Girlfriend (Avril Lavigne song)
|Single by Avril Lavigne|
|from the album The Best Damn Thing|
|Released||27 February 2007|
|Format||CD single, digital download|
|Genre||Pop punk, power pop|
|Length||3:37 (Album version)
3:25 (Dr. Luke Remix)
|Writer(s)||Avril Lavigne, Lukasz Gottwald; Niatia Kirkland (Dr. Luke Remix only)|
|Avril Lavigne singles chronology|
"Girlfriend" is a song by Canadian singer-songwriter Avril Lavigne. The song was written by Lavigne with her producer Dr. Luke for Lavigne's third studio album, The Best Damn Thing (2007). "Girlfriend" was released as the lead single from The Best Damn Thing on 27 February 2007. Lyrically, the song revolves around its protagonist having a crush on someone who is in a relationship, proclaiming she should be his girlfriend. The song has been noted to have similarities to Toni Basil's 1982 single "Mickey", and The Rubinoos' 1979 single "I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend". The songwriters of "I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend" sued Lavigne and Dr. Luke for copyright infringement; the suit was later settled.
"Girlfriend" received generally positive reviews from music critics, who complimented its catchiness. The song was a worldwide success, peaking at the top spot of the charts in eight countries, including Canada, the United States, and Australia. It additionally charted in the top ten of most other countries. The song's accompanying music video, directed by The Malloys sees Lavigne portraying three alter-egos, with all of them fighting over the same guy. In June 2007, the song's official remix, featuring American rapper Lil Mama was released. Lavigne performed the song a number of times, including at the 2007 MuchMusic Video Awards, the 2007 Teen Choice Awards, and the 2008 Juno Awards.
The song's success made it a mainstay of pop music in the late 2000s. "Girlfriend" was certified multi-platinum in Australia and the United States. It was the top-selling song of 2007, with over 7.3 million worldwide sales. In 2008, the song became the most viewed video on YouTube, and was the first video on the site to reach 100 million views. Rolling Stone ranked the song number thirty-seven on their list of "Top 100 Songs of 2007" list. Several versions of the song were released with the chorus sung in multiple languages. In 2010, the song was named the ninety-fourth most successful song on the Hot 100 in the 2000s decade. Allmusic highlighted the song as one of the most significant punk-pop songs of all time.
Background and composition 
A 21-second sample of the song.
|Problems listening to this file? See media help.|
"Girlfriend" was written by Avril Lavigne and Lukasz "Dr. Luke" Gottwald, who also produced the song. "Girlfriend" is a moderately fast pop punk, power pop, and pop song at 152 beats per minute, performed in the key of D major. Lavigne's vocal range spans from A3 to D5.
The chorus was written before the verses and was described by Lavigne to be written using "rocky chords". Gottwald then came up with a beat for the song and Lavigne immediately loved it. Lavigne has stated that "Girlfriend" was quite a different song for her.
The song's chorus was recorded in seven different languages other than English.
Critical reception 
"Girlfriend" received generally positive reviews from contemporary music critics. The song was No. 35 on Rolling Stone's list of the 100 Best Songs of 2007. This song was also No. 77 on MTV Asia's list of Top 100 Hits of 2007. Also was listed as the number 1 hit of 2007 according to MTV Latin America. "Girlfriend" also won the Best Song of the Year at the 2008 Kids' Choice Awards. It beat "Big Girls Don't Cry", "Don't Matter", and "Beautiful Girls".
Reviewers have noted similarities between Girlfriend and other songs. One similarity is to The Rubinoos' 1979 single "I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend", in which they sing "Hey hey, you you, I wanna be your boyfriend" similar to "Hey hey, you you, I could be your girlfriend" in "Girlfriend". The song can be heard on the Rubinoos' MySpace page. Similarities have also been noted to Toni Basil's "Mickey".  
Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic highlighted the song as a 'track pick' in a review of the album, The Best Damn Thing. He complimented the album for opening with Girlfriend, describing the song as a "bright bubblegum blast". Focusing on Girlfriend in a review for The Best Damn Thing, Chris Willman of Entertainment Weekly said "If the girls of Heathers formed a Runaways tribute band, it would sound exactly like this". Alex Macpherson of The Guardian newspaper labelled Girlfriend as "brilliantly addictive". Jon Pareles of The New York Times called Girlfriend the best song off the album and stated it used "cleverly manipulated echoes and attacks to sound as if Ms. Lavigne were charging in from all directions". Sal Cinquemani of Slant magazine was more negative on the song and states that Lavigne can't "pull off the pink pumps or punky pout with any kind of believability".
Chart performance 
Because of digital download sales in excess of 122,000, the song debuted at number five on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, the highest debut of her career. Afterwards it became Lavigne's first song to reach number one on the Hot 100, in the issue dated 5 May 2007; her previous highest peak on the chart was with 2002's "Complicated", which reached number two. It remained in the top ten for eighteen weeks. It became the last number one hit on that chart by a Canadian female artist until 2012's "Call Me Maybe" by Carly Rae Jepsen. However she later became the last number one on that chart by a Canadian female artist with her 2006 single "Keep Holding On" when it gained unexpected sales in late 2012. In Canada, the song debuted at number 1. As of June 2012, Girlfriend has sold 3,553,000 copies in the United States.
