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AC/DC’s ‘Back in Black’ Tops 1 Billion Views on YouTube

Australia’s hardest-rocking ensemble, AC/DC, is back with another entry into YouTube’s billion-views club: “Back in Black,” the group’s 1980 hit, which as of Wednesday has topped 1 billion lifetime views.

The official video for “Back in Black,” first uploaded to YouTube in November 2012, marks AC/DC’s second song to hit the milestone, after “Thunderstruck” (1.39 billion views and counting) rocked past one billion views in 2021.

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“Back in Black” features an iconic opening guitar riff and singer Brian Johnson’s trademark staccato vocals. The song is a tribute to AC/DC’s former singer Bon Scott, who died in February 1980.

The “Back in Black” music video on YouTube has been remastered and is available in up to 4K quality. The track has been featured in numerous movies and TV shows, including “Iron Man,” “Megamind,” “Spider-Man: Far From Home,” “Family Guy” and “Supernatural.”

In a 2021 interview with Rolling Stone, guitarist Angus Young said about the release of the album “Back in Black,” which would go on to become one of the best-selling records of all time, “With Brian [replacing Bon] in the band, we were going into the unknown, so we didn’t know how it was going to be received… The people who were doing our management at the time told us, ‘You might sell a couple of million or something if you’re really prominent.’ And they were shocked that it had sold so much.”

Other songs from the 1980s that are in YouTube’s billion-views club — accomplishing a relatively rare feat for songs that predate the internet — include George Michael’s “Careless Whisper,” Guns N’ Roses’ “Sweet Child O’ Mine,” A-ha’s Take On Me,“ Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean”; Rick Astley’s Never Gonna Give You Up,“ Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Want To Have Fun,“ Europe’s “The Final Countdown” and the Police’s “Every Breath You Take.”

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