Just in time to mend the wounded hearts of Justin Bieber fans still reeling from his Grammy loss on Sunday, “Glee” paid tribute to the pop powerhouse the best way they know how: by covering two of his hit songs, “Baby” and “Somebody to Love.”
During Tuesday night’s new episode, “Comeback,” Chord Overstreet’s worrisome Sam attempts to woo back his possibly straying lady (Dianna Agron) by serenading her in glee club’s practice room with a rendition of Bieber’s “Baby.”
But before a Bieber-ized Chord (The purple hoodie! The hair!) belted out the simple yet addictive chorus — “I was like, baby, baby, baby, ooh,” — on the show, the song, and its subsequent video, helped propel Bieber to staggering fame.
Released as the lead single off of Bieber’s gold-certified debut studio album My World 2.0, “Baby” first hit the airwaves in late January 2010. The song begins quietly, with Bieber harmonizing accompanied by a guitar, and unfolds into a three-and-a-half-minute unapologetic pop/R&B smash.
Bieber co-wrote the track with rapper Ludacris (who appears on the song), Christina Milian, and Christopher “Tricky” Stewart and Terius “The-Dream” Nash (both of whom also worked with the 16-year-old on his single “One Time”), and it has been his biggest single to date.
Though it never reached #1 on the Billboard charts (it debuted at #5 on the Hot 100) in the United States, nor in Bieber’s native Canada, “Baby” became certified platinum the world over. The song fared even better as a digital download, going to #1 in the U.S. after it was released on March 23, 2010.
Bieber continued to bring “Baby” to the masses, performing the song on various TV programs like “Saturday Night Live” (he was the musical guest on April 10, 2010), “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” “The Kids Choice Awards” and the “Today” show, in which throngs of Beliebers showed up on the plaza at Rockefeller Center to sing along.
But it’s the music video for “Baby” that’s made the biggest impact. The clip features cameos by Bieber’s friend and fellow Canadian performer Drake, as well as “Baby” collaborator Lucadris. ’Cris, who first met Bieber in Atlanta in 2009, told MTV News last year that the video reminded him of “a 2010 version of Michael Jackson’s ’The Way You Make Me Feel.’ ”
While Ludacris predicted, “Mark my word, [’Baby’ is] going to be one of the biggest songs of the year 2010,” there was no indication of things to come for the video.
Last week, ReadWriteWeb.com reported that Bieber’s “Baby” clip is the most-watched YouTube video of all time. It currently has a staggering 463,506,023 hits, besting other viral vids like Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” and “Charlie Bit Me.”
Since then, the song has been included on the compilation album Now 34: That’s What I Call Music! and is currently featured in Bieber’s 3-D documentary/concert film “Never Say Never” and has been used in the movie’s trailers. The G-rated movie earned an impressive $30.3 million in its opening weekend.
What did you think of the “Glee” renditions of Bieber’s songs? Tell us in the comments.