One of rock’s most iconic videos has reached a major milestone, as Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” video has surpassed 1 billion views on YouTube.
Released as the first single from Nirvana’s iconic 1991 Nevermind album, “Smells Like Teen Spirit” was largely responsible for changing the face of rock music. At a time when hair metal ruled the airwaves and MTV, the song and its accompanying video helped usher in the dominance of grunge and alternative rock for the next several years.
“Smells Like Teen Spirit” stands as the second-most-viewed ’90s music video on YouTube, only trailing Guns N’ Roses’ “November Rain”, which has racked up nearly 1.3 billion views to date. GN’R also happen to have the most-viewed video of the ’80s, with “Sweet Child O’ Mine” recently topping 1 billion views itself.
The official “Smells Like Teen Spirit” video was uploaded to YouTube in June 2009, meaning it took just over a decade for the clip to hit 1 billion views. The next ’90s music video set to reach that mark is The Cranberries’ “Zombie”, which stands at roughly 980 million views as of today.
In a testament to its influence and staying power, “Smells Like Teen Spirit” was also recently revealed as the sixth-most-watched rock video in the 2010s by the music video platform Vevo.