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 most expensive of all time at the time of production as of May 2020.

This page lists the most expensive music videos ever made, with costs of US$500,000 or more. David Bowie's video for the 1980 single "Ashes to Ashes" was the first music video to exceed this sum. Taylor Swift’s music video for the 2019 single ME! is the newest music video on the list. Janet Jackson leads with six videos on the list, while Michael Jackson, Britney Spears and Ayumi Hamasaki have five each. Ayumi Hamasaki, T-ara, S.E.S., 2NE1 and B.A.P are also the only Asian artists to appear on this list. 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 dollars, 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 is listed as most expensive music videos.
The music video of "Love" (1999) by S.E.S. (Hangul: 에스이에스) became the first-ever and most expensive music video by a Korean artist.
  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 adjusted for inflation
Rank Title Artist(s) Director Year Cost (est.) Ref(s).
Adjusted Nominal
1 "Scream" Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson Mark Romanek 1995 $11,745,141 $7,000,000 [3]
[4]
2 "Die Another Day" Madonna Traktor 2002 $8,670,916 $6,100,000
3 "Express Yourself" David Fincher 1989 $10,312,752 $5,000,000
"Bedtime Story" Mark Romanek 1995 $8,389,386 $5,000,000
5 "Estranged" Guns N' Roses Andy Morahan 1993 $8,849,343 $5,000,000
6 "Black or White" Michael Jackson John Landis 1991 $7,508,429 $4,000,000
"Make Me Like You" Gwen Stefani Sophie Muller 2016 $4,261,231 $4,000,000 [5]
8 "Cartoon Heroes" Aqua Thomas Masin 2000 $5,196,232 $3,500,000 [6]
9 "Victory" Puff Daddy
(featuring The Notorious B.I.G. & Busta Rhymes)
Marcus Nispel 1998 $4,235,218 $2,700,000 [7]
10 "2 Legit 2 Quit" MC Hammer Rupert Wainwright 1991 $4,692,768 $2,500,000 [8]
"Heartbreaker" Mariah Carey (featuring Jay-Z) Brett Ratner 1999 $3,836,896 $2,500,000 [9]
"Doesn't Really Matter" Janet Jackson Joseph Kahn 1999 $3,836,896 $2,500,000 [10]
13 "What's It Gonna Be?!" Busta Rhymes (featuring Janet Jackson) Hype Williams 1999 $3,683,420 $2,400,000
14 "It's All Coming Back to Me Now" Celine Dion Nigel Dick 1996 $3,749,395 $2,300,000
15 "Bad" Michael Jackson Martin Scorsese 1987 $4,950,967 $2,200,000
16 "Larger Than Life" Backstreet Boys Joseph Kahn 1999 $3,222,992 $2,100,000
17 "Remember the Time" Michael Jackson John Singleton 1992 $3,643,823 $2,000,000
"Miami" Will Smith Wayne Isham 1999 $3,069,517 $2,000,000
"She's a Bitch" Missy Elliott Hype Williams 1999 $3,069,517 $2,000,000
"Freeek!" George Michael Joseph Kahn 2004 $2,707,188 $2,000,000 [11]
"My Name's Women" Ayumi Hamasaki Wataru Takeishi 2005 $2,618,163 $2,000,000 [12]
"Fairyland" Wataru Takeishi 2005 $2,618,163 $2,000,000 [13]
23 "Green" Kazuyoshi Shimomura 2008 $2,094,531 $1,600,000 [14]
"Unpretty" TLC Paul Hunter 1999 $2,455,613 $1,600,000
25 "November Rain" Guns N' Roses Andy Morahan 1992 $2,732,867 $1,500,000
"Girlfriend/Boyfriend" Blackstreet & Janet Jackson (featuring Eve & Ja Rule) Joseph Kahn 1999 $2,302,137 $1,500,000
"Give Me All Your Luvin'" Madonna (featuring Nicki Minaj & M.I.A.) Megaforce 2012 $1,670,459 $1,500,000
28 "Here Comes the Hammer" MC Hammer MC Hammer 1990 $2,544,040 $1,300,000
"Ready or Not" Fugees Marcus Nispel 1996 $2,119,223 $1,300,000
30 "Work Bitch"[a] Britney Spears Ben Mor 2013 $1,317,086 $1,200,000 [15]
"Stronger" Kanye West Hype Williams 2007 $1,479,634 $1,200,000 [16]
32 "Jewel" Ayumi Hamasaki Wataru Takeishi 2006 $1,395,064 $1,100,000
33 "Party All Night" Yo Yo Honey Singh & Meet Bros Anthony D'Souza 2013 $1,023,926 $1,025,000 [17]
"Hurt" Oliver Tree Oliver Tree 2018 $1,042,591 $1,024,000
35 "Thriller" Michael Jackson Russell Mulcahy 1983 $2,566,990 $1,000,000
"The Wild Boys" Duran Duran 1984 $2,460,922 $1,000,000
"Dominion/Mother Russia" The Sisters of Mercy Andrew Eldritch 1988 $2,161,790 $1,000,000
"Love Is Strong" The Rolling Stones David Fincher 1994 $1,724,966 $1,000,000
"Waterfalls" TLC F. Gary Gray 1995 $1,677,877 $1,000,000
