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The 15 Most Viewed YouTube Music Videos

YouTube has fundamentally changed how fans worldwide discover and consume music. Within the platform’s endless video catalog, certain music videos have broken through to achieve historic viewership milestones measured in the billions.InformationGuideNigeria

Examining the top 15 most popular YouTube music videos offers insight into artists, songs, and visual content that resonated widely enough to secure a permanent place in pop culture history through sheer viewership might.

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The 15 Most Viewed YouTube Music Videos

The 15 most viewed YouTube music videos are:

1. ‘Despacito’ – Luis Fonsi ft. Daddy Yankee

Upon its 2017 release, Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s smash hit “Despacito” quickly became a global phenomenon partially fueled by its groundbreaking music video. Blending reggaeton, Latin pop, and danceable rhythms sung in Spanish, “Despacito” dominated charts worldwide in an unprecedented crossover.

Equally important, the music video’s festive imagery and sensual dance scenes generated massive interest, earning over 8.4 billion lifetime views on YouTube and counting. Starring models, parties, and upbeat culture, the clip’s energetic spirit aligned perfectly with the song’s vibe. This combination drove “Despacito” to its record-shattering popularity.

Overall, “Despacito” demonstrated how YouTube could catapult songs regardless of language. Between the melodic chorus and flashy video, “Despacito” created viral magic as one of the most streamed and beloved Latin hits ever.The 15 Most Viewed YouTube Music Videos

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2. ‘Shape of You’ – Ed Sheeran

English pop troubadour Ed Sheeran cemented his status as a global phenomenon with smash single “Shape of You” and its distinctly minimalist music video. Set simply in a gym, Sheeran bases the video around boxing, dancing, and singing—letting his magnetic charisma shine.

By focusing entirely on Sheeran’s goofy energy and the song’s catchy lyrics, the “Shape of You” video achieved a remarkable 6.4+ billion YouTube views. Sheeran himself exhibits enough charm to elevate even a basic video.

Ultimately, “Shape of You” exemplifies how strong songs can thrive on YouTube through strategic simplicity. Sheeran walks the line between slick and authentic, creating a casual, shareable video whose understated charm successfully amplified the track’s popularity.

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3. ‘See You Again’ – Wiz Khalifa ft. Charlie Puth

Featured on the Furious 7 movie soundtrack, Wiz Khalifa’s moving 2015 hip-hop ballad “See You Again” created an unforgettable music video starring the cast mourning Paul Walker’s death. This solemn tribute earned nearly 7 billion YouTube views.

The music video’s direct memorial to Walker propelled “See You Again” beyond just a movie song into a larger cultural phenomenon celebrated worldwide. Tyrese Gibson’s tearful goodbye struck millions as an incredibly emotional tribute.

Khalifa and Charlie Puth created a timeless anthem cherished worldwide by beautifully combining melancholy lyrics, soaring vocals, and heartfelt music video visuals. As a package, “See You Again” manifested as YouTube’s most resonant music video elegy.15 Best Kinky Hair Extensions in Nigeria

4. ‘Uptown Funk’ – Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars

Iconic pop jam “Uptown Funk” paired Bruno Mars’ silky vocals with Mark Ronson’s retro-flavored production. Its blockbuster music video brought this swag-filled combination to life through flashy suits, sunglasses, and line dancing.

Perfectly matching the song’s funky spirit, the “Uptown Funk” video has achieved nearly 4.8 billion total views on YouTube. The clip’s visual style idealizes the track’s sound and attitude. Set to velvety melodies, Bruno and Ronson exude effortless cool fronting this city block party.

Through slick style, smooth grooves, and magnetism between its stars, “Uptown Funk” emerged as a defining music video for its era. The clip’s new-retro aesthetics also amplify its timeless appeal.

5. ‘Gangnam Style’ – Psy

Korean pop singer Psy became an overnight international sensation with 2012’s viral smash “Gangnam Style” and its humorously bizarre music video. Psy’s rousing Korean lyrics, ridiculous outfit, and cheeky horse-riding dance sparked a dance craze replicated globally.15 Best Life Insurance Companies in Nigeria

“Gangnam Style” made history as YouTube’s first video to reach 1 billion views. Today Psy’s unconventional anthem still stands strong with over 4.5 billion views. The song and its video single-handedly thrust K-pop into worldwide consciousness through sheer entertainment value.

