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Most popular music videos in 2019

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UMG

Most popular music videos in 2019

The MTV Video Music Awards first kicked off in 1984. The original producers of this awards ceremony thought of it as an alternative to the Grammy Awards. It was, if nothing else, far less traditional and more focused on youth culture. The VMAs have generated some of music’s most memorable moments since, including Madonna and Britney Spears smooching, Miley Cyrus twerking on Robin Thicke, Lady Gaga donning a meat dress, Kanye West interrupting Taylor Swift, Beyoncé revealing her first pregnancy, and Britney Spears dancing with a snake for “I’m A Slave 4 U.” The VMAs have also nominated and awarded some of the best music videos of our time, including the videos for Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It),” Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” and Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit.”

With any luck, this year’s ceremony on Aug. 26 will not only produce some iconic (and meme-able) moments but will also bring to light some of the top music videos of this year, enforcing some new all-time greats.

When MTV first started, it was a channel just for music videos. Now in 2019, it shows a whole lot more than that. The world’s primary source for video music consumption today? The internet. More specifically? YouTube. Without a doubt, many of the top-viewed videos on YouTube this year will make an appearance on the VMA nominations list. Though others—especially those from Egypt, Mexico, and other parts of the world—may not, that doesn’t make them any less entertaining to watch. Which videos topped the rest on YouTube for 2019? Stacker used YouTube’s API data to pull out the music videos with the most views as of Aug. 1. Though some of these viral videos may be obvious, others may surprise you. Some only feature solo artists. Others, entire ensembles. Some have wild, sprawling narratives, while others are more straightforward party videos. Their only commonality is that fans around the world ate these videos up.

Did your favorite artist or song make the cut? Read on to find out.

You may also like:  Lyrics to 50 famously misunderstood songs, explained

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UMG

#50. 'You Need to Calm Down' by Taylor Swift

- Views: 102.4 million
- Premiered: June 17, 2019
- Watch the video

Country-star-turned-pop-diva Taylor Swift released “You Need to Calm Down” as a pro-LGBTQ+ anthem during Pride Month. The accompanying music video features dozens of queer icons in a utopic trailer park setting. This includes the Fab Five, ice skater Adam Rippon, contestants from “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” and Ellen DeGeneres. However, the song angered many LGBTQ+ advocates, who said Swift hijacked this message of acceptance for profit, using civil rights as a mere fashion statement.

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UMG

#49. 'Robbery' by Juice WRLD

- Views: 103.1 million
- Premiered: Feb. 14, 2019
- Watch the video

What kind of wedding has spilled Hennessy, a goth couple, and a burning altar? One thrown by rapper Juice WRLD, apparently. In the video for this song detailing a love story fraught with hidden insecurity, Juice WRLD crashes the wedding, though none of the guests seem to mind much. This pseudo-romantic video was released on Valentine’s Day.

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Sony Music

#48. 'Paagal' by Badshah

- Views: 115.6 million
- Premiered: July 10, 2019
- Watch the video

The video for “Paagal” is pretty straightforward, with club scenes, dancers, and fast cars. It stands out most notably for featuring Playboy model Rose Romero. Indian rapper Badshah allegedly rose to prominence, in part, because of his use of Google advertising to promote this video.

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WMG

#47. 'R.I.P.' by Sofia Reyes ft. Rita Ora & Anitta

- Views: 115.8 million
- Premiered: March 14, 2019
- Watch the video

Songstresses Sofia Reyes, Anitta, and Rita Ora used a mix of Portuguese, Spanish, and English for this dance jam, showing off the heritages of the Mexican, Brazilian, and British singers. The video features plenty of dancing in lush environments, elaborate glittering costumes, plus close-ups of each singer during their solos.

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SME (on behalf of Columbia)

#46. 'Pop Out' by Polo G ft. Lil Tjay

- Views: 115.9 million
- Premiered: Jan. 13, 2019
- Watch the video

The Lo-Fi video for “Pop Out” is set at a house party on New Year’s Day. Though the lyrics talk about the pair holding up a party, the video merely features them dancing, popping Champagne, and kicking it with their pals. This song snagged the 20-year-old Polo G and 18-year-old Lil Tjay a spot on the Billboard Hot 100.

