List of most expensive music videos

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Michael Jackson performing
Janet Jackson performing
"Scream" by Michael Jackson (left) and Janet Jackson (right) is the most expensive music video of all time at the time of production, as of May 2020.

This article lists the most expensive music videos ever made, with costs of $500,000 or more.

David Bowie's video for the 1980 single "Ashes to Ashes" was the first music video to exceed this sum. Janet Jackson leads with six videos on the list, while Michael Jackson, Britney Spears and Ayumi Hamasaki have five each. Madonna has made three appearances in the top five, and four total, making her the artist with the most expensive videos of all time combined. TLC, Kanye West, Busta Rhymes, Guns N' Roses, Mylène Farmer and MC Hammer appear on the list twice.

Joseph Kahn has directed seven, while Hype Williams, Cha Eun Taek and Wataru Takeishi have directed three. Nigel Dick, Mark Romanek and John Landis appear twice, the latter with videos both for Michael Jackson. This list only includes music videos with an announced or reported budget.

Romanek, who made Michael and Janet Jackson's "Scream", which was claimed to be one of the most expensive music videos ever made, has since denied this claim, saying that there were two other music videos from the same era which cost "millions more" than "Scream".[1] In a 2017 interview, Mick Garris, a writer for Michael Jackson's Ghosts stated that after several years of production development for the Ghosts short film: "It became the most expensive music video ever made...it ended up coming in at about $15 million, all of it out of Michael's pocket."[2]

Most expensive music videos[edit]

