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The Most Viewed 25 Songs Ever Played on YouTube

Wondering what the most viewed songs on YouTube are right now?

From relatively humble beginnings, YouTube has become an online powerhouse, attracting millions of viewers daily.

The platform has more than 2.7 billion monthly active users, making it perhaps the most popular way to seek out and view video content in the digital world.

Like your favorite radio station, YouTube is home to a wide range of music genres, channels, and playlists.

Artists have been made and broken on the channel, and the platform has even contributed to some of the biggest worldwide trends in recent history.

Today, we’re looking at some of the most viewed songs ever played on YouTube, as the rankings currently stand in 2023.

The Top 25 Most Played Songs on YouTube

Notably, internet trends can change quickly, so there’s a good chance that the viewership numbers on the videos we’re covering may have evolved by the time you read this.

However, we created this list explicitly based on current view counts for videos classed as songs on the YouTube platform.

1. “Baby Shark” (Pinkfong)

Views in 2023: 13 billion

The chances are you haven’t heard this song on your local radio station. Still, you’re probably familiar with the tune if you have children or are ever around them.

“Baby Shark” is a song created by the Pinkfong group, designed specifically for children.

It became extremely popular after launching in 2016, quickly going viral across social media.

It was also the first YouTube video and song to reach 10 billion views.

2. “Despacito” (Luis Fonsi)

Views in 2023: 8.2 billion

One of the biggest pop songs of all time, not to mention a significant chart-topper, Luis Fonsi’s “Despacito” is almost as popular as “Baby Shark.”

Notably, though the tune has a Justin Bieber remix, it’s the original tune that’s ranked up the most views on YouTube.

The 2017 hit has earned much attention over the years, topping the charts of 47 countries and reaching the top 10 spot of 6 others.

It was also the first song created mainly in Spanish to top the Billboard Hot 100 after “Macarena” in 1996.

3. “Johny Johny Yes Papa” (LooLoo Kids)

Views in 2023: 6.7 billion

Many of the most popular songs on YouTube that have appeared over the last few years have been geared mostly toward children.

This tune turns the melody from “Twinkle Twinkle, Little Star” into something entirely new.

The song comes from an English nursery rhyme about a child caught eating sugar by his father when he wasn’t supposed to.

4. “Bath Song” (Cocomelon)

Views in 2023: 6.3 billion

Yet another heavy hitter among the top YouTube songs for kids is “Bath Song” by Cocomelon Nursery Rhymes, one of the most viewed videos ever.

It flips a couple of tracks upside down into a brand-new tune, all about bath time.

While plenty of viewers have described this song as pretty “creepy,” that hasn’t stopped it from becoming a beloved classic among modern children.

5. “Shape of You” (Ed Sheeran)

Views in 2023: 6 billion

Back to a more traditional song choice for number five, Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You” music video, hosted by the official Ed Sheeran YouTube channel, has earned serious attention over the years.

It has more than 6 billion views on YouTube at the time of writing.

The song was also the best-performing tune of 2017 and appeared at the top of the charts on multiple radio stations.

It even stood at the top of the US Billboard Hot 100 for 16 consecutive weeks and was the first song to reach 2 billion streams on Spotify.

6. “See You Again” (Wiz Khalifa ft. Charlie Puth)

Views in 2023: 5.9 billion

Hip-hop and pop masterpiece “See You Again” emerged in the charts after being released as the Furious 7 title song.

It stood at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 charts for 12 weeks and became the top-selling single for both Pugh and Khalifa.

Between July and August 2017, the music video was the most-watched on YouTube, and it has remained popular since, with just under 6 billion views.

7. “Phonics Song with Two Words” (ChuChu TV)

Views in 2023: 5.4 billion

This could be your tune if you’re looking for ultra-popular educational songs. Created by the ChuChu TV channel, the “Phonics Song” walks through the various letters of the alphabet with accompanying words, such as “A for apple.”

It’s not a particularly unique song, but it’s still one of the top choices among children and parents today, thanks primarily to its educational value.

