The Billion View Club: YouTube's Most Watched Music Videos - Rolling Stone
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The Billion View Club: YouTube’s Most Watched Music Videos

From “Gangnam Style” to “Despacito”

Katy Perry, Wiz and Psy

Adam Bettcher/Getty; Paras Griffin/Getty; ChinaFotoPress/Getty

YouTube’s Billion View Club is an elite group, but membership is growing fast. For a decade, very few videos ever even approached the milestone – in fact, as of the start of June 2015, only two clips could boast a billion-plus views. Then, over the course of 2015 alone, over 10 new clips crossed the mark, and more are likely to follow suit shortly. While the Billion View Club is still an exclusive circle, let’s look back at the videos that will likely stand as monuments of our time.


OneRepublic, “Counting Stars”

When Ryan Tedder isn't writing big pop hits for artists like Taylor Swift, One Direction and Adele, he's creating dance-rock singles that are just as massive for his band OneRepublic. "Counting Stars" proved to be one of the band's biggest singles, and the video reached the Billion View Club in early 2016. In the surreal clip, the band is playing on one floor while a church congregation is having a service above.


Sia, “Chandelier”

"Chandelier" helped re-launch Sia as not just a singer-songwriter but a pop diva. The creative clip for her powerful, catchy single gave the Australian writer behind hits for artists like Beyoncé and Kylie Minogue an added boost. In the clip, which achieved billion-view status in November 2015, the singer lets then-12-year-old Dance Moms star Maddie Ziegler take center-stage, dancing through a dirty apartment while wearing a Sia wig.


LMFAO featuring Lauren Bennett and GoonRock, “Party Rock Anthem”

Right before 2015 winded down, LMFAO's 2011 hit "Party Rock Anthem" not only reached a billion views but also proved that even four years later, everyone is still part rocking. The video shows the pair of Redfoo and Sky Blu waking from a coma induced by hard they had previously party rocked. They land in a city that's been destroyed by too much daily shuffling.

major lazer

Major Lazer and DJ Snake featuring MØ, “Lean On”

The rhythmic moombahton song has been inescapable all year and was named by Spotify the most-streamed track of all time. The earworm of an EDM single also reached high marks in YouTube play counts with the video achieving a billion views in early 2016. In the clip, DJ trio Major Lazer is seen dancing across India alongside their guest collaborators DJ Snake and MØ. The track and clip turned out to be a big breakthrough for Major Lazer, becoming the group's highest-charting single to date. 

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