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'Gangnam Style' prances toward 2 billion views

The most popular video ever uploaded to YouTube reached 1 billion views in late 2012. Less than two years later, it will add another billion.

The Gangnam style craze grabbed the top spot among YouTube's most popular videos of 2012.
The "Gangnam Style" craze peaked in 2012 but never completely lost steam. YouTube/Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

"Gangnam Style," the wildly popular pop song from artist Psy that gripped the Web in 2012, will soon reach 2 billion views on YouTube, making it by far the most popular video ever uploaded to the site.

As of this writing, "Gangnam Style" has tallied more than 1,997,000,000 views on YouTube, leaving it with less than 3 million views needed to reach the milestone. The video was posted on YouTube on July 15, 2012. In December that year, it became the first YouTube video to reach 1 billion views.

After it came out in 2012, Psy's song was everywhere. The song played on major television shows, Psy performed everywhere imaginable, and several parodies hit the Web (and YouTube). "Gangnam Style" has now entered the pantheon of songs that live on at proms and weddings.

It's worth noting that the official "Gangnam Style" video is closing in on 2 billion views. There are several versions of the video on YouTube that have several million views, but YouTube is counting only the official video's views in its tally. It's likely that the video, across all the versions on YouTube, has been viewed much more than 2 billion times.

The title easily outpaces the No. 2 video, Justin Bieber's "Baby," which has just over 1 billion views.

Judging by the pace of "Gangnam Style" views, it seems likely it will surpass the 2 billion mark sometime this week.

Psy is a bit of a YouTube idol. His other track, "Gentleman," is the seventh most-popular video of all time. That video is nearing 700 million views.

CNET has contacted YouTube for comment. We will update this story when we have more information.