In September 2011, Canadian pop singer Carly Rae Jepsen released her single “Call Me Maybe,” a catchy bubblegum pop track that enjoyed a slow burn success over the next few months.
It wasn’t until December, when Justin Bieber and then girlfriend Selena Gomez were in Canada and heard the song on the radio that “Call Me Maybe” went from sleeper track to overnight success. Fast forward a few weeks and a few social media shout outs from the Biebs and “Call Me Maybe” finally debuted on US radio in 2012.
From there, the song became an unstoppable force. Jepsen was signed to Scooter Braun’s management company, a move that was facilitated by Braun’s client Bieber, and it was announced on Much. The song reached number one in the US on June 23 and spent nine weeks in the top spot, a huge achievement for any artist and the first Canadian artist to have a number one song in the 2010s.
It’s not an exaggeration to say that 2012 was dominated by “Call Me Maybe.” The song was seemingly everywhere, from the Much Music Video Awards, to celebrity lip-sync videos and beyond. It catapulted Jepsen’s career from Canadian Idol finalist to Broadway star, with Jepsen eventually releasing the critically acclaimed 2015 album EMOTION.
Jepsen, who is currently recording her fourth studio album with producer Jack Antonoff, shared a huge CMM milestone this week. The video for “Call Me Maybe,” which Jepsen points out was made for “pennies and dimes” has just hit 1 billion views on YouTube. Call us impressed.
It’s amazing how music can facilitate a mental time travel, with only a few notes of “Call Me Maybe” bringing us back to 2012, the year it ruled the charts and pop culture. But even for how huge a hit “Call Me Maybe” was that year (and it was), CMM being at the top of the charts wasn’t the only thing that made 2012 stand out. A lot was different back then. Times were simpler, Presidents were less scary, and Jelena lived and loved. Here are a few other ways 2012 was much, much different than 2017.