25 of the Most Iconic Music Videos Ever Made

Source: Peter Kramer / Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images

Here It Goes Again
> Released in: 2006
> Artist: OK GO

This low-budget video featuring the band members performing a choreographed dance on eight treadmills was shot in one continuous take, but took 17 attempts before the perfect shot was achieved. Choreographed and co-directed by the band and a band member’s sister, Trish Sie, it was one of the first viral music videos on YouTube and even won a Grammy award.

Source: Ian Gavan / Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images

Gangnam Style
> Released in: 2012
> Artist: Psy

This K-pop song and video were viral sensations and the video has gone down in history as the first to reach 1 billion views on YouTube. Psy skyrocketed to international stardom and his energetic horse-riding dance became a cultural phenomenon, with celebrities, politicians, amateur dance troupes, and even uniformed military personnel posting videos of their attempts at the dance.

Source: Kevin Winter / Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images

> Released in: 2016
> Artist: Beyoncé

This surprise release directed by Melina Matsoukas, set in New Orleans, explores the history of Black Southern culture, with references to Hurricane Katrina, police brutality, and Black power. The video won numerous awards including a Grammy, and in 2021 Rolling Stone named it the best music video of all time.

Source: Christopher Polk / Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images

This is What You Came For
> Released in: 2016
> Artist: Calvin Harris & Rihanna

This collaboration between Scottish DJ Calvin Harris and Rihanna utilized cutting-edge video effects including a new technology that blended numerous projections at various angles so as not to skew the images. The video features Rihanna performing in a cube that flashes with various shots of nature landscapes and a crowded concert. It has been watched over 2 billion times on YouTube.

Source: Kevin Winter / Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images

This is America
> Released in: 2018
> Artist: Childish Gambino

Directed by Hiro Murai, this video contains numerous allusions to racism and gun violence in America. Singer Donald Glover (Childish Gambino) smiles and dances, sometimes with school children, amidst chaos and violence, with graphic scenes that include Glover shooting a man while in a Jim Crow caricature stance, and gunning down a gospel choir. “This is America” won four Grammy awards including Best Music Video.

Sponsored: Find a Qualified Financial Advisor

Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to 3 fiduciary financial advisors in your area in 5 minutes. Each advisor has been vetted by SmartAsset and is held to a fiduciary standard to act in your best interests. If you’re ready to be matched with local advisors that can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.