"Girlfriend" debuted on the Australian ARIA Singles Chart at number three. The following week it reached number-one, and it remained at the top for six non-consecutive weeks, equalling Lavigne's previous number-one single on the ARIA Charts, "Complicated". After three weeks on the charts, it was certified gold by ARIA, then platinum after seven weeks for sales in excess of 70,000 copies. It was then certified double platinum, sales in excess of 140,000. In 2008, it was certified quadruple platinum for sales of 280,000.
On the UK Singles Chart, "Girlfriend" peaked at number two, surpassing "Complicated" as Lavigne's highest peaking single on the chart. The song ended 2007 as the years 20th biggest-selling single in the UK and spent 27 weeks inside the chart and is Lavigne's biggest hit in the UK to date.
It won the Award for "Canción del Año" (Song of the Year) in "Los Premios MTV Latinoamérica 2007" (The Latin American MTV Awards) and was nominated for "Monster Single" in the MTV Video Music Awards 2007. It won Most Addictive Track (Single of the Year) at the MTV Europe Music Awards
On 25 May 2007 Lavigne, Gottwald, RCA Records, and Apple Inc. were sued by James Gangwer and Tommy Dunbar (songwriters for The Rubinoos) over claims that "Girlfriend" infringes their copyright on their 1979 song "I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend". Lavigne's manager, Terry McBride, denied that "Girlfriend" was copied from "I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend", and pointed out that "Boyfriend" itself is similar to The Rolling Stones' song "Get off of My Cloud". McBride said he hired a musicologist to compare the songs. According to McBride the musicologist reported that the songs were totally dissimilar, even a different meter. Prominent music critics such as Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic have publicly said that the chorus is a "total lift" from the Rubinoos' song. In July 2007 McBride said that Lavigne had no plans to settle the case, but would consider the costs of defending the case against those of settling. In January 2008, the lawsuit was settled, and Gangwer and Dunbar released a statement saying that the similarities between the songs were based on "certain common and widely used lyrics" and that they "completely exonerate Avril and Luke from any wrongdoing of any kind in connection with the claims made by us in our lawsuit."
Music video 
It features two girls: one with glasses and red hair (Lavigne), and one with a rebellious persona and black hair (also Lavigne). The video begins inside the building where the red-haired girl and her boyfriend are walking together. Lavigne sees her and shows her an intimidating disposition, to which the former ignores. As the couple walk away, Lavigne begins to sing the song and tries her luck on the red-haired girl's boyfriend. Featured in the video are scenes of Lavigne fighting over the man with the red-haired girl and trying to outdo her repeatedly. Between the scenes we see Lavigne, now with pink-streaked blonde hair, singing with her band accompanying her at the back. The video also featured Lavigne and her friends dancing in a restroom.
After the starting scene, the video shows them at Li'l Indy, where they ride go-carts. Here, Lavigne is seen viciously bumping the car of the red-haired girl, causing her to spin around and lose control. Next, the red-haired girl and her boyfriend get inside a photo booth where Lavigne slips in and grabs the red-haired girl away before they take pictures. Lavigne's friends then block the red-haired girl's way (by positioning themselves at the booth entrance) to give her more time.
The couple are now seen eating together, where Lavigne sees them yet again, throws the food away and kisses the red-haired girl's boyfriend, much to the latter's surprise and anger. It is nighttime when the couple decide to head over to a miniature golf course to while away some time playing, where the red-haired girl cheerfully wins.
Unfortunately for her, Lavigne and her friends happen to be present at the venue as well. As soon as she and her friends see them, Lavigne hits her in the head with a golf ball, resulting in the red-haired girl splashing down into the water. Her boyfriend tries to grab her hand but misses, to Lavigne's amusement. Finally, the man, who eventually develops feelings for Lavigne, is seen waiting for her. As she comes toward him, they soon hold hands together, but red-haired girl sees this and attempts to seize Lavigne. But Lavigne and the man manage to dodge her, and in her attempt to win back her boyfriend, she tumbles all the way down and lands in a Porta Potty ahead, where she gives a look of desperation towards the camera, showing she has failed to do so, and signalling that Lavigne has finally won the man's affections. Lavigne then takes her new boyfriend into a bathroom stall and slightly opens the door after a moment and pumps her arm in victory.
Lavigne's boyfriend in the video is played by American model Bryan McMullin and dresses similarly to the "rocker" Lavigne in the video. The video features Lavigne's previous guitarist Evan Taubenfeld, and Lavigne's brother Matt on bass.
