Toto’s Famous Song “Africa” Reaches 1 Billion Views on YouTube

The american rock band Toto with the Telegatto of Tv Sorrisi e Canzoni received for the musical career. David Paich, Steve Porcaro, Jeff Porcaro, Steve Lukather, Mike Porcaro and Bobby Kimball. Italy, 1982
Angelo Deligio/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images

The band Toto has reached a new, very exciting milestone. Their song “Africa” remains their biggest hit and the music video from 1982 just reached 1 billion views on YouTube, which is no small feat. In over 40 years since the song was released, it became the first song in their catalog to reach this many people on the Internet, perhaps due to the wide reach the song has had on pop culture.

“Africa” is on their fourth studio album Toto IV and has been covered by many artists over the years, including Weezer. It was certified gold in 1991 and is now eight times platinum. “Africa” specifically did not receive any Grammy nominations but Toto IV won a Grammy for Album of the Year in 1983.

Toto (l-r): David Paich, Mike Porcaro, Jean-Michel Byron, Jeff Porcaro, Steve Lukather on 14.09.1990 in Saarbrücken

Fryderyk Gabowicz/picture alliance via Getty Images

While many people love the song, the music video has been a hot topic of controversy. In 2018, Rolling Stone’s Rob Sheffield said that he believed the music video was racist and a white person’s interpretation of people in Africa after he visited the country himself.

Toto's Steve Lukather celebrating Yamaha's 125th Anniversary Live Around the World Dealer Concert performs at the Hyperion Theater on January 25, 2013 in Anaheim, California

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Yamaha

In the music video, Toto’s David Paich is in a library and is trying to find a book based on a scrap of a page. As he finds a book about Africa, an African man appears and throws a spear. Director Steve Barron said about the video, “There should have been [backlash]. But I don’t think there was. Because I look at the video, and I have now obviously traveled to Africa, and I’ve been to Rwanda, and I’ve been to Kenya, and… yeah, that is probably kind of a white guy’s, outsider view of the meaning of the song.”

The song was written by David Paich and Jeff Porcaro and Porcaro has admitted that the song is about a white man trying to write a song about Africa, despite never visiting the country while Paich added that it is a love song about a continent. What’s your take on the song and the music video? Watch it below!

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’80s Where Are They Now

March 2023

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