AQUA received a surprise last night on stage at Los Angeles’ Belasco. UMe executive staff presented the band with a plaque for their worldwide smash single “Barbie Girl” which has been certified 3x platinum by the RIAA for sales of 3 million singles in the U.S.
L to R: Brittany Morgan (UMe Sr Manager, Content Creation), Sujata Murthy (UMe EVP Media), Ashley Slater (UMe Director, Marketing), Lindsay, Williams (UMe SVP Marketing), René Dif (Aqua), Lene Nystrøm (Aqua), Chris Butler (UMe CFO), Søren Rasted (Aqua)
One of the greatest Euro-Pop groups to merge in the late 90’s finally returned to the U.S.. Aqua played their first U.S. shows since 1997 at Irving Plaza in NY (6/26) and The Belasco Theater in Downtown Los Angeles, CA Thursday night (7/6). Aqua formed in 1995 in Copenhagen, Denmark with lead vocalists Lene Nystrøm and René Dif, keyboardist Søren Rasted, and guitarist Claus Norreen. The group was together from 1995 until 2001, 2008 to 2012, and again 2016 until present day. Norreen did not return to the group when they reunited in 2016 and Steffan Drak has been a touring member since. Aqua had been performing consistently around Europe since 2018 which included festival performances and were performing up until three months before the Covid-19 pandemic began and started up again in September 2021.
In the group’s first six years together they released two albums, the groundbreaking Aquarium which had seven number ones on it in different countries and the biggest hit off the album “Barbie Girl” hit number two on the Billboard U.S. Dance Singles chart and number two in around 15 countries. Their second album Aquarius hit number one in Denmark and Norway and was the second best selling album of 2001. Aqua released a third album in 2011 Megalomania. Fast forward to 2023 and Aqua is back on the charts with Ice Spice and Nicki Minaj for Barbie World from the soundtrack to the live-action Barbie movie. Sunday night, Aqua was presented a plaque from Universal Music Enterprises for sales of 3 million for “Barbie Girl.” It has been 25 years since the release of Aquarium and many songs remain popular to this day as you could see fans singing along with them and “Barbie Girl” will always be one of the most memorable pop songs of the 90s.
Aqua had two openers before they took the stage at 9:15 P.M. Freddie Seipoldt and Alex Chapman. Aqua’s 17 song set included all seven hits from Aquarium which were “Roses are Red,” “My Oh My,” “Barbie Girl,” “Doctor Jones,” “Lollipop (Candyman),” “Turn Back Time,” and “Good Morning Sunshine.” Surprisingly “Barbie Girl” wasn’t the closer, but instead their second biggest hit “Doctor Jones” was the last song. For being a group that’s songs were made of electronic instruments it was nice to see a live band as well. It sure was a big night for nostalgia and there was a lot of pink between the security guards shirts, venue wristbands, and attendees outfits.