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Walt Disney Records

#45. 'A Whole New World (From Disney's "Aladdin"' by Zayn & Zhavia Ward

- Views: 118.2 million
- Premiered: May 9, 2019
- Watch the video

Zayn—the pseudo-pseudonym for former One Direction singer Zayn Malik—has a big fan base. Double that with the fervor for Disney’s revamping of the song for the live-action “Aladdin” film and you have a smash hit. Zayn and singer Zhavia Ward aren’t exactly roleplaying as Aladdin and Jasmine in this video, nor is any sort of magic carpet featured. The two wear modern clothes in scenes shot throughout New York City.

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UMG

#44. 'Wow.' by Post Malone

- Views: 120.3 million
- Premiered: March 19, 2019
- Watch the video

The video for “Wow.” follows tattooed singer Post Malone throughout Los Angeles. Meeting with DJ Khaled, getting his hair done, attending a red carpet event, practicing with the Red Hot Chili Peppers for the Grammys. Then he travels across Europe, where he parties backstage and performs. But the video has become most famous for its inclusion of a 43-year-old Florida man who went viral for performing Post Malone’s song in a dance class.

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UMG

#43. 'Suge (Yea Yea)' by DaBaby

- Views: 122.0 million
- Premiered: March 4, 2019
- Watch the video

This goofy video for rapper DaBaby plays off the idea of him as a mailman, stealing cash from envelopes and bashing up boxes marked “fragile.” A second plotline follows him as an absurdly buff music CEO who roughs and underpays up his talent. The song was popular enough for Nicki Minaj to recently release her own remix of it.

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UMG (on behalf of Island Records)

#42. 'If I Can't Have You' by Shawn Mendes

- Views: 124.2 million
- Premiered: May 3, 2019
- Watch the video

Shot in black-and-white, heartthrob Shawn Mendes wanders around a studio playing piano, laying in a bed with a love interest, and crooning into a microphone. Some super-fans suspect that the longing lyrics of “If I Can’t Have You” are about singer Camila Cabello, who Mendes is rumored to have dated.

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PewDiePie

#41. 'Congratulations' by PewDiePie

- Views: 131.1 million
- Premiered: March 31, 2019
- Watch the video

Swedish vlogger PewDiePie long topped the list as the most subscribed-to YouTuber, so it’s no surprise that he’s made this list. The channel that surpassed him on YouTube was T-Series, an Indian music video channel—and this comedic music video happens to be a diss track about T-Series, filled with racially charged jokes and some serious criminal accusations.

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WMG (on behalf of Fueled By Ramen/Atlantic)

#40. 'Chlorine' by Twenty One Pilots

- Views: 135.7 million
- Premiered: Jan. 22, 2019
- Watch the video

In this video, the duo behind Twenty One Pilots refill a long-abandoned pool with a hose and then dump—you guessed it—chlorine into it by the jugful so that a computer-generated gremlin can take a plunge. According to frontman Tyler Joseph, that little gremlin character is named Ned and, in their mind, represents creativity.

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Mohamed Ramadan

#39. 'Mafia' by Mohamed Ramadan

- Views: 141.3 million
- Premiered: Jan. 1, 2019
- Watch the video

A fantastical 1920s world, replete with plenty of gangsters, is the focus of this video for Egyptian singer Mohamed Ramadan. Part of the video’s popularity came from a specific dance that Ramadan pulls off, which sparked impersonations from fans online.

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SME (on behalf of Epic/CMG)

#38. 'Put a Date on It' by Yo Gotti ft. Lil Baby

- Views: 145.7 million
- Premiered: Jan. 28, 2019
- Watch the video

If this video is any indication, Yo Gotti throws some unusual dinner parties. In “Put a Date on It,” he and a group of friends dine at a long table in the streets, waited on by older butlers. Among the diners is rapper Blac Youngsta; his appearance indicates that the two, who were once rivals, have since settled their differences.

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Sony Music Entertainment

#37. 'Inmortal' by Aventura

- Views: 147.7 million
- Premiered: April 5, 2019
- Watch the video

“Inmortal” marked the first song for the Dominican-American band Aventura in over 10 years. In the video, singer Romeo Santos is captured from his loving home and taken to become a science experiment. Yet it’s in that lab where he’s reunited with his old bandmates.

