SAN FRANCISCO — The year's biggest hits on the Internet's top video channel were anchored by an improbable singing sensation, a groggy boy nursing a sore mouth, a bride and groom dancing down the wedding aisle, supernatural heartthrobs and roller-skating babies.
The eclectic cast of characters starring in YouTube's most-watched videos of 2009 served as a reminder of the quirky appeal of a Web site that accepts about 20 hours of new video every minute.
The list released Wednesday marks the first time that YouTube has ranked its most-watched videos in any year since its 2005 inception.
YouTube's 2009 star was Susan Boyle, the frumpy Scottish woman who mesmerized the world with a heartwarming rendition of "I Dreamed A Dream" on a British talent show in April.
Boyle, now 48, ended up taking second place in that competition, but no one came close to outshining her on YouTube. Her "Britain's Got Talent" videos attracted more than 120 million views worldwide.
That was more than the next three most-watched videos combined, according to YouTube.
The second spot, with more than 37 million views, was held by "David After Dentist," which featured a 7-year-old boy recovering from some dental work that left him feeling disoriented and wondering if he would ever feel normal again.
Third place went to "JK Wedding Entrance Dance," which captured an elaborate routine orchestrated by Jill Peterson and Kevin Heinz – flanked by their bridesmaids and groomsmen – just before their July marriage.
It attracted more than 33 million views and turned into a prime example of YouTube's moneymaking potential after Sony claimed its rights to a Chris Brown song, "Forever," that provided the dance's soundtrack.
A link placed by the video helped drive more sales of the song. Sony also shared in revenue from ads shown by the video.
YouTube itself hasn't said whether it's profitable yet. The site, acquired by Google for $1.76 billion in 2006, now shows ads alongside about 1 billion videos per week.
Commercials rounded out YouTube's top five videos for the year. A movie trailer for "The Twilight Saga: New Moon" attracted 31 million views, helped by co-stars, Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner, who have had teen girls swooning over them. Pattinson plays a vampire and Lautner takes a turn as a werewolf involved in a love triangle.
Evian water soaked up 27 million views with three different versions of a clip featuring diaper-wearing babies performing roller-skating stunts to a hip-hop beat.
YouTube compiled a separate list of the year's most popular studio-produced music videos. Rapper Pitbull's "I Know You Want Me" was the category's top draw with more than 82 million views, trailed by two music videos by teen star Miley Cyrus, "The Climb" (more than 64 million views) and "Party In The USA" (more than 54 million views).
Michael Jackson, whose shocking June 25 death made him the most searched subject on Google this year, also left his mark on YouTube in 2009. His name topped YouTube searches during the months of June and July and his 27-year-old music video, "Beat It," logged more than 25 million views.
On The Net:
Susan Boyle – Britain's Got Talent: http://bit.ly/TnRKo
David After Dentist: http://bit.ly/1Srd76
JK Wedding Entrance Dance: http://bit.ly/Z7vMw
New Moon Movie Trailer: http://bit.ly/4aSC9
Evian Roller Babies: http://bit.ly/VCy0C