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(Photo courtesy of Atlantic Records)

Ryan Gosling’s ‘Ken the EP’ reimagines the song for holidays and dance

It’s got Christmas, it’s got disco, it’s got an acoustic version.

On Dec. 20, Ryan Gosling released the much-anticipated “Ken the EP,” a compilation of three new versions of the “Barbie” movie’s show-stealing power ballad “I’m Just Ken.”

The release was paired with an official music video for the first track, the festively smooth “I’m Just Ken – Merry Kristmas Barbie.” Posted to Atlantic Records’ YouTube channel, the video sees Gosling joined by writer-producers Mark Ronson and Andrew Wyatt in a studio wrapped in holiday lights.

The following two tracks are the “In My Feelings Acoustic” version, a contemplative strings-based take on the song with echoing vocals, and the much dancier “Purple Disco Machine Cover,” a version worthy of a sudden TikTok dance trend that lasts maybe a week or two.

According to an Instagram post by Ronson, the Purple Disco Machine remix was in the works “since last summer,” with the “Kristmas” and acoustic tracks more recent concoctions. In the post, Ronson recalled Gosling asking him to go “Full Ronson” for the arrangement, and upon hearing the results said that “it sounded so f***ing xmas that [they] were like, ‘man, can we get this out in a week?!’”

Gosling isn’t the first to reimagine “I’m Just Ken,” with Pete Davidson memorably leading a self-deprecating parody on Saturday Night Live in October. That one was mildly unsettling to watch.

“I’m Just Ken” has been nominated for Best Original Song for a Motion Picture at the 2024 Golden Globe Awards, and Gosling received a nomination for Best Supporting Actor.

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