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UMG

#36. 'Runaway' by Sebastián Yatra, Daddy Yankee, Natti Natasha ft. Jonas Brothers

- Views: 148.0 million
- Premiered: June 20, 2019
- Watch the video

The colorful, fun video for “Runaway” may not be particularly innovative—the singers croon at the camera in various glamorous garb and dance at parties—but it’s clear why this song, which mixes Spanish and English, made it on the list. Considering its cast of international singing stars featured on the track, it was bound to be a hit.

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Kobalt Music Publishing

#35. 'Thotiana' by Blueface ft. Cardi B

- Views: 148.7 million
- Premiered: Feb. 16, 2019
- Watch the video

A car soars through the skies and bricks fly in this video from Blueface. Cardi also makes an appearance, wearing a bedazzled denim bikini and shorts, along with some country-inspired jacket, chaps, and a hat. The song had success beyond YouTube, too, breaking through to pop radio stations.

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UMG

#34. 'I Can't Get Enough' by Benny Blanco, Tainy, Selena Gomez, J. Balvin

- Views: 149.4 million
- Premiered: March 12, 2019
- Watch the video

With English and Spanish lyrics, this light-hearted ensemble music video features the singers hanging out in a giant bed, having a pajama party. While everyone else dons their jammies, producer Benny Blanco, on the other hand, boogies down in a bear costume.

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Zee Music Company

#33. 'First Class' by Kalank

- Views: 150.2 million
- Premiered: March 22, 2019
- Watch the video

An elaborate Indian wedding opens up this music video made for the Hindi-language Bollywood film “Kalank.” The rest of the video for this duet between Arijit Singh and Neeti Mohan has lots of choreographed group dancing and classic Bollywood costumes.

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Warner Chappell

#32. 'Saturday Nights REMIX' by Khalid, Kane Brown

- Views: 150.5 million
- Premiered: Feb. 20, 2019
- Watch the video

The video for this slow jam from R&B singer Khalid and country singer Kane Brown takes place the morning after a Los Angeles house party. With ripped streamers and partially deflated balloons behind them, the pair croon about the highs and lows of partying on Saturday nights to escape their everyday lives.

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SME (on behalf of Slaughter Gang, LLC/Epic Records)

#31. 'a lot ft. J. Cole' by 21 Savage

- Views: 158.8 million
- Premiered: Feb. 1, 2019
- Watch the video

Juxtaposing images of guests at an upscale dinner party with traumatizing images of life as an African American, this video feels more like a short film than a music video. Directed by Aisultan Seitov, it contrasts party guests with their “real” lives, as they’re shot, killed, imprisoned, working, or coping with violence.

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SME

#30. 'Talk' by Khalid

- Views: 163.9 million
- Premiered: March 11, 2019
- Watch the video

Every scene in this lush video from Khalid has an intense color scheme, from vibrant blues to electric pinks, giving everything a made-for-Instagram feel. Fans of Drake’s “Hotline Bling” will see some aesthetic similarities to that music video, too. The song was produced by the electronic music group Disclosure.

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JYP Entertainment

#29. 'FANCY' by TWICE

- Views: 164.5 million
- Premiered: April 22, 2019
- Watch the video

This K-Pop song throws in only a few English phrases: “Fancy,” “I love you,” “swim swim,” and “birthday.” But you don’t need to know Korean to understand this jam from the nine-singer, South Korean girl band TWICE. The music video serves up close ups of the singers, dancing, and fantasies of floating on giant gemstones and standing in front of vast city skylines. The group formed during a reality TV show called “SIXTEEN” and have since become a smash hit success.

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WMG

#28. 'Earth' by Lil Dicky

- Views: 170.7 million
- Premiered: April 19, 2019
- Watch the video

You’d be hard-pressed to name a major celebrity not featured in this music video. Ariana Grande, Snoop Dogg, Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber, Leonardo DiCaprio, Katy Perry, and Shawn Mendes are just a few of the folks who lend their voice to various species “Earth,” a music video which begins with live-action and then transitions into animation, with a cartoon version of Lil Dicky wandering the planet and meeting different animals. Much of the video is comedic, but pushes viewers to take action against climate change. As Lil Dicky told Time, “It really kind of started out as, 'I love animals. I'd love to make a song where different artists play the role of different animals.' What started as a silly joke of an idea along the way became the most important thing I'll ever do."

