So long, Psy. Justin Bieber’s “Sorry” video has broken the South Korean pop star’s fastest male solo artist to reach 1 billion views record on VEVO.
Following mobilized streaming of the dance video by Justin Bieber fans over the past weeks, “Sorry” racked up 1 billion views in 137 days by the morning of March 7, breaking the 158-day record held by Psy’s “Gangnam Style.”
“Sorry” is the second single from Bieber’s wildly successful, critically acclaimed Purpose album, which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart after its official November 13 release. The tropical house banger was produced by Blood and Skrillex and co-written by Bieber, Justin Tranter, Julia Michaels, and the producers. It topped Billboard’s Hot 100 chart for three non-consecutive weeks earlier this year. More on the records set and broken by Purpose and its singles can be read here.
Adele remains the overall fastest artist to reach 1 billion views. “Hello” hit that number in January in just 87 days.
— Vevo (@Vevo) March 7, 2016
'Sorry' by Justin Bieber just reached 1B views on VEVO, making it the fastest video by a male in history to do so! pic.twitter.com/TzuonerzBd
— Music News & Facts (@musicnews_facts) March 7, 2016
After Bieber’s 2010 “Baby” video became the (then) most-viewed YouTube video in history in July 2010, the singer landed his first 1 billion milestone four years later on March 5, 2014. Back in 2012, Psy’s “Gangnam Style” overtook “Baby” as the most viewed clip on YouTube and was also the first to reach 1 billion hits.
'Sorry' has also become Justin Bieber's second music video to surpass 1B views! Both videos have 4M likes! pic.twitter.com/GaC1RQdCc2
— Shady Music Facts (@musicnews_shade) March 7, 2016
Fast forward to Bieber’s second 1 billion viewed video. His 136-day achievement is more remarkable because the “Sorry” video isn’t a typical music video, but a dance video. In fact, Bieber isn’t even in it. That’s some vicarious star power right there. The video was produced, directed, and choreographed by the renowned Kiwi Parris Goebel. She appears in the video and led the all-girl ReQuest dance crew and The Royal Family dance crew.
Reception to the “Sorry” dancers’ fun, dynamic, dancehall-inspired moves was almost unanimously glowing, apart from later claims of cultural appropriation from some, which were subsequently graciously addressed by Goebel in an online statement in which she defended her work and the crews.
The “Sorry” video is one of 13 in Purpose: The Movement, a short film by Goebel. Bieber appears in two videos.
On Monday, Parris posted a still from the video on Instragram, noting the 1 billion views and the “power of dance,” and wrote that the video was initially meant to be a lyric video and was filmed in one rehearsal in Auckland, New Zealand with no concept.
Before Justin broke the record for the fastest video by a male solo artist to hit 1 billion views on VEVO on Monday, his fans trended “SorryTo1Billion” on Twitter. Many kept score of the mounting views throughout Sunday night.
Sorry Video Gained 1.4 Million views in last 5 hours,Keep Watching,We are only 5 million views away from 1 billion https://t.co/pFlKs1Q0P7
— Bieber-news.com (@yourbiebernews) March 6, 2016
Let's make Justin the first one to have 3 music videos reach 1 billion views #WDYMTo1Billion
— serena (@bieberbeyhive) March 7, 2016
According to music stats aggregator KWORB.net, Bieber is the currently the biggest artist on Spotify, YouTube, and iTunes. He is also the most watched and most subscribed to artist, and the only male with two videos with over 1 billion views on YouTube. In short, the Biebs is the biggest artist worldwide right now.
Bieber’s fans have more than a third 1 billion video record to look forward to. After days of technical rehearsals in Eugene, Oregon, the much anticipated Purpose World Tour has arrived in Seattle, Washington, ahead of the first show on March 9.
Update: Just watched all Justin's dancers unload their suitcases in Seattle pic.twitter.com/eotXYy3TYJ
— Shelby Paige♡ (@shelbypaigexo) March 7, 2016
So my sister was just at a bar that @justinbieber was at in Seattle. She FaceTimed me so I could see him but I will still hate her forever
— Elly Cordier (@ellyyjane) March 7, 2016
At a bar in Seattle and Justin bieber just walked in
— KMD (@dumdeang) March 7, 2016
Justin Bieber just kissed my friends sister on the forehead in a bar in Seattle…
— Amanda Maxwell (@amandamaxwell10) March 7, 2016
Seattle, what up doe?? #PURPOSETOUR
— Johnny Erasme (@JBLAZEOfficial) March 7, 2016
Rainy nights in Seattle
— J. Rabon (@JRabonOfficial) March 7, 2016
The singer’s manager, Braun, various dancers, and band members have shared Instagrams and tweets en route or on arrival, and the mood appears to be high despite the absence of Bieber’s former musical director and guitarist, Dan Kanter, and the former stage manager James “Scrappy” Stassen.
Check out some of the band sessions and rehearsal reveals below. Two days to go.
[Image via Jon Furniss/Corbis/Universal Music Group]