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34 Best Music Videos of All Time, Ranked

the best music videos of all time madonna on stage singing in a white outfit
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Last updated on March 12th, 2024 at 03:59 pm

Music videos are one of the best parts of the music industry, as there is nothing like the feeling of watching one of your favorite songs come to life. Over the years, artists have released billions of music videos, and picking the best music videos is no easy feat.

The following list of the best music videos of all time have been picked from a combination of sources and ranked based on both popularity and number of views. Whether you like the song or not, all videos on this list have almost one billion views. Scroll on to discover some of the best music videos and see whether or not your favorite artist made the list.

34. “Heartbreaker” by Mariah Carey (feat Jay Z)

Honestly, “Heartbreaker” by Mariah Carey probably shouldn’t be on the list of best music videos, because this video has under 100 million views, but we included it because it has one of the largest budgets for a music video ever. At $2.5 million for 5:36 of final footage, it is one of the most expensive music videos of all time, but if you ask us, the fake fight scene is worth its weight in gold.

Related: Jay Z Facts

33. “Numb” by Linkin Park

Linkin Park fans know exactly why “Numb” is one of the best music videos of all time, but if you haven’t seen it, all it takes is one viewing to agree. Known for its powerful message about self-harm as well as a fantastic filming location in a church, this music video is truly one of a kind.

Related: Linkin Park Singer Chester Bennington Commits Suicide

32. “You’re Beautiful” by James Blunt

Another music video that falls just short of one billion views, James Blunt’s powerful lyrics are even more powerful as he strips down in the elements and jumps into the sea. While it’s basic, it has remained popular for decades, making it one of the best of all time.

31. “Humble” by Kendrick Lamar

Known for its amazing cinematic images and unique comment on poverty in America, “Humble” by Kendrick Lamar is a feast for your eyes. Right now, it is sitting at 953 million views, but we suspect it will cross into billion territory this year.

30. “Chandelier” by Sia

“Chandelier” by Sia is definitely one of the weirdest, best music videos. Filled with images of a semi-abandoned house and some odd dance moves, we aren’t really sure why everyone loves this music video so much, but 2.6 billion views speaks for itself.

29. “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran

Known for its beautiful dance moves and sweet lyrics, “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran has over 3.7 billion views, meaning almost half the world has seen it or someone has been watching it on a loop 24/7 since its release. Either way, this music video is beautiful, and definitely one of the best music videos of all time.

28. “Bitter Sweet Symphony” by The Verve

Deceptively simple filming is the main draw of this music video by The Verve, but it has over one billion views and was praised by critics for its comment on society.  It features the lead singer walking through the streets of New York and encountering several people along the way, but ultimately nothing stops his motion, a symbol of his path in life.

27. “Bad Romance” by Lady Gaga

A true testament to “the devil is in the details,” this catchy music video by Lady Gaga is easy to overlook, but when you dive in deeper, you can see it for the masterpiece it truly is. A homage to several big-name stars, Rolling Stone Magazine placed this music video in their top 50 all-time list, and frankly, we agree.

26. “New Rules” by Dua Lipa

This song by Dua Lipa only came out six years ago, but it has already passed the three billion view mark. While the movements and dancing in this music video are simple, they are perfectly executed, making this video a masterpiece to behold.

25. “Upside Down and Inside Out” by Ok Go!

From treadmills to a literal zero gravity fight, Ok Go! is known for their amazing music videos. The coolest thing is that these guys usually choreograph their own music videos, making them a top talent in the space!

24. “Hungry Like a Wolf” by Duran Duran

Filmed in locations like Sri Lanka and Antigua, this music video by the band Duran Duran is the real deal. We aren’t sure how many takes this took but this music video is a true 80s masterpiece worthy of the best music videos of all-time list.

23. “Take On Me” by A-Ha

Composed mostly of drawings, with the singer only appearing in a few takes, there is truly nothing like this music video. We don’t even want to know how many hours it took to draw everything.

22. “November Rain” by Guns N Roses

One of Rolling Stones’ top 10 music videos of all time, we had to include this song by Guns N’ Roses on our list as well. Based on the views of lead singer Axl Rose, the whole montage is a bit of a fever dream, but it has been watched over 2.1 billion times.

21. “Work It” by Missy Elliott

“Work It” by Missy Elliot has received widespread praise for its unique shots and dance moves, specifically by Esquire, who included it as one of their best music videos of all time. It isn’t one of our favorites, but we can see the draw.

20. “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” by Cyndi Lauper

No list of the best music videos would be complete without Cyndi Lauper’s anthem “Girls Just Want to Have Fun.” With a video to match the vibes, we will never tire of Cyndi’s acting and dancing in this hilarious filmed sequence.

Related: 17 Best 80s Music Videos

19. “Africa” by Toto

“Africa” by Toto hasn’t quite reached a billion views, but it likely will this year. Either way, this anthem is iconic, with a well-done, interesting music video to match.