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Believe Music

#27. 'Dheeme Dheeme' by Tony Kakkar ft. Neha Sharma

- Views: 176.7 million
- Premiered: May 8, 2019
- Watch the video

Hit Hindhi song “Dheeme Dheeme” is about the steamy interest that the principal singer has in a lovely young woman. In the video, which takes place in a series of visually stunning, yet unusual, rooms, the two singers goof off with each other and vamp for the camera. At one point, Tony Kakkar, desperate for Neha Sharma’s attention, pulls a series of magic tricks, which end in him pulling out a bouquet of roses—Sharma plucks a bud off and eats it.

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UMG

#26. 'Clout' by Offset ft. Cardi B

- Views: 177.1 million
- Premiered: April 17, 2019
- Watch the video

A distinct yellow-and-black color scheme takes over in this Offset music video...including a scene where Cardi B is buried under a mountain of lemons. The rapping couple released their first song together in 2017 and married that same year. The two nearly split amid rumors that he had cheated, but the two ultimately stayed together, had a daughter, and kept making music.

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Ultra Music

#25. 'On My Way' by Alan Walker, Sabrina Carpenter, & Farruko

- Views: 180.2 million
- Premiered: March 21, 2019
- Watch the video

Imagine the “Da Vinci Code” mixed with a spy thriller and you’ll get a sense of this music video about a young historian on the search for a lost civilization. The lyrics for this song from Norwegian DJ Alan Walker, American songstress Sabrina Carpenter, and Puerto Rican singer Farruko might be about leaving a bad relationship, but no matter. Walker later shared a “choose your own adventure” style version of the video.

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UMG

#24. 'Sucker' by Jonas Brothers

- Views: 185.7 million
- Premiered: March 1, 2019
- Watch the video

If you’re singers married to superstars in their own rights, why not feature them in your music video? In “Sucker,” the leading women in the Jonas Brothers’ lives—Indian actress Priyanka Chopra Jonas, “Game of Thrones”’ Sophie Turner, and TV personality Danielle Jonas—run wild with their husbands on a Versailles-like estate.

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SME (on behalf of Columbia)

#23. 'Giant' by Calvin Harris & Rag'n'Bone Man

- Views: 190.8 million
- Premiered: Jan. 25, 2019
- Watch the video

An actor playing a young man copes with his mother’s serious illness by running from the city into the woods, where Calvin Harris forages for food and people wearing matching tracksuits ride horses. The song, which came out in early 2019, rose up the charts in 20 countries worldwide.

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UNIAO BRASILEIRA DE EDITORAS DE MUSICA

#22. 'Terremoto' by Anitta & Kevinho

- Views: 198.9 million
- Premiered: Feb. 1, 2019
- Watch the video

Big blocks of yellow and orange dominate the background of this video, which features Brazilian singers Anitta and Kevinho playfully dancing. The lyrics, which are primarily in Spanish, are about a woman whose dancing and booty shaking is “equal to an earthquake.”

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WMG

#21. 'I Don't Care' by Ed Sheeran & Justin Bieber

- Views: 210.1 million
- Premiered: May 17, 2019
- Watch the video

Ed Sheeran gets superimposed over an elegant dinner party, a cartoonish swimming pool, and a water skiing scene, giving the viewer the sense that he’s detached from these moments he’s supposed to be interacting with. It also gives the video an erratic feel with a specifically odd, internet-driven aesthetic. Justin Bieber gets in on the action, too, getting superimposed on a flying carpet and as a centaur with an ice-cream abdomen. The video director Emil Nava allegedly called the production “an amazing disaster.”

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UMG

#20. 'bury a friend' by Billie Eilish

- Views: 224.7 million
- Premiered: Jan. 30, 2019
- Watch the video

Horror lovers will adore this spooky video by 17-year-old Billie Eilish, where she walks down flickering hallways, gets manhandled by disembodied arms, and has her back stuck full of syringes. The song’s lyrics include the title of the album on which it appears “When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?”

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SME (on behalf of Columbia)

#19. 'Old Town Road' by Lil Nas X ft. Billy Ray Cyrus

- Views: 244.7 million
- Premiered: May 17, 2019
- Watch the video

Set in 1889 and featuring a guest appearance from Chris Rock, Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus play a couple of cowboys who get sent to the future in 2019. The video makes reference to the fact that Lil Nas X’s hit song initially wasn’t accepted by the country-music community; Billy Ray Cyrus tells Lil Nas X that he’s with him now, indicating that he’s lent his collaborator some cred.

