10 Most Expensive Music Videos Ever Made

Making music videos is a full-time job and an expensive affair in itself, but it is also something in which musicians play a crucial role in generating insane sales, that in the long run, helps earn back all the money invested in the video. The most expensive video might have crossed the $7 million mark, but a masterpiece was created in the process. A common opinion is that the trend of making expensive music videos started with Michael Jackson, and artists ever since have attempted to live up to Jackson’s legacy extraordinaire.

Here’s a glimpse at some of the most expensive music videos that the world has ever seen,

10 Heartbreaker By Mariah Carey

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The music video for Mariah Carey’s ‘Heartbreaker’ was made in collaboration with Jay-Z. This 1999 video cost her a grand $2.5 million in recording and production, which was released in September of that year.

A significant chunk of the money was spent behind creating a digital avatar of Jay-Z as he could not be physically present for the shoot. However, given the fact that Carey won many awards for her creations, it is implied that she does not take her work for granted and was willing to go to any extent to bring out the best in her video.

9 Victory By Puff Daddy

It is an interesting fact that some of the most expensive music videos ever made are in the hip-hop genre. Puff Daddy’s Victory was written by the genius trio The Notorious B.I.G., Jason Phillips, and Steven Jordan. The song was recorded in 1997 and came out in 1998.

Hip hop artist Puff Daddy, also known as P.Diddy and Sean Love Combs, spent an astounding $2.7 million as the production cost of this video. It is said that the use of helicopters, other heavy-duty vehicles, and pyrotechnics are what led to the high budget of the production.

8 Cartoon Heroes By Aqua

Danish-Norwegian dance-pop group Aqua spent roughly about $3.5 million for their song ‘Cartoon Heroes’, which was a part of their second studio album called Aquarius. Although ‘Cartoon Heroes’ did not become as famous as its predecessor, ‘Barbie Doll’ nevertheless, the crew expected hefty profits from the video.

Directed by Czech movie director Tomáš Mašínmade, this video reached number one on music charts in Denmark and was certified platinum within 48 hours of its release. After being released in 2000, it became the country’s best-selling record of the year.

7 Black Or White By Michael Jackson

Released by Epic Records in November 1991, ‘Black or White’ was by the king of pop Michael Jackson. Among the other expensive music videos that the pop star recorded and produced in his music career, this was one of the most remarkable.

The production cost of this music video was a massive $4 million. John Landis directed this video and the track became sensational when it was released in 1991. When it premiered on national television, it got about 500 million views, making it the highest-rated video on Fox.

6 Make Me Like You By Gwen Stefani

Gwen Renée Stefani seldom fails to live by her reputation of being among the music industry’s top stars. Most of the money in Gwen’s music videos is spent on fast-changing costumes and artistic sets. For the video of ‘Make Me Like You’, Stefani is known to have spent a handsome $4 million.

‘This Is What the Truth Feels Like’ was her third studio album that came out in 2016, and ‘Make Me Like You’ was one of the most famous and most expensive album productions. The video became insanely popular on social media platforms as well as on-air.

5 Bedtime Story By Madonna

Michael Jackson was indeed the king of pop, but Madonna was truly worthy of the title of queen. The album ‘Bedtime Story’ was released in 1994 when Madonna was in the prime of her career in the industry. The single ‘Bedtime Story’ was released the very next year as the 3rd single from the album.

Written by Björk, Nellee Hooper, and Marius De Vries and produced by Maverick Records, this was one of the most expensive music videos ever made with a production cost of $5 million. This single was of the same name as the album because it was meant to be a promotional video for the album itself.

4 Express Yourself By Madonna

‘Express Yourself’ was another one of Madonna’s music videos that had a high production cost of about $5 million. This 1989 video would be worth about $9.4 million in the present time.

Fritz Lang’s 1927 German film Metropolis is what inspired Madonna and her team to make this video. Later the film received a nomination for the academy awards, which also led to further popularity of the music video.

3 Estranged By Guns N’ Roses

The music band Guns N’ Roses is well known for having made expensive music videos since the beginning of their career. The video of ‘Estranged’, however, crossed all records with its $5 million production cost.

The band spent over $2 million on the preceding single called ‘November Rain’. But while shooting for Estranged, the team realized that they wanted to incorporate fresh elements like tankers, dolphins and feature a clip of Slash walking through water. This video also earned critical acclaim for its excellent graphics.

2 Die Another Day By Madonna

Yet another music video of Madonna which made to the list of the most expensive music videos of all times is the ‘Die Another Day’ song video. This song might have received mixed reviews from music critics, but it undoubtedly served its purpose by being one of the most popular songs amongst the masses.

The cost of making this video was reportedly $6 million, although, at current times, it would sum up to almost $7.9 million. It received a nomination for a Grammy award, and part of its popularity was because the James Bond franchise inspired it.

1 Scream By Michael Jackson And Janet Jackson

‘Scream’ by Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson was an instant sensation that made it to the Guinness Book of World Records as the most expensive music video ever made. Another significant aspect of this video release was it getting its prime debut on ABC’s Primetime Live.

The kind of extensive props used in this video makes it apparent that the Jacksons spent about $7 million producing it. But the fame that this 13-minute monochrome video gained made it a rewarding experience for the legendary creators.

The extravagant production costs of the several music videos might make it look a bit over the line. However, when looking at the effect created by these videos, the money and the effort indeed seem to be worth it.

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Source: ThisDayInMusic.com, Forbes, Business Insider, The Things

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