See You Again dethrones Gangnam Style on YouTube

The music video for See You Again, by singers Charlie Puth (left) and Wiz Khalifa, has notched 2.9 billion views as of early Tuesday
(July 11).
The music video for See You Again, by singers Charlie Puth (left) and Wiz Khalifa, has notched 2.9 billion views as of early Tuesday (July 11).PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK • Gangnam Style, the quirky South Korean music video that spawned a global dance craze and went so viral it nearly broke YouTube, has finally been dethroned as the most-watched video.

After 41/2 years as YouTube's top video, Gangnam Style slipped late on Monday to No. 2, replaced by See You Again by Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth.

Gangnam Style, a satirical take on the nouveau riche residents of the Seoul district, surprised even its singer, Psy, with its sudden global ascent in 2012.

Psy, who until Gangnam Style was little known outside of South Korea, found an avid fan base with the video's equestrian-style dance moves and infectious pop beat.

The video became the first to reach one billion views on YouTube and caused the site's engineers to scramble to make changes when it topped 2.1 billion views, previously thought to be the maximum possible.

As of early Tuesday United States time, Gangnam Style had 2.895 billion views on YouTube, a notch under See You Again's 2.9 billion views, which was featured in the 2015 action movie Furious 7.

See You Again intersperses scenes from the film with Wiz Khalifa rapping and Charlie Puth singing as they overlook a sandy coast. The song was a tribute to Paul Walker, an actor in the Fast And Furious franchise who died in a car wreck in 2013.

Psy's triumph was all the more striking due to the overwhelming dominance of English-language music on global charts.

In a new example, Despacito - a Spanish-language reggaeton song by Puerto Rican singer Luis Fonsi and rapper Daddy Yankee - has reigned for nine weeks at the top of the US Billboard singles chart.

The Despacito video is already the fifth most-watched on YouTube at 2.486 billion views even though it was released this year.

Since Psy crossed the historic threshold, a total of 68 clips have passed the one-billion mark on YouTube, all but three of them music videos.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 13, 2017, with the headline 'See You Again dethrones Gangnam Style on YouTube'. Print Edition | Subscribe