How does Kidz Bop 18 sanitize pop songs for tweens?

Wonder how Lady GaGa’s “Telephone” or Katy Perry’s “California Gurls” could be appropriate for kids?  Well a contributor for a New York City culture web site, The AWL, took the time to write down the real version and the Kidz Bop version of 13 lyric changes on Kidz Bop 18. It’s interesting to see what references were cut and how they were replaced.

You can see all 13 swapped out song lyrics on The AWL, but here a few samples of the editors at Kiz Bop work.

“9. “Wrap it up / Can’t stop ’cause it feels like it’s really close” (Wrap it up / Can’t stop ’cause it feels like a overdose,” from Cascada’s “Evacuate The Dancefloor”)”

“7. ‘Out in the club and I’m eating that grub / And you’re not gonna reach my telephone’ (’Out in the club and I’m sippin that bubb / And you’re not gonna reach my telephone,’ from Lady Gaga and Beyoncé’s ‘Telephone’)”

“6. ‘Don’t want to miss / Don’t want too much / Just walk away from me and hush’ (’Don’t wanna kiss / Don’t wanna touch / Just smoke my cigarette and hush,’ from Lady Gaga’s ‘Alejandro’)”

“3. ‘And I cannot text you when I’m going to dance, ay’ (’And I cannot text you with my drink in my hand, eh?,’ from Lady Gaga and Beyoncé’s ‘Telephone’)”

“1. “[ ]” (Snoop Dogg’s entire contribution to Katy Perry’s ‘California Gurls’)”

So apparently references to drinking, smoking and Snoop Dogg are verbotin on KidzBop albums. I’m wondering if they left in Katy Perry’s line about freak in the jeep. Rose loves that song and the chorus and first verse aren’t too bad. I just keep hoping she doesn’t notice the freak in the jeep line. I can appreciate that Rose likes the beats and the music. I’m grateful that she literally can’t make out what a lot of the singers are saying. She mumbles her way through a lot of the more questionable lyrics. I did explain what Daisy Dukes were to Rose.

Do you let your kids listen to the real pop version of these songs? Do you buy the Kidz Bop albums? How do you feel about them? Do your kids like the Kidz Bop albums? Do you these changes sanitize the songs enough for your kids to listen?

37 comments Add your comment


July 27th, 2010
2:50 pm

My DD is too young to worry about this yet, but I’m interested to see what others think. I will say, however, that I am still ‘learning’ the lyrics to some of the songs I ’sang’ in the 80s. I had no idea what they were about, and just made up my own words.

My kid has never heard Pop Music

July 27th, 2010
3:01 pm

Because I don’t play it. I don’t filter out lyrics from him. I just don’t expose him to crappy music.

He loves music. I have played him examples of several genres and asked him to tell me what he likes and dislikes. He loves Reggae, some Hip Hop, but mostly Rock. Personally, I listen to mostly acoustic music, but he likes loud distorted guitars.

I have never heard any of the songs referenced above.

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[...] How does Kidz Bop 18 sanitize pop songs for tweens?Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog)Do you let your kids listen to the real pop version of these songs? Do you buy the Kidz Bop albums? How do you feel about them? Do your kids like the Kidz …and more » [...]


July 27th, 2010
3:25 pm

In my car, we listen to 104.7 so really don’t have to filter any lyrics ever. Fortunately, my kids don’t really even know who any of those ‘artists’ are so they don’t care to have the Kidz Bop. I am happy to buy them any full album they want from artists they hear on 104.7. They have rock, rap, and pop favorites which we can all enjoy.

My daughter didn’t even get into Hannah Montana. Instead she absolutely loves the group PureNRG which has fun, high energy songs. Even took her to one of their concerts this summer (no worries about pole dancing going on at least.)

My husband does listen to 80’s pop music with the kids in the car. He’ll skip past a song if he thinks the lyrics aren’t good. At least in most of those the focus was on ‘love’ (even if it was being used as a euphemism for sex).


July 27th, 2010
3:26 pm

@jod – my husband mentioned the same thing. He has been shocked a couple of times to realize what they were ‘actually’ saying. He was wondering if it’s CDs that are making the lyrics clearer or if he’s just paying closer attention.

Howard Stern Rules

July 27th, 2010
3:32 pm

But I can’t play Howard with the kid in the car. Thats the only thing I filter.

