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"Popular Song" is a song by Lebanese-British recording artist Mika, released as the second single in the United States from his third studio album, The Origin of Love. The song features American singer Ariana Grande and is included on her debut album, Yours Truly. The track was written by Mika, Priscilla Renea, Mathieu Jomphe and Stephen Schwartz, and produced by Mika and Greg Wells. The radio version featuring Ariana Grande was produced by Jason Nevins.[1]

"Popular Song"
Single by Mika featuring Ariana Grande
from the album The Origin of Love and Yours Truly
Released16 April 2013
Length4:05 (album version)
3:20 (radio edit)
  • Greg Wells
  • Mika
  • Jason Nevins (single version)
Mika singles chronology
"Origin of Love"
"Popular Song"
"Live Your Life"
Ariana Grande singles chronology
"The Way"
"Popular Song"
"Baby I"
Audio sample
Music video
"Popular Song" on YouTube

The song is an updated cover of the original version, based on the song "Popular" from the musical Wicked. The album version of the song features vocals from Priscilla Renea, and features mature language. The single version replaces Renea with Ariana Grande, removes the mature language, and modifies the instrumental arrangement and tempo to create a version which heavily links to Mika's former hits, "Grace Kelly" and "We Are Golden". The version with Ariana Grande, produced by Jason Nevins, is the main version which was officially released.



The original version of the song was made available on Mika's third studio album, The Origin of Love, and features vocals from songwriter Priscilla Renea. This version is based on the original from Wicked, and uses a very rough tempo and instrumentation, to fit in with the theme of the album. However, for the track's release as a single, Mika decided to completely change the arrangement, and create something similar to his hit single "Grace Kelly". To do this, he enlisted the help of American actress and performer Ariana Grande, rewrote some of the lyrics, changed the instrumentation and tempo, and reworked the song's structure.

The new version was released to the iTunes Store on 16 April 2013, being released as the album's second single in the United States.[2]

Music videoEdit

The music video was released on 29 April 2013, directed by Chris Marrs Piliero.[3][1] It features a gothic theme, being set in a 'spooky, dark, "Addams Family"-esque high school'.[4] The video features product placement from Sony and Mini. Mika uses a Sony Xperia Z to text an invitation for a dinner party to his popular classmates who are bullying him.[1] This is interlaced with scenes of the two brewing a potion in a witch's cauldron and scenes of them falling victim to bullying.[1] Mika and Grande return to Mika's mansion in his talking car, a 2013 Mini Cooper. At the dinner party, the bullies consume their drinks drugged with the potion, and turn to stone.[5] They are then ruthlessly smashed into pieces by Mika and Grande, with the former using a candlestick and the latter using a food tray. However, the video ends with a twist: [6][7] as Mika and Grande have a toast and the former takes a sip from his drink, the video flashes back to when the two were children and Mika is seen kicking down Grande's castle made of wooden blocks. As Grande glares coldly at him, Mika subsequently turns to stone as well. The video then ends with Grande smirking evilly at the camera. The gothic theme of the video and its vengeful nature, as well as the costume worn by Mika as he and Grande are shown 'cooking', is generally considered reminiscent of the aesthetic and plot of the Stephen Sondheim musical Sweeney Todd, tying back to the musical theatre roots of the song established in modifying a song from Wicked.

As of May 2019, the video has accumulated over 184 million views on Vevo.[1]

Critical receptionEdit

Bryon Flitsch of MTV's Buzzworthy noted that 'Popular Song' is a different view of Mika's previous efforts, stating that its "peppy beat + catchy melody + playful lyrics = perfect song to bounce around to." Furthermore, Flitsch also praised Grande's vocals in the song for being "flawless" alongside Mika's. Marques Daniels of felt that "Popular Song" is a song to inspire bullied and unpopular people to stand up. Daniels also praised the song for being a stand out track.

Commercial performanceEdit

"Popular Song" debuted and has since peaked at number 87 in the US Billboard Hot 100, and was certified gold in 2015 by the RIAA for selling over 500,000 copies in the country.


Chart (2013) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[8] 71
Belgium (Ultratip Flanders)[9] 8
Belgium (Ultratip Wallonia)[10] 12
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[11] 92
Romania (Romanian Top 100)[12] 100
South Korea Gaon International (GAON)[13] 7
US Billboard Hot 100[14] 87


Region Certification Certified units/Sales
United States (RIAA)[15] Gold 500,000^


  1. ^ a b c d e MIKA - Popular Song ft. Ariana Grande on YouTube
  2. ^ "iTunes - Music - Popular Song (feat. Ariana Grande) - Single by MIKA". 29 April 2013. Retrieved 29 March 2013.
  3. ^ "New Video: Mika featuring Ariana Grande – Popular Song - MARRS ATTACKS". Archived from the original on 4 November 2013.
  4. ^ Depland, Michael (29 April 2013). "New Video: Mika Featuring Ariana Grande, 'Popular Song'". Retrieved 5 May 2013.
  5. ^ "Ariana Grande and Mika "Popular Song" Video: Revenge on Bullies!". Retrieved 5 May 2013.
  6. ^ "Mika - Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 5 May 2013.
  7. ^ "Ariana Grande And MIKA "Popular Song" Music Video". Disney Dreaming. Retrieved 5 May 2013.
  8. ^ "Chartifacts". Australian Recording Industry Association. Archived from the original on 10 September 2013. Retrieved 10 September 2013.
  9. ^ " – Mika Feat. Ariana Grande – Popular Song" (in Dutch). Ultratip.
  10. ^ " – Mika Feat. Ariana Grande – Popular Song" (in French). Ultratip. Retrieved 10 April 2013.
  11. ^ " – Mika Feat. Ariana Grande – Popular Song" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  12. ^ "Airplay 100, Podcast (03 Nov), cca. minute 90" (in Romanian). Kiss FM (Romania).
  13. ^ "South Korea Gaon International Chart (Gaon Chart)". Gaon Chart. Retrieved 14 September 2017.
  14. ^ "Mika Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  15. ^ "American single certifications – Mika – Popular Song". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 27 February 2015. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH.