Most viewed YouTube videos: From 'Gangnam Style' to 'Wrecking Ball' - Features - Music - The Independent

Most viewed YouTube videos: From 'Gangnam Style' to 'Wrecking Ball'

Nine of the top ten most-watched YouTube clips are music videos. Scroll to see which artists make the cut - and why Psy's 'Gangnam Style' can't be toppled

Two years ago one K-Pop music mogul uploaded Psy’s "Gangnam Style" video to YouTube, catapulting it to worldwide fame overnight.

In just four months the lasso-themed video went on to become the most-viewed YouTube clip ever with over 805 million views.

A year and a half later, the video made YouTube history again to become the first clip to break two billion views.

YouTube remains the go-to website to watch music videos, despite a large number having been uploaded via vevo.com.

Music videos make up nine of the ten most-watched videos on YouTube, with just one amateur home film classic, “Charlie Bit My Finger”, completing the list.

Psy’s "Gangnam Style" is followed by teen pop star Justin Bieber’s “Baby”, which despite being the second most-viewed video on YouTube also holds the record for the most number of dislikes.

The most-watched videos on YouTube

(These figures are accurate as of 21 July 2014)

1. Psy – ‘Gangnam Style’

2,043,881,028 views

Featuring Psy’s iconic horse-riding moves, “Gangnam Style” went viral overnight to become the most-watched video on YouTube in four months. The K-pop king recently made YouTube history again to claim the first video to reach 2 billion views.

2. Justin Bieber – ‘Baby’

1,063,264,957 views

Back in the day before Bieber knew what probation even meant, the teen pop star broke onto the international scene looking like the cute boy next door every teeny bopper craves with “Baby”, a song that had them in the palms of his hands for evermore. 

3. Jennifer Lopez ft Pitbull – ‘On the Floor’

768,514,138 views

Jenny from the block made her comeback with this electronic dance pop anthem in 2011, more than ten years since the release of her debut single. The video features J-Lo dancing on a table in a crop top looking unfathomably good for her age, but no doubt the Latino-inspired beats attracted some views too.

4. Harry and Charlie Davies-Carr – “Charlie Bit My Finger – Again!”

742,351,831 views

Uploaded in 2007, this home video has become the most-watched amateur YouTube clip ever. Featuring older brother Harry putting his finger in Charlie’s mouth, the short video lays sibling relationships bare while remaining enduringly cute.

5. Eminem ft Rihanna – “Love the Way You Lie”

718,244,094 views

She’s produced some memorable videos in her time, but even “Pour It Up” can’t rival the number of views Rihanna’s video with Eminem has attracted. The video to the emotional single follows a tempestuous couple with Rihanna singing to camera behind a house in flames, and Eminem rapping in a corn field.

6. LMFAO – “Party Rock Anthem”

716,017,854 views

Featuring a lot of bespectacled hipsters dancing en masse in leopard print and Lycra, this high-tempo hit single from 2011 doesn’t get much air time now but its video remains one of the most-viewed on YouTube.

7. Psy – “Gentleman”

712,631,435 views

He was never going to achieve the same level of worldwide recognition as “Gangnam Style”, but that didn’t stop him from trying. Released in 2013, Psy’s second video features the pop star larking about in a hotel and trying to eat noodles sexily.

8. Shakira – “Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)”

711,604,614 views

The Colombian singer’s World Cup anthem reached number one across the world during the 2010 South Africa tournament, making her sweeping depiction of ‘Africa’ one of the most-watched videos. 

9. Miley Cyrus – “Wrecking Ball”

687,620,815 views

Released in the midst of Miley-mania, "Wrecking Ball" proved the icing on the cake for many parenting groups across the US. The video has racked up a huge number of views in under a year, no doubt thanks to the singer writhing naked on a wrecking ball and licking a phallic-shaped hammer.

10. Lady Gaga – “Bad Romance”

594,416,432 views

It doesn’t rank as one of her most outrageous videos, but breakout single “Bad Romance” is Lady Gaga’s most-viewed on YouTube, showcasing the first of Mother Monster’s many unconventional outfits and hairstyles to come.

Read more: Psy's 'Gangnam Style' passes 2bn views
YouTube wants to ban Adele and Arctic Monkeys
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