YouTube is probably one of the greatest technological innovations of our time. Along with Facebook and Twitter, YouTube is one of the prime reasons behind the concept of viral entertainment. Some would-be artists who want to break in to the business have also used it as a springboard.
Chad Hurley, Steve Chen and Jawed Karim, all employees of PayPal, created the site. Google has since bought it out for $1.65 billion. Along the way, it has given us the likes of the sneezing panda and several cat and dog videos. It also introduced us to the prodigious talent of Justin Bieber. Without YouTube, only a few of us would have seen and been astonished by the reply of Caitlin Upton in the Miss Teen USA 2007 pageant. It also showed us the power of music, when a trio of Chinese kids, who could not speak a word of English, uploaded a video while lip synching along to a song by the Backstreet Boys.
Some videos simply become classics and are still viewed after a long time. Most others are viral in nature, with its popularity spiraling in an instant. The following are the top ten most viewed YouTube videos as of 18 November 2012.
1. Justin Bieber, featuring Ludacris – Baby – 801,151,854 views
The video was uploaded on 19 February 2010 and immediately became popular. It starred Justin Bieber, the Canadian teen singer and songwriter, who was discovered in YouTube in 2008. He quickly impressed the likes of Usher, and was then signed up to a recording contract by Island Records.
2. Psy – Gangnam Style – 755,274,312 views
As you read this, Gangnam Style may have already overtaken the Justin Bieber video at the number one spot. This video was released only on 15 July 2012, but it has already jumped all the way to the second spot. At the rate it is going, this may become the first video to hit a billion views. It features Park Jae Sang, or Psy, a South Korean singer and songwriter who has rapped and danced his way to the hearts of everyone in this world with this catchy number.
3. Jennifer Lopez, featuring Pitbull – On the Floor – 621,956,883 views
This video was released on 3 March 2011 during the height of American Idol’s tenth season that featured Jennifer Lopez as one of the judges. It served as sort of a comeback song for one of the most influential Hispanic performers in the United States. Lopez has already sold 70 million records around the world, and this song further solidified her status as an elite celebrity.
4. Eminem, featuring Rihanna – Love the Way You Lie – 515,347,432 views
Marshall Bruce Mathers III, or more popularly known as Eminem, is already considered one of the greatest artists of all time by many influential magazines. Ten of his albums reached the number one spot in the last decade, ranking him as the best selling artist of the decade. Rolling Stones magazine has proclaimed him as the King of Hip Hop. When he combined his talent with the equally talented Barbadian singer, Rihanna, the song had the makings of a hit before it even got released. True enough, the response was electric and the video has become one of the top viewed YouTube videos ever since it got posted last 5 August 2010.
5. LMFAO, featuring Laurenn Bennett and Goonrock – Party Rock Anthem – 501,088,243 views
This video was released on 8 March 2011 and had all the ingredients of a hit. It has a lively video, a party song, a rock song, a tune that was anthemic, and they sported a name that the young generation could easily identify. Though the duo which makes up LMFAO, Redfoo and his nephew Skyblu, insist that the name does not stand for Laughing My Fucking Ass Off, but instead means Love My Friends And Others, everyone knows better. More than half a billion people have already seen and danced along to this video.
6. Shakira – Waka Waka (This Time for Africa) – 500,085,070 views
The song was posted on 4 June 2010 and served as the official song of the 2010 World Cup of football held in South Africa. Football is the most popular sport in the world, so any song that is connected to the World Cup would probably have drawn a lot of views. By having someone as sexy as Shakira sing it, combined with clips of the most popular football players in the world in action, Waka Waka was an easy bet to become one of the most viewed YouTube videos ever. Or at least until the next World Cup four years from now.
7. Lady Gaga – Bad Romance – 496,246,333 views
She is one of the most popular and recognizable artists in the world today. Known for her risqué songs, outlandish outfits and daring performances, she has become a favorite of music lovers worldwide, so much so that all her songs are keenly awaited for. Bad Romance was posted on 23 November 2009 and did not disappoint, as a great video was able to enhance a tremendously catchy song.
8. Charlie Bit My Finger Again – 496,081,407 views
This is the oldest video in the list and the only one that is not a song. It is one of the earlier classics that came out when YouTube was still in its infancy. The father of two English boys posted the video on 22 May 2007. The younger one, Charlie, was only a year old and he had bitten the finger of his three-year-old brother named Harry. It was simple and funny.
9. Michel Telo – Ai Se Eu Te Pego – 458,776,408 views
Telo is a Brazilian singer and songwriter. This is his biggest song that became an international hit, topping the charts in Europe, Quebec, and Latin America.
10. Don Omar, featuring Lucenzo – Danza Kuduro – 404,501,808 views
This is a sexy video from the Puerto Rican singer and actor Don Omar. He is commonly referred to as El Rey, or The King. This video has allowed him to be one of YouTube’s royalty in terms of number of views.