“See You Again,” is the tearjerker of a song from Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth that featured at the end of 2015’s Furious 7 as a tribute to actor Paul Walker, who passed away in a car crash in 2013 before production was completed.
The music video has garnered nearly a nearly 2.9 billion views (and counting) on YouTube – to put it in perspective, that’s more than twice the population of China! The video was first listed on YouTube on April 15, 2015. It intersperses shots of rapper Wiz and crooner Puth with archival clips from the Fast and Furious franchise over the years, featuring Walker and fellow series stars Vin Diesel, Ludacris, Jordana Brewster, and the rest of their tight-knit squad. (That includes shots of Walker’s brothers standing in for Paul in some scenes of Furious 7.)
See you again” was written for the action movie Furious 7, playing over the closing credits in tribute to the actor Paul Walker, who died in a car accident before the film was completed. The lyrics is unabashedly sentimental lyrics (“it’s been a long day without you my friend/ And I’ll tell you all about it when I see you again”), and the song has become one of the most frequently requested pop songs at funerals.
It was the best-selling song worldwide in 2015, and received best song nominations at both the Grammys and the Oscars. The music video features the final scene of Furious 7, in which the two main characters Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and Brian O’Conner (Cody Walker, filling in for his brother, Paul), drive side-by-side, sharing a smile for the last time before they pull onto separate roads and drive into the sunset.
As the camera pans up into the sky, a title card reads “For Paul” and the video ends.
Puth also tweeted his surprise about the video’s success: “For the record, I joined YouTube in 2007 hoping to make a video that would reach 10,000 views,” he wrote. “Just heard about See You Again… wow.”
For the record, I joined @YouTube in 2007 hoping to make a video that would reach 10,000 views. Just heard about See You Again…wow.
— Charlie Puth (@charlieputh) July 11, 2017
Puth’s heart-wrenching ballad has nothing in common with South Korean pop star PSY‘s video “Gangnam Style,” which became a viral sensation thanks to singer PSY’s zany dance moves and filming choices, and the inescapably catchy tune. It, in turn, surpassed Justin Bieber’s “Baby” for the most-watched title, breaking YouTube’s counting system once it reached above 2 billion views at the time.
While “See You Again” may currently reign supreme with about a million more plays than “Gangnam Style,” its status may be short-lived: the original version of song of the summer “Despacito” from Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee is slowly but surely climbing in view counts, currently coming in at nearly 2.5 billion. It’s only been on the platform for six months.
A version of this post first appeared on Time.com
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