Britney Spears performing at NFL Kickoff in 2013
Hamasaki holds special live performance at Taiwan 2007
Britney Spears and Ayumi Hamasaki became the second and third female artist to have five expensive music videos.
Madonna holding her hair, wearing a dark red dress and looking down
Madonna music videos "Express Yourself" (1989), "Bedtime Story" (1995), and "Die Another Day" (2002) has listed as the 2nd, 3rd, 4th most expensive music videos of all time, following by "Give Me All Your Luvin'" (featuring Nicki Minaj & M.I.A.).
Kahn at a screening of Detention (2011 film) at the Los Angeles Film School, 2012
Joseph Khan has directed seven music videos which are listed as "Most expensive music videos".
  Indicates the title was the most expensive of all time at the time of production
  Indicates most expensive non-English-language music videos
Most expensive music videos
Rank Title Artist(s) Director Year Cost (est.) Ref
Nominal Adjusted
1 "Scream" Michael Jackson & Janet Jackson Mark Romanek 1995 $7,000,000 $11,888,840 [3][4]
2 "Die Another Day" Madonna Traktor 2002 $6,100,000 $8,777,003
3 "Express Yourself" David Fincher 1989 $5,000,000 $10,438,926
"Bedtime Story" Mark Romanek 1995 $5,000,000 $8,492,029
5 "Estranged" Guns N' Roses Andy Morahan 1993 $5,000,000 $8,957,613
6 "Black or White" Michael Jackson John Landis 1991 $4,000,000 $7,600,293
"Make Me Like You" Gwen Stefani Sophie Muller 2016 $4,000,000 $4,313,367 [5]
8 "Cartoon Heroes" Aqua Thomas Masin 2000 $3,500,000 $5,259,807 [6]
9 "Rollin' (Air Raid Vehicle)" Limp Bizkit Fred Durst 2000 $10,000,000 $4,614,581 [7]
10 "Victory" Puff Daddy
(featuring The Notorious B.I.G. & Busta Rhymes)
Marcus Nispel 1998 $2,700,000 $4,287,036 [8]
11 "2 Legit 2 Quit" MC Hammer Rupert Wainwright 1991 $2,500,000 $4,750,183 [9]
"Heartbreaker" Mariah Carey (featuring Jay-Z) Brett Ratner 1999 $2,500,000 $3,883,839 [10]
"Doesn't Really Matter" Janet Jackson Joseph Kahn 2000 $2,500,000 $3,883,839 [11]
14 "What's It Gonna Be?!" Busta Rhymes (featuring Janet Jackson) Hype Williams 1999 $2,400,000 $3,728,486 [citation needed]
15 "It's All Coming Back to Me Now" Celine Dion Nigel Dick 1996 $2,300,000 $3,795,268 [citation needed]
16 "Bad" Michael Jackson Martin Scorsese 1987 $2,200,000 $5,011,541 [12]
17 "Larger Than Life" Backstreet Boys Joseph Kahn 1999 $2,100,000 $3,262,425 [citation needed]
18 "Remember the Time" Michael Jackson John Singleton 1992 $2,000,000 $3,688,404 [13]
"Miami" Will Smith Wayne Isham 1999 $2,000,000 $3,107,072 [citation needed]
"She's a Bitch" Missy Elliott Hype Williams 1999 $2,000,000 $3,107,072 [citation needed]
"Freeek!" George Michael Joseph Kahn 2002 $2,000,000 $2,740,310 [14]
"My Name's Women" Ayumi Hamasaki Wataru Takeishi 2005 $2,000,000 $2,650,196 [15]
"Fairyland" Wataru Takeishi 2005 $2,000,000 $2,650,196 [16]
24 "Green" Kazuyoshi Shimomura 2008 $1,600,000 $2,385,176 [17]
"Unpretty" TLC Paul Hunter 1999 $1,600,000 $2,485,657 [citation needed]
26 "November Rain" Guns N' Roses Andy Morahan 1992 $1,500,000 $2,766,303 [citation needed]
"Girlfriend/Boyfriend" Blackstreet & Janet Jackson (featuring Eve & Ja Rule) Joseph Kahn 1999 $1,500,000 $2,330,304 [citation needed]
"Give Me All Your Luvin'" Madonna (featuring Nicki Minaj & M.I.A.) Megaforce 2012 $1,500,000 $1,690,897 [citation needed]
29 "Here Comes the Hammer" MC Hammer MC Hammer 1990 $1,300,000 $2,575,166 [citation needed]
"Ready or Not" Fugees Marcus Nispel 1996 $1,300,000 $2,145,152 [citation needed]
31 "Work Bitch"[a] Britney Spears Ben Mor 2013 $1,200,000 $1,333,200 [18]
