‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ from Nirvana Surpasses One Billion Views on YouTube

2019-12-27

Story by Anne Erickson, photo by Ken Settle

Nirvana’s trailblazing music video for “Smells Like Teen Spirit” officially has more than one billion YouTube views

Nirvana’s famed music video for their seminal hit “Smells Like Teen Spirit” passed one billion view on YouTube on Christmas day.

The music video — which depicts Kurt Cobain, Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic performing live in a misty gymnasium with cheerleaders and moshing teens — was a huge hit out the gate back in 1991 and scored two MTV Video Music Awards.

“Smells Like Teen Spirit” was the first single and opening track off Nirvana’s groundbreaking 1991 sophomore album, “Nevermind.” While the music video first debuted on MTV in September 1991, the video wasn’t uploaded to YouTube until June 2009.

“Smells Like Teen Spirit” is in a special club now, as the only other music video from the ’90s that has reached one billion views on YouTube is Guns N’ Roses’ epic ballad “November Rain.” A few more rock music videos that are part of the one billion club is “Numb” by Linkin Park, which was the first 2000s video to hit one billion views, “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queens and “Sweet Child o’ Mine” by Guns N’ Roses. The latter just reached one billion views in October of this year.

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