More than 10 years after its debut, the official music video for “We Are Young,” the chart-topping hit by Fun. featuring Janelle Monáe, has surpassed 1 billion views on YouTube. The milestone marks both artists’ first entry into YouTube’s Billion Views Club.
The music video, directed by Marc Klasfeld, was shot at L.A.’s David Sukonick Concert Hall. The four-minute, 12-second video shows Fun. performing in a nightclub — before a slow-motion riot breaks out among the bar’s patrons. It features an appearance by Monáe, who sings opposite Fun. frontman Nate Ruess on the song’s bridge (with the refrain “Carry me home tonight / Just carry me home tonight”).
Klasfeld recalled working with Monáe on the “We Are Young” video in an interview with Variety earlier this year marking the 10th anniversary of the release of “Some Nights”: “One thing I remember is her skin was just so completely flawless and almost didn’t seem real. When she walked so calmly and angelic through it all, it was really a special moment.”
The video for “We Are Young” debuted on YouTube in December 2011, ahead of the release of Fun.’s second album, “Some Nights,” in February 2012.
“We Are Young” peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and has since received a diamond certification from the RIAA, signifying 10 million units sold. The song won song of the year at the 55th Grammy Awards in 2013, where it was also nominated for record of the year and best pop duo/group performance.
Songwriting credits for “We Are Young” list Ruess and Jeff Bhasker, who produced the single and “Some Nights.” The members of Fun. are Ruess, Jack Antonoff (frontman of Bleachers) and Andrew Dost.
Other music videos to recently surpass 1 billion views include Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” featuring Billy Ray Cyrus and Coolio’s 1995 hit “Gangsta’s Paradise.”