Personally, I don’t really understand why we give such importance to certain words. I mean, they’re just words.

Tiger Ochocinco Mellencamp

July 27th, 2010
3:41 pm

My kid was singing along to AC/DC’s Highway to Hell the other day. Saw it on the Percy Jackson movie, then heard it on the radio. It was pretty hilarious. Music that he listens to with me, that we can talk about, with parental supervision is on that long list of stuff I don’t worry about. I don’t think Snoop Dogg, Katy Perry or a bad word every so often is going to affect him more than my influence as an involved parent. I’m sure he hears more bad language at my monthly poker game with the guys in one night than he does cumulatively for the rest of the month on the radio.


July 27th, 2010
3:45 pm

Yeah, we never had to worry about our kids listening to ’70s rock – that is until the they heard Eric Clapton sing ‘Cocaine’, and David Bowie sing ‘Wam, bam, thank you ma’am’, and Joe Walsh/Eagles sing about ‘All Night Long’, and The Who sing ‘Who the f— are you’, Steve Miller sing about all that ‘funky s— going down in the city’ (though 97.1 does play the ‘funky KICKS’ version), and, well, I think you get the picture, er, lyrics.

And Tiger, Ochocinco Mellencamp...

July 27th, 2010
3:47 pm

…I mean John Mellencamp singing about ‘got his hands between her knees’…


July 27th, 2010
3:53 pm

Same argument was said about Elvis, that he would turn your kids into sexual deviants. Same thing said about the Beatles with their “long hair” – oh my goodness, that’s shocking! Same argument said about Ozzy and other metal bands, your kid will turn into worshiping Satan. Read some of the Rolling Stone’s lyrics, singing about drugs when even coming close to that subject matter just was not cool. Perhaps be concerned about having your kids listen to classical music; Richard Wagner was the theme music for the Nazis and it is still not allowed to be performed in Israel to this day.

The music of the youth is designed for them, not you, and it will always be a release from the trappings of their teen age life and living with their parents – thank goodness, something for them alone.


July 27th, 2010
4:02 pm

My little guy likes a lot of music types. I would prefer he not listen to some of them though (just because he will sing/repeat when he has no clue what it means). He loves the beats, sounds, etc. We will try to see what instruments we can hear in the songs. He likes classical (especially if it has piano or wood winds), country, pop, rock, and one of his favorite songs…Sir Mix A Lot…”I like big butts” He calls it the big butt song. He knows some of the lyrics, but really, I think it’s more about the beat, etc. There are LOTS of songs that I like the “music” but HATE the lyrics.

FYI Theresa G.

July 27th, 2010
4:04 pm

The word you are looking for is verboten, not verbotin.

Tiger Ochocinco Mellencamp

July 27th, 2010
4:11 pm

On a side note…i’d rather my kid listening to the unfiltered stuff I listen too, new and old, than that tween-itized crap. it’s awful and I think if I had to play it in my car I just might drive the whole family off a cliff. I’ll take my chances with my MP3 of favorites my wife and I pick out.


July 27th, 2010
4:19 pm

We listen to any type of music as do our two little ones..She tends to like country music better and he likes older rock..We haven’t filtered anything for them so far..Music was never filtered for me growing up, so not sure that I will for our two little ones..


July 27th, 2010
4:31 pm

Currently on the eldests’ iPOD–Taylor Swift, ABBA, Queen, They Must Be Giants, Carrie Underwood, Salena Gomez, Kelly Clarkson. All in their original text.

If I find a song inappropriate, trust me, my kids know it.

I do not bother with that Kid Bopz stuff as the “artists” doing the singing sound like crud!

[...] How does Kidz Bop 18 sanitize pop songs for tweens?Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog)Do you let your kids listen to the real pop version of these songs? Do you buy the Kidz Bop albums? How do you feel about them? Do your kids like the Kidz …and more » [...]


July 27th, 2010
4:37 pm

i never censored the music the kids listened..i actually tried to for a minute but realized they are hearing it when im not around and id rather them hear it and ask me what a word meant or i could put my 2 cents in about they were not allowed to actually say that word than to know they are hearing it and i wasnt there to talk about it. and if you think that only letting your kids listen to country is better…well…its not…country music is full of cheating drinking etc…always has been…my kids always got to listen to my gospel…and my classic rock…and ..well everything…one thing i did put a stop to was any of the violent rap–mostly aimed against women…..thats probably the only censoring ive done on anything-music, books or movies…honestly…kids know what bad words are and mine would say BLEEP at the bad words….and laugh…and id laugh…at least they knew when not to say a bad word…when i was listening lol


July 27th, 2010
4:38 pm

@ Michelle—oh you just made me think of something. I was in 5th grade I think (so 10?)….My friends little sister was 3. The toddler stands up at the dinner table one night singing Rod Stewart “If you like my body…..”

