Justin Bieber: bigger than Elton John? It's true, at least according to the list of the highest-certified singles in history.
Bieber's 2010 song "Baby" has topped John's 1997 double A-side "Candle in the Wind"/"'Something About the Way You Look Tonight," which previously held the record after having been certified 11-times platinum. "Baby" is now 12-times platinum, Digital Spy reports.
The change comes largely as a result of the Billboard singles chart now factoring in YouTube hits when it calculates songs' rankings. The first entry that felt the effects of this change was the once-ubiquitous "Harlem Shake," which rose to No. 1 on the Hot 100 list after Billboard began counting YouTube streams. (Billboard considers 100 streams to be the equivalent of one download.)
"Baby," featuring Ludacris, has sold more than 3.9 million copies in America and has been viewed nearly 859 million times on YouTube. John's "Candle in the Wind"/"Something About the Way You Look Tonight" has sold more than 33 million copies. Digital Spy reports that streaming data for "Candle" is not taken into account, meaning it falls behind Bieber's numbers.
Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance," Eminem's "Love the Way You Lie" and Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe" have also seen their platinum certifications rise thanks to Billboard's new data analysis.