8. “Wheels on the Bus” (Cocomelon)

Views in 2023: 5.4 billion

This is the nursery rhyme most people reading this article will be familiar with from our list of the top most-viewed YouTube songs.

It builds on the classic tune millions already know and love, with a unique rhythmic pattern.

While various versions of “Wheels on the Bus” have earned a lot of views over the years, the Cocomelon tune is the most popular.

9. “Uptown Funk” (Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars)

Views in 2023: 4.9 billion

Don’t believe us, just watch! “Uptown Funk” was the song of the year in 2014, playing on virtually every top 40 radio station and television channel.

This song topped the charts in 19 countries and ranked among the top 10 in 15 others. It was even certified 11 times platinum!

As well as earning 14 consecutive weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 list, “Uptown Funk” also splashed on YouTube, with a massive 4.9 billion views.

10. “Learning Colors” (Miroshka)

Views in 2023: 4.9 billion

If you’re anything like us, you’ll probably be a little confused about the popularity of this next song. The Russian video “Learning Colors- Colorful Eggs on the Farm” became a cultural sensation despite its relatively creepy imagery over the years.

The tune accompanying the video is similar to “Old Macdonald Had a Farm” and teaches kids about various popular colors.

11. “Gangnam Style” (Psy)

Views in 2023: 4.8 billion

Responsible for endless viral trends, memes, and an unforgettable dance craze, “Gangnam Style” might not have been a chart-topper on the radio, but it thrived on YouTube.

This song spent over 1,600 days as the most viewed video on YouTube, making it a clear record holder.

Today, it has more than 4.8 billion views, and even an official music video was released. However, it earned less attention than the original tune.

12. “Dame Tu Cosita” (El Chombo)

Views in 2023: 4.4 billion

This is another undoubtedly unusual addition to our list, but we’re not here to judge. Released in 2018, the song has a title that translates to “Give me your little thing.”

Although originally recorded in 1997, it only became a sensation once it went viral on YouTube.

Following the song’s viral internet popularity, a French record label even signed El Combo and commissioned an extended track version.

13. “Crazy Frog” (Axel F)

Views in 2023: 4 billion

We’re unsure whether this video should be classified as a music video, as it doesn’t fit into any specific music genre.

“Crazy Frog” is a bizarre tune featuring an unusual-looking frog driving on an invisible motorbike through a city.

For some reason, the song became a worldwide hit single, and the creator, Axel F, even produced three albums based on the character.

14. “Sugar” (Maroon 5)

Views in 2023: 3.9 billion

Released in 2015, “Sugar” is a song produced by Maroon 5 for their fifth studio album.

Although it became a massive success on YouTube, it achieved less attention on the charts. It only peaked at number two on the US Billboard Hot 100.

Despite this, the song was certified Diamond by the RIAA in 2022, and it received a nomination for the Best Pop Duo/Group Performance award at the Grammies.

15. “Roar” (Katy Perry)

Views in 2023: 3.8 billion

2013 hit single by Katy Perry, “Roar,” became the self-empowerment anthem of a generation for a while.

The song was a commercial success, topping charts in multiple countries worldwide. It also sold nearly 10 million units within just a single year.

The tune helped Perry to become the first artist to have three diamond-certified singles in the US.

Plus, it was the first song performed by a woman on YouTube to reach 3 billion views.

16. “Counting Stars” (OneRepublic)

Views in 2023: 3.8 billion

Produced in 2013, just like Katy Perry’s hit single, “Counting Stars” is one of OneRepublic’s most successful singles ever created.

It reached number one in the charts in many countries, including the UK and Canada, although it peaked at number 2 in the US.

The song’s accompanying music video earned a lot of attention on YouTube, pushing OneRepublic to become one of the most viewed artists on the platform.

17. “Baa Baa Black Sheep” (Cocomelon)

Views in 2023: 3.7 billion

Here’s one that will appeal to anyone with a nostalgic flair.

“Baa Baa Black Sheep,” the classic nursery rhyme, is one of the most listened-to songs on YouTube to date.

