Stromae has added another achievement to his list. The Belgian singer’s video for “Papaoutai” has hit 1 billion views on YouTube, since its release in 2013.
The Adam Nael-directed video features a young boy who abandons a clay version of Stromae — who, at first, does not physically participate in any actions, from catching a ball to washing a car — to go outside and play with his neighbors in a close-knit, picturesque neighborhood. A set of twins and an older and younger brother dance in the center of the sandy cul-de-sac, much to the amazement of the little boy, who eventually gets frustrated with clay Stromae’s lack of activity, despite feeling saddened by the singer’s inability to move.
By the end of the video, Stromae finds movement again, and the pair join each other in dance.
“Papaoutai” serves as a play on the phrase “Papa où t’es” — which translates to “Papa, Where Are You?” — and marks the Belgian artist’s first Billion Views Club entry. The track was notably the most-viewed French-language song until this year, when it got dethroned by Indila’s song “Dernière danse”; “Papaoutai” is now the second French-language video to pass 1 billion views on the video platform.
“Papaoutai” was released as the lead single from Stromae’s second studio album, Racine carrée, in 2013. The set peaked at No. 19 on the Heatseekers Albums chart, spending a total of five weeks on the tally. “Papaoutai,” meanwhile, hit the top 40 of Billboard‘s Hot Dance/Electronic Songs — the track peaked at No. 25 on the the chart and spent a total of 20 weeks on the tally.
Watch the video for “Papaoutai” above.