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'Baby Shark' Debuts in Billboard Hot 100's Top 40
A Korean Children’s Song Bows at No. 32
'Baby Shark' Debuts in Billboard Hot 100's Top 40
  • By Choi Moon-hee
  • January 11, 2019, 16:58
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“Baby Shark,” a viral children’s song released by a Korean company, debuted at No. 32 on the Billboard Hot 100 list dated Jan. 12.

The addictive song was released by Pinkfong, a South Korea-based educational brand, in 2016. While the origin of the song is known to date back decades, Pinkfong’s version is a participatory children's song/nursery rhyme in which singers act out each verse with their hands and arms, from the eponymous youngest member of a family to the parents and grandparents.

The song owes its fame to the so-called Baby Shark Dance Challenge where participants dance along to the song and mimic its commands when applicable. Social media services and the app TikTok served as the hotbeds of activity for the challenge.

Initially going viral in Indonesia, Baby Shark spread globally before entering U.S. waters, beginning with its debut on the Kid Digital Song Sales chart in July 2018, according to a story posted on the Billboard site. It made its first appearance on the Streaming Songs chart in November.

According to the Billboard story, Baby Shark bows at No. 32 thanks to the song's continued streaming growth as well as the freefall of 23 seasonal titles off the Hot 100 this week post-holidays.

Given its original 2016 release date, the song needed to accumulate enough chart points to appear in the Hot 100's top 50 before it was eligible to chart, per chart rules regarding older songs, according to BillBoard News.

In the latest streaming tracking week, ending Jan. 3, Baby Shark earned 20.8 million streams, according to Nielsen Music, good for a new No. 16 peak on Streaming Songs. Of that sum, video views continue to be a major driver of the song's success: 73 percent.

While the data that feeds Streaming Songs is U.S.-based, thanks to the track's worldwide popularity, Baby Shark has attracted 2.1 billion global views on YouTube to date, ranking it among the 30 most-viewed videos in the platform's history, according to BillBoard News.