"Stronger" Kanye West Hype Williams 2007 $1,200,000 $1,497,737 [19]
33 "Jewel" Ayumi Hamasaki Wataru Takeishi 2006 $1,100,000 $1,412,133 [citation needed]
34 "Party All Night" Yo Yo Honey Singh & Meet Bros Anthony D'Souza 2013 $1,025,000 $1,655,352 [20]
"Hurt" Oliver Tree Oliver Tree 2018 $1,024,000 $1,055,347 [citation needed]
36 "The Wild Boys" Duran Duran Russell Mulcahy 1984 $1,000,000 $2,491,031 [citation needed]
"Dominion/Mother Russia" The Sisters of Mercy Andrew Eldritch 1988 $1,000,000 $2,188,239 [citation needed]
"Love Is Strong" The Rolling Stones David Fincher 1994 $1,000,000 $1,746,071 [citation needed]
"Waterfalls" TLC F. Gary Gray 1995 $1,000,000 $1,698,406 [citation needed]
"I Get Lonely" (remix) Janet Jackson Paul Hunter 1998 $1,000,000 $1,587,791 [citation needed]
"L'Âme-stram-gram" Mylène Farmer Ching Siu-tung 1999 $1,000,000 $1,553,536 [citation needed]
"Love" S.E.S. Hong JongHo 1999 $1,000,000 $1,553,536 [citation needed]
"Thong Song" (remix) Sisqó & Foxy Brown) Little X 2000 $1,000,000 $1,502,802 [citation needed]
"Don't Say Goodbye" Paulina Rubio The Brothers Strause 2002 $1,000,000 $1,438,853 [21]
"Toxic" Britney Spears Joseph Kahn 2004 $1,000,000 $1,370,155 [22]
"Touch the Sky" Kanye West (featuring Lupe Fiasco) Chris Milk 2006 $1,000,000 $1,283,757 [23]
"Call on Me" Janet Jackson & Nelly Hype Williams 2006 $1,000,000 $1,283,757 [24]
"Virgin Road" Ayumi Hamasaki Masashi Muto 2010 $1,000,000 $1,186,785 [citation needed]
"A New Day Has Come" Celine Dion Dave Meyers 2002 $1,000,000 $1,150,444 [citation needed]
"Cry Cry/Lovey Dovey" T-ara Cha Eun Taek 2011 $1,000,000 $1,150,444 [25]
The Ghost of You My Chemical Romance Marc Webb 2005 $1,000,000 $1,926,700 [citation needed]
53 "God's Plan" Drake Karena Evans 2018 $996,632 $1,027,141 [26]
54 "One Shot" B.A.P Kang Ji Won &
Kim Ki-bum
2013 $915,000 $1,016,565 [25]
55 "Honey Honey" Gangkiz Cha Eun Taek 2012 $900,000 $1,014,538 [27]
56 "Destiny" Infinite Hong Won-ki 2013 $890,000 $988,790 [25]
57 "Kilimanjaro" A. R. Rahman, Javed Ali, & Chinmayi S. Shankar 2010 $875,000 $1,038,437 [20]
58 "Malang" Pritam (featuring Siddharth Mahadevan & Shilpa Rao) Vijay Krishna Acharya 2013 $850,000 $1,655,352 [28]
59 "Heartbeat of Love" Pia Zadora Dominic Sena 1989 $800,000 $1,670,228 [29]
"Saturnz Barz" Gorillaz Jamie Hewlett 2017 $800,000 $844,638 [30]
"Triumph" Wu-Tang Clan Brett Ratner 1997 $800,000 $1,289,718 [31]
62 "California" Mylène Farmer Abel Ferrara 1996 $788,000 $1,300,292 [32]
63 "Applause" Lady Gaga Vinoodh Matadin 2013 $767,000 $852,137 [33]
64 "Push It" Garbage Andrea Giacobbe 1998 $750,000 $1,190,843 [34]
"Oops!... I Did It Again" Britney Spears Nigel Dick 2000 $750,000 $1,127,101 [35]
65 "Sad Promise" Speed Cha Eun Taek 2012 $706,000 $795,849 [36]
66 "Pillow Talking" Lil' Dicky Tony Yacenda 2017 $700,000 $739,058 [37]
67 "Tunak Tunak Tun" Daler Mehndi Daler Mehndi 1998 $610,000 $1,286,949 [38][39]
68 "Ashes to Ashes" David Bowie David Bowie and David Mallet 1980 $581,000 $1,824,894 [40]
69 "Azeem-O-Shaan Shahenshah" A.R. Rahman & Javed Akhtar
(featuring Mohammed Aslam & Bonnie Chakraborty)
Ashutosh Gowariker 2008 $575,000 $1,656,333 [41][42]
70 "Dola Re Dola" Ismail Darbar, Shreya Ghoshal, & KK Sanjay Leela Bhansali 2002 $514,300 $2,398,536 [41][43]
71 "Thriller" Michael Jackson John Landis 1983 $500,000 $1,299,198 [44]
"Piece of Me" Britney Spears Wayne Isham 2008 $500,000 $624,057 [45]
"Hold It Against Me" Jonas Åkerlund 2011 $500,000 $575,222 [46]
"Come Back Home" 2NE1 Dee Shin 2014 $500,000 $546,598 [47]