On 18 July 2008 "Girlfriend" became the most viewed video at that time on YouTube and in August of that year, surpassed 100 million views becoming the first YouTube video to reach that milestone. The YouTube video of the song was accused of having an exaggerated number of views due to the use of a web link posted by AvrilBandAids, a fansite devoted to Avril Lavigne. Clicking on the link would automatically reload the YouTube video of Girlfriend every fifteen seconds. Fans of Avril Lavigne were encouraged to: "Keep this page open while you browse the internet, study for exams, or even sleep. For extra viewing power, open up two or more browser windows at this page!"  However, the fansite later revealed that no "cheating" had taken place, and that the link had merely been a ruse to draw more attention to the video, thereby attracting additional views. It is expected that Avril's YouTube video views have earned in excess of US$2.000.000. In November 2009, RCA Records removed the video of the song from YouTube, by which time it had received around 130 million views. The official video is now hosted by Vevo, a premium music video service owned by Google and Sony.
The song is featured on the soundtrack to the video game Burnout Dominator in four different languages which includes Japanese, Spanish, Mandarin and English. The song is also featured in Burnout Paradise which only includes the English Version.
Dr. Luke Remix 
Live performances 
Track listings and formats 
- CD single
- Japan CD single
- "Girlfriend" (Radio edit) – 3:38
- "Girlfriend" (Instrumental) – 3:36
- Junkie XL remix digital download
- "Girlfriend" [Junkie XL Mix]
- "Girlfriend" [Junkie XL Extended Mix]
- Dr. Luke remix edition [iTunes only]
- "Girlfriend" (Dr. Luke remix, featuring Lil Mama)
- "Girlfriend" (album version)
- "Girlfriend" (original music video)
- "Girlfriend" (Dr. Luke remix, featuring Lil Mama) [music video]
- Ringle edition
- "Girlfriend" (Dr. Luke remix, featuring Lil Mama)
- "Girlfriend" (Japanese version) [clean edit]
- "Keep Holding On"
1 A code was included on the CD to download the ringtone online.
Zebrahead version 
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (February 2011)|
|Single by Zebrahead|
|from the album Panty Raid|
|Released||20 September 2009|
|Genre||Pop punk, rap rock|
|Producer||Cameron Webb, Matt Beckley|
|Zebrahead singles chronology|
In September 2009, punk rock American band Zebrahead released "Girlfriend" as the first single of their new album Panty Raid, which was released on 4 November 2009, in Japan and 8 December in the rest of the world. The album is noticed to only have cover versions of women's famous pop songs of the past two decades. It runs 3:05 and is fast-paced, thanks to Ali rap sing style. It was peaked in the Hot Modern Rock Tracks in the first week in the No. 84 place.
The music video of the song was released in mid October and is a parody of the original "Girlfriend" video, with Ali playing the "Bad Avril" and Matty playing the good one. It resembles numerous situations that occur in the original video, but with a more comic sense into the video.
|US Billboard Hot Modern Rock Tracks||84|
|Venezuela Pop Rock (Record Report)||1|
Credits and personnel 
- Avril Lavigne – lead vocals, songwriting
- Dr. Luke – songwriting, production, guitars, bass, programming
- Serban Ghenea – mixing
- John Hanes – vocal editing
- Tim Roberts – assistant engineer
- Matt Beckley – additional production
- Steven Wolf – additional production, live drums, additional drums
Charts and certifications 
Year-end charts 
Decade-end charts 
|2007||MuchMusic Video Awards||International Video of the Year by a Canadian||Won|
|People's Choice: Favourite Canadian Artist||Won|
|MTV Video Music Awards||Monster Single of the Year||Nominated|
|Los Premios MTV Latinoamérica||Song of the Year||Won|
|MTV Europe Music Awards||Most Addictive Track||Won|
|Oye awards||Best International Song||Nominated|
|Planeta Awards||Pop/Hip Hop Song of the Year||Nominated|
|Teen Choice Awards||Choice Music Single||Won|
|TMF Awards (Belgium)||Best Video: International||Nominated|
|Virgin Media Music Awards||Best Track||Nominated|
|Chart Attack's 13th Annual Year-End Readers' Poll||Best Song||Nominated|
|2008||Japan Gold Disc Award||Mastertone of the Year||Won|
|Single Track of the Year (mobile)||Won|
|Juno Awards||Single of the Year||Nominated|
|MTV Asia Awards||Best Hook Up||Nominated|
|MTV Video Music Awards Japan||Best Pop Video||Won|
|Best Karaoke Song||Nominated|
|MuchMusic Video Awards||MuchMusic.com Most Watched Video||Nominated|
|Imperio Music Awards||Song of the Year||Won|
|Best Pop Video||Won|
|Myx Music Awards||Favorite International Music Video||Nominated|
|Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards||Favorite Song||Won|
|Socan Awards||Best Pop Song||Won|
|TRL Awards||Best Number One||Nominated|
|Capricho Awards||Best Video at YouTube||Nominated|
|2012||VEVOCertified Awards||200.000.000 Views||Won|
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- puestos de los 100+ pedidos 2007 – mycµ?micaL?oma?c&
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