While Psy himself did not sustain this fleeting fame, “Gangnam Style” remains iconic. The video set the stage for YouTube to drive global stardom. Psy galloping in goofy attire still ranks among pop music’s most memorable visual moments.

Read Also: 15 Most Viewed YouTube Videos in 24 Hours

6. ‘Baby Shark Dance’ – Pinkfong

Although not traditionally considered a pop music song, the 2016 viral kids anthem “Baby Shark Dance” from Pinkfong has become YouTube’s most-watched video ever across all genres. Its catchy shark chorus chants, colorful animation, and dance instructions have captivated toddlers worldwide.

Extremely repetitive yet undeniably infectious, “Baby Shark Dance” has achieved over 11 billion views to date, more than any other video on the platform. While some may consider the song maddening, its simple skips, hops, and hand moves clearly enchant young minds through participation.Best Juice Extractor in Nigeria

For better or worse, “Baby Shark Dance” and its meme status highlight YouTube’s power to catapult novelty songs to ubiquity. Its unavoidable hooks lodged the track deep into pop culture consciousness.

7. ‘Johny Johny Yes Papa’ – LooLoo Kids

Further evidence of YouTube’s role in toddler-targeted tunes, the children’s song “Johny Johny Yes Papa” has earned 4.4+ billion views for its catchy singalong call-and-response lyrics.

Set to 3D animation of a mischievous baby interacting with his parent, “Johny Johny Yes Papa” represents catnip content for little kids learning basic vocal patterns and dialogue. The video sets the simple ditty to colorful visuals that capture young attention spans.

For parents worldwide seeking entertaining nursery rhyme videos, “Johny Johny Yes Papa” became an essential addition thanks to its viral ascent. While juvenile to older audiences, toddlers made it one of YouTube’s most-watched music videos through endless replay.

8. ‘Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)’ – Shakira

Released as the 2010 FIFA World Cup’s official anthem, Shakira’s “Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)” incorporated both English lyrics and African musical elements like a kamalenjong rhythm. The video’s vibrant images of Shakira dancing in South Africa amplified the song’s excitement.

“Waka Waka” gained nearly 3 billion views before its music video even dropped, proving the song’s inherent catchiness. But the clip expanded its footprint further through joyful visuals celebrating culture in Africa. Youtube fueled both the song and video’s meteoric rise.105 Good Morning My Love Messages

Shakira ingeniously blended musical styles from her Colombian heritage with this World Cup’s African setting. Upbeat and multilingual, “Waka Waka” became a global dance hit and enduring World Cup anthem.

Read Also: Top 15 African Music Chart-Toppers

9. ‘Sorry’ – Justin Bieber

Having grown up on YouTube, Justin Bieber fittingly earned one of the site’s most-watched music videos for the 2015 single “Sorry.” The slick dance routine-filled video demonstrated Bieber’s maturation into a confident, smooth superstar ready to reclaim pop dominance.

By the time of “Sorry,” Bieber himself was the main attraction rather than the song. His swaggy moves and growing reputation ensured fans would watch to see the young icon in action. The video satisfied expectations, showcasing Bieber’s evolution through choreography and cool styling.

Overall, “Sorry” represented a critical career reinvention for Bieber after years of controversy. His image rehabilitation led to nearly 3.6 billion views and counting. YouTube completed his transformation into an eternal pop idol.

10. ‘Sugar’ – Maroon 5

Veteran pop rockers Maroon 5 snagged another giant hit in 2018 with infectious earworm “Sugar.” The song’s absurdist wedding-crashing music video added extra momentum and laughs as it now sits with 3.1+ billion YouTube views.

Starring comedian Adam Levine as an increasingly unhinged wedding guest, Maroon 5’s “Sugar” video entertained through sheer silliness. The band risked looking foolish to produce viral laughs rather than relying on slick coolness. This goofy charm earned “Sugar” a permanent place in pop music video lore.

Maroon 5 can also credit the “Sugar” video for extending the song’s popularity through repeat views. The clip’s humor ensured it got played at real weddings and parties everywhere.200 Romantic Message for Her

11. ‘Roar’ – Katy Perry

Global pop icon Katy Perry has mastered larger-than-life YouTube music videos like 2013’s jungle-themed “Roar” clip. Depicting Perry wrestling animals and surviving the wilderness, “Roar” translates its themes of resilience through surreal visuals that gained over 3.2 billion lifetime views.

