YouTube’s 10 Most-Watched Videos Ever
See how Psy, Lady Gaga, and a carnivorous toddler stack up on the most-watched list.
1. Psy, “Gangnam Style”: 1,552,071,214 views
No surprise here. After posting the eccentric video in mid-July 2012, K-pop singer Psy became a sensation, appearing on every television show ever, spawning countless spin-off videos, and inspiring David Gregory to dance. (Or, at least, try.) The video reached 100 million views in 51 days, but hasn’t stopped its climb to record heights. Not a bad run for a subtle commentary on South Korean classism.
2. Justin Bieber, “Baby” - ft. Ludacris: 850,860,839 views
Coming as close as any Canadian will to world domination, Justin Bieber takes the No. 2 spot. Maybe it was the bowl cut, maybe it was the spinning camera, or maybe it was the universally understood sexual tension inherent in a game of bowling. But something about “Baby” sent the Internet’s tween heart aflutter, and Bieber shot to super-stardom. Ah, 2010—it was a simpler time, before the tattoos, the death threats, or the German customs agents hell-bent on confiscating a pet monkey.
3. Jennifer Lopez, “On The Floor” - ft. Pitbull: 664,969,961 views
Apparently a lot of people are having dance parties in their apartments, because J. Lo’s club anthem “On The Floor” surprises as YouTube’s bronze medalist. “It’s a new generation of party people,” she whispers at the song’s start—right, if by “party” she means gesticulating at a YouTube video while in your pajamas.
4. Eminem, “Love The Way You Lie” - ft. Rihanna: 555,807,205 views
Why was RiRi back with Chris Brown?! After what he had done to her—it just made no sense. Well, when “Love the Way You Lie” dropped in July 2010, fans got a glimpse into Rihanna’s thoughts—“that’s alright because I like the way it hurts”—and sent the song soaring to the No. 1 spot on the Billboard charts. Her emotional hook paired with Eminem’s staccato lyrics—not to mention a video starring Megan Fox and Lost’s Dominic Monaghan—made the song and video an instant hit.
5. LMFAO, “Park Rock Anthem” - ft. Lauren Bennett, GoonRock: 535,765,502 views
Party rockers first cranked this LMFAO track in the summer of 2011, propelling the single to No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 list. Why it took so long for parties to have an anthem remains unclear, but the crazy-haired duo can be sure somebody’s been shufflin’ every day since the song came out.
6. Charlie Bit My Finger – again!: 522,494,059 views
Love hurts. This adorable family flick turned Internet sensation is the only viral video in YouTube’s top ten that does not feature a pop star. What started as a quiet moment between a toddler and his big brother quickly became the bite heard ‘round the world. The boys’ father uploaded the adorable clip to share with family in May 2007; by October 2009, it had become the most viewed upload of all time. The video sparked fan clubs across the globe, spawned an app, and inspired a host of imitators. Of course, the spin-offs bite (get it?) compared to the original.
7. Shakira, “Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)”: 519,632,786 views
Shakira scored with this music video for the official song of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Featuring a colorful mix of footage from past World Cup matches intercut with the Colombian singer’s signature, um, shake, this was Sony’s first ever 3D music video. Because who doesn’t want to see Shakira in 3D?
8. Lady Gaga, “Bad Romance”: 516,603,937 views
The little monsters ate this video up, as did the rest of the planet. Though Gaga is kidnapped by a group of supermodels in the video, she escaped in time to premiere it at Paris Fashion Week in October 2009. Now, the song has become an anthem for girls about to break up with their boyfriends.
9. Michael Telo, “Ai Se Eu Te Pego – Oficial (Assim você me mata)”: 496,442,634 views
If you’re a soccer fan, this song is probably at the top of your ‘Celebration’ iPod playlist. Why? Superstars like Cristiano Ronaldo routinely bust out the song’s signature dance to celebrate a gooooooooaaal. Topping U.S. Spanish radio charts in 2012, this Brazilian hit—translated to “Oh If I Catch You”—will certainly make an appearance at the next World Cup.
10. Carly Rae Jepsen, “Call Me Maybe”: 446,223,829 views
A YouTube top ten list would not be complete without Carly Rae Jepsen’s masterpiece ‘Call Me Maybe.’ So thank goodness Don Omar hasn’t caught her yet (the Puerto Rican reggaeton singer is currently sitting in 11th spot, about 6 million views back). From the catchy strings to the unpredictable ending, this video was an instant classic—and gave everyone hope that, one day, their stolen stares might too inspire a hit song.