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20 Popular YouTube Videos 2024

YouTube has expanded from its infancy to become a vast platform with billions of users and videos covering every conceivable subject. Additionally, numerous YouTubers and filmmakers began their careers there.

In its almost 16-year past, the coveted “most viewed” title has been held by a lot of different kinds of videos. But which ones are they now?

To find out, we’ve compiled a list of the 20 most popular YouTube videos.

20. “Faded” by Alan Walker (3.18 billion views) 

“Faded,” Alan Walker’s 2015 hit musical. This EDM tune made the Norwegian producer a global sensation. YouTube viewers loved its catchy music and stunning animation.

19. “Dark Horse” by Katy Perry (3.18 billion views) 

Katy Perry’s 2014 song “Dark Horse,” has nearly as many views as Alan Walker’s Faded. Perry was at her pop best when this Ancient Egypt video dropped. Its amazing clothes and dancing charmed people.

18. “Wheels on the Bus” by Cocomelon – Nursery Rhymes (3.31 billion views)

The first kids’ video is here. This 3D animation teaches colors, alphabet, and counting to the traditional kids’ song. Cocomelon made a YouTube empire from simple singalongs. 

17. “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran (3.34 billion views) 

Time for Ed Sheeran. Music fans worldwide loved his emotional tune “Thinking Out Loud”. The beautiful video shows varied couples dancing to the song’s promise of eternal love. Sheeran is boosted as a major musician by his impassioned performance.

16. “Counting Stars” by OneRepublic (3.42 billion views)

This 2013 OneRepublic song encouraged individuals to pursue their ambitions. Despite subtle meaning, the video is upbeat and inspiring. Ryan Tedder’s upbeat lyrics and delivery made “Counting Stars” radio-unmissable. 

15. “Roar” by Katy Perry (3.45 billion views)

Katy Perry is the only female musician to make this list twice. With “Roar,” she embraced an empowering message for women and girls. Its adventurous music video even co-stars Perry’s beloved cat Kitty Purry.  Clearly Katy Cats (her fans) connected with seeing their idol take on the jungle.

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14. “Sorry” by Justin Bieber (3.48 billion views)  

Justin Bieber was literally discovered on YouTube, so it’s perfectly natural for him to dominate here too. While his 2010 smash “Baby” was an early YouTube phenomenon, his 2015 apology anthem “Sorry” has now far surpassed it. The video’s colorful dance sequences and cameos from celebrity friends like Serena Williams appeal to Beliebers worldwide.

13. “Sugar” by Maroon 5 (3.57 billion views)

Next is Maroon 5’s earworm skills. Adam Levine and his band have been making appealing pop songs for 15 years. It’s no surprise their “Sugar” wedding video gained millions more YouTube subscribers. Its love plot matches the song’s lyrics.

12. “Dame Tu Cosita” by El Chombo (3.71 billion views)  

This bizarre Spanish-language track is carried by its extremely meme-able music video, starring an alien-like creature doing a weird dance. While the actual song didn’t necessarily top charts, the video spread like wildfire across social media. People couldn’t get enough of copying and parodying its strange visuals. 

11. “Gangnam Style” by Psy (4.23 billion views)

The first viral YouTube sensation was Psy’s “Gangnam Style.” This enormously successful K-pop song caused unparalleled global online infatuation. Its corny video and ridiculous horse dancing make you grin. Nearly five years, it was the most-viewed video. 

10. “Phonics Song” by ChuChuTV (4.30 billion views)  

Now we come to the first non-music video in the top 10. This animated nursery rhyme helps toddlers learn phonics and new words. Set to a catchy melody, it makes reading fun and engaging. Parental crowdsourcing has clearly proven channels like ChuChuTV essential for early childhood development.

9. “Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars (4.37 billion views)

Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars make an unstoppable pairing on this irresistibly funky track. Mars’ swaggering vocals and Ronson’s production finesse resulted in both a critical and commercial smash. Its old school video brims with retro soul style. Showcasing Mars’ electric stage presence, it’s no wonder “Uptown Funk” keeps viewers coming back. 

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8. “Masha and the Bear” by Get Movies (4.46 billion views)

Some more children’s entertainment next. This Russian CGI series follows the adventures of a feisty little girl named Masha and her protective caretaker Bear. Kids seem endlessly amused by Masha’s silly antics and the mayhem that ensues. Soft angular animation and expressive character voices also help explain its continuous viewership.

7. “Learning Colors” by Miroshka TV  (4.52 billion views)

Up next is another educational cartoon for toddlers. This one uses anthropomorphic farm animals to creatively teach colors. Its bouncy background song and vibrant illustrations grab young attention spans. Channels like Miroshka TV expertly package early learning concepts into easily digestible video content.

6. “Bath Song” by Cocomelon (4.65 billion views)

Cocomelon strikes again, this time with an uber-catchy tune about bath time. Splashy animated visuals accompany singalong lyrics kids love to memorize. This video is clearly a beloved addition to many tubby routines. Cocomelon knows just how to hit sweet spots of children’s entertainment.  

5. “See You Again” by Wiz Khalifa ft. Charlie Puth (5.30 billion views)

This emotional tribute to actor Paul Walker has clearly resonated widely. Its beautiful melody and lyrics celebrate Walker’s memory after his untimely passing. The song was commissioned for Furious 7, providing cathartic closure after his Fast and Furious character is retired. Touching visuals from the entire franchise bolster its bittersweet music video.

4. “Shape of You” by Ed Sheeran (5.53 billion views)  

Ed Sheeran strikes again as one of few artists with multiple videos among the most viewed. “Shape of You” showcases his unmatched ability to make universal bops about everyday subject matter. Simply depicting Sheeran performing in a boxing gym, the video’s brilliance lies in its minimalism. Letting raw lyricism and talent shine, Sheeran continues dominating YouTube.

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3. “Johny Johny Yes Papa”
by LooLoo Kids (5.93 billion views)

This take on a classic nursery rhyme went insanely viral after being meme’d across social media. Its slightly unsettling lyrics and questionable family dynamics spawned endless parody videos and reactions. But toddlers still can’t get enough of its playful back-and-forth musical delivery. Giggly voice performances make this weird winner so wildly popular. 

2. “Despacito” by Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee (7.63 billion views) 

The most streamed song of 2017, “Despacito,” topped 47 countries’ rankings. Daddy Yankee and Luis Fonsi had extraordinary global appeal. Its seductive music video featuring sensual dance and Puerto Rican scenery contributed to its success. For years, “Despacito” had the highest views at over five billion.

1. “Baby Shark” by Pinkfong! (9.72 billion views)

Of course this smash children’s anthem tops it all. Parents worldwide have likely endured “Baby Shark” on repeat for days. Its viral popularity really can’t be explained—the song itself is maddeningly simple and repetitive. Yet its cheerful singalong quality, bright visuals, and cute dance moves have kids begging for more. Cementing itself as a bonafide cultural zeitgeist, this catchy childhood classic takes the YouTube crown. 

Who would have thought that children’s videos would dominate the top of the most viewed YouTube list? Many are shocked when they find out nursery rhymes and educational cartoons are absolutely crushing music content. But experts say numbers reflect how masterfully channels like Cocomelon and ChuChuTV cornered the underage market.

They provide wholesome, engaging content that responds to consumer demand better than even top artists. However, musicians like Katy Perry and Ed Sheeran remain iconic in terms of earning multiple slots. And stars like Psy and Justin Bieber arguably laid vital groundwork demonstrating YouTube’s formidable promotional power. So while cute characters might have the slight edge now, musical trends will likely keep competing neck and neck with kids’ content for the throne.

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