Top 10 Most Popular YouTube Music Videos of 2016

Script written by Clayton Martino. Hello and welcome to TopX, where we count down the very best that YouTube has to offer. 2016 has come and gone, which most people are probably thankful for. Before it does, however, we’ll be taking a look at the most popular YouTube music videos of 2016. We determined the ranking on a number of different criteria including views, shares, comments, and likes.
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Script written by Clayton Martino.

Hello and welcome to TopX, where we count down the very best that YouTube has to offer. 2016 has come and gone, which most people are probably thankful for. Before it does, however, we’ll be taking a look at the most popular YouTube music videos of 2016. We determined the ranking on a number of different criteria including views, shares, comments, and likes.

#10: “Starboy”
The Weekend feat. Daft Punk


The only person capable of stopping The Weeknd is the man himself, as shown in this video, the lead single from his album, Starboy. The video starts off with The Weeknd being murdered by a man in a black ski mask. Then, in a twist worthy of Star Wars, the killer reveals himself to be none other than the Starboy alter ego of The Weekend. This new and improved version, sans his famous dreadlocks, proceeds to trash his former self’s house, which could be interpreted as a metaphor for a new beginning for the Canadian artist.

#9: “Hymn for the Weekend”
Coldplay


While this may not be a classic club song, it is likely the closest Coldplay will ever get to one. In fact, Chris Martin has stated that he thought of the song while listening to Flo Rida. Martin then asked Beyoncé to sing on the song, and the result was one of the most popular songs of the year. The video was shot in various Indian cities and was inspired by the festival of Holi, featuring both the band and Beyoncé. It did receive some criticism, however, for allegedly promoting Indian stereotypes.

#8: “I Took a Pill in Ibiza (Seeb Remix)”
Mike Posner


The lead single from Posner’s second studio album, At Night, Alone., quickly became his biggest hit and was even nominated for a Grammy Award. The song, while being upbeat and catchy, depicts the difficulties of fame and how unfulfilled Posner feels. This is perfectly captured in the music video, as Posner takes a mystery pill that changes his face into a papier-mâchéd mask, completely void of any emotion. While the video takes the viewer through a wild night in Ibiza, it ends with Posner all alone, staring at his reflection, a haunting end to a song that is more complex than it may initially appear.

#7: “Pillowtalk”
Zayn


Any concerns about whether or not Zayn Malik would be successful after leaving One Direction were put to rest after the release of this song. “Pillowtalk,” the lead single from Zayn’s debut solo album, reached number one on the charts in several different countries. The music video stars model Gigi Hadid who ends up making out with Zayn– which is worth watching on its own– as demonstrated by the 25 million views it received in just three days. The video also features creative retro graphics and effects, and was very well received by critics and audiences alike.

#6: “Cheap Thrills”
Sia feat. Sean Paul


Surprisingly, although Sia has released a number of hits, Cheap Thrills was her first single to reach number one on the Billboard Hot 100. The video throwbacks to the 1950’s television show American Bandstand. The dance starts off innocently enough, until two mysterious dancers, sporting Sia’s signature look wigs and all, begin to shake things up with their moves– much to the shock of the judge. Eventually the rest of the contestants and even the judge get involved to close out the video, proving that Sia and Sean Paul can add life to any party.

#5: “Hasta el Amanecer”
Nicky Jam


The only non-English song to crack our last, Nicky Jam knocks it out of the park with this sultry track. The video, which has just over 900 million views, portrays Jam attempting to impress a girl at a laundromat. You know, where all the great romances begin. Unfortunately for Jam, despite his best efforts, the girl is not impressed by his dancing or magic tricks, and leaves. Unlike most videos, the girl never returns, and Jam is left alone, a somewhat surprising ending considering the song’s upbeat tempo.

#4: “Closer”
The Chainsmokers feat. Halsey


Easily the best lyric video of the year, this video was released near the end of July and already has over 900 million views. The song, which has been described by critics as an instant classic, features a catchy beat and fantastic vocals from Halsey, and depicts a former couple attempting to reunite their lost love. The lyric video, while not the official video for the song, does a great job capturing this relationship, and features a real-life couple as their main characters, complete with beautiful locations and romantic getaway dates.

#3: “Work”
Rihanna feat. Drake


When Rihanna and Drake are featured together on a song, you know that it’s going to be a huge hit, and the video is going to be incredibly steamy. Despite receiving somewhat mixed reviews from critics, the song was a massive commercial success. There are actually two separate videos for this song featured in one extended video. The first features Rihanna and Drake in a crowded nightclub while the second shows their more intimate side with just the two of them in a room together. Drake and Rihanna’s chemistry is intoxicating and makes both videos equally enjoyable to watch.

#2: “This Is What You Came For”
Calvin Harris feat. Rihanna


Another track featuring the sizzling Barbadian singer, this is the third time that Rihanna has paired up with Calvin Harris. This song reached the top 10 in several countries, and this success carried over to the music video, which currently holds over a billion views. The video features Rihanna in a blue jumpsuit performing in a box while fantastic visual effects occur around her, including lasers. While Harris does make a brief appearance, this video focuses primarily on RiRi, and we have to say that was probably a wise decision.

Before we get to the #1 most popular music video of 2016, here are a few honorable mentions.

“Heathens”
twenty one pilots

“Sorry”
Beyoncé

“Side To Side”
Ariana Grande feat. Nicki Minaj

#1: “Work from Home”
Fifth Harmony feat. Ty Dolla $ign


Workplace safety regulations aside, this is truly an awesome video. By far the most viewed music video of the year, it reached one billion views back in October. The video was praised by critics for reversing gender roles, as the construction site features several scantily clad men working away while the girls sing and dance next to them. We also get a nice cameo from Ty Dolla $ign, who features on the track with a strong rap verse. We have a feeling that construction companies may be using this as their promotional video for years to come.

That’s it for our countdown of what truly was a great year for music videos. Be sure to check us our on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, vote for new lists on our suggest page, and for more awesome top tens published everyday, be sure to subscribe to Watchmojo.com.
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