"I Get Lonely" (remix) Janet Jackson Paul Hunter 1998 $1,568,599 $1,000,000
"L'Âme-stram-gram" Mylène Farmer Ching Siu-tung 1999 $1,534,758 $1,000,000
"Love" S.E.S. Tak Jae-hoon 1999 $1,534,758 $1,000,000
"Thong Song" (remix) Sisqó (with Foxy Brown) Little X 2000 $1,484,638 $1,000,000
"Don't Say Goodbye" Paulina Rubio The Brothers Strause 2002 $1,421,462 $1,000,000
"Toxic" Britney Spears Joseph Kahn 2004 $1,353,594 $1,000,000 [18]
"Touch the Sky" Kanye West (featuring Lupe Fiasco) Chris Milk 2006 $1,268,240 $1,000,000 [19]
"Call on Me" Janet Jackson (with Nelly) Hype Williams 2006 $1,268,240 $1,000,000
"Virgin Road" Ayumi Hamasaki Masashi Muto 2010 $1,172,440 $1,000,000
"A New Day Has Come" Celine Dion Dave Meyers 2011 $1,136,538 $1,000,000
"Cry Cry/Lovey Dovey" T-ara Cha Eun Taek 2011 $1,136,538 $1,000,000 [20]
"ME!" Taylor Swift Taylor Swift &
Dave Meyers
2019 $1,000,000 $1,000,000 [21]
52 "God's Plan" Drake Karena Evans 2018 $1,014,726 $996,632 [22]
53 "One Shot" B.A.P Kang Ji Won &
Kim Ki-bum
2013 $1,004,278 $915,000 [20]
54 "Honey Honey" Gangkiz Cha Eun Taek 2012 $1,002,276 $900,000 [23]
55 "Destiny" Infinite Hong Won-ki 2013 $976,839 $890,000 [20]
56 "Kilimanjaro" A. R. Rahman, Javed Ali, & Chinmayi S. Shankar 2010 $1,025,885 $875,000 [17]
57 "Malang" Pritam (featuring Siddharth Mahadevan & Shilpa Rao) Vijay Krishna Acharya 2013 $853,271 $850,000 [24]
58 "Heartbeat of Love" Pia Zadora Dominic Sena 1989 $1,650,040 $800,000 [25]
"Saturnz Barz" Gorillaz Jamie Hewlett 2017 $834,428 $800,000 [26]
"Triumph" Wu-Tang Clan Brett Ratner 1997 $1,274,129 $800,000 [27]
61 "California" Mylène Farmer Abel Ferrara 1996 $1,284,575 $788,000 [28]
62 "Push It" Garbage Andrea Giacobbe 1998 $1,176,450 $750,000 [29]
"Oops!... I Did It Again" Britney Spears Nigel Dick 2000 $1,113,478 $750,000 [30]
64 "Sad Promise" Speed Cha Eun Taek 2012 $786,230 $706,000 [31]
65 "Pillow Talking" Lil' Dicky Tony Yacenda 2017 $730,125 $700,000 [32]
66 "Tunak Tunak Tun" Daler Mehndi Daler Mehndi 1998 $1,391,697 $610,000 [33]
67 "Ashes to Ashes" David Bowie David Bowie & David Mallet 1980 $1,391,697 $582,000 [34]
68 "Azeem-O-Shaan Shahenshah" A.R. Rahman & Javed Akhtar
(featuring Mohammed Aslam & Bonnie Chakraborty)
Ashutosh Gowariker 2008 $861,128 $575,000 [35]
69 "Dola Re Dola" Ismail Darbar, Shreya Ghoshal, & KK Sanjay Leela Bhansali 2002 $1,178,982 $515,000
70 "Piece of Me" Britney Spears Wayne Isham 2008 $616,514 $500,000 [36]
"Hold It Against Me" Jonas Åkerlund 2011 $568,269 $500,000 [37]
"Come Back Home" 2NE1 Dee Shin 2014 $539,992 $500,000 [38]

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. ^ 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. ^ "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. ^ "Victory (Puff Daddy song)":
  8. ^ "2 Legit 2 Quit (MC Hammer song)":
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^ "Doesn't Really Matter (Janet Jackson song)":
  11. ^ "George Michael - "Freeek!"". Online Music Videos. Archived from the original on July 26, 2011. Retrieved May 8, 2020.
  12. ^ 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.
  13. ^ "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.
  14. ^ Corkery, Emily (October 17, 2019). "The jaw-dropping price tag of the most expensive music videos". Finnance 101. Retrieved May 8, 2020.
  15. ^ "Work Bitch (Britney Spears song)":
  16. ^ "Stronger (Kanye West song)":
  17. ^ 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.
  18. ^ "Toxic (Britney Spears song)":
  19. ^ "Touch the Sky (Kanye West song)":
  20. ^ a b c "Five of the Most Expensive K-Pop Music Videos in History". K Star Live. June 12, 2019. Retrieved May 8, 2020.
  21. ^ Knopper, Steve (May 13, 2019). "The Economics of Taylor Swift's 'ME!' and Music Videos In the Digital Age". Billboard. Archived from the original on October 23, 2019. Retrieved May 8, 2020.
  22. ^ 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
  23. ^ "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.
  24. ^ "Pritam chooses