What's the Most Viral Moment in Pop-Music History?

A couple months back when Ad Age's staff began working on our Music Issue, I started to obsess about the inextricable link between music and viral media. Think of a pop-cultural moment that's "gone viral," and chances are pretty good it's music-related. (Unless, of course, it's a cat video. Then again, Keyboard Cat was nothing without his Yamaha.)

Was it possible, I wondered, to pin down the most viral moment in music history?

I also wondered about what, exactly, constitutes historical virality. It's obviously easier in a post-YouTube/Facebook/Twitter world to quantify buzz. But then again, you might argue that in a pre-social world with way fewer entertainment options -- and more of a tendency toward monoculture -- what we collectively were all buzzing about routinely had a lot more scale (like when the series finale of "M*A*S*H" drew more than 100 million viewers).

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