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"I Got a Boy" is a song recorded in Korean language by South Korean girl group Girls' Generation for their fourth Korean-language studio album of the same name. It was released on January 1, 2013 by S.M. Entertainment and KT Music. Produced by the group's long-time collaborator Yoo Young-jin and Will Simms, the song is described as a hybrid of various genres including bubblegum pop, dance, and electropop.

"I Got a Boy"
Single by Girls' Generation
from the album I Got a Boy
ReleasedJanuary 1, 2013 (2013-01-01)
FormatDigital download
Recorded2012; S.M. Boomingsystem
  • Will Simms
  • Yoo Young-jin
Girls' Generation singles chronology
"Dancing Queen"
"I Got a Boy"
"Love & Girls"
Music video
"I Got a Boy" on YouTube

"I Got a Boy" was a success domestically, debuting atop the Gaon Digital Chart and has sold over 1.3 million digital copies in South Korean in 2013. Internationally, the song received generally positive reviews from music critics, who praised its eclectic sound and noted it as a "phenomenon" that could challenge popular Western singers like Katy Perry or One Direction. The single peaked at number 98 on the Japan Hot 100 and number 3 on the US World Digital Songs.

A music video for the song was filmed in October 2012. It features hip hop-inspired dance moves choreographed by renowned American choreographers Nappytabs. It won the award for Video of the Year at the first YouTube Music Awards in 2013, which generated much attention for beating other popular nominees like Justin Bieber and Psy despite the fact that the group was considered lesser-known to the Western audience at the time.[1]


Background and compositionEdit

“I Got a Boy” was written by European composers Will Simms, Sarah Lundbäck Bell, Anne Judith Wik with additional writing by Korean composer Yoo Young-jin, who is also Girls' Generation's longtime collaborator. The song was recorded at S.M. Entertainment studio Boomingsystem and was produced by Will Simms and Yoo Young-jin.[2]

"I Got a Boy" is a K-pop song that is described as an eclectic mix of various genres. According to U.S. magazine Billboard, the track features elements of electropop and minimal drum and bass.[3] On reviewing I Got a Boy album for the same publication, Jeff Benjamin noted dubstep elements on the song.[4] Meanwhile, Rolling Stone's Nick Catucci opined that "I Got a Boy" was made up of a range of genres from minimal R&B to "high-BPM" dance.[5] Writing for Time, Douglas Wolk described the track as a "monomaniacally charming" hybrid of bubblegum pop, dubstep, and hard rock.[6] Meanwhile, AllMusic's David Jefferies characterized "I Got a Boy" as a mix of dubstep, EDM, and pop-rap.[7]


The music video was praised for its flamboyant fashion style, particularly with this scene in which Girls' Generation perform the choreography.

On January 1, 2013, Girls' Generation performed "I Got a Boy" for the first time on their MBC comeback special Girls’ Generation’s Romantic Fantasy.[8] To further promote the song, the group appeared on several South Korean shows in 2013 including Mnet's M! Countdown, KBS' Music Bank, MBC's Music Core, and SBS's Inkigayo.[9][10][11]

The music video for the song was directed by Hong Won-ki for Zanybros, and was choreographed by Nappytabs, who had worked with the group's label mates TVXQ and BoA. It aired on Mnet and was released on S.M. Entertainment's YouTube channel on January 1, 2013.[12]

According to MTV's Liza Darwin, the costumes featured in the music video included streetwear fashion such as Kenzo x Opening Ceremony, Adidas Collection by Jeremy Scott and printed leggings; Stussy's "Good Vibe" T-shirt, Obey's "OG Basic" crewneck, and Joyrich varsity jacket. In the sleepover scene, the girls are seen wearing clothes by UK independent label Lazy Oaf, such as a Batman shirt, a "fruity" T-shirt, and a "pizza crewneck". The fashion style in the visual was hailed as "a kaleidoscopic streetwear explosion", and the music video itself "a fashion whirlwind ... jam-packed with rad clothes".[13] Clyde Barretto from Prefix magazine opined that the video was "more colorful than a rainbow" and featured "alluring" and "bombastic" dance moves.[14]

The video became an instant success on YouTube, achieving over 20 million views within six days and becoming the fastest K-pop video to achieve such a feat at its time of release.[15] It has since reached over 200 million views on November 3, 2017, on YouTube[16], even surpassing its better-known evergreen hit Gee".[17] As of June 2019, the song has amassed 219 million views on YouTube.


