What’s most surprising about the current 10 most liked videos on YouTube isn’t the staggering number of likes each video has earned over the years since they’ve debuted. It’s the fact that all of them are music videos. And that fact is especially startling when you consider that the video-sharing site provides a vast, far-reaching platform for so much more than just music videos. You name the subject and there are probably many YouTube videos about it, filmed in a variety of formats. (Plus, even our most recent list of the 10 most disliked YouTube videos shows a little a bit of the variety you can expect from YouTube’s video collection.)
And yet, even though YouTube offers an extensive library of non-music content, it seems that the consensus is (at least for now) that music videos are the most popular form of content YouTube has to offer.
10. How You Like That — BLACKPINK (19.80 million likes)
BLACKPINK’s How You Like That only debuted on YouTube last summer and it’s already made its way into the top 10 most liked YouTube videos. And racking up over 19 million likes in less than a year is no small feat. The song itself has a fun, punchy attitude that will fit right into any hot girl summer playlist. The video doesn’t disappoint either, as it’s dramatic and dripping with opulence at every turn.
9. Alone — Marshmello (20.17 million likes)
Marshmello’s video for Alone has over 2 billion views and over 20 million likes since it was published on YouTube in 2016. The video is actually kind of sweet in a simple way: It depicts a lonely teen who doesn’t quite fit with his peers at school, but is finally able to connect with them through the creation of his own music.
The video has a bit of an after-school special vibe, but it’s actually nice to see the main character become accepted by his schoolmates via his own self-expression, rather than by conforming to his would-be friends’ interests.
8. Gangnam Style — Psy (21.41 million likes)
Admit it: You did the dance. You may not have done it while sober, but you did it.
And why not? Who can resist that bow-legged gallop and its imaginary reins? No one. We like to think that every single one of these 21 million-plus likes is an admission of guilt.
7. Boy With Luv — BTS feat. Halsey (21.94 million likes)
The wildly popular K-pop boy band BTS doesn’t just have one top-10 video on YouTube — it has two. And the first one we’re looking at is Boy With Luv at No. 7. The video also features an appearance from singer Halsey. The sugary-sweet, brightly colored music video was first uploaded on April 12, 2019, and has racked up over 21 million likes and a billion views since then.
6. Faded — Alan Walker (22.79 million likes)
Faded is a song by DJ and record producer Alan Walker. Since its release in 2015, it has received over 3 billion views on YouTube and over 22 million likes. The vocals featured in this song are by Norwegian singer Iselin Solheim.
5. Shape of You — Ed Sheeran (26.47 million likes)
The music video for Ed Sheeran’s Shape of You was published on YouTube four years ago. In that time, it’s managed to rack up over 5 billion views and over 26 million likes. The video itself starts as a sweet love story between two boxers training at the same gym, but then it kind of has this bizarre ending where Sheeran’s character finds himself in a sumo wrestling situation his character didn’t actually train for.
It’s an odd music video that kind of falls apart in the end. But at least the song’s decent.
4. Baby Shark Dance — Pinkfong! Kids’ Songs & Stories (26.81 million likes)
We’re fairly certain that this video’s popularity on YouTube is mostly attributable to families with kids under 5. And why not? If you’re a parent and have been cooped up with toddlers for the past year, you or your kids have likely pressed play on this video more times than you can count. And who can blame you? It’s only two minutes long and seems to cheer your kids up easily. (But for your sake, we really hope your kids have tired of this song by now.)
Baby Shark Dance was first uploaded on June 17, 2016, and has earned over 26 million likes since then.
3. Dynamite — BTS (27.08 million likes)
Suited up in their signature pastels, and armed with catchy lyrics and their brand of sugary sweet pop music, BTS is back with yet another entry on this top-10 list of most-liked videos on YouTube. Titled Dynamite, this video doesn’t feature any other artists except for the seven members this boy band already has. It debuted on the site on August 20, 2020, and already has over a billion views and over 27 million likes.
2. See You Again — Wiz Khalifa feat. Charlie Puth (33.55 million likes)
See You Again made its music video debut in the spring of 2015. The song itself was written for the soundtrack of the seventh installment of the Fast & Furious movie franchise.
It was also intended to be a tribute to the much-loved Fast & Furious cast member, actor Paul Walker. Walker had passed away in 2013 and the seventh installment of the Fast & Furious franchise (called Furious 7) was his last appearance in a film. In addition to receiving over 33 million likes, the music video for See You Again has been viewed over 5 billion times on YouTube.
1. Despacito — Luis Fonsi feat. Daddy Yankee (43.64 million likes)
If you check out the popularity stats on Despacito, you’ll find a uniquely strange phenomenon. It may be the most famous video on YouTube, but it’s also the most infamous. With over 43 million likes and nearly 5 million dislikes, whether you love it or hate it, you’re still watching it and participating in its popularity. Somehow, it has more dislikes than Rebecca Black’s ill-fated Friday music video — which was an actual awful music video (and song). The only reason Friday became famous in the first place was because of how bad it was.
In a similar twist of fate, the music video for Despacito not only draws its popularity for how loved it was when it debuted, but also for how much people love to hate it today. It may have the most likes, but it’s also number 15 on the most hated list.
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