Canadian teen YouTuber Gabriela Bee showed off her talent with her unique cover of the Beatles’ “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” in a vid that shows seven ‘clones’ of herself playing the song. The young musician, who was just 13 years old at the time, has an amazing voice and shows her skills on several instruments in the clip.
Gabriela also brings a fresh approach to the song, playing unusual instruments such as a stapler, kazoo and a box of Tic Tacs. The video has racked up 40 million views, with fans praising her musicianship but also the creativity shown in making such a unique clip. It’s the most popular clip on Gabriela Bee’s YouTube channel, which has 2.19 million subscribers. Watch the performance below.
Gabriela Bee was born in Toronto on September 9, 2006. She still resides in the city today and is currently 17 years old. She is no stranger to internet stardom, having grown up as a member of content creators The Bee Family, where she has been featured in videos since childhood.
Gabriela has since become a star in her own right though. She began releasing her original music online in 2018 via a pair of singles. Her first viral success was the “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” cover in 2019. Later that year she had another online success with her cover of “High Hopes” with Walk Off the Earth as her backing band, which you can hear below.
Her association with Canadian indie band Walk Off the Earth also led her to UK chart success earlier this year. This is because of London rapper Prinz’s song “Highs and Lows”, which credits her as a vocalist. Prinz sampled Gabriela’s cover of “I’ll Be There” by Walk Off the Earth in the song.
Gabriela’s cover of “High Hopes” by Panic! At The Disco has clocked up nearly 20 million views, although it has still got a long way to catch up with her viral cover of “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da”. The song is a Paul McCartney composition and was originally featured on The Beatles’ self-titled 1968 album.
McCartney drew on Jamaican ska music while writing “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da”. For the title and chorus, McCartney used a phrase popularized by Nigerian musician Jimmy Scott, who later attempted (and failed) to get a writing credit for the song, which used his family saying. The song was released as a single internationally and became a number one hit in seven countries.
The Beatles elected not to release “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” as a single in the US or the UK. This curious decision led to a number of acts rushing to record covers of the song to get a hit in these major markets. Pop rock Marmalade act won out in this regard, becoming the first Scottish band to score a UK #1 hit with their cover of the song in January 1969.
Despite its popularity with fans “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” has not always been beloved by critics due to its whimsical nature, and has been featured on several lists of the worst songs ever made. Unrepentant, McCartney has made the song a setlist staple in his live shows since 2009. If you would like to see more from Gabriela Bee, you can subscribe to her YouTube channel or follow her on Instagram.