Skip to main content

A Timeline of How Kids Sensation ‘Baby Shark’ Went Viral

You don't need to have kids to know that the infectious kids song wiggled its way onto everyone's screens back in 2016.

You don’t need to have children to know that the infectious kids song “Baby Shark” wiggled its way onto everyone’s computer screens back in 2016, and has since earned 10 billion views.

The song from South Korean firm SmartStudy, the entertainment company behind children’s content brand Pinkfong, peaked at No. 32 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, was covered by a ton of K-pop stars in addition to James Corden and John Legend, and did a live, 100-date North American tour. Round Room Live’s co-president Stephen Shaw previously told Billboard of the tour, “The toughest part for us is taking the three-minute viral video and being able to produce a live show for the stage. Thankfully, Pinkfong has a large catalog of songs that we have access to, with more than 400 titles.”

With the viral tune crossing the 10 billion views mark on YouTube in January 2021, we’re taking a look back at of all the events that led up to this milestone moment.


James Corden covers the track — Sept. 26, 2018

While wearing a full suit and playing the piano, Corden’s cover of the kids song is a classy affair. He even enlists Sophie Turner, Josh Groban and several sharks to help with the tune.

The song tops the LyricFind Global chart — Oct. 27, 2018

After the track topped the LyricFind chart — which ranks the fastest momentum-gaining tracks in lyric-search queries globally and in the U.S., respectively — it was clear that it had officially gone viral. At that time, it also led the Kid Digital Song Sales chart for a sixth week.

It makes its way onto Billboard’s Streaming Songs at No. 49 — Nov. 3, 2018

Additionally, the song gathered 13.1 million U.S. streams in the week ending Oct. 25 (up 55 percent), according to Nielsen Music. At this point, it was learned that fans were starting to listen to the track via streaming services like Apple Music and Spotify, not just YouTube.

“Baby Shark” is featured in “YouTube’s Rewind 2018” — Dec. 7, 2018

“YouTube Rewind 2018: Everyone Controls Rewind” was jam-packed with memorable pop culture icons like Drake, Cardi B, Will Smith and, you guessed it…the colorfully-costumed kid show characters.

“Baby Shark” debuts in Billboard’s Hot 100 Top 40 — Jan. 9, 2019

Thanks to the viral dance challenge, the song debuted at No. 32 on the list dated Jan. 12.

Related

Nick Carter says his son can’t stop watching the video — Jan. 11, 2019

Carter’s toddler Odin had him worried about “Baby Shark” dethroning a Backstreet Boys classic. He shared a video of his son completely mesmerized by the song on their TV.

Cardi B supports the song — Jan. 25, 2019

After the rapper shared that her baby, Kulture, loves the song, she also revealed that she’s a fan, too. She took to Instagram to share a clip of herself strutting to the song, which naturally made it a little bit cooler.

The song is covered by several more celebs — Feb. 15 – May 21, 2019

Back in February, Bebe Rexha covered the song, then John Legend and his daughter cover it together in March, Drag Star Marti Gould Cummings’ performance goes viral that same month, and then Celine Dion learns the tune during a segment of Carpool Karaoke in May. Phew!

It is announced that a TV series based on the song is in the works — June 5, 2019

Viacom’s Nickelodeon partnered with the team behind the viral song to develop an original preschool animated series based on it.

North American tour announced — June 12, 2019

A massive 100-date tour, all based around the one song, is announced.

Kellogg’s gets a piece of the shark — July 26, 2019

The company announced a “Baby Shark” cereal, with the box teasing “berry-fintastic with marshmallows.” It first went on sale exclusively at Sam’s Club Aug. 17.

Small-screen announcement — June 25, 2020

Nickelodeon revealed that it was developing a preschool animated series titled Baby Shark’s Big Show. The series premiered in March 2021, and received a renewal by July, when Nickelodeon also announced that a feature film is in development.

Swimming past “Despacito” — Nov. 2, 2020

“Baby Shark” took over the title of most viewed video when it reached 7.04 billion views, dethroning Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s hit song “Despacito.”

Multi-platinum certification — Nov. 5, 2020

The viral children’s tune was certified 11-times platinum by the RIAA.

Taking a bite out of the metaverse — Dec. 2, 2021

Pinkfong launched a six-piece NFT collection around Baby Shark on MakersPlace.

Major YouTube milestone — Jan. 13, 2022

The viral “Baby Shark” video reached the 10 billion views mark on YouTube, putting “Despacito” farther and farther behind its fine.