We don’t get to talk about the mainstream music industry often at TenEighty HQ…
After all, it’s not something you may automatically associate with the YouTube community. But that doesn’t mean we don’t like to twerk to Fifth Harmony or bop to Justin Bieber (we do, obvs).
YouTube is a goldmine for music! Some of the biggest videos racked up billions of views this year. Yeah, that’s a lot.
2016 in particular was an exceptionally good year for music (and no, it’s not just because we were introduced to the hit that was Pen Pineapple Apple Pen). So of course we have to share with you the UK’s top ten most viewed music videos of the year! It’s quite a list, so grab your headphones and limber up because we about to WERK IT.
10. Say You Won’t Let Go – James Arthur
Despite his controversial behaviour in years past, the return of James Arthur to the spotlight is clearly going down well with the UK public. It’s easy to see why everyone’s been watching the video for Say You Won’t Let Go. This acoustic love song, completely with a wonderful black-and-white music video, will hit you right in the feels. Yes, it’s a video that made our hearts sing (not literally, it’s medically impossible) while we cried a river of tears. The song itself is the first single from James’s comeback album, and if you’ll excuse us, we need to go grab a tissue (or ten).
9. Heathens – twenty one pilots
Attention, Skeleton Clique. It’s time for your band to represent!
Yes, it’s that song from Suicide Squad. You know, by that band that Bry went on tour with earlier this year. See, we knew you knew that one. The video for Heathens is a great watch and features twenty one pilots being unbelievably cool, roaming around a prison in orange jumpsuits before causing mayhem with their music.
Plus, there’s a whole load of clips from the film edited into the video as well, meaning we get to watch Harley Quinn and co do their thang in time to the music. Pretty epic.
8. Hymn for the Weekend – Coldplay
Prepare to be whisked away to a whole other continent while watching Coldplay‘s visually stunning video for Hymn For The Weekend.
Filmed at a bunch of different locations around India, the music video really draws on the beautiful colours found throughout the country’s culture, and features many a powder-paint-throwing shot from the famous Holi Festival of Colours (which we really hope to attend one day). It’s a brilliant video, made even better by the melding together of Coldplay’s signature sound with the Queen herself, Beyoncé.
This is definitely one worth watching, folks.
7. Cold Water (Official Lyric Video) – Major Lazer ft. Justin Bieber & MØ
Here he is. Featuring our bae Justin Bieber and MØ, Major Lazer‘s animated lyric video for Cold Water comes in at Number Seven on our list. There’s absolutely no way you haven’t heard this song; it’s undeniably catchy and makes for a great listen – just ask literally any rationally thinking person.
The video itself is simple, yet effective and perfect for anyone who wants to sing along with their hairbrush in hand. That might just be the reason why it picked up so many views this year!
6. Cheap Thrills (Lyric Video) – Sia ft. Sean Paul
Coming in at Number Six, we have another black-and-white feature, but this one is completely different. This gem of a video by Sia and Sean Paul is a parody of the type of television shows our folks would watch back in the day, before the introduction of (*gasp*) colour TV.
Based on an old-fashioned dancing competition, the acting is super cheesy, with plenty of awkward dance moves and interesting outfit choices, and we love it! It’s an utterly hilarious video that’ll definitely make you smile, and it’s set to an absolute beast of a tune, which always helps.
5. This Is What You Came For – Calvin Harris ft. Rihanna
Featuring the one and only Rihanna, This Is What You Came For is another video that’s ever so slightly on the trippy side. The flickering lights and flashing backgrounds give off a totally club-like vibe, and with Rihanna absolutely killing it, the only thing missing is Calvin Harris himself.
Where you at, dude? And don’t think we hadn’t twigged that Taylor Swift makes a cheeky appearance on the track. We know.
4. PILLOWTALK – Zayn
Whether or not you were ever a One Direction fan, there’s no doubt that you missed Zayn (and let’s admit it, cried a few tears) when he left the group back in 2015. So it’s no surprise to us that his first solo music video caused a storm of commotion in the UK this year! It’s pretty trippy to watch (we’re noticing a theme with this year’s videos) and while at first it seems like a pretty straightforward pop video, it’s actually been edited with a ton of mind-bending and colour-altering effects. It definitely wasn’t what we were expecting, but it totally works.
Good job, Zayn. Now, where’s that second album at?
3. Work – Rihanna ft. Drake
Rihanna’s clearly been hard at work, work, work, work, work this year, as this video was uploaded to YouTube with not one, but TWO separately directed music videos all in one!
Yep, you read right. This seven-minute long monster has two sections, each accompanied by the same song and featuring her main man, Drake. Video one is a truly twerktastic treat, with a Director X and set in the Real Jerk restaurant in Toronto. Following a short loading bar, the song then repeats while the second video rolls, set in a softly lit room and directed by Tom Erem.
It’s literally a two-for-one deal! No wonder it was so popular.
2. Closer (Lyric Video) – Chainsmokers ft. Halsey
Who’s up for returning to the summer sun, polaroid pictures and wearing short shorts by the beach?
The Chainsmokers‘ Closer is the video manifestation of summer, and we’ve watched it so many times that we can actually close our eyes and feel the sun warming our toes… Ahh, yeah. Plus, this one’s a lyric video as well, so it’s ideal for singing your heart out while lusting over warmer times.
1. Work from Home – Fifth Harmony ft. Ty Dolla $ign
Aaaand clinching the Number One spot on our list is one of the songs that featured in this year’s YouTube Rewind, Work from Home! Honestly, if that doesn’t prove that the Fifth Harmony girls were on fire this year, then we don’t know what does. They really can make it clap no hands for you.
When it comes to video itself, it’s pretty hot – and no, we’re not just saying that because it was filmed on a building site with a load of heavy machinery, if y’know what we mean. Hats off to them!
And there you go…
…the ten most viewed music videos in the UK this year! Feel as if your fave should have been in the Number One spot? Share your thoughts with @TenEightyUK on Twitter. We’d love to know!