Q Magazine

Rednex Somehow Manage to Set World Record in 2024 With the Video for Their 1994 Single 'Cotton Eye Joe'

The video by the Swedish country-pop group was viewed 3 billion times in only 26 days.

wills q template
Source: YouTube

Let it never be said that the members of Rednex weren't willing to look the part in their videos.

Link to FacebookShare to XShare to Email

Sometimes history can come back to haunt you when you least expect it. For instance, who among us could have predicted that "Cotton Eye Joe," the unlikely country-pop hit by the Swedish group Rednex, would not only still be getting regular plays in 2024, 30 years after its original release, but that the video for the song would be played 3 billion times -- and, yes, that's 3 billion, with a "b" -- in 26 days?

Blame it on Gedagedigedagedago, a viral event which takes its name from what passes for a lyric from "Cotton Eye Joe." Thanks to fans of Rednex and their song, this rapid-fire viewing of the video places its number of plays at 28 times as high as the top music video on YouTube...or to put it in further perspective, "Cotton Eye Joe" reached the one billion views mark in eight days, an achievement that it took Adele 87 days to reach with her single "Hello."

Article continues below advertisement
wills q template
Source: Zomba Records

The cover art for the single for Rednex's 1994 single, "Cotton Eye Joe"

Per a press release issued by the band, the responsibility -- or blame -- for this record-setting performance can be placed squarely on the shoulders of YouTube's Shorts.

"In the wake of YouTube Shorts’s explosive growth, this latest virality has generated 20 million hours of listening time in the 26-day period," said the release. "That’s equivalent to 700 million traditional views, and enough to make a statement that Rednex is currently the most played artist in the world."

"A paradigm shift is happening where we’re asking: how is music success best measured?” said Rednex co-founder and "Cotton Eye Joe" producer Pat Reiniz in the same press release. "This event was created thanks to millions of video creators generating billions of fragmented plays of Rednex’s music, as opposed to the traditional way of listening. It will be a challenge for the music industry to reflect these various counts into charts and measurements and even leads to the question of ‘Is the basic use and concept of music itself changing?”

Below is the aforementioned video, and fair warning: if you click "play," you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem...and by "problem," we mean that, as a result of this record-setting performance over the course of the past 26 days, the song has been heard by 12% of all You Tube viewers and 4% of the world population.

Article continues below advertisement

Then again, perhaps you're thinking, "Oh, sure, I love Rednex, but...I'm just so darned tired of 'Cotton Eye Joe.' Don't they have any other songs that I could enjoy?" And that's a fair question, since most Americans literally don't know any other song by the group, even though they've actually had ten top 10 songs in their native Sweden. So in the name of expanding your musical knowledge, we hereby present "Old Pop in an Oak," which was Rednex's second No. 1 hit in Sweden, not to mention a No. 12 hit in the UK.

Article continues below advertisement

Never miss a story — sign up for the Q newsletter for the latest music news on all your favorite artists, all in one place.


Subscribe to our newsletter

your info will be used in accordance with our privacy policy

Read More