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UMG (on behalf of TS/Republic)

#18. 'ME!' by Taylor Swift ft. Brendon Urie

- Views: 246.6 million
- Premiered: April 26, 2019
- Watch the video

This pastel-saturated video follows Taylor Swift and Brendon Urie through a kaleidoscopic world, beginning with a romance gone sour. Though the song couldn’t beat out “Old Town Road” on the charts, where it’s held fast at #1 for months, it did gain a couple million more views on YouTube.

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WMG

#17. 'Please Me' by Cardi B & Bruno Mars

- Views: 248.9 million
- Premiered: March 1, 2019
- Watch the video

After releasing their hit “Finesse,” Cardi B and Bruno Mars were at it again with “Please Me.” In the video, Cardi and Bruno meet-cute at a taco shop in Los Angeles where they’ve gone after a party to grab some grub; their crews join up to dance.

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SME (on behalf of Sony Music Latin)

#16. '11 PM' by Maluma

- Views: 249.7 million
- Premiered: May 17, 2019
- Watch the video

A street-cool guy played by reggaeton singer Maluma charms a girl whose wealthy family is pushing her toward a boring suitor. The Colombian rapper’s efforts work: At the end of the video, her parents and suitor walk in on her with Maluma, to entertaining results.

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UMG

#15. 'break up with your girlfriend, i'm bored' by Ariana Grande

- Views: 265.4 million
- Premiered: Feb. 8, 2019
- Watch the video

Out at a party Ariana Grande eyes an attractive man...or so you think until you realize that the one she’s really after is his girlfriend. In addition to Grande, the video stars Charles Melton from “Riverdale” and model Ariel Yasmine. The song debuted on the Billboard charts at #2, behind another Grande song, “7 rings.”

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Tseries Music

#14. 'She Don't Know' by Millind Gaba

- Views: 319.6 million
- Premiered: Jan. 9, 2019
- Watch the video

Posted by uber-popular Hindi music channel T-Series, Indian singer Millind Gaba spots a beautiful woman from his car...only to realize that she’s a member of the paparazzi. The lyrics are about a woman who doesn’t know how much the singer wants her; throughout the song he boasts about all of his winning qualities and what he’ll do for her.

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SME

#13. 'Aullando' by Wisin & Yandel & Romeo Santos

- Views: 330.4 million
- Premiered: Feb. 14, 2019
- Watch the video

This NSFW video opens up like a mix between a Victoria’s Secret ad and “Twilight:” “Aullando” means “to howl,” and the sexy female star of this video turns into a werewolf in the bedroom. It may be no surprise that the sultry video for the romantic song was released on Valentine’s Day.

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UMG (on behalf of Island Records)

#12. 'Señorita' by Shawn Mendes, Camila Cabello

- Views: 376.1 million
- Premiered: June 21, 2019
- Watch the video

Music stars Camila Cabello and Shawn Mendes take to the steamy streets of Los Angeles for the “Señorita” music video. In this cinematic telling, the pair meet when Cabello is Mendes’s waitress and the two begin an affair that includes late-night motorcycle rides and plenty of dancing. Their previous collaboration in 2015, “I Know What You Did Last Summer,” was also a hit.

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UMG

#11. 'Dancing With a Stranger' by Sam Smith & Normani

- Views: 394.4 million
- Premiered: Jan. 29, 2019
- Watch the video

Moody and futuristic, much of the video for this breakup song is set in a modern house in the countryside, with Sam Smith lamenting about not wanting to be lonely. Former Fifth Harmony singer Normani steals the attention of the camera later, donning a black corset and doing a wild interpretive dance. The video was directed by Vaughan Arnell and shot outside London.

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UMG (on behalf of Darkroom)

#10. 'bad guy' by Billie Eilish

- Views: 428.4 million
- Premiered: March 29, 2019
- Watch the video

The video opens with Eilish busting through a yellow screen, sneaker first, before taking out her Invisalign and placing it in the waiting palm of a security guard. The rest of the video continues with the teenage singer’s quirky charm and strange aesthetic. Think spontaneous nose bleeds, riding around in kiddie cars, and putting mens’ heads in plastic bags like fish from a carnival. The playful, odd video inspired memes across the internet.

