This is the lead single from the latter half of Canadian pop singer Justin Bieber's debut album, My World (Part II). Ludacris also features on the track rapping about his first love.
Justin co-wrote the song alongside Christopher "Tricky" Stewart and Terius "The-Dream" Nash. The duo also worked with the Canadian teen on his debut single "One Time." Ludacris and R&B singer Christina Milian also contributed to this track.
Justin told Digital Spy that this is a song everyone can relate to. He explained: "I'm basically saying I really like this girl and would do anything to make her my girlfriend."
Justin explained to MTV News why he hooked up with Ludacris for this song: "Well, [Ludacris and I] both live in Atlanta. I met him a year prior to this and we figured it was a perfect collaboration for him, so we invited him out to do it."
Ludacris admitted to MTV News that he had to dig deep to come up with lyrics appropriate for Justin's song. "He's talking about [how] he's mad that his girl left him and he still cares for her," he said. "As soon as I heard it I knew it was a hit, I just had to figure out how I could get on a record with a 15-year-old. So I sat there and said, 'Let me reminisce on the past,' and that's basically how I stepped on the record. And I guarantee you, mark my word, that's going to be one of the biggest songs of the year 2010."
Justin told MTV News the music video captures the song's message of trying to woo back a girl. "It starts off, I really like this girl, but we didn't [get] along; we couldn't be together," he said. "Basically I want her back and [I'm] kind of going through the whole thing. I'm chasing her around, trying to get her, and she's kind of playing hard to get, but I'm persistent. I keep going." Ludacris added that the clip is meant to be an updated version of Michael Jackson's "The Way You Make Me Feel." Justin's love interest is played by R&B and pop singer Jasmine Villegas, the same girl who appears in his "Eenie Meenie" clip. Jasmine also turned up in Kanye West's "Jesus Walks" where she was featured helping a woman up the gate.
This became the most-watched video ever on YouTube in mid July 2010, overtaking Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance" clip.
Justin's record was broken on November 24, 2012 when it was announced that PSY's "Gangnam Style" had had been viewed 805 million times, surpassing "Baby," which had had 803 million views at that date.
This was the most watched music video on YouTube in 2010. In second place was Shakira featuring Freshlyground's "Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)" and in third Eminem featuring Rihanna's, "Love The Way You Lie." It was also the most hated video on YouTube, registering the most dislikes until Rebecca Black surpassed it with her "Friday" video.
The-Dream and Christina Milian were married when they co-wrote the track (they subsequently separated). Speaking with BBC Radio 1Extra's Tim Westwood a couple of years later, The-Dream claimed that he gave his wife a percentage of the song's royalties because he's "generous," rather than because she helped him with the melody.
The bowling alley in the video is located at Universal CityWalk, Hollywood, which is a three-block entertainment, dining and shopping promenade adjacent to the Universal theme park.
The song became the first ever to go 12-times platinum as a result of a change to the singles chart to incorporate on-demand streaming numbers. Whilst the highest-selling tune, Elton John's double A-side "Candle In The Wind"/'"Something About the Way You Look Tonight" has sold over 33 million copies worldwide, it has no streaming data so its ranking remains 11-times platinum. When "Baby's" sales reached 3.9 million copies in America and its views exceeded 858 million times on Vevo it overtook Elton's tune to become the highest-certified single in history.
A then-relatively unknown Tinashe made a brief cameo appearance in the video during a scene where she sat next to Drake and Lil Twist. "It was super random," the singer told MTV News in 2015. "I think they just asked me if I wanted to be in the video as a cameo, and I was just like, 'Sure.' I wasn't doing anything. So I just came and did it and I didn't really know what to expect. Drake was in it. Good times."
At the height of the song's popularity, a Chicago-area high school played "Baby" during passing periods in the hallways as a fundraising technique. Students were made to pay to stop the tune and $1,000 was raised in three days.