18. “Every Breath You Take” by The Police

The people have spoken. With over 1.2 billion views, this song by The Police is one of the most popular music videos of all time. While the video isn’t anything crazy, it is an excellent view of the band during their heyday.

17. “This is America” by Childish Gambino

Rappers have some of the best music videos of all time, and Childish Gambino is no exception. His music video “This is America” is one of a kind. It made an impact when it was released and will definitely continue to into the future.

16. “Nothing Compares 2 U” by Sinead O’Connor

Another simple music video to make our list, this unique cinematic experience features shots of Sinead O’Connor singing in a park in Paris as well as up-close shots of her face. It’s simple but a fan favorite and hailed by music experts everywhere.

Related: Celebrities Who Died in 2023

15. “Where is the Love” by the Black-Eyed Peas

A comment on society and government, “Where is the Love” by the Black-Eyed Peas is one of a kind, with a music video to match. It focuses on shots of the band in various cities around the US, which will make you think and adds to its depth.

14. “Ironic” by Alanis Morrisette

“Ironic” by Alanis Morrisette reminds us that basic music videos are sometimes best. This video is mostly filmed as Alanis drives in a snowy town. It flashes between that and Alanis in the back seat, singing the faster parts of the song, successfully displaying duplicity in a unique and artistic manner.  

13. “When Doves Cry” by Prince

Although “When Doves Cry” wasn’t Prince’s most famous song, it was the one that resonated with critics the most. Revered for its unique and artistic shots of the singer, the music video tackles several heavy topics that aren’t conducive to the upbeat pop sound of the song.

Related: Prince Facts

12. “Around the World” by Daft Punk

It’s true that Daft Punk isn’t really known for their music videos, but “Around the World” is something else. With loads of weird costumes and excellent editing, this music video sticks with you, we just aren’t sure if that’s a good or bad thing.

11. “Vogue” by Madonna

If there is one thing Madonna knew how to do right, it’s music videos. Listed as one of the top three of all time by Rolling Stone, “Vogue” pushes the limits, making comments on feminism through dance. It’s even better when you consider it was filmed in just 16 hours due to Madonna’s grueling touring schedule at the time.

10. “Sabotage” by The Beastie Boys

A perfect nostalgic piece of the 70s, this music video is chaotic and hard to follow, but according to critics, that’s one of the reasons it’s one of the best music videos of all time, despite the fact that it currently only sits at 127 million views on YouTube.

9. “Hurt” by Johnny Cash

While Madonna was known for her music videos, Johnny Cash wasn’t known for his. Most of his videos, in fact, just feature the star singing and playing guitar. “Hurt” is the same, but it does include flashes of the star’s home. At 71, this music video became one of the last films of Johnny Cash before his death, something which solidified its spot in music video history.

8. “Without Me” by Eminem

Over the years, Eminem has put out a full range of music videos, from the gross and disgusting to the simple videos of him singing his songs. The one that had the most impact, however, was “Without Me,” which is formatted like a comic strip. With over 1.8 billion views, it is one of his most popular music videos of all time.

Related: Eminem’s Net Worth

7. “Hey Ya!” by Outkast

A music video tribute to The Beatles concert on The Ed Sullivan Show, this music video is truly iconic. While it isn’t quite the same as the Beatles music, we still love it and consider it to be one of the best.

6. “Formation” by Beyonce

Beyonce is the queen of music, and it makes sense that one of her music videos would be the best music video of all time. “Formation” is a comment on the struggles of Black Americans throughout history and it is truly a masterpiece paired with pop music.

5. “Smells Like a Teen Spirit” by Nirvana

Nirvana is a band that will go down in music history, especially their music video to “Smells Like a Teen Spirit.” Not only was this song a huge hit, but fans loved the academia vibe of the music video, and it quickly catapulted the band to fame.

Related: How did Kurt Cobain Die?

4. “Gangnam Style” by PSY

Even though this song isn’t anything revolutionary, “Gangnam Style” was one the most played music videos on YouTube. With over 5 billion views, there is no denying it is one of the best music videos of all time, according to the people.

Related: 21 Most Viral Moments in Music

3. “The Scientist” by Coldplay

With just 1.1 billion views, “The Scientist” by Coldplay isn’t quite as popular as PSY, but fans admire the music video’s comment on loss and the hard parts of life. It’s a message and music video that resonates with millions of people.

2. “Thriller” by Michael Jackson

Of course, every list of the best music videos of all time has to feature one of Michael Jackson’s songs. While we wanted to fill the list with his iconic, and often odd, music videos, “Thriller” is arguably the best, and a billion listeners think so as well.

Related: How Did Michael Jackson Die?

1. “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen

One of the best songs of all time, “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen is one of the best music videos of all time as well. Featuring the ironic band singing in their signature formation, there is no arguing that this music video is unbeatable.

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Written by Hope Davis

Long-time music lover Hope became a full-time writer in 2020 after being laid off from her regular job due to COVID-19. She now spends her time traveling the world to see her favorite bands while writing about them!


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