10. “Sorry” (2015) – 3.36 billion views
The video for Justin Bieber’s Vine-promoted electro-pop tune “Sorry” is full of neon-clad dancers. Many speculated that it may be about more than a relationship, and perhaps hinted at the singer’s more controversial moments, but Bieber confirmed that the song is specifically dedicated to his ex-girlfriend Selena Gomez.
9. “Learning Colors – Colorful Eggs on a Farm” (2018) – 3.65 billion views
“Learning Colors – Colorful Eggs on a Farm” is one of these. It is frankly terrifying, as six eggs with painted smiles split in half, let their insides be filled with ominous liquid, close back up, and shake themselves to reflect the colors inside. “
8. “Gangnam Style” (2012) – 3.84 billion views
“Gangnam Style” might never have made it to America if rapper T-Pain hadn’t tweeted about it in 2012. “The YouTube video never targeted foreign countries. It was for local fans,” Korean rapper Psy told Reuters in an interview after the video went viral.
7. “Uptown Funk” (2014) – 3.99 billion views
The incredibly catchy Bruno Mars song tied for the second longest-reigning No. 1 on the Billboard 100 in 2014, and broke the record for most streamed track in the United of America, United Kingdom, and worldwide in one week. The success of the song translates to success of its music video, which was nominated for various awards and made a few “Top Music Videos of 2014” lists.
6. “Johny Johny Yes Papa” (2016) – 4.14 billion views
“Johny Johny Yes Papa” in its various iterations became a hot meme in 2018, though weirdly enough it was not this particular iteration that first exploded on weird corners of the internet. Rather, it was a video uploaded by Billion Surprise Toys that surfaced from shitpost avenues to main Twitter feeds. This one is slightly less janky, so perhaps that is why it became so popular.
5. “Recipe for Disaster” (2012) – 4.36 billion views
“Recipe for Disaster”from the Russian animated series Masha and the Bear the oldest video on the list, predating “Gangnam Style” by seven months. It once sat upon the throne of most viewed kids video of all time, till a younger and more beautiful video came along to cast it down.
4. “See You Again” (2015) – 4.79 billion views
The Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth collabo is a tribute to Fast and Furious actor Paul Walker, who died in a car accident before his final franchise appearance in Furious 7. After the film’s release, “See You Again” became the longest-running rap No. 1 single in the United States of America.
3. “Shape of You” (2017) – 5.05 billion views
Ed Sheeran’s crooning pop hit became the most streamed song on Spotify in 2018. Sheeran originally wrote the song with Rihanna in mind, but ended up performing it himself. The song received positive acclaim, though Jeremy Gordon of Spin noted “you can’t really picture Sheeran ever saying ‘put that body on me’ to a real human woman.” The music video manages to paint Sheeran as a sort of rugged boxer, making the lyrical choice seem a bit more plausible. At the end, he battles a sumo wrestler. Many singers did a cover on Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You” song.
2. “Despacito” (2017) – 7.04 billion views
The gap between “Despacito” and the third place video is bigger than the gap between any of the other videos. One might think that the fact that the song is a punchline to a meme might contribute, but the song amassed 1 billion views in just 97 days and eventually broke the record for most viewed YouTube video in August 2017 — all before the first instance of the “That’s so sad, Alexa play Despacito” meme on Tumblr in June 2018. Billboard notes that the song renewed interest in Latin music from U.S. record labels.
1. “Baby Shark Dance” (2016) – 7.05 billion views
The infectious children’s song slowly swam its way up the Top 10 through 2019 and 2020 until, finally, it cinched the coveted spot at the top of this list in November 2020. What was once just another kid’s video exploded into a viral meme and pop culture sensation. Parents everywhere know the power of Baby Shark, which casts a Pied Piper-esque trance over small children ever.
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