If you like K-pop, reggaeton, or Indian musicals, you are going to be very happy with this list. And if you are new to these genres, well, it is the perfect opportunity to get acquainted with the music that is rocking the world.
Here are the 10 music videos, published in 2019, that have the most views on YouTube:
*Last updated: November 28, 2019.
10. 7 Rings. 632 million views.
The song praises money with verses like: “Whoever said money can’t solve your problems must not have had enough money to solve ’em.” Ariana Grande (the U.S.), the singer and songwriter, takes delight in her riches and the fact that she can buy anything she desires.
The song is a product of Ariana’s breakup. Her friends wanted her to feel better, so they took her to the jewelry store Tiffany’s. There, they got tipsy on Champagne, and Ariana ended up buying 7 diamond rings -one for herself and one for each of her six accompanying girlfriends. That turned the mood around, and the friends decided to write a song about it.
Four of them, plus Ariana, are credited as writers (Kaydence, Tayla Parx, Victoria Monet, Njomza Bitia) along with Tommy Brown, Charles Anderson, Michael Foster, who also produced the song.
Also credited are Rodgers and Hammerstein the composer and lyricist, respectively, of “My Favorite Things“, a song from the movie The Sound of Music, since its melody appears in 7 rings.
The video was directed by Hannah Lux Davis (the U.S.).
Video published on: January 17, 2019
9. Bad Guy. 649 million views.
Newcomer Billie Eilish has made a splash with her first album, which has Bad Guy as one of its singles. The song, according to Billie, is about people that misrepresent themselves, wanting to appear tough.
She co-wrote the taunting and dripping-with-sarcasm song with her older brother Finneas O’Connell (Billie’s last name is O’Connell, too; Eilish is her middle name). The Californian siblings thought the track would flop because it does not have a hook. But since they could not find the right words for the hook, they left it empty.
Yet, the hook-less song has catapulted the 17-year-old singer into international stardom. “Bad Guy” reached #1 in the U.S. and several other countries.
Billie and Finneas produced the song, John Greenham and Rob Kinelski mastered it and mixed it. While the slightly unsettling video was directed by Californian Dave Meyers.
Video published on: March 29, 2019
8. Kill This Love. 662 million views.
The South Korean hit is about ending a toxic relationship.
The music video has broken several records since its release in April. It had the most views in the first 24 hours: 56.7 million. And reached 100 million views faster than any other video: 2 days, 14 hours (but has since been dethroned in both records by song #9 of this list).
“Kill This Love” was written by South Korean Park Hong-Jun and American Rebecca Johnson. And Park, Rebecca, 24, and R. Tee produced Kill this love. The singers are Rose, Jennie, Jisoo, and Lisa, who are in K-pop band Blackpink. Hyun Seung Seo directed the video.
Video published on: April 4, 2019
7. Rowdy Baby. 709 million views.
This track comes straight from India’s film industry. “Rowdy Baby” is a song featured in the comedy/action movie Maari 2. The movie was released in December 2018.
Yuvan Shankar Raja composed the melody while actor Dhanush wrote the Tamil-language lyrics. Dhanush plays Maari, the main character in the movie, and sings the song. Dhanush’s singing partner was Australian Dhee. While his dancing partner in the video is actress Sai Pallavi.
Despite both actors being great dancers, they had trouble when first trying to learn Prabhudheva’s choreography. Nevertheless, they finally nailed it. And it is partly the choreography that has turned the music video into an international sensation. The dancing sequence was filmed in three days in India by director Om Prakash.
Video published on: January 2, 2019
6. Senorita. 790 million views.
“Senorita” (Miss) was a few months in the making. It started in a studio. There, Floridian Ali Tamposi was writing with Brits Charli XCX and Jack Paterson.
Ali came up with the idea of “Senorita.” Then, Andrew Watt (the U.S.) created the melody, and they all started contributing pieces to it. At the end of the day, they had a chorus that Andrew sent to Canadian singer Shawn Mendes.
When Andrew mentioned it could be a duet, Shawn said the only person he could sing it with was Cuban Camilla Cabello, a friend of his with whom he had collaborated before (I know what you did last summer).
Shawn and Camilla tweaked the lyrics while Andrew went on to produce Senorita with Benny Blanco (the U.S.) and Cashmere Cat (Norway). Finally, after months, the singers and producers were together in the same studio.
Camilla kept polishing the lyrics and coming up with new lines, like “You say we’re just friends, but friends don’t know the way they taste,” even when the song was already being mixed. So Shawn had to record some of his parts again. As for the steamy video, it was shot in Los Angeles by U.S. director Dave Meyers.
Video published on: June 21, 2019
5. No Me Conoce. 804 million views.
Jhay Cortez has collaborated, as songwriter or producer, with the likes of J. Balvin and Cardi B (I like it). He also penned “Criminal,” a song that is among the most viewed on YouTube.
But now that he is in his twenties, the Puerto Rican felt ready to release his own album, Famouz. It features “No Me Conoce” (She doesn’t know me). In one month, the track reached 100 million views on YouTube.
The trap-reggaeton song also features Puerto Rican singers J. Balvin and Bad Bunny. They added their own verses to Jhay‘s lyrics.
In “She doesn’t know me” a man complains about a woman he is having a torrid affair with, but that in public acts like she doesn’t know him. Puerto Rican Tainy produced the song. (The quite explicit lyrics translated into English are here).
Video published on: May 16, 2019
4. China. 877 million views.
China is a collaboration from five reggaeton stars: Anuel AA, Daddy Yankee, Karol G, Ozuna, J. Balvin.
Anuel (the singer of “Secreto” in spot 3 of this list) came up with the idea. He wanted to honor a song from his childhood. So he picked “It wasn’t me” by Jamaican reggae singer Shaggy, a song that was a hit in 2000.
After recording his homage, he sent it to Daddy Yankee, who loved it and added his verses. Then Anuel recruited his girlfriend Karol G. The couple thought they should go all out and have more big names on the song.
So Anuel asked Ozuna to collaborate. The foursome already had the track ready and had filmed the video when the producer, Tainy, asked J. Balvin to join the group. That is why in all his scenes in the video Balvin appears alone and does not mingle/dance with the other singers.
China (Chinese), just like its counterpart “It wasn’t me,” is an ode to infidelity, albeit filled with mixed messages. (Want to read the lyrics? Here they are, translated). Anuel called it “Chinese” because one of the early melody tracks for the song sounded like Asian music to him.
Four of the collaborators hail from Puerto Rico (Anuel, Yankee, Ozuna, Tainy) and two from Colombia (Karol, Balvin).
Video published on: July 19, 2019
3. Secreto. 896 million views.
For months, there were rumors that singers Anuel AA and Karol G were dating. She denied them, and he fed them. Then the couple decided to come clean and released this song.
It is called “Secreto” (Secret) and talks about a couple madly in love who is keeping their relationship, well, a secret.
Anuel is a Puerto Rican rapper, and Karol is a Colombian singer with a soft spot for reggaeton.
The song came up during Anuel’s recording session. He wrote his lyrics in fifteen minutes. And then he sent the audio to Karol to see if she would sing “Secreto” with him. She accepted and wrote her verses. His verses, meanwhile, were edited because they were too explicit (here is a translation of the current -still racy- lyrics).
Secreto’s producers are Ezequiel Rivera and Henry de la Prida. Colombian Felipe Orvi shot the video.
Video published on: January 14. 2019
2. Con Altura. 1.1 billion views.
Spanish singer Rosalia wanted a reggaeton-inspired track. That was a bit of a leap for the Flamenco artist.
But she went to the studio with two of her usual collaborators, Spanish El Guincho and Canadian Frank Dukes, and asked for reggaeton. Frank showed her a melody he had sped up. She loved it, so they added a classical reggaeton beat to it. Now they needed the lyrics.
Rosalia went to YouTube for inspiration and came across a clip where the host of a show said: “Let’s begin this with finesse” (Vamos a arrancarlo con altura). Rosalia loved the phrase and, inspired by it, wrote a song about doing things in style (the translated lyrics are here).
She sent the recording to Colombian reggaeton singer J. Balvin, with whom she had collaborated before. Balvin thought it was “on fire,” and sent her his verses.
The other writers of “Con Altura” (With Finesse) were Alejandro Ramirez, El Guincho, Frank Dukes, and Mariachi Budda. And the producers were Pablo Diaz-Reixa, El Guincho, and Dukes. The video was shot by Director X, a Canadian.
Video published on: March 28, 2019
1. Con Calma. 1.6 billion views.
If the melody sounds familiar, it’s because it is a remix of 1992 hit Informer.
Informer was Daddy Yankee’s favorite song growing up. So when producers Play-n-Skillz showed him a track based on the song, the Puerto Rican rapper decided to record it. And he wanted the original singer, reggae rapper Snow, on the track. So he sent his remix to the Canadian, who loved it and wrote his verses.
Yankee says “Con Calma (Calmly) is the result of “a Canadian and a Puerto Rican making Jamaican music.”
Yankee, Snow, and Juan Rivera wrote the lyrics. In them, Yankee admires the zest and dance moves of a girl (here are the translated lyrics). It was produced by American duo Play-N-Skillz and Mexican David Macias. The video, filmed in Los Angeles and Toronto, was directed by Dominican Marlon Pena.
A few months after its release, Daddy and Snow did another remix of “Con Calma” with U.S. singer Katy Perry.
Video published on: January 23, 2019