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2014's most popular music, movies and web videos

Posted at 9:56 AM, Dec 20, 2014

Looking back on 2014 in entertainment, you could say it was a year for the kids.

The best-selling album and song of the year were both tie-ins to children’s movies and the highest-grossing movie featured a talking raccoon. Once again, kids ruled.

The soundtrack for Disney’s “Frozen” sold more than 3 million copies and spent 13 weeks atop the Billboard 200 album chart. The record edged out Beyoncé and Taylor Swift to become 2014’s best seller. A movie soundtrack topping the charts isn’t a first but the performance of “Frozen” was the best since 1998, when the “Titanic” soundtrack spent 16 weeks at No. 1.

A cartoon also provided the year’s top song. Pharrell Williams’ smash “Happy” topped Billboard’s year-end Hot 100 chart as 2014’s biggest hit, based on radio airplay, sales and streaming data. The song was written for 2013’s “Despicable Me 2,” and spent 47 weeks — nearly an entire year — on the chart. It was also the world’s most-streamed track of the year, according to Spotify.

Of course, kids alone couldn’t account for the runaway success of both projects, meaning perhaps this was a year where people across the country tapped into their inner child.

The five highest-grossing movies at the U.S. box office this year were based on toys, comic books or teen novels. According to bookseller Barnes & Noble, nine of the year’s 10 top-selling books were either young adult or children’s books. John Green’s 2012 young adult-favorite “The Fault in Our Stars,” topped their list.

But not all of the year’s most popular media was made for kids and teens. Amazon reported author Sue Monk Kidd’s novel “The Invention of Wings” as its best-selling book of 2014. The difference is, their list only counts books first published this year.

Eminem was the most-streamed artist in America, according to Spotify’s year-end review. The 42-year-old performer outpaced fellow rappers Drake and Kanye West as the country’s most listened-to artists by Spotify users.

The year’s most-viewed online videos ran the gamut from technology reviews to performance art, but not surprisingly, the top viral clip involved a furry animal.

“Mutant Giant Spider Dog (SA Wardega)” collected over 118 million views in 2014, according to YouTube. The other videos included a Nike advertisement, a clip from Italy’s version of “The Voice,” and the infamous iPhone 6 bend test.

2014's most-watched YouTube videos:

“Mutant Giant Spider Dog (SA Wardega)” - 118.7 million views

“Nike Football: Winner Stays.” - 100.5 million views

“First Kiss” - 95.6 million

“The Voice IT ... Suor Cristina Scuccia” - 67.1 million

“iPhone 6 Plus Bend Test” - 60.3 million

Here are some of the other entertainment winners from 2014:


Clint Davis is a writer for the E.W. Scripps National Desk. Follow him on Twitter @MrClintDavis.