OMG! That was hilarious then and still is funny today.


July 27th, 2010
4:43 pm

My kid is growing on Zeppelin, not the crap they play on the radio now-a-days.
Flo-Rida? Kesha? Katy Perry? Are you serious with this?

I would like to see them try and edit Rube Boy.


July 27th, 2010
5:04 pm

Seriously? This is one of the sadder things I’ve heard! A generation of kids with helicopter parents can now be even MORE uncool by only knowing the sanitized lyrics to popular songs. Pathetic! And honestly, does Rose have any clue what “freak in a Jeep” means in the song? I think it’s highly likely she will think of a weird person in a Jeep at her age! I remember being 12 when “Jack and Diane” was popular. We LOVED the “dirty” lyrics about ” got his hand between her knees and dribble off those Bobby Brooks and let me do what I please..” We also thrilled to Prince songs. It was HARMLESS fun! My kids listen to my music -lots of classics and Grateful Dead and Americana/roots/bluegrass and blues music; Outlaw Country (where Mojo Nixon dj’ing is about the nastiest thing they hear) and 70s and 80s classics. I like some of the new poppy stuff, but I don’t care if they hear the real deal. I really think this whole KidzBop is just sad.


July 27th, 2010
5:10 pm

i think its sad too


July 27th, 2010
6:39 pm

FCM, has she heard They Might Be Giants’ kids science album? Educational, yet doesn’t sound all that different from their regular music seeing how they were pretty nerdy rock (I mean that in a good way) to begin with.

The sun is a miasma of incandescent plasma…


July 27th, 2010
6:41 pm

@HB -we do like They Might Be Giants, and we loved the fact that our church did their whole summer RE (religious education) class series for kids using that album and how science is a part of our world at every turn. It’s good stuff!

[...] How does Kidz Bop 18 sanitize pop songs for tweens?Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog)Do you let your kids listen to the real pop version of these songs? Do you buy the Kidz Bop albums? How do you feel about them? Do your kids like the Kidz …and more » [...]


July 27th, 2010
9:24 pm

It’s been 10 years, so it was more CDs than anything else then, but I never let my kids buy CDs that had explicit lyrics until they were 13. If they wanted an adult-rated CD before that, they had to buy the censored version — simply because *I* do not wish to listen to music laced with gratuitous profanity and sleazy lyrics. After they were 13, I figured they had heard it all by that point, anyway. My attitude was “garbage in, garbage out”. Fill their minds with garbage, and you can’t be too surprised at some of the language coming out of their mouths.


July 27th, 2010
9:34 pm

We do not listen to the radio when the 5 year old is in the car. I love Katy Perry, but I don’t think it is appropriate right now to explain to her what daisy dukes are or what it means to freak in a jeep. Here is what we listen to when she is in the car: They Might Be Giants, Imagination Movers, Hap Palmer, anything Disney and her latest favorite is School House Rock (Conjunction Junction is our favorite!).


July 28th, 2010
7:11 am

Has anyone here heard of Root Boy Slim? His music is clean and offers wholesome, mommy friendly lyrics. One I can remember is “Boogey ’til You Puke”. That gem was on the same album as “You Broke My Mood Ring”, and “I’m Not Too Old For You”. His band was called “The Sex Change Band, with The Rootettes”

Get the brood together and have a listening party, with lemonaide and cookies.

Lady Strange

July 28th, 2010
8:18 am

I have a satelite radio, so when my son is in the car I usually just leave it on the 80’s station. But he is only 2 so he’s not going to ask many questions yet about lyrics. He just loves to dance, LOL. We are getting ready to take a road trip next month so I am sure I will just leave it on the 80’s for the trip, except when my mom is driving then I can put on the 60’s station for her.


