Nicole L. Cvetnic
Alfonso Ribeiro performs on Dancing With the Stars.
Youtube screenshot       

This was the year of the video: Cellphone recordings, surveillance videos and celebs caught on camera took up most of the spots on The Root TV’s most-watched-videos list. From the Jay Z-Solange elevator confrontation to the young woman desperate to be Nicki Minaj after dental surgery, here are the 15 most viewed videos of 2014:

1. The Mimi Faust and Nikko Smith Sex Tape

When news of a sex tape involving Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta stars Mimi Faust and Nikko Smith surfaced in April, searches for the video and everything about it nearly broke the Internet (and The Root TV).


2. Man Smacks Woman in Subway Brawl

In November, a brawl erupted on the New York City subway. The woman who instigated it was smacked in the face after berating a man for wearing an 8-ball jacket and a trapper hat.


3. School Fight Between Teacher and Student Caught on Camera

A Baltimore City schoolteacher is on administrative leave and a student is facing charges after a verbal confrontation turned physical in the hallway of a high school in October.


4. TMZ Releases Elevator Video of Ray Rice Punching Janay Palmer

Following his arrest in February after an altercation at the Revel Casino in Atlantic City, N.J., a video surfaces of Rice knocking then-fiancee Janay Palmer unconscious and dragging her limp body from the elevator.


5. Orlando Jones: Bucket Challenge

Toward the end of summer, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge was a viral sensation. Jones used the momentum to raise awareness for a “disease” that disproportionately affects black people. He dumped bullet shell casings over his head to represent the lives cut short by violence.


6. Gay Man “Delivered” at Holy Convocation

In a viral video posted in November, 21-year-old Andrew Caldwell said he had received deliverance from the spirit of homosexuality during a Christian event at the Church of God in Christ’s 107th Holy Convocation in St. Louis.


7. Black Man Taken to Jail for Sitting in Public Area

While waiting in front of a bank to pick up his children from school, Chris Lollie recorded himself being stunned with a Taser and arrested by St. Paul, Minn., police. He was initially charged with trespassing, disorderly conduct and obstructing the legal process, but the charges were later dropped.


8. Young Woman Desperate to Be Nicki Minaj After Wisdom Teeth Removal

A video featuring a heavily drugged Jayci Underwood went viral after she was recorded lamenting about the fact that she did not wake up from her dental procedure as Nicki Minaj.


9. Jay Z and Beyoncé Left in Separate Cars From Met Gala

Video footage shows the media frenzy outside the Standard Hotel in New York City when Jay Z and Beyoncé exit the building and leave in separate cars. Seconds prior, Jay Z and Solange had had an altercation in the elevator.


10. Jay Z Attacked by Solange (Full Video)

TMZ dropped a bombshell video showing a physical altercation between Jay Z and Solange Knowles in May in the elevator of New York City’s Standard Hotel.


11. Erykah Badu Street Video

Four-time Grammy winner Erykah Badu recorded herself singing for money near Bryant Park in New York City. “I just kinda always wanted to see what it would be like to sing for money on the streets,” she said. Badu earned $3.60.


12. Construction Workers: Michael Brown’s Hands Were Up

In this video, CNN’s Randi Kaye reveals new details about two contractors who witnessed the shooting death of Michael Brown.


13. John Crawford III Moments Before Shooting by Ohio Law Enforcement

Surveillance video shows John Crawford III carrying a toy rifle around an Ohio Wal-Mart moments before he is fatally shot by police. A witness claimed Crawford was pointing it at customers, but later told The Guardian that Crawford never pointed it at anyone.


14. Detroit Woman Shot Dead After Rejecting Man

Mary “Unique” Spears was fatally shot and five of her family members wounded after she rejected the advances of a man outside a social hall in Detroit.


15. Alfonso Ribeiro Turns Down for What on DWTS

Ribeiro owned the dance floor when he performed the paso doble to DJ Snake and Lil Jon’s “Turn Down for What” on a November episode of Dancing With the Stars.


Nicole L. Cvetnic is The Root’s multimedia editor and producer. 

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