Only one Spaniard has broken the one billion view barrier on YouTube

The video site has released a list of its most viewed videos on its tenth anniversary and only one Spaniard makes the list... can you guess who the hero is?

Only one Spaniard has broken the one billion view barrier on YouTube
Photo: Oli Scarff/AFP

It’s all in the family for the Spaniard who has managed to rack up the most views on YouTube – a whopping 1,084,241,264. 

Yes, it’s Spanish heartthrob Enrique Iglesias, son of legendary crooner Julio who recently became the latest celebrity to diss US Republican presidential hopeful, Donald Trump.

The Spanish version of Enrique’s hit Bailando has amassed over a billion hits on the popular video website since it was released on April 11th 2014.

The song features Cuban singer Descemer Bueno and group Gente de Zona, who also co-wrote the track, which means ‘dancing’ in English.

Enrique is the only Latin artist to feature in the top ten list, which is largely populated by pop acts; both Taylor Swift and Katy Perry feature twice on the list with Swift’s Blank Space taking third position and Perry’s Dark Horse taking forth.

Pint-sized crooner Justin Bieber takes the second spot with Baby while the first place proves the power of the viral video: South Korean pop star PSY’s 2012 hit Gangnam Style, which spawned thousands of spoof videos – is the most viewed video on YouTube with an incredible 2.4 billion views.

The list features four Americans (Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, Meghan Trainor and rapper Wiz Kalifa), one Canadian (Justin Beiber), one South Korean (PSY) one Brit (Mark Ronson) and one Spaniard (Enrique Iglesias). 

The most viewed YouTube videos

1. PSY – Gangnam Style – 2,430,936,252

2. Justin Bieber – Baby – 1,222,745,161

3. Taylor Swift – Blank Space – 1,204,579,438

4. Katy Perry – Dark Horse –  1,129,029,646

5. Katy Perry- Roar -1,092,530,036

6. Taylor Swift – Shake it off – 1,084,992,902

7. Enrique Iglesias – Bailando – 1,084,241,264

8. Mark Ronson- Uptown funk. 1,061,501,612

9. Meghan Trainor- All about that bass. 1,056,816,473

10. Wiz Khalifa- See you again. 1,024,110,436

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‘Take On Me’ tops a billion YouTube views: What makes 80s Norwegian hit so enduring?

It’s arguably the biggest success in the history of Norwegian pop, and A-ha’s 1984 pop classic ‘Take On Me’ this week reached a new milestone.

'Take On Me' tops a billion YouTube views: What makes 80s Norwegian hit so enduring?
A-Ha performing in 2015. Photo: AFP

The song combines synthpop with acoustic guitars, keyboards and drums and is indisputably the band’s signature tune and one of the most evocative pop songs of the decade.

That is complemented by a memorable music video which combined live action sequences with black-and-white pencil sketch animated overlays, in what was then an innovative technique called rotoscoping. It won six awards at the 1986 MTV Music Video Awards.

Perhaps the combination of both music and visuals has driven Take On Me into the realms of YouTube royalty. The official video, originally released in 1985, was recently restored and upgraded to 4K resolution to improve visual quality, Warner Music Norway wrote in a press statement.

In any case, A-ha now join a small list of artists with music videos that have tipped the 10-figure mark for total views on the social media website.

While South Korean rapper Psy’s 2012 hit Gangnam Style and Despacito by Luis Fonsi (2017) have famously garnered monstrous numbers of YouTube views, it’s arguably harder for songs which pre-date widespread use of the Internet to rack up those kind of figures.

Take On Me joins two Guns N’ Roses songs (November Rain, Sweet Child o’ Mine), Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody and Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit in an elite club of just five songs from the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s with over a billion views.

Numb by Linkin Park was the first pre-YouTube video from the 2000s to reach a billion views.

“Obviously the video is unique and it has some features that stand up and stand the test of time,” he shared. “It’s hand drawn which makes it what it is,” A-ha guitarist Magne Furuholmen told Billboard last year.

“The song also seems to resonate with people across time. It’s just very fortunate to have such a big song in our catalogue,” Furuholmen said.

“We probably spent a few years talking it down, trying to get people to focus on new stuff we’re doing. At this point, certainly speaking for myself, I’m just surprised and proud that the song has done so well and still finds an audience,” he added.