Like many of the top nursery rhymes we’ve covered, this version comes from Cocomelon.

The tune is how you’d remember it to be and is more evidence that child viewership counts on YouTube.

18. “Sorry” (Justin Bieber)

Views in 2023: 3.6 billion

Produced by famous Canadian singer Justin Bieber, “Sorry” topped the charts in thirteen countries and spent 7 weeks at number one on the Canadian Hot 100.

The song also became one of the best-selling digital music releases worldwide.

While Bieber has earned a lot of attention for his other tracks over the years, “Sorry” remains the artist’s most popular tune on YouTube today.

19. “Waka Waka” (Shakira)

Views in 2023: 3.6 billion

Otherwise known as “This Time for Africa,” “Waka Waka” is one of the most popular songs ever released by Colombian singer Shakira.

The song was introduced to the musical public in 2010 as the official song of the FIFA World Cup for that year.

It received generally favorable reviews from critics but earned the most attention online, particularly on YouTube. It even inspired some dance tutorials on the site, too.

20. “Thinking Out Loud” (Ed Sheeran)

Views in 2023: 3.6 billion

Though not quite as popular as “Shape of You,” Ed Sheeran’s hit “Thinking Out Loud” still became a cultural sensation on YouTube.

The 2014 single spent 19 weeks in the top 40 charts in the UK before peaking at number one in November.

It also reached the top spot across Australia, Ireland, and countless other countries.

However, it only emerged at number 2 in Canada and the US.

21. “Dark Horse” (Katy Perry)

Views in 2023: 3.5 billion

Falling just below Ed Sheeran, Katy Perry returns to our top most-watched YouTube songs chart at position number 21.

The piece combines genres of hip-hop, electropop, pop-rap, and trap and earned a lot of positive feedback from music critics.

“Dark Horse” charted at number one in Canada, the US, Poland, and the Netherlands. It was also featured in the Top 10 lists for around 20 other countries worldwide.

22. “Perfect” (Ed Sheeran)

Views in 2023: 3.5 billion

Other than Cocomelon, Ed Sheeran might be the most prolific artist on the YouTube must-watch videos list.

His music video “Perfect” earned a massive 3.5 billion views, tying “Dark Horse” by Katy Perry. The piece was also a big hit commercially.

It was the number-one Christmas song for the UK in 2017 and hit the number-one spot in the charts across 16 countries outside of the US and the UK.

23. “Faded” (Alan Walker)

Views in 2023: 3.4 billion

Released in 2015, “Faded” is a song by the Norwegian-British DJ and artist Alan Walker, with vocals provided by Iselin Solheim.

The tune was extremely successful, peaking in the top 10 in most countries it reached.

In 2023, it was ranked as one of the most viewed videos on YouTube.

It’s among the top 50 most streamed songs on Spotify, with more than 1.5 billion streams.

24. “Let Her Go” (Passenger)

Views in 2023: 3.4 billion

Released in 2012, “Let Her Go” is a memorable song created by the English singer-songwriter Passenger.

The tune was considered a sleeper hit, achieving massive international success and topping the charts in various countries.

By 2014, it had already sold one million digital copies in the UK and 4 million in the US. The tune also won the Brit Award for the Best British Single of the Year.

25. “Girls Like You” (Maroon 5)

Views in 2023: 3.4 billion

Finally, “Girls Like You” by Maroon 5 was introduced in 2017 as part of the group’s sixth studio album.

The track was certified Diamond by the RIAA after selling more than 10 million units. It inspired a second version co-written by American rapper Cardi B.

As well as earning incredible success on YouTube, “Girls Like You” has won various awards, including the 2019 Billboard Music Award for the best Top Hot 100 song.

The Most Viewed Songs on YouTube

So, there you have it, the 25 most-viewed songs on YouTube, based on the charts as they stand at the time of writing in 2023.

As you can see, there’s plenty of overlap between chart-topping hits on the radio and famous songs on YouTube.

However, the online platform is definitely home to some outlying trends, too.

How many of these songs have you listened to, and how many will you add to your future playlists?

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