Aqua is a Danish pop group most famous for their 1997 hit single “Barbie Girl” which catapulted them to international fame. The band consists of four permanent members: Lene Nystrom, Rene Dif, Soren Rasted, and Claus Norrean.
The group originally made music under the name Joyspeed from 1988 to 1996. They decided to change the direction of their music after their first single, “Itzy Bitzy Spider,” failed to find popularity in Sweden. At that point they changed record labels, despite offers from their current record label to produce the group for another album.
In 1997 the four friends began to develop the bubblegum pop sound that would eventually make them famous. Their new style caught the attention of record label, Universal Music Denmark, who perceived a big market for the band’s style. It was at this point that they changed their name to Aqua.
Aqua’s first single “Roses are Red” surpassed all of their label’s expectations selling enough copies to be considered certified platinum. Their next entry “My Oh My” found similar success, quickly becoming certified gold in only 6 days. With this track record, the label readjusted their sights to an international scale and promptly dropped a full album release.
The album, Aquarium, was a huge success thanks to the third single: “Barbie Girl”. The band’s out-of-nowhere popularity caused many to dismiss them as a one-hit-wonder. Barbie Girl’s provocative lyrics caused a firestorm in the mainstream media.
Aqua went on hiatus after a very successful career in 2001. However, they returned in the year 2007 to produce the album Megalomania and are still playing music today.
Aquarium – 1997
Aquarius – 2000
Megalomania – 2011