Sorry, PSY: “Gangnam Style” is no longer the most-watched video on YouTube. That new honor has now been bestowed on the music video for “See You Again,” the tearjerker of a song from Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth that featured at the end of 2015’s Furious 7 as a tribute to actor Paul Walker, who passed away in a car crash in 2013 before production was completed.
With nearly 2.9 billion views (and counting), the heartfelt ballad — first listed on the video site on April 15, 2015 — intersperses shots of rapper Wiz and crooner Puth with archival clips from the Fast and Furious franchise over the years, featuring Walker and fellow series stars Vin Diesel, Ludacris, Jordana Brewster, and the rest of their tight-knit squad. (That includes shots of Walker’s brothers standing in for Paul in some scenes of Furious 7.)
“It’s been a long day without you my friend, and I’ll tell you all about it when I see you again,” the chorus goes, sung with Puth’s light touch. Puth also tweeted his surprise about the video’s success: “For the record, I joined YouTube in 2007 hoping to make a video that would reach 10,000 views,” he wrote. “Just heard about See You Again… wow.”
It’s a far cry from South Korean pop star PSY’s video for “Gangnam Style,” which became a viral sensation thanks to singer PSY’s zany dance moves and filming choices, and the inescapably catchy tune. It, in turn, surpassed Justin Bieber’s “Baby” for the most-watched title, breaking YouTube’s counting system once it reached above 2 billion views at the time.
While “See You Again” may currently reign supreme with about a million more plays than “Gangnam Style,” its status may be short-lived: the original version of song of the summer “Despacito” from Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee is slowly but surely climbing in view counts, currently coming in at nearly 2.5 billion. It’s only been on the platform for six months.
- Here’s How Effective the Original Vaccines Are Against Omicron
- The Promise—And Possible Perils—of Editing What We Say Online
- How Trump Survived Decades of Legal Trouble: Deny, Deflect, Delay, and Don't Put Anything in Writing
- Flint Is Still Shaken by its Water Crisis—and Residents Are Experiencing Long-Term Mental-Health Issues
- A Beer Shortage Is Brewing. A Volcano Is Partly to Blame
- How Fasting Can—and Can't—Improve Gut Health
- Cities Keep Enforcing Curfews for Teens, Despite Evidence They Don't Stop Crime
- Joe Manchin’s Red Tape Reform Could Supercharge Renewable Energy in the U.S.
- Column: We Should Talk More About What a Brilliant Actor Marilyn Monroe Was