Jay Styles

Linda Perry reacts to one billion views of 4 Non Blondes’ “What’s Up?”: “It’s a song of rebellion”

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The 1993 top 20 hit “What’s Up?” by 4 Non Blondes — which some people still call “What’s Going On” — recently became only the fifth video of the ’90s to hit a billion views on YouTube. Former 4 Non Blondes front woman Linda Perry, now a hitmaking songwriter and producer, is thankful that years later, people are still inspired by her “song of rebellion and hope.”

“One billion times, people listen to that song, watch that video? I mean, I don’t know what to say about that,” Linda tells ABC Audio. “All I know is, I wrote a classic song and I’m so grateful and so thankful that that happened. And if you get one of those, you’re a f***ing lucky person!”

4 Non Blondes broke up a year after “What’s Up?” charted, and Linda went on to write hits like Pink’s “Get the Party Started,” Christina Aguilera‘s “Beautiful” and Gwen Stefani‘s “What You Waiting For?”  But she’s still proud of her first big success.

“‘What’s Up?’ is an incredible song, I’m so grateful that that came out of me,” she says. “We always have some moments where we’re like, ‘What is going on?’ It’s a song of rebellion. It’s a song of hope.”

She adds, “It’s a song of reaching out and asking the world, asking yourself, asking your friend, mom, lover, ‘What is going on? These are my frustrations.'”

According to Linda, there’s a reason the anthemic tune is still being sung today in cars and karaoke bars: When times are hard, it brings people together.

“The past four years, it doesn’t matter whether you’re Republican, Independent or Democratic, we have all been struggling…and it’s been hard,” she notes. “And then to top it off with this last year, and the pandemic…so we have to join together.”

By Andrea Dresdale
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