Just like time, a billion views probably can’t mend the careless whispers of a good friend — but it’s still a pretty major milestone. The music video for George Michael‘s iconic 1984 hit “Careless Whisper” recently surpassed the momentous view count, thanks to the help of hundreds of thousands of average views per day.
Though the video was uploaded to YouTube in 2009 and first created two decades prior to that — the clip is seriously a time capsule of the mid-80s — it still reaches an average audience of more than 400,000 global views each day. It stars Michael — looking glam in gold earrings, a suit and his trademark poofy hair — serenading the camera as he reflects on clips of him cheating on his significant other. There’s vintage swimwear, sailboats and Miami sunsets, a perfectly dramatic backdrop for the pop star to profess his regret over an affair.
The ballad, which was credited to “George Michael” or “Wham! featuring George Michael” depending on the country of release, served as Michael’s pivot away from Wham! into an extremely successful solo career. Thanks in part to its instantly recognizable featured saxophone solo, “Careless Whisper” remains one of the musician’s most well-known songs of all time, spending three weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100 in ’84 and ’85. Only “Faith” has surpassed that chart reign, having clocked four weeks at No. 1 in 1987; “One More Try” also spent three weeks in the prime spot in 1988.
The two-time Grammy winner passed away in 2016, but not before sharing one last project with the world: his autobiographical documentary, Freedom. Of his legendary, decades-long career, Michel professed in the doc that he hoped to be remembered as “one of those last kind of big pop stars, in a sense that there was a certain glamour to it.”
“But really, it’s just the songs, and I hope that people think of me as someone who had some kind of integrity,” he continued at the time, jokingly adding: “Very unlikely.”
Watch George Michael’s billion-times-viewed music video for “Careless Whisper” above.