Album Title
Artist Icon What It Feels Like for a Girl (2000)
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First Released

Calendar Icon 2000


Genre Icon Pop


Mood Icon Happy


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Speed Icon Medium

Release Format

Release Format Icon Single

Record Label Release

Speed Icon Interscope Records

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Album Description
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"What It Feels Like for a Girl" is a song recorded by American singer Madonna for her eighth studio album Music (2000). It was released as the third and final single from the album on April 16, 2001, by Maverick Records. Madonna and Guy Sigsworth wrote and produced the song with David Torn as co-writer, and Mark "Spike" Stent as a co-producer. "What It Feels Like For a Girl" is a mid-tempo electronic and synth-pop song, with filtered bass licks, tidal keys and pads as part of its instrumentation. Lyrically, it conveys society's double standard toward women, addressing hurtful myths about female inferiority. To emphasize the message, the song opens with a spoken word sample by actress Charlotte Gainsbourg from the 1993 British film The Cement Garden. A Spanish version of the track, "Lo Que Siente la Mujer", was translated by Alberto Ferreras and included in the Latin American edition of Music.

The song received acclaim from most music critics, who declared it as a highlight from the album, while also remarking it as one of the most mature musical ventures of Madonna's career. Commercially, "What It Feels Like for a Girl" reached the top-ten of the record charts in Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Romania, Spain, Scotland and the United Kingdom. In the United States, it peaked at number 23 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number-one on the Dance Club Songs chart.

An accompanying music video for the song was directed by Madonna's then-husband Guy Ritchie and premiered on March 22, 2001. It features the singer as a reckless woman on a crime spree. The video was criticized for its depiction of violence and abuse, which caused MTV to ban it before 9:00 pm. The single was also released on DVD and became the highest weekly sales for a DVD release in the United States. Madonna performed the track on the promotional concerts for Music in November 2000 and on her 2001 Drowned World Tour, where a remixed version was used as a video interlude and also performed in Spanish. The song was covered by the actors of television series Glee, during the episode "The Power of Madonna", and was included in the accompanying EP.
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