Harlem Shake (Jeffree’s, 2013)
Recorded by American DJ and producer Baauer, Harlem Shake was his debut single in May 2012. The song at first was not a breakaway hit…until February 2013 when a YouTube video set to it was released to start an Internet meme of the same name. The meme is what led to single sales and pushed the single into the Top 5 around the world. (More on that soon.) The success of Harlem Shake made Billboard count video streams as part of the component for chart success. Baauer did not make that much money off the single as he failed to properly obtain clearance for the samples he used. In fact, clearance was obtained by someone else after the song became a success.
Okay, so how successful was Harlem Shake? It went to #1 in Brazil, Greece, Luxembourg, New Zealand, the UK’s dance chart and the U.S. (on both their pop and dance charts). It further went top 5 in Belgium (on both their charts), Denmark, the Euro singles chart, France, Ireland, Netherlands, Portugal, Scotland, South Korea, Switzerland and the UK (on their pop and indie charts). It went top 10 in Austria, Canada, Germany, Italy and Norway. That’s a lot of success to not have capitalized on. Word to the wise kids: Clear your samples first!!! (The country not enamored with Harlem Shake? Finland (#19), Poland (#21), Spain (#24) and Sweden (#17). Yet still were top 25 finishes.) Clear your samples!!