July 28th, 2010
9:54 am

I’m with the person who said they never had lyrics sanitized for them so they aren’t going to do it for their kids. I listened to all kinds of music with all kinds of lyrics and I think I turned out o.k. My oldest has done the same and he seems o.k too. He does prefer 80s rock but that’s probably because that’s what he heard the most of as he was growing up. I am just now figuring out some of those lyrics too. Funny how it sounded so different back then, but still made sense in my mind. Quick story-the other day my 9 year old and I were in the car listening to B98.5 (love their oldies on the weekends) when he started singing what he thought were the lyrics to “Superfreak”. He sang “She’s a very sticky girl. I don’t think that I’ll make another.” Real words “She’s a very kinky girl. The kind you don’t take home to mother.” I almost ran off the road laughing!


July 28th, 2010
3:12 pm

HB–not sure…have to see if it is on there. She had her Dad download some of their stuff at Christmas.


July 28th, 2010
3:13 pm

Mom’s contributions were Queen and ABBA. She recently decided the Erythmics sounded good. I just keep my mouth shut as she “finds” these groups while we listen in the car (I choose the station).


July 28th, 2010
11:22 pm

I don’t understand why lyrics have to be sanitized either for kids. If you don’t want your kids listening to that kind of music, then make it so they won’t. It won’t hurt them to hear the lyrics as they were originally intended, either.

When I was growing up, I never had songs sanitized for me, nor was I banned from listening to different types of music. Heck, I had even seen the movie “Pink Floyd The Wall” when I was 8 or 9. In its entirety. Unedited. On VHS. I also remember listening to a lot of classic rock songs on Z93, some unedited, some edited (very few), and all of them good.

I think allowing children to listen to music unedited, uncensored, *as long as there is adult supervision* would really be a good thing. If they don’t understand it, be ready to explain. In some cases, you could both research the song, and learn what the lyrics mean and why the artists wrote them. Would really open your child’s mind up more to music, and they would appreciate it more.

If I had a kid, there would be no censorship, but I would also explain to the kid that he or she shouldn’t go reciting those lyrics to their friends, and especially their teachers or other adults outside of our home. I would also explain that most of the songs are “make-believe” and they shouldn’t go out to re-enact any of the actions in the song, or take the song’s message to heart, with maybe some exceptions.

I think the reason why these Kidz Bop CDs are so popular is because of the sanitization of the lyrics. Parents nowadays either hover over their children too much (helicopter parents) or don’t watch over them at all, thinking that others will do the job for them (invisible parents), but want what’s best for their kids at the same time, so they’ll go out and buy these CDs that have a bunch of cats and mice being shoved into a blender with the music of some popular song played in the background, and the blender’s “On” button being pushed in time with the music, to pass for lyrics.


July 30th, 2010
9:33 pm

I am twelve years old. I listen to the originals of all these songs, my mom understands that your kid is going to hear these things anyway, once you’re in middle school, you are GOING to hear inappropriate things and even some cuss words from your classmates. I also love listening to green day, and my mom says that as long as I don’t repeat the words, then I am fine, although she jokes the first time I cuss out my teacher she’ll take my iPod away. My 4 year old little brother is occaisonally in the car while my iPod is playing, and I will turn it down for the f-bomb, but other than that, it’s just words he hears in movies, or *cough*my mom’s mouth*cough* :-) He knows better than to repeat them. Parents don’t need to hover over their kids. I listen to this, I don’t cuss, and i’ve never even gotten a detention.


August 19th, 2010
6:35 pm

My nanny listens to the radio when she takes my kids (6,4 & 2) to activities. My husband is crazed when my 6 year old daughter was singing “I wanna be a billionaire so frickin’ bad” or “Sex on the beach..”(California Gurlz). So I found Kidz Bop which seems to make everyone happy (the Nanny, my husband and my kids love the kid voices singing). I’m happy with the alternative.


August 24th, 2010
9:28 am

ok i think kids bop is pretty cool its fun 2 listen 2 kids my age sing .but not 2 be rude the people who run it should have put kids with better voices and i think only on person should sing @ a when u watch their vidoes every1s mouth is moving but normally wen all their mouths are moving theres only 1 person singing.but other tthan that yeah i guess its pretty cool

Ed Lovelace

September 6th, 2010
4:13 pm

I am a DJ. The Kidz Bop Series is perfect for me as I DJ many kids partys. Many Parents DO NOT take kindly to swear words and questionable lyrics at their kid’s partys. It’s my job to keep it clean.
Kidz Bop makes my job a little bit easier.