There's no denying it: 2013 was the year of the viral video music hit. Billboard began incorporating YouTube hits and other streaming video services into its Hot 100 formula this year, leading to some bizarre smash hits. As 2013 comes to a close, it's time to remember the viral videos that had an impact on Internet culture, the charts and out hearts.
Dozens of videos sparked interest this year, but what five had the biggest impact on popular culture? Check out Music Times list of the top five best viral music hits of the year below:
1. Ylvis, "The Fox"
"Harlem Shake" may have charted higher, "Wrecking Ball" may have cause more controversy, and The Lonely Island may have done it first, but nobody took the Internet by storm this year quite like Ylvis. This Norwegian duo's first American viral hit was monstrous, peaking at No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 and topping YouTube's list of trending music videos of 2013. In the end, "The Fox" sparked dozens of parodies and interpretations and even inspired a best-selling children's book. Safe to say: 2013 was the Year of "The Fox."
2. Miley Cyrus, "Wrecking Ball"
If "The Fox" was all about newcomers, Miley Cyrus proved she was here to stay with her second Bangerz single (and subsequent music video) "Wrecking Ball." Cyrus gained quite a bit of controversy by swinging on some construction equipment nude, making out with a sledgehammer and writhing around in her underwear. The video, and a later parody by YouTube comedian Steve Kardynal, helped get Miley Cyrus her first ever No. 1 on the Hot 100.
3. Baauer, "Harlem Shake"
This song came and went oh-so-quickly. Started by a bizarre viral video featuring a beat drop and some insane dancing, Baauer's EDM hit "Harlem Shake" launched to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 this year for several weeks after the music-tracking website began taking streaming videos into its formula.
4. Psy, "Gentleman"
"Gangnam Style" has nothing on this. Psy's "Gentleman" was the most-viewed YouTube video of 2013, making it one of the year's biggest hits (albeit in a small capacity). Filled with ridiculous dancing, an infectious beat and all crazy teasing antics, "Gentleman" had everything in its power to become one of the biggest viral videos of the year, and then it did. The clip has been viewed over 600 million times, making it one of the most successful viral videos of all time.
5. Miley Cyrus, "We Can't Stop"
It was the first shocking Miley music video of the year (of three), and boy, did "We Can't Stop" deliver. Full of twerking, odd, drug-fueled imagery and plenty of tongues, this music video proved Cyrus was not Hannah Montana anymore. The track rose to No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100, held back only by the smash summer single that was "Blurred Lines."