There will be few shockers here, you’ll at least have heard of most of these people if you have a TV or radio, internet or access to the outside world at all. On the other hand, you may very well, like me, be disappointed at the extent the world (almost all of it) is single-minded in its’ approach to entertainment and general interest. The global village is most definitely nothing more than a village. And Justin Beiber is its’ bicycle.
Although I made a concerted effort to disprove some of my findings, it became clear that pop music, (particularly of the teenage bubble-gum kind), cute viral home videos, novelty international viral sensations and anything requiring the audience to learn a ridiculous dance, have been trending on YouTube since its inception.
5. Lady Gaga – ‘Bad Romance’ – 485,167,166 views
As one of the ‘most influential’ people in the world (based solely on her astronomical number of Twitter followers), it’s not surprising that an artist known for highly-conceptual imagery and an attention-grabbing aesthetic would feature highly here.
4. Shakira – ‘Waka Waka (This time for Africa)’ – 491,196,696 views
This was not the most obvious inclusion in the list but considering we live in a football-obsessed world and this tune somehow managed to be chosen as the official song of the last World Cup, it makes at least some sense.
3. Eminem – ‘Love the Way you Lie’ ft. Rihanna – 492,907,293 views
This song was a big part of Eminem’s come-back trail and charted well, with a little help from Rihanna. This isn’t even the only time that Eminem is featured in top viral lists. His video for ‘Not Afraid’ has earned 359,692,834 views on YouTube, putting it at number 10 on most watched video lists, as of this month. What doesn’t make sense is that pop princess Rihanna (the highest selling digital female artist of all time) doesn’t have one of her own songs on the list. Even more confusing is the complete absence of Beyoncé in the top ten.
2. Jennifer Lopez – ‘On the Floor’ ft. Pitbull – 592,450,651 views
Also a ‘come-back’ song of sorts, so it’s high-flying views are understandable and in line with the pop world’s curiosity and thirst for newness. Dance music has been a recurring theme on viral hit lists and this item certainly adopts that formula.
1. Justin Beiber – ‘Baby’ ft. Ludacris – 777,240,044 views
One of the other ‘most influential people in the world’, young Justin has been at the top of this list for quite some time. ‘Baby’ was the first video ever to earn over half a million views and the song was released over two (long) years ago. God forbid he does a remix. It’s worth mentioning that his first artist, Carly Rae Jepsen has been leading recent viral races in the last few months, with 250 million views of her debut single ‘Call Me Maybe’ since it was posted on 1st March – giving the Beiber camp a monopoly on the viral world.
Ones to watch…
Korean pop sensation, PSY has racked up 150 million views since 15th July, with its comedy-value brand of choreographed dance and pop music on ‘Gangnam Style’ while LMFAO’s ‘Party Rock Anthem’ made enough digital waves to land it in the top ten. One of the only respites from pop music in top viral download charts has been the adorable ‘Charlie bit my finger’ home movie clips and with US election fever heating up, a variety of Obama and Romney vids have garnered millions of views, with one of the most popular being Barack Obama singing ‘Call Me Maybe’, with over 24 million views in just a few months. The digital dominance of pop culture prevails.