YouTube viral hits get Grammy love
The nominations for the 2013 Grammy Awards are out, and two YouTube smash hits managed to make the cut.
Canadian Idol finalist Carly Rae Jepsen and Australian artist Gotye have been nominated for “Call Me Maybe” and “Somebody That I Used to Know,” respectively.
But the two artists are not competing against each other for any of the awards. Jepsen is up for Best Song and Best Pop Solo Performance while Gotye is up for Record of the Year, Best Pop Duo/Group Performance and Best Alternative Music Album for Making Mirrors (the album on which “Somebody” appears).
The nods for Jepsen and Gotye mark a growing trend: musicians who gain immense popularity on YouTube are starting to be acknowledged with award nominations.
The music video for “Call Me Maybe” came out in February and quickly blew up after Justin Bieber discovered it and—along with Selena Gomez, Ashley Tisdale, and a bunch of their friends—donned mustaches while lip syncing to the tune.
And soon enough, a new parody of “Call Me Maybe” began to appear online daily. YouTube stars covered it, the Overly Attached Girlfriend stared into our souls, a man in a bikini sung it to unknowing ChatRoulette users, and bros got in on it. The Daily Dot even created a one-stop shop for any “Call Me Maybe” cover worth watching.
Gotye’s hit song premiered on YouTube last July; the parodies soon followed. One showed rage faces, another was a Star Wars spoof. One duo even made fun of the song’s catchy nature when they complain about the song but can’t help themselves once the chorus hits.
The parodies eventually came to a head when Gotye himself made a massive montage of all the song parodies, titled “Somebodies: A YouTube Orchestra,” in August.
“In that six minutes, it just about covers all of my feelings about the song and what’s happened to it—some really poignant things and beautiful moments and some absolutely absurd, hilariously shit moments and a lot of stuff in between,” Gotye told the Daily Dot about making the montage video. “It was also a genuine thank you to all of the people who, in some cases, spent an incredible amount of time parodying the artwork.”
The parodies helped both Jepsen and Gotye gain staggering numbers on their videos: Jepsen has more than 354 million views, while Gotye, with more than 352 million, isn’t far behind.
However, the sheer number of YouTube views does not guarantee success (or even a nominee).
Korean rapper Psy seemed unstoppable. The Internet caught “Gangnam Style” fever when the video first appeared online in July, and it hasn’t slowed down since. In just five months, it’s been parodied almost every way imaginable. Talk show hosts do the horse trot on live TV. Psy even beat another YouTube phenomenon, Justin Bieber, to nab the most-viewed video of all time. Even President Obama is a fan.
But Psy and Bieber didn’t get any Grammy love this year. Both artists were snubbed. Bieber is listed under Diplo for Producer of the Year, Non-Classical, and Psy wasn’t nominated at all.
Photo via Carly Rae Jepsen/YouTube