Timeline[edit]

Timeline of most expensive music videos
Year Title Artist(s) Director Cost (est.) Ref
Nominal Adjusted
1960 "Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya" Naushad, Shakeel Badayuni, Lata Mangeshkar K. Asif $320,000 $2,799,370 [48][49]
1980 "Ashes to Ashes" David Bowie David Bowie and David Mallet $582,000 $1,828,035 [40]
1984 "The Wild Boys" Duran Duran Russell Mulcahy $1,000,000 $2,491,031
1987 "Bad" Michael Jackson Martin Scorsese $2,200,000 $5,011,541
1989 "Express Yourself" Madonna David Fincher $5,000,000 $10,438,926 [3][4]
1995 "Bedtime Story" Madonna Mark Romanek $5,000,000 $8,492,029
1995 "Scream" Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson Mark Romanek $7,000,000 $11,888,840

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Industry insiders from Planet Hollywood reported that the music video's total production and editing costs amounted to $6.5 million, as stipulated by the contract Spears signed in her residency requirements, making it the second most expensive music video of all time. Later, the director disclaimed the costs; they were not nearly to $6.5 million at all.

References[edit]

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ Tewksbury, Drew. "Mark Romanek: 'Never Let Me Go' Director On His Music Video Career : The Record". NPR. Retrieved April 19, 2013.
  2. ^ S, M. "How Hocus Pocus writer Mick Garris went from 'Thriller' extra to Michael Jackson collaborator". EW. Retrieved October 16, 2017.
  3. ^ a b Mclntyre, Hugh (August 24, 2015). "The 5 Most Expensive Music Videos Of All Time". Forbes. Archived from the original on October 10, 2015. Retrieved May 8, 2020.
  4. ^ a b "Six Very Expensive Music Videos (and a cheap one)". This Day in Music. Archived from the original on December 21, 2019. Retrieved May 8, 2020. We blame Michael Jackson. Ever since his 1983 – 13 minute and 43 second long “Thriller” video, artists have attempted to make something bigger and better
  5. ^ "Make Me Like You (Gwen Stefani song)":
  6. ^ Garland, Emma (July 17, 2017). "How Aqua's "Cartoon Heroes" Became One of the Most Expensive Videos Ever". Vice. Archived from the original on August 25, 2019. Retrieved May 8, 2020. ...Is what I wanted to find out, but nobody would speak to me about it so here are a few guesses instead
  7. ^ NME (2001-01-04). "ROLLIN' WITH IT!". NME. Retrieved 2021-04-17.
  8. ^ "Victory (Puff Daddy song)":
  9. ^ "2 Legit 2 Quit (MC Hammer song)":
  10. ^ Flick, Larry (October 16, 1999). "'Rainbow' Displays Array Of Styles". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. 111 (42): 101. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved March 16, 2011.*"The Most Expensive Music Videos Ever Made: Mariah Carey – Heartbreaker". MSN Music. MSN. October 17, 2009. Archived from the original on August 9, 2011. Retrieved March 18, 2011.
  11. ^ "Doesn't Really Matter (Janet Jackson song)":
  12. ^ http://www.vh1.com/news/51609/25-most-expensive-music-videos/
  13. ^ http://www.vh1.com/news/51609/25-most-expensive-music-videos/
  14. ^ "George Michael - "Freeek!"". Online Music Videos. Archived from the original on July 26, 2011. Retrieved May 8, 2020.
  15. ^ Runtagh, Jordan (September 26, 2013). "The 25 Most Expensive Music Videos Ever Made". VH1. Archived from the original on October 1, 2015. Retrieved May 8, 2020.
  16. ^ "制作費2億4千万のPV『fairyland』歌姫浜崎あゆみ" [PV “fairyland” diva Ayumi Hamasaki with a production cost of 240 yen]. Matome (in Japanese). November 8, 2013. Retrieved May 8, 2020.
