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Viral video from 2009 catapults 1987 hit to Billboard Hot 100
This dancing Celtics fan had his 15 minutes of fame in 2009, but now he’s back, bringing “Livin’ on a Prayer” with him.
One horrendous and truly awful side effect of Billboard Magazine’s February announcement that the magazine would factor YouTube views into its Hot 100 chart is that any song on any viral video can now register as a new hit song—no matter how old the song featured on the video happens to be.
It’s something we saw in October when Kanye West’s “Gone” hit the Hot 100 in the wake of Marina Shifrin’s wildly popular “I Quit” video sent to her former employers at Next Media Animation, and it’s something we’re seeing today, as Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer” has catapulted into the Billboard Hot 100 on the heels of a viral video that—believe it or not—already made the rounds on the Internet a full four years ago.
According to Billboard, Bon Jovi’s cheeseball slam—which already hit No. 1 on the Billboard charts in 19-holymoly-87—has landed at No. 25 on the Hot 100 this week. Its reason: The video you see below—a two-minute clip of a Boston Celtics fan named Jeremy Fry dancing to the song during a TV timeout that everybody and their Irish mother watched in 2009—has once again gone viral.
To be honest, we’re not quite sure why that’s happened either.
In any event, Bon Jovi’s newly reignited fame bodes poorly for Hot 100 chart purists who hope to see their beloved Billboard statistics adhere to what’s both hot and current and not just hot on the Internet. Alas, it appears as if, at this point, there’s little we can do about that.
Chase Hoffberger reported on YouTube, web culture, and crime for the Daily Dot until 2013, when he joined the Austin Chronicle. Until late 2018, he served as that paper’s news editor and reported on criminal justice and politics.