1 January

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Music History Events: YouTube

August 4, 2017 "Despacito" becomes the most-watched YouTube video ever, passing the Wiz Khalifa/Charlie Puth collaboration "See You Again" with nearly 3 billion views in just seven months. The mark holds until 2020, when "Baby Shark" overtakes it.

July 10, 2017 With nearly 2.9 billion views, "See You Again" by Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth breaks the record for most-viewed video on YouTube, overtaking "Gangnam Style" by PSY. In August, it is overtaken by "Despacito."

July 26, 2015 In a field just outside of Cesena, Italy, 1000 musicians and singers play Foo Fighters "Learn to Fly" simultaneously with the dream of attracting the band to play a show in their city for the first time in nearly 20 years.More

May 12, 2013 After the Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield records the David Bowie song "Space Oddity" on board the International Space Station, his sublime rendition is posted to YouTube, quickly garnering millions of views.More

July 15, 2012 The "Gangnam Style" video is posted to YouTube; we are powerless to resist.More

February 10, 2011 The video for Rebecca Black's song "Friday" is uploaded to YouTube, where it becomes a viral smash.More

May 23, 2008 Weezer's video for "Pork and Beans," featuring a number of YouTube stars, makes its debut.More

April 1, 2008 On April Fools' Day, YouTube tricks users with the popular bait-and-switch prank called Rickrolling by featuring video links that actually lead to Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up" music video. Several other websites have the same idea, creating an unintentional, internet-wide April Fools' joke.More

April 1, 2007 Proving she understands irony just fine, Alanis Morissette transforms the Black Eyed Peas' booty anthem "My Humps" into a mournful piano ballad for April Fools' Day. The accompanying music video debuts on YouTube and becomes a viral sensation, garnering millions of views.More

November 13, 2006 After failing in their attempt at a video streaming service, Google buys YouTube, growing it into the second-most-popular website worldwide (after google.com).

April 17, 2006 A big-budget Coke commercial with a new song by Jack White called "Love Is The Truth" hits YouTube, then quickly goes away.More

December 18, 2005 After airing on Saturday Night Live, the Digital Short "Lazy Sunday," about two gangsta wannabes who plan a trip to see The Chronicles of Narnia movie, appears on YouTube. It quickly goes viral, becoming the first TV segment to do so on YouTube, which launched 10 months earlier.More

April 23, 2005 YouTube launches. It works so well that Google can't beat it (they try with something called Google Video), so in 2006 they buy it. It eventually becomes the most popular place to hear music for free.

December 7, 1998 The Indiana University a cappella group Straight No Chaser perform their zany rendition of "Twelve Days of Christmas" at the school. In 2006, a video of the performance is uploaded to YouTube and goes viral, earning the group a record deal and sending the song to #5 on the Adult Contemporary chart.

January 13, 2022 "Baby Shark" becomes the first video to reach 10 billion views on YouTube.

November 2, 2020 Thanks to a swell of views from children home during the coronavirus pandemic, "Baby Shark" overtakes "Despacito" as the most-viewed video in YouTube history, with a little over 7 billion views.

July 15, 2018 "November Rain" by Guns N' Roses becomes the first '90s video to pass a billion views on YouTube. The next closest '90s video is "Zombie" by The Cranberries, at 739 million.

September 21, 2017 To thwart low payouts on YouTube, Post Malone releases a version of his latest single, "Rockstar," that is just the chorus looped five times. Comments are disabled, and users are offered a link to hear the full version on more profitable platforms.More

October 13, 2016 Jon Sudano posts a video on YouTube where he sings the lyrics to Smash Mouth's "All Star" over the music to John Lennon's "Imagine." It takes off, and he racks up millions of views with similar videos where he sings "All Star" over other famous songs, including "Y.M.C.A.," "Under the Bridge" and "Wonderwall."More

April 12, 2011 Karmin post a cover of "Look at Me Now" to YouTube with their singer Amy Heidemann speed rapping the Busta Rhymes section. It goes viral and lands the duo a deal with Epic Records.

May 25, 2008 Jet releases a YouTube video featuring their song "Shine On" that honors the life and work of Australian ophthalmologist Fred Hallows. It is estimated that Hallows' work in Australia and other developing nations has helped bring eyesight to over one million people. In an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald, lead singer Nic Chester said, "hopefully [the video] encourages people to make a donation to keep Fred's work going."

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