On this Day:
In 2020, Baby Shark by Pinkfong became the most-watched video on YouTube with over 9 billion views.
“Baby Shark” originated as a campfire song or chant. The original song dates back to at least the 20th century, potentially created by camp counselors inspired by the movie Jaws (per Wikipedia).
“Baby Shark Dance,” the children’s’ video backed by the insanely catchy tune “Baby Shark,” has just become the most-viewed YouTube video of all time, taking the title from the music video for Luis Fonsi’s “Despacito.”
The “Baby Shark” video, which South Korean children’s edutainment brand Pinkfong uploaded in June 2016, now has over [editor: 9 billion views] as displayed by YouTube’s public view counter. That puts it over the edge of Luis Fonsi’s January 2017 music video for”Despacito,” which currently displays a public view count of about 7.03 billion.
The video, which clocks in at two minutes and 16 seconds, features repetitive “doo doo doo doo doo doo” lyrics as the song calls out “baby shark,” “mommy shark,” and “daddy shark.”
Pinkfong’s version of “Baby Shark” has become a cultural sensation in its own right, hitting number 32 on Billboard’s Hot 100 Singles Chart in 2019. The song has no clearly identifiable origin, as Rolling Stone reported, but the Pinkfong version, recorded by Korean-American singer Hope Segoine, is indubitably what catapulted the song into the pop culture zeitgeist.
As Vox reported, the song became popular in Indonesia in 2017, with #babysharkchallenge eventually becoming a TikTok trend in 2018, accompanied by a popular remix of the song. From there, the song started popping up everywhere online, with K-pop stars championing it on variety shows and James Corden featuring it on “The Late Late Show.”
In 2020, “Baby Shark Dance,” the video that spawned the craze, is still an unstoppable force (per https://www.insider.com/baby-shark-video-dance-most-viewed-youtube-video-history-record-2020-11 – editor: updated to current stats).
The Pinkfong version of the song was performed by then-10-year-old Korean-American singer Hope Segoine. The music video featured two child actors, one of whom is child actress Elaine Johnston, a 9-year-old New Zealander of Korean–Scottish descent.
The song starts with bars from Antonín Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9 to which music from the movie Jaws sounds similar. The song features a family of sharks which hunt a school of fish which escape to safety. It became a viral video in Indonesia in 2017, and throughout the year it spread to many other Asian countries, particularly those in Southeast Asia. The related mobile app was among the top 10 most downloaded in the family apps category in South Korea, Bangladesh, Singapore, Hong Kong and Indonesia in 2017.
As of 2 November 2020, the most popular video of the “Baby Shark” song (labeled as “Baby Shark Dance”), uploaded on June 17, 2016, has received over 7 billion views worldwide, making it the most-viewed video on YouTube. Due to a 2013 change that the Billboard Hot 100 music charts made to account for online viewership of YouTube videos, “Baby Shark” broke into the Billboard Hot 100 at number 32 during the week of January 7, 2019.
Due to its popularity, this version of the song has spurred an online dance craze (sometimes referred to as the Baby Shark Challenge) while being cited as “the next big thing after the domination of Gangnam Style”. K-pop groups including Blackpink and Red Velvet have been credited with further spreading the viral song through their coverage of the song and dance, specifically on their featured TV shows and concerts. The song began to go viral in the Western world in August 2018.
In 2019, it was announced that Baby Shark would be adapted into Baby Shark’s Big Show!, an animated television series aimed at preschoolers. SmartStudy (the company that owns the Pinkfong brand) partnered with cable channel Nickelodeon, which premiered the show in the United States in December 2020. In South Korea, the Educational Broadcasting System (EBS) airs the cartoon (per Wikipedia).
First, a Story:
A new year’s long government study shows sharks only bite those who swim in the ocean. Researchers have advised not to swim there.
Second, a Song:
Here is the original “Baby Shark Dance”. I hope you enjoy this!
Thought for the Day:
“A relationship, I think, is like a shark. You know? It has to constantly move forward or it dies. And I think what we have on our hands is a dead shark” (Alvy Singer a.k.a. Woody Allen in Annie Hall).
Have a great day!
Dave & Colleen
© 2021 David J. Bilinsky and Colleen E. Bilinsky