Adele's 'Carpool Karaoke' is year's top viral video on YouTube

Other faves in 2016 on the Google-owned video site were soccer highlights featuring the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, and HBO's John Oliver taking on Donald Trump.

Richard Nieva Former senior reporter
Richard Nieva was a senior reporter for CNET News, focusing on Google and Yahoo. He previously worked for PandoDaily and Fortune Magazine, and his writing has appeared in The New York Times, on CNNMoney.com and on CJR.org.
Richard Nieva
2 min read

Remember when the internet went crazy over Adele rapping to Nicki Minaj's verse on the Kanye West track "Monster"?

Of course you do. Because the video, from the "Carpool Karaoke" segment on "The Late Late Show with James Corden," was YouTube's top trending video this year. That's according to the Google-owned video site itself, which on Tuesday evening released its list of the top clips of 2016.

The rankings are based on a combination of views, shares, comments, likes and more. (Disclosure: Cordon's show airs on CBS, CNET's parent company.)

YouTube is the world's largest video site, with more than a billion visitors a month. That means what was popular on the site gives a good look at what fascinated the world this year.

The company said the Top 10 videos collectively had 550 million views and were watched for more than 25 million hours. No. 2 on the list was viral video "Pen-Pineapple-Apple-Pen," by a Japanese comedian named Piko-Taro, who dressed in leopard print. It's kind of hard to explain, so, um, just watch it here:

Also on the list were were soccer highlights featuring Cristiano Ronaldo and Harry Kane, and HBO's John Oliver with a scathing episode about Donald Trump on "Last Week Tonight."

In music videos specifically, the top two were "Work From Home," by Fifth Harmony featuring Ty Dolla $ign and "This Is What You Came For," by Calvin Harris featuring Rihanna.

YouTube also on Wednesday released its annual YouTube Rewind video, a big musical retrospective of the year featuring celebrities and YouTube stars. This year's video stars celebrities including The Rock and Trevor Noah, as well as YouTubers including PewDiePie and Grace Helbig.

Here's the complete list of top trending and top music videos:

Top trending videos:

  1. Adele -- Carpool Karaoke
  2. Piko-Taro -- Pen-Pineapple-Apple-Pen/PIKO-TARO
  3. What's Inside a Rattlesnake Rattle?
  4. Nike Football Presents: The Switch ft. Cristiano Ronaldo, Harry Kane, Anthony Martial & More
  5. Grace VanderWaal: 12-Year-Old Ukulele Player Gets Golden Buzzer -- "America's Got Talent 2016"
  6. Dude Perfect -- Water Bottle Flip Edition
  7. Channing Tatum & Beyonce's "Run the World (Girls)" vs. Jenna Dewan-Tatum's "Pony" -- Lip Sync Battle
  8. Donald Trump -- "Last Week Tonight With John Oliver"
  9. The $21,000 First Class Airplane Seat
  10. Brothers Convince Little Sister of Zombie Apocalypse

Top music videos:

  1. Fifth Harmony -- "Work From Home" ft. Ty Dolla $ign
  2. Calvin Harris -- "This Is What You Came For" ft. Rihanna
  3. Hasta el Amanecer -- "Nicky Jam"
  4. The Chainsmokers -- "Closer" ft. Halsey
  5. Rihanna -- "Work" (Explicit) ft. Drake
  6. Mike Posner -- "I Took a Pill in Ibiza" (Seeb Remix) (Explicit)
  7. Sia -- "Cheap Thrills" ft. Sean Paul
  8. Zayn -- "Pillowtalk"
  9. Coldplay -- "Hymn for the Weekend"
  10. twenty one pilots -- "Heathens" (from "Suicide Squad: The Album")

This story first ran on December 6 at 9:01 p.m PT.

Update, Wednesday, December 7 at 11:29 a.m. PT: Adds YouTube Rewind video.