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What's left to do once you've watched your favorite artist's music video 50 times, and assuming "inflate the viewcount even more" is out! Watch 50 different people covering your favorite band on YouTube, of course! There's definitely no shortage of those. In fact, there's the exact opposite of a shortage; for any given popular song, hundreds or thousands of amateur hopefuls have already uploaded an impromptu karaoke session or lip dub or reimagining, with hundreds more on the way.
How does anyone stand out? A few things help. Like being adorable. Or being an adorable kid. As YouTube's taught us for years, and America's Funniest Home Videos and parents' VHS collections taught us before that, and school choruses before those, people really like to hear kids sing pop songs. So since it's going to be a while until Blue Ivy Carter's old enough to make her debut into the video world, and since Willow Smith's practically a teenager now, here's the next best thing: 5 highlights from the past few years in kids' viral videos. Don't be embarrassed to sing along! They're not.
SOPHIA GRACE AND ROSIE, "SUPER BASS"
Not exactly the one that started it all, but the one that started a lot in 2012. Sophia Grace Brownlee, 8, and Rosie McClelland, 5, took on the Nicki Minaj verse that Selena Gomez and Taylor Swift couldn't resist, but they had advantages Taylor and Selena didn't: namely, dressing up as princesses in pink (OK, maybe Taylor's got that advantage) and being extremely British. They're pretty good, too! Good enough to score screentime with Ellen Degeneres and Minaj herself, to get to meet Rihanna, Russell Brand, Maroon 5 and probably anyone they want, and to get to go by their first names like Adele and Madonna. Kids, practice your accents.
View Count: ~36,200,000
LENNON AND MAISY, "CALL YOUR GIRLFRIEND"
Most good ideas will work twice; in this case, Lennon, 12, and Maisy, 8, replace one critically beloved, exuberant pop song with another, add margarine-tin percussion and harmony, and reel in the views. It's all about the stagecraft.
Total Views: ~3,560,000
ROBERT JEFFREY, "VOGUE"
The viral video for anyone skeptical of the entire concept of viral videos. This is completely organic; it's just Robert Jeffrey, at a wee 9 years old, on an old-school lip-synching booth at a casino in Hampton Beach Casino in Hampton Beach, New Hampshire, dancing to Madonna's "Vogue." He dug out the VHS for Madonna's Truth or Dare anniversary, and it is safe to say he is a greater dancer than 99% of 9-year-olds who have ever performed Madonna's "Vogue." He's got style, he's got grace, and he's got a video here that would make even the grumpiest cynic smile.
View Count: ~1,500,000
CHILDREN'S MEDIEVAL BAND, "LOVE ME DO"
This group got famous for covering a bunch of Rammstein songs--they even got to open for them in concert--but for those of you not into aggressive German music, maybe a Beatles cover will be more to your liking. These kids might have, incidentally, the most unflappable drummer in her age bracket. Call it style, call it sangfroid; either way, she's got a future.
View Count: ~190,000 for this, ~2,785,000 for Rammstein, which is one of the few occasions when Rammstein have beaten the Beatles
P.S. 22 CHORUS, "ROLLING IN THE DEEP"
What's got more viral potential than one kid singing? An entire chorus! P.S. 22 in Staten Island's been doing this sort of thing for years--in 2009, they got a shoutout from New York Magazine, and they've performed with lots of bona fide musicians--but this Adele cover got Grammy screen time. Good for the resume? Definitely.
View Count: ~1,700,000
BONUS: DRAKE, "HYFR"
What happens when viral videos and official videos sanctioned? You get a third of official music videos these days. You could get, for instance, actual footage of Drake as a kid dancing at a bar mitzvah. There is nothing about this that is not adorable.