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Tseries Music

#9. 'Vaaste Song' by Dhvani Bhanushali, Nikhil D’Souza

- Views: 456.2 million
- Premiered: April 6, 2019
- Watch the video

A broken-hearted student finds a discarded iPhone with a song recorded by a mystery man—which she decides to perform at her school’s Spring Fest. All of this sparks an unexpected romance. This popular Indian song got 50 million views in a week.

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Big Hit Entertainment Co. Ltd

#8. '작은 것들을 위한 시 (Boy With Luv)' by BTS (방탄소년단) ft. Halsey

- Views: 484.4 million
- Premiered: April 12, 2019
- Watch the video

BTS, a South Korean boy band whose name stands for Bangtan Boys, are no strangers to success. Last year, their album became the first K-pop record to hit #1 on the Billboard Charts. American singer Halsey gave them another boost, too, appearing in both the song as a featured artist and the color-soaked accompanying music video.

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SME

#7. 'HP' by Maluma

- Views: 498.3 million
- Premiered: March 1, 2019
- Watch the video

Directed by Nuno Gomes and shot in Miami, Fla., graffiti, dancing, and wild graphics take center stage. With lyrics about a woman going out on the town to get over a breakup, the video chronicles a big block party in the city’s arts district.

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UMG

#6. '7 rings' by Ariana Grande

- Views: 509.9 million
- Premiered: Jan. 18, 2019
- Watch the video

Who needs a man? Not Ariana Grande, if the lyrics of “7 rings” are to be believed. In this song about wealth and independence, she buys rings for each of her best friends—something she actually did during a trip to New York City. With a pink-forward color palette, Grande takes to a dreamy mansion for the “7 rings” music video, sipping Champagne, wearing furs, and dancing with her gal pals.

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YG Entertainment Inc.

#5. 'Kill This Love' by BLACKPINK

- Views: 514.4 million
- Premiered: April 4, 2019
- Watch the video

The South Korean girl group BLACKPINK came in at #41 on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Kill This Love,” the eponymous song off their most recent album. The video for “Kill This Love” has some militaristic inspiration, delivering a badass anthem about ending a toxic relationship. According to Billboard, this was the fastest music video to ever reach 100 views on YouTube. It got 56.7 million views in the first 24 hours alone.

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Wunderbar Studios

#4. 'Rowdy Baby' by Maari 2

- Views: 586.3 million
- Premiered: Jan. 2, 2019
- Watch the video

The dancing in the “Rowdy Baby” video is enough to make any choreographer jealous. But the real stars of the show might be two sets of bedazzled sneakers, which actress Sai Pallavi and singer Dhanush put on their hands to mimic fancy footwork. The song is from the film “Maari 2,” a Tamil-language gangster comedy.

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SME (on behalf of Columbia)

#3. 'Con Altura' by ROSALÍA, J Balvin ft. El Guincho

- Views: 637.9 million
- Premiered: March 28, 2019
- Watch the video

According to the Fader, “Con Altura” is the song of the summer. The video takes place on a luxury plane that has plenty of room for dancing and a little night club action, too. Keep an eye out for it at this year’s VMAs, where it’s nominated for best choreography and best Latin music video.

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UMG

#2. 'Secreto' by Anuel AA, KAROL G

- Views: 767.7 million
- Premiered: Jan. 15, 2019
- Watch the video

Anuel AA and KAROL G play a blissfully happy couple in this mega-hit video. Swimming in a pool beneath the flicker of fireworks, playing in the snow, even brushing each other's teeth. But these two aren’t acting like a couple—they are a couple. And part of the release of this video was their “coming out” as the next power duo in Latin music.

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UMG

#1. 'Con Calma' by Daddy Yankee & Snow

- Views: 1.3 billion
- Premiered: Jan. 24, 2019
- Watch the video

Not only does this music video top this list, but it’s also the only video on this list to surpass 1 billion views. “Con Calma” features tons of highly detailed group choreography and, perhaps most notably, an animated Memoji version of singer Daddy Yankee. In the spring, Katy Perry even released her own remix of the song.

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