Domestic receptionEdit

"I Got a Boy" was a success in the group's home country South Korea. It debuted atop the South Korean Gaon Singles Chart on the week commencing December 30, 2013, selling 319,824 copies within its first week of release.[18] The following week, the single dropped to number 4, selling 242,803 copies.[19] The single sold over 1.35 million copies in South Korea in 2013, becoming the 13th best-selling single of the year in the country.[20] On the Korea K-Pop Hot 100, "I Got a Boy" debuted at number 36 on the week of January 12, 2013.[21] The following week, the single charted at number one on the chart and remained its peak for a further week.[22][23]

The song was nominated for Song of the Year at the 2013 Mnet Asian Music Awards.[24] It was a success on South Korea's music programs, achieving the top spot on M Countdown (three consecutive weeks),[25] and Music Bank (three consecutive weeks).[26]

International receptionEdit

Girls' Generation at the 2014 Seoul Music Awards

Internationally, "I Got a Boy" received generally positive reviews from music critics. The Los Angeles Times' music critic Randall Roberts called it a "scattered anthem" and a "gleefully chaotic" song that could "indicate pop music's future trajectory."[27] Billboard K-Town columnist Jeff Benjamin praised the song as "one of the most-forward thinking lead pop singles heard in any country"[4] for its intense mix of different sounds and melodies, and commended Girls’ Generation for "[setting] the bar truly high for pop in 2013."[3][4] Staff writers of Entertainment Weekly picked "I Got a Boy" as Girls' Generation "key track" and recommended the group as one of the fifteen "artists to watch" in 2013.[28]

Rolling Stone's contributor Nick Catucci described the song as a "musical gymnastics routine."[5] Upon reviewing I Got a Boy album for AllMusic, David Jefferies named "I Got a Boy" a highlight on the album.[7] Time named "I Got a Boy" the 5th best song on their Top 10 Songs of the Year list, calling it a "pop phenomenon" that rivals the likes of One Direction and Katy Perry.[6] In August 2014, Pitchfork Media's Jakob Dorof listed the song as part of his 20 Essential K-Pop Songs Lists, writing that "I Got a Boy" helped "prove the adventurousness of K-pop’s listenership," and believed it was "perhaps the most structurally variable mega-hit since 'Bohemian Rhapsody'."[29] "I Got a Boy" became the fourth best-selling K-pop single in the United States in 2013, behind Psy's "Gangnam Style" and "Gentleman" and Big Bang's "Fantastic Baby".[30]

The music video for "I Got a Boy" won the award for Video of the Year at the first YouTube Music Awards, held on November 3, 2013 at Pier 36 in New York City.[1] Following the event, Girls' Generation received a considerable amount of negative feedback from Western audience as the group was not well known in the United States compared to other nominees for the same category including Psy, Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga.[31][32] As a result of the controversial event, the music video gained 86,000 views on the awards day, up from 25,000 the day before. The following five days, it achieved an increase of 327% in viewership.[33]

Billboard named the song #21 on their list of 100 Greatest Girl Group Songs of All Time.[34]


Chart (2013) Peak
Billboard K-Pop Hot 100[23] 1
Japan Hot 100[35] 98
South Korea (Gaon)[18] 1
U.S. World Digital Songs (Billboard)[36] 3

Year-end chartsEdit

Chart (2013) Position
Billboard K-Pop Hot 100[37] 20
South Korea (Gaon)[38] 13

Awards and nominationsEdit

Music programs awardsEdit

Program Date
Mnet's M Countdown January 10, 2013
January 17, 2013
January 24, 2013
KBS2's Music Bank January 11, 2013
January 18, 2013
January 25, 2013


Credits adapted from I Got a Boy album liner notes[2]


  1. ^ a b Holpuch, Amanda (November 4, 2013). "YouTube music awards make chaotic and messy debut". The Guardian. Archived from the original on March 11, 2014.
  2. ^ a b I Got a Boy (CD liner notes). Girls' Generation. S.M. Entertainment. 2013. p. 40.CS1 maint: others (link)
  3. ^ a b "20 Best K-Pop Songs of 2013". Billboard. December 23, 2013. Archived from the original on December 28, 2013.
  4. ^ a b c Benjamin, Jeff (January 4, 2013). "Girls' Generation, 'I Got A Boy': Track-By-Track Review". Billboard. Archived from the original on April 12, 2015.
  5. ^ a b Catucci, Nick (January 11, 2013). "'I Got a Boy' Song Review". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on February 4, 2015.
  6. ^ a b Wolk, Douglas (December 4, 2013). "Top 10 Songs". Time. Archived from the original on March 24, 2015.
  7. ^ a b Jefferies, David. "I Got a Boy – Girls' Generation". AllMusic. Archived from the original on April 14, 2015.
  8. ^ "Girls' Generation to perform new songs on Jan. 1". The Korea Herald. December 25, 2012. Archived from the original on April 18, 2015.
  9. ^ 소녀시대, '아이 갓 어 보이' 댄스 버전 티저 영상 공개 (in Korean). Daum Kakao. December 28, 2012. Retrieved December 29, 2012.
  10. ^ Benjamin, Jeff (January 21, 2013). "PSY Rivals Threaten Girls' Generation on K-Pop Hot 100". Billboard. Archived from the original on September 20, 2014.
  11. ^ "'뱀띠 스타' 소녀시대 효연·유리, '엠카' 스페셜 MC 나선다". Korea Economic Daily (in Korean). BNT News. January 2, 2013. Retrieved January 3, 2013.
  12. ^ "오늘(1일) 오후 5시 소녀시대 'I Got a Boy' 드디어 풀공개" (in Korean). Nate. January 1, 2013. Retrieved January 1, 2013.
  13. ^ Darwin, Liza (January 3, 2013). "Girls' Generation Turns 'I Got a Boy' Music Video Into Fashion Show in Lazy Oaf, Stussy and More". MTV News. Retrieved March 26, 2015.
  14. ^ Barretto, Clyde (January 2, 2013). "K-Pop's Girls Generation Releases New Single". Prefix Magazine. Retrieved April 1, 2016.
  15. ^ Ho, Stewart (January 7, 2013). "SNSD's 'I Got a Boy' Fastest Kpop MV to Cross 20 Million View Mark". CJ E&M. Retrieved March 27, 2016.
  16. ^
  17. ^ "'I Got A Boy' passes 100 million views". Korea Joongang Daily. 29 July 2014.
  18. ^ a b "2013년 02주차 Digital Chart" (in Korean). Gaon Singles Chart. Archived from the original on April 16, 2015.
  19. ^ "2013년 03주차 Download Chart" (in Korean). Gaon Chart. Archived from the original on April 12, 2015.
  20. ^ "Gaon Download Chart: 2013년" (in Korean). Gaon Singles Chart. Archived from the original on February 28, 2014.
  21. ^ "Korea K-Pop Hot 100: Week of January 12, 2013". Billboard. Archived from the original on April 12, 2015.
  22. ^ "Korea K-Pop Hot 100: Week of January 19, 2013". Billboard. Archived from the original on April 12, 2015.
  23. ^ a b "Korea K-Pop Hot 100: Week of January 26, 2013". Billboard. Archived from the original on April 12, 2015.
  24. ^ 2013 Mnet Asian Music Awards (in Korean). AsiaWorld–Arena, Hong Kong. November 22, 2013.
  25. ^ "'엠카' 소녀시대, 빨간색 운동복도 느낌있게". The Chosun Ilbo (in Korean). January 24, 2013. Retrieved March 25, 2015.
  26. ^ "'뮤뱅' 소시, 3주 연속 1위 기염..역시 '국민 걸그룹'". The Chosun Ilbo (in Korean). January 25, 2013. Retrieved March 25, 2015.
  27. ^ Randall, Roberts (January 4, 2013). "'I Got a Boy' delivers a scattered anthem of the Girls' Generation". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 5, 2013.
  28. ^ "15 Artists to Watch: Listen to the Spotify Playlist". Entertainment Weekly. January 18, 2013. Retrieved May 20, 2015.
  29. ^ Dorof, Jakob (August 7, 2014). "20 Essential K-Pop Songs | page 2". Pitchfork Media. Archived from the original on March 3, 2016. Retrieved April 17, 2015.
  30. ^ Benjamin, Jeff (December 17, 2013). "2013's Biggest-Selling K-Pop Songs in America: PSY, Girls' Generation, 2NE1 & More". Billboard. Archived from the original on January 16, 2014.
  31. ^ "K-pop group Girls' Generation beats Miley, Lady Gaga at first YouTube awards". CNN. November 4, 2013. Retrieved March 26, 2015.
  32. ^ Lyons, Jessica-Anne (November 18, 2013). "Girls' Generation and the blurred lines of pop music". Meld Magazine. Retrieved May 15, 2013.
  33. ^ Benjamin, Jeff (November 14, 2013). "Top 5 Girls' Generation Videos 'I Got a Boy' Fans Should Watch". Billboard. Retrieved March 26, 2015.
  34. ^ "100 Greatest Girl Group Songs of All Time: Critics' Picks". Billboard. Retrieved July 11, 2017.
  35. ^ "Billboard Japan Hot 100". Billboard (in Japanese). Archived from the original on April 16, 2015.
  36. ^ "World Digital Songs: January 19, 2013". Billboard. Retrieved July 27, 2015.
  37. ^ "Billboard Korea K-Pop Hot 100: Year-End (2013)". Billboard. Archived from the original on March 18, 2015.
  38. ^ "Gaon Digital Chart: 2013년" (in Korean). Gaon. Archived from the original on February 2, 2014.

External linksEdit