  17. ^ Corkery, Emily (October 17, 2019). "The jaw-dropping price tag of the most expensive music videos". Finnance 101. Retrieved May 8, 2020.
  18. ^ "Work Bitch (Britney Spears song)":
  19. ^ "Stronger (Kanye West song)":
  20. ^ a b Hora, Sukriti (February 7, 2018). "10 Of The Mose Expensive Songs ever made in Bollywood". Buzz. Archived from the original on March 30, 2019. Retrieved May 8, 2020.
  21. ^ "Don't Say Goodbye (Paulina Rubio's song)":
  22. ^ "Toxic (Britney Spears song)":
  23. ^ "Touch the Sky (Kanye West song)":
  24. ^ "Rangliste: Die teuersten Musikvideos aller Zeiten". Die Welt (in German). April 27, 2007. Retrieved September 10, 2017.
  25. ^ a b c "Five of the Most Expensive K-Pop Music Videos in History". K Star Live. June 12, 2019. Retrieved May 8, 2020.
  26. ^ Reed, Ryan (February 16, 2018). "Watch Drake's Million-Dollar Donation Spree in 'God's Plan' Video". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on October 24, 2019. Retrieved May 8, 2020. Rapper buys groceries, writes checks to Miami institutions in heartfelt clip for ‘Scary Hours’ single
  27. ^ "10 Ridiculously Expensive K-Pop MVs That Cost A Fortune To Make: Some of these MVs cost almost $1,000,000 USD!". Korea Boo. Retrieved May 8, 2020.
  28. ^ "Pritam chooses Dhoom 3 over Ek Tha Tiger". Bollywood Hungama News Network. Bollywood Hungama. 15 September 2013. Retrieved 16 December 2013.
  29. ^ Mark, 2011, pp. 442.
  30. ^ Brown, Lane (April 25, 2017). "Damon Albarn and Noel Gallagher on the Making of Gorillaz's 'We Got the Power'". Vulture New York. Archived from the original on April 29, 2017. Retrieved May 8, 2020.
  31. ^ "Triumph (Wu-Tang Clan song)":
  32. ^ "California (Mylène Farmer song)":
  33. ^ Matadin, Vinoodh; Lamsweerde, Inez van (2013-08-19), Lady Gaga: Applause (Short, Fantasy, Music, Musical), Lady Gaga, Christina Grady, Brian Stover, retrieved 2021-03-07
  34. ^ "Push It (Garbage song)":
  35. ^ "Oops!... I Did It Again (song)":
  36. ^ "Sad Promise (Speed song)":
  37. ^ Gaudette, Emily (February 16, 2018). "$700,000 Lil Dicky 'Pillow Talking' New Video Stars John. C Reilly and a CGI brain". Inverse. Archived from the original on July 13, 2018. Retrieved May 8, 2020. 'Pillow Talking' is reportedly the 49th most-expensive music video of all time
  38. ^ "Better luck next time: Daler Mehndi". Rashtriya Sahara. Sahara India Mass Communication. 6 (7–12): 147. 1998. With sum of Rs 2.5 Crores Daler was supposed to make Music Video.
  39. ^ "Official exchange rate (LCU per US$, period average)". World Bank. 1998. Retrieved December 5, 2018.
  40. ^ a b "Ashes to Ashes (David Bowie song)":
  41. ^ a b Biswas, Indraneel (May 19, 2018). "Here Are The 12 Most Expensive Songs Ever Made In Bollywood". UCNews. Archived from the original on April 1, 2019. Retrieved May 8, 2020.
  42. ^ "Official exchange rate (LCU per US$, period average)". World Bank. 2008. Retrieved 13 December 2018.
  43. ^ "Official exchange rate (LCU per US$, period average)". World Bank. 2002. Retrieved 13 December 2018.
  44. ^ Celizic, Mike (April 26, 2008). "Director: Funds for 'Thriller' were tough to raise". Today. Retrieved July 25, 2021.
  45. ^ "Piece of Me (Britney Spears song)":
  46. ^ "Hold It Against Me (Britney Spears song)":
  47. ^ Jun, R. (March 5, 2014). "Yang Hyun Suk Explains the Concept for 2NE1's "Come Back Home" Music Video". Soompi. Retrieved May 8, 2020.
  48. ^ Warsi, Shakil (2009). Mughal-E-Azam. Rupa & Company. p. 57. ISBN 978-81-291-1321-4.
  49. ^ "Official exchange rate (LCU per US$, period average)". World Bank. 1960. Retrieved 13 December 2018.

Print sources[edit]