It was not [about being] obvious or distasteful. The song's lyrics are enough. We don't want female teens all over the world pashing each other because they look up to Katy Perry!"
  • Katy Perry's boyfriend at the time, Gym Class Heroes frontman Travie McCoy, told MTV News about the time he first heard this song. He recalled: "When she was recording her record she'd send me songs, and when we were making our record I'd send her songs. So she sent me a demo of 'I Kissed a Girl,' and we were on tour, and I was playing it during our changeover, just watching the kids react. So she came out to one of our shows, and the song came out and she flipped out, like, 'What are you doing playing that?' and I took her to the side of the stage so she could watch the crowd react. And now, well, she's huge."
  • This won the award for Best Pop Song at the 35th People's Choice Awards, held on January 7, 2009. A few days later it won the Virgin Media Music award for Best Track.
  • Perry revealed to Q magazine March 2009 that the lyrics are about a real-life girl. She explained: "The song was inspired by a friendship I had with a girl when I was 15, but I didn't kiss her. I was totally obsessed with her. She was beautiful-porcelain skin, perfect lips - and I still talk to her, but I've never told her the song is about her."
  • A pre-famous Kesha appears in the song's music video. The "TiK ToK" singer explained to We Are Pop Slags: "We were actually friends from before she was successful. We just knew each other from being out and about and we worked with some of the same people in Los Angeles."

    Also in the video: Katy's cat, Kitty Purry.
  • Perry told Billboard magazine that the song almost didn't make it on the album. She said: "There was some concern at the top, but I just let them sit with the song and they came around. They liked it so much, it became the (first official) single."
  • Reflecting on this song in 2013, Perry told Entertainment Weekly: "I think it worked because it was a zeitgeist idea. Everyone was talking about bisexuality and experimenting. Than all of a sudden you have a soundtrack."
  • Perry performed this song with Lenny Kravitz at halftime of the 2015 Super Bowl (the one where the Patriots beat the Seahawks on a late interception). After Perry introduced Kravitz, he began singing the song, which takes on a different meaning when sung from a male perspective. Perry joined in, Kravitz played a guitar solo (although his instrument was unplugged), and then Katy moved on to the next section of her performance.

    Anyone sticking around at halftime to see Kravitz was disappointed to see him relegated to a sideman role, without getting to play even one of his own songs (the "surprise guest" Missy Elliott played bits of three of her songs). Having him sing "I Kissed A Girl" seemed like a way to disguise the true meaning of the song for any viewers who might have been offended.
  • The song was partially inspired by Scarlett Johansson. When the actress was informed of this during an interview with Allure, she responded: "That's flattering, but my lips are kind of taken." (Johansson had just married actor Ryan Reynolds at the time).

    She added, "I had no idea. I should get a cut!"
  • In 2017, Perry was honored by the Human Rights Campaign with the National Equality Award for supporting the LGBTQ community. In her acceptance speech, she said, "I'm just a singer-songwriter, honestly. I speak my truths and I paint my fantasies into these little bite-sized pop songs. For instance, 'I kissed a girl and I liked it.' Truth be told, I did more than that. How was I going to reconcile that with a gospel singing girl raised in youth groups that were pro-conversion camps? What I did know was I was curious, and even then I knew sexuality wasn't as black and white as this dress. And honestly, I haven't always gotten it right, but in 2008 when that song came out I knew that I started a conversation and a lot of the world seemed curious enough to sing along, too."
  • Speaking on 103.5 KTU's Cubby and Carolina in the Morning in a 2017 interview, Miley Cyrus claimed she was the subject of the song.

    "Katy Perry, she's been a friend of mine for a really long time. We were actually just realizing the other day that next year, we'll have been friends for 10 years. I think that's my friend that I've known the longest, which is really, really weird," Cyrus said. "When she came out with 'I Kissed a Girl,' I was doing the Hannah Montana movie, and I heard her on the radio, they said, 'Who'd you write that about?' And she said me."

Comments: 30

  • The Dude from Doo Dah, KsBeen there, done that. Jill Sobule did it 13 years earlier and did it better.
  • Unknown from UnknownThis song is so not sh*t ok people. People who say this song suck should get a f**kin life!! I'm a girl and I kissed a girl before but not because i was drunk. I actually wanted to because us girls are so hottt. I'm not lesbian but i just think it's hot and nothing is wrong with it. Kiss a girl maybe you should try it and then tell me if this song sucks!!
  • Dee from KansasWhat is the song form of this song? Is it AABC? AABA? 12 bar blues?
  • Mark from Ann Arbor, Mohaha dude there is like "try listening to zepplin..." its way better than katy perry. thats just sum dumb thing to say you cant really compare the two, like I'd say zeppelin was better too but whatever, the fact that your like not katy perry but zeppelin makes me think youre really obsessed with like witchcraft
  • Kent Lyle from Cincinnati, OhTo my ears, this song is heavily overproduced and seems as if it is trying too hard, almost like it wants to hit you over the head. Very forced, with painfully obvious autotuning. The lyrics themselves actually say very little considering how "controversial" they are made out to be. For crying out loud, Jill Sobule recorded a song with the same title 13 years earlier, a much better and more thoughtful song I would like to add.
  • Rutba from Doha, Qatarnick and emily are right i also like this song
  • Azalea from Hot Springs, ArKaty never acctually kissed a girl. She got this tune stuck in her head. She later starting singing "I kissed a girl" just to play around. And the mangers said it'd make a great song.
  • Rahul from Chennai, Indiai never understood wat was so special with this song.... i find this song a clumsy, ordinary pop number...
  • Emily from Around Chicago, IlBottom line:
    catchy song, baddish lyrics, old music is better.

    much better (and this is coming from a 13yearold)
  • Emma from Brooklyn, NyI personally like this song... katy perry has better songs tho, so don't judge her because of this one.
  • Al from Seattle, Walyricaly gross, musically inferior
  • Austen from Fourwinds, TxGotta agree with Marley and Jeff. While Perry is quite beautiful, that does not make her music good. She has a lot of talent and throws it away on mediocre crap like this.
  • Marley from Springfield, NjThis song sucks. Try listening to something good like Led Zeppelin or Rainbow and you will wonder why you ever liked this music.
  • Paulina from Santiago, ChileI think this song was for her to have fun and make fun of the situation of kissing girls, boys, or whatever. She is not declaring anything with this song and even if she did, who cares? Is her life and she can do whatever she wants with it... and she is just writing a song xD..its not like she was actually doing it(and even so xddd) GOooo KATY !! YOUR MUSIC IS REALLY HONEST :P
  • Nicollette from San Fernando, Trinidad And TobagoThis song is so not sh*t ok people. People who say this song suck should get a f**kin life!!I'm a girl and I kissed a girl before but not because i was drunk.I actually wanted to because us girls are so hottt. I'm not lesbian but i just think it's hot and nothing is wrong with it. Kiss a girl maybe you should try it and then tell me if this song sucks!!
  • Nady from Adelaide, Australiaits a sh-t song. it's because of crap songs like this that I dont listen to the radio anymore. I mean, who gives a sh-t if this (morbidly untalented) chick kissed a girl?? I mean, jesus, keep it to yourself. 14 yaer olds devour this kind of sh-t and it makes me rather peevy, only because Im extremely passionate when it comes to music, and let me tell you this is definately not music, its bullsh-t. Im 17 and converted to listening to mid 60's to late 70's music a long time ago, trust me thats where the pure gold stuff is. Put some Creedence and Doors in your ears, then you'll know what I mean. LONG LIVE ROCK AND ROLL!!!
  • Amy from Liverpool, United Kingdommy mates made a little song lyk that b4 it came out it went:
    i kissed a boy an' didnt lyk it
    so i kissed a girl instead!!
    they walked around singin that 4 ages
    it was hilarious
  • Francia from Caracas, --I don't really like it... But sure is a catchy song, so I can see why is so popular and so many people like it
  • Valerie from None Of Ur Buisness!!, Bcits catchy...thats all...
  • Jessie from Dallas, TxI haaaaaate this song!! So annoying!!!!
  • Godzirra from Sioux Falls, SdI agree with some of you regarding the beat - it is very catchy - the beginning has hints of .. hell, don't remember the song, but it's that one they play at sports things a lot ...

    I've been reading about her a bit since I tend to do that with bands/artists I start to listen to some ... but I have yet to hear a comparison to who I think is probably the most modern "door opener" for her - Liz Phair.

    I'd hit it til it's swollen, ice it down, and hit it again ...
  • Denver from Colunbia City, InJeff from austin. Good Call. New music sucks and has no creativity. Some 80s music sucks but at least they went on a limb and tried something. This song feels like a rhianna knockoff. Its a joke. NEW MUSIC SUCKS
  • C from Sa, TxHonestly? This was on the top songs of America? A song about experimenting with girls? The beat is catchy but it was wasted on a song with a bad message...
  • Davina from The Hague, NetherlandsHahahah, you guys are funny. You get annoyed about someone using the word 'gay' in a negative way. And yet, for all of you gay still means homosexual. Well I'v got news for you: gay means happy. Period!
    By the way, the song is great. If you don't think so, stop waisting your time on this site.
  • Jeff from Austin, TxThis song SUCKS! This chick is such a freaking poser!! She makes Christian albums, and no one knows who the hell she is. So what does she do?? She starts writing songs about calling a dude 'gay', and kissing girls! Just to get attention! God, new music sucks!! Kids, if youre reading this...listen to older music. Anything before the mid-90s, when the pop music demographic started being 12 yr olds.
  • Susan from Alabaster, Alyeah, gay is not a synonym for crappy. if you think a song sucks say that. because that's NOT WHAT GAY MEANS!!!!!!! i am so sick of people saying that.
  • Mel!ssa from Pittsburgh, Pai like the song. it kinda grew on me. who knows, maybe i'll even kiss a girl!
  • Nick from Westwood, NjI hate this song first off. But Brittany your dad didnt realize this song is about a bi-sexual experimentation? C'mon? Really? Is your dad that stupid. What did he think it was about. Pumpkin picking?
  • Emily Mb from Boston, Mafirst off brittany, don't use "gay" as a negativity. second, there is nothing wrong with being a lesbian. i am not a lesbian, but the courage it must have taken katy perry to write and sing that song is amazing because people like you don't except the way that she or people who are gay/bi/lesbian are.
  • Brittany from Lincoln, Nethis is such a gay song
    the first time i heard it my dad liked it
    then he found out that is was about being a lesbian
    now he has banned the song
see more comments

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