For “Roar,” Perry wisely selected visual metaphors that amplified the song’s message of inner strength. Though absurdist on the surface, the scenes of Perry overcoming adversity reinforced the track’s themes in a memorable fashion. This potent alignment between sound and imagery ensured “Roar’s” lasting cultural impact.

Throughout her career, Perry has successfully harnessed YouTube’s platform to debut epic music videos that feel like mini-movies. “Roar” represented the pinnacle of this blockbuster formula at the height of her fame.

12. ‘Bad Guy’ – Billie Eilish

When breakout alternative pop sensation Billie Eilish released her signature hit “Bad Guy” in 2019, its twisted music video immediately amplified the song’s rebellious attitude. With an oozing attitude, Eilish seized global attention as the cool, creepy new face of pop.

The “Bad Guy” video’s harsh neon colors, dynamic physical stunts, and subtle effects stylishly matched the track’s brash lyrics and vibe. Eilish flexed her star charisma while subverting expectations for a teenage pop idol. This bold visual showmanship rapidly propelled “Bad Guy” to over 2.3 billion views.

Beyond just the raw viewership numbers, “Bad Guy” equally crucially established Eilish’s influential aesthetic direction that fans worldwide have since replicated. Her evolution as music’s darkest pop star began with this video’s impact.NYSC Portal

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13. ‘Uptown Girl’ – Westlife

Proving its crossover appeal, Westlife’s epic 2000 cover of Billy Joel’s “Uptown Girl” became one of the boy band’s biggest singles while also earning over 2 billion YouTube views thanks to its elaborately choreographed music video.

The Irish pop group wisely selected “Uptown Girl” for its universal lyric about love transcending class and origins. Meanwhile, the video dramatizes this tale through extravagant set pieces and coordinated dance spectacles taking cues from musical theater.

Essentially a mini-movie musical production, Westlife’s “Uptown Girl” video feels thrillingly cinematic in scope. The grandiosity likely contributed to its repeat viewership, which still grows steadily decades later as new generations discover it.

14. ‘Dark Horse’ – Katy Perry ft. Juicy J

Global pop queen Katy Perry dominated the airwaves in 2013 with her track “Dark Horse.” The music video matches the song’s mystical occult-inspired aesthetics with Egyptian costumes, mythical beasts, and faintly sinister vibes.

With extravagant pop spectacle as usual, her “Dark Horse” video has achieved close to 2.7 billion lifetime YouTube views. However, it also sparked some controversy for playing into tropes from Egyptian history that some considered offensive misappropriation.

Nonetheless, the clip followed Katy Perry’s successful template of ambitious music videos that feel like big-budget short films. Cinematics on a grand scale fully realized “Dark Horse’s” murky melodies and lyrics.

15. ‘Hello’ – Adele

British soul diva Adele can rightfully claim to create one of YouTube’s most acclaimed music videos ever for her 2015 comeback mega-smash “Hello.” Keeping the focus on Adele’s powerhouse vocals, “Hello” opts for simplicity.

With Adele performing the intimate ballad on a stool against a black backdrop, the “Hello” video puts raw vocal talent center stage. This stripped-down approach earned over 2.9 billion views thanks to the sheer strength of Adele’s singing resonating universally.JAMB Portal

Rather than flashy effects, director Xavier Dolan foregrounds emotion and the human voice. This purposeful minimalism lets the track’s lyrical storytelling shine. “Hello” represents music video brilliance through elegant restraint.

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Music videos retain enormous cultural impact decades after their peak on MTV. But in the modern digital world, YouTube now plays a central role in spreading music videos worldwide. These top 15 most viewed clips achieve billions of plays while defining visual trends.

Audiences still expect innovative music videos to match songs’ attitudes and lyrics. Clever videos make tracks feel fresh and new. For artists, YouTube offers a vital launchpad to stardom and icon status when a music video catches fire online. Fans experience videos as more than just marketing – they become art enriching the listening experience.

Through its global reach, YouTube carries the music video’s legacy forward into the digital age. These top videos reveal how artists continue harnessing the medium’s storytelling power to captivate audiences through sight and sound.

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