The 8 Most Viral Music Sensations Of 2012


The days of summer beach hopping and brunching outside of lofty restaurant patios in the sun seem like only days ago. Now Christmas is two weeks away, which means 2012 is winding down and 2013 is on the horizon. VH1 Tuner is excited to present to you with a myriad of fun end-of-year lists for the rest of December, as we reflect back on the year that was. And what would 2012 be without the music YouTube phenomenons that made us laugh, scratch our head and dance? Without further ado, here’s to the rising crop of music stars (or at least popular for the moment) who can credit “going viral” for their success.

8. Austin Mahone, “Say Somethin”

He’s not the next Justin Bieber. We’re only writing it because the comparison has been made a zillion times. Austin’s teeny bopper song “Say Somethin” spread quickly in the cyber world after his popularity grew from his covers of pop stars’ hit songs. The kid’s YouTube page of 90 million views and over 500,000 subscribers ultimately led to one of his biggest opportunities to date. From YouTube sensation to opening for Taylor Swift’s her RED tour, another one bites the good ol’ YouTube dust.

7. Rap Battle Royale: Loaded Lux vs. Calicoe

One rap battle, two MCs, lyrically spar for bragging rights as the dopest rapper. This year’s most noteworthy battle birthed the infamous quote: “You gon’ get this work.” Loaded Lux and Calicoe battled for over 30 minutes in front of an anxious crowd vigilantly waiting to decide which rapper would hold the championship belt. The video quickly made its way to hip-hop sites galore where Loaded Lux’s “you gon’ get this work” had even Jay-Z tweeting the line. Shoutout to Lux for one of the hottest catchphrases of 2012.


I wanted to hate anyone putting out music with the name Katie Got Bandz. When girl talk of five educated, professional women turned into one of my friends excitedly saying, “I love Katie Got Bandz!” I replied, “What the hell is a Katie Got Bandz?” Days later “I Need A Hitta” was sent my way. Again, I wanted to hate it. Katie is of the ilk of Lil’ Reese and Chief Keef (more on the latter later) of young Chicago rappers rapping about, well, nothing. Once I hit play and heard, “Katie! Katie! Katie!” I liked it. And hated myself for it immediately.

5. Chief Keef, “I Don’t Like”

You have Kanye West to thank for Chief Keef — actually, ‘Ye and YouTube. Chief Keef’s name became the topic of ‘net conversation after Ye remade the 16-year-old’s “I Don’t Like” for G.O.O.D. Music’s Cruel Summer, and not all of the tweets were uniformly positive: The original producer of “I Don’t Like” wasn’t feeling the alterations Ye made to the beat. Meanwhile, Chief Keef has stayed in the headlines, not for his sub-par music, but for the street life he both promotes and lives. Is he going away soon? We certainly hope so. Oh, we hope he takes Lil Reese with him.

4. Lil B‘s Cooking Dance

Imagine the First Lady doing the cooking dance! Hey, she already Dougies, so anything it can happen. Lil B’s cooking dance caught on not only online, but on NFL football fields across the country. Cooking is serious business.

3. Gotye, “Somebody That I Used To Know”

You most likely hadn’t paid much attention to Gotye before the hit song “Somebody That I Used To Know” featuring Kimbra went viral. Its video continues to rack up over 354 million views. The infectious No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 tune (and video) skyrocketed the Australian singers celebrity almost overnight. It sparked countless covers, including Walk off the Earth‘s, which is sitting pretty on YouTube with over 139 million views. YouTube changes lives, people.

2. Carly Rae Jepsen‘s “Call Me Maybe”

Carly Rae Jepsen probably wouldn’t have happened without that Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez and Ashley Tisdale singalong. “Call Me Maybe” was a phenomenon that literally sprung from nowhere. It grew and grew and grew to the point it will most certainly make a ton of “Songs We Hope Stay In 2012″ lists.  CRJ shall forever remain grateful to Justin Bieber.

1. PSY, “Gangnam Style”

We don’t even know what PSY is saying in his hit song. We also don’t know why over 930 million people have clicked on the video to watch PSY jump up and down. There’s lots we don’t “get” when it comes to the phenomenon of the electronic dance hit “Gangnam Style.” Scooter Braun, we’re giving you a major side-eye. But one thing we can say with absolute certainty: PSY was the biggest YouTube phenomenon of 2012. “It’s Gangnam style.”

RELATED: The 9 Most Unexpectedly Delightful Musical Collaborations Of 2012 [VH1 Tuner]

“The Big & Best of 2012: A Year End Celebration Presented by T-Mobile” goes LIVE at 12 p.m. ET on 12/12/12. Watch at for eight hours of live performances from stars like Bruno Mars and Miguel, surprise guest appearances, prize giveaways, special editions of “RapFix Live,” “Big Morning Buzz Live,” “MTV After Hours,” “You Oughta Know” and much more!

Stick with MTV as we count down the Best of 2012, including the Best Songs of 2012, Live Performances, Movies and EDM Videos of the year.

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