Baby, Baby, baby! Justin Bieber fans are celebrating the five year anniversary of the star’s iconic “Baby” music video’s release on VEVO.
A significant proportion of the 20-year-old’s over 60 million Twitter followers powered the hashtag #5YearsOfBabyMusicVideo to the top of the social network’s worldwide trending topics earlier on Thursday, with accompanying messages of love and support for their idol.
— One Last Time (@vllegasxbiebs) February 19, 2015
— HE FOLLOWED ME (@DreaminJustin) February 19, 2015
— road between (@ManuTheClimb) February 19, 2015
— mishka (@cakeonbiebs) February 19, 2015
— Annamaria☆ (@ridingjustin) February 19, 2015
— 5 years of Baby (@seadetzylali1) February 19, 2015
The Ray Kay-directed “Baby” video, set in a bowling alley and featuring rapper Ludacris, was unleashed on VEVO on February 19, 2010, almost a month after the single launched Bieber’s debut album My World 2.0 release on January 18.
The catchy single was written by a team including, the Biebs, The-Dream, Christina Milian and Ludacris, and immediately became an airplay favorite debuting at No. 5 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart and No. 3 on the Canadian Hot 100. Back then, it was the signature anthem for the then nascent teen star, and has remained so at his concerts.
In July 2010, the video became the most viewed in YouTube history until it was surpassed by South Korean artist, Psy’s, hit single, “Gangnam Style”, in November 2012. On March 5, 2014, “Baby” became the second video after “Gangnam Style” to receive 1 billion views on YouTube, and remains the second-most-viewed video on the site.
Entertainment Weekly observes, “it represented the moment where YouTube came into its own as a legitimate music platform.”
Adding, “Internet-addicted youth had been using it as a jukebox for a couple years at that point, but Bieber was the first star to find a major audience by playing straight to YouTube users and when he finally went pro his fans continued to watch him there.”
After adding streaming figures, the Recording Industry Association of America (R.I.A.A.) officially recognized “Baby” as the highest certified digital single in U.S. music history back in May 2013.
The song was awarded its Diamond status after going 12-times Platinum and dethroning Elton John’s 1973 Double-A “Candle in the Wind/ Something About The Way You Look” in the process.
At that time, the beloved video had punched in 3.9 million track sales and over 876 million views on VEVO’s platform. Justin was presented with his Diamond Award by his longtime manager, Scooter Braun, at his Believe tour concert in Newark, NJ., on July 31, 2013.
In front of 20,000 screaming fans and a visibly blown away singer, Braun, 32, said,
“I met Justin when he was 12, and through all the good times and the hard times he has stayed positive and worked hard for all of you.”
Reading the inscription on the glass pyramid award, Braun added, “The Diamond Award presented to Justin Bieber in recognition of ‘Baby’ for 12 million in sales making ‘Baby’ the number one most certified song ever in U.S. music history. Congratulations.”
After embracing his manager and accepting the Diamond, a shirtless Bieber then asked fans, “Do you guys want me to do a speech right now? Alright!”
“Well, first and foremost I want to thank all my Beliebers in the audience tonight,” the 19-year-old added. “Second of all, I want to thank all my Beliebers at home. I want to thank my mom for always believing in me.”
Justin signed off by thanking his dancers and band on stage before aptly launching into a rendition of “Baby.”
Post-show, he took to Twitter to retweet celebratory messages from fans, writing,
Amazing night and honored. So much more to do. I love my #Beliebers. Thank u!!
— Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) August 1, 2013
More glory was to follow. On February 24, 2014, VEVO announced the “Baby” video was the first video to cross one billion views on their platform, after notching up 10 x platinum views to become the most watched video ever and making Bieber the first, youngest, and only artist to do so on VEVO.
— Vevo Media (@Vevo_Media) February 24, 2014
The video, all 3:44 minutes of it, is a musical time capsule. It harks back to America’s own puppy love relationship with a swoosh-haired, prepubescent Justin. Yet, after a difficult two years for fans and the Biebs – and the recent line drawing of his confession/apology video – the core base’s relationship with the singer remains undimmed.
Fittingly, on what is throwback Thursday, today belongs to Justin Bieber, all the fans who stayed through the chaos and still support him, and the phenomenal success of the game changing “Baby” music video.
Happy 5th Anniversary!
[Images via VEVO]