Ex-Girlfriend (song)

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No doubt.jpg
Single by No Doubt
from the album Return of Saturn
  • "Leftovers"
  • "Big Distraction"
  • "Full Circle"
Released March 13, 2000
May 2, 2000 (US)
Format CD single, cassette single
Recorded 1999
Genre Alternative rock[1]
Length 3:31
Label Interscope
Producer(s) Glen Ballard
No Doubt singles chronology
"Simple Kind of Life"

"Simple Kind of Life"
Audio sample

"Ex-Girlfriend" is a song by American ska band No Doubt from their fourth studio album Return of Saturn (2000). The song was released as the album's lead single in early 2000 and was moderately successful, reaching the top 40 in most countries it charted in. It was most successful in Australia and Spain, where it reached number nine on both countries' national charts.

Background and writing[edit]

Lead singer Gwen Stefani originally composed the song as a dirge about her relationship with Bush's lead singer Gavin Rossdale, whom she married in 2002. After listening to it, the band increased the tempo because the album already included several ballads.[2] The line "you say you're gonna burn before you mellow" is a reference to the lyrics in the Bush song "Dead Meat": "I'm doing you in tomorrow/I'll burn before I mellow".

"Ex-Girlfriend" is a song composed in the key of E minor. It is written in common time and moves at a fast tempo of 168 beats per minute. Stefani's vocal range in the song covers nearly an octave and a half, from G3 to C5.[3] The song features Stefani rapping many of the lyrics rather than singing, and the instrumentals take influence from flamenco (as demonstrated by its guitar riffs), new wave and hip hop.[2]

Chart performance[edit]

"Ex-Girlfriend" failed to enter the US Hot 100 chart, but reached number 11 on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 (roughly number 111 on the Hot 100), and spent only one week on the Canadian Singles Chart, on which it peaked at number 40. It did manage to find popularity on US alternative rock stations, allowing it to peak at number two on the Modern Rock Tracks chart, becoming their highest-chart single on that chart alongside their breakthrough hit single, "Don't Speak". Elsewhere, the single experienced more success, reaching number nine in Australia and Spain, as well as the top 20 in Finland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden, and Switzerland. In Australia, the song was certified Gold and came in at number 80 on the country's year-end chart for 2000. In the United Kingdom, the song became No Doubt's fifth top 40 hit, debuting and peaking at number 23 on the UK Singles Chart and spending three weeks in the top 100.

Music video[edit]

Stefani and Kanal falling in the music video.

The song's music video, which the video itself indicated was "presented" by Hype Williams, was partially based on the highly controversial anime Kite. In the video, Stefani cross-dresses to enter a men's bathroom and, upon being discovered, assaults Tony Kanal (who plays her ex-boyfriend) and several other men. When Kanal regains consciousness, he grabs Stefani and jumps out the window, and the two plummet to the ground. The storyline is cut with scenes of the band playing on a stage. No Doubt's guitarist Tom Dumont initially played the part of a police officer but was cut from the final version of the "Ex-Girlfriend" video. He enacts the role in MTV's Making the Video.

Track listing and formats[edit]

Charts and certifications[edit]


  1. ^ "Ex-Girlfriend - No Doubt Attributes". AllMusic. Retrieved June 21, 2018. 
  2. ^ a b Montoya, Paris and Lanham, Tom. "Ex-Girlfriend". The Singles 1992-2003 (liner notes). Interscope Records. November 25, 2003.
  3. ^ Sheet music for "Ex-Girlfriend". Hal Leonard Corporation. 2000.
  4. ^ "Australian-charts.com – No Doubt – Ex-Girlfriend". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved May 26, 2016.
  5. ^ "Ultratop.be – No Doubt – Ex-Girlfriend" (in Dutch). Ultratip. Retrieved May 26, 2016.
  6. ^ "No Doubt: Ex-Girlfriend" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved May 26, 2016.
  7. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – No Doubt – Ex-Girlfriend". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved May 26, 2016.
  8. ^ "Italiancharts.com – No Doubt – Ex-Girlfriend". Top Digital Download. Retrieved April 26, 2018.
  9. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 16, 2000" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40 Retrieved May 26, 2016.
  10. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – No Doubt – Ex-Girlfriend" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved April 26, 2018.
  11. ^ "Charts.nz – No Doubt – Ex-Girlfriend". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved May 26, 2016.
  12. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved April 26, 2018.
  13. ^ "Spanishcharts.com – No Doubt – Ex-Girlfriend" Canciones Top 50. Retrieved May 26, 2016.
  14. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – No Doubt – Ex-Girlfriend". Singles Top 100. Retrieved May 26, 2016.
  15. ^ "Swisscharts.com – No Doubt – Ex-Girlfriend". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved May 26, 2016.
  16. ^ "No Doubt: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved May 26, 2016.
  17. ^ "No Doubt Chart History (Bubbling Under Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved May 26, 2016.
  18. ^ "No Doubt Chart History (Alternative Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved May 26, 2016.
  19. ^ "ARIA Charts - End Of Year Charts - Top 100 Singles 2000". ARIA. Retrieved June 21, 2018. 
  20. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2000 Singles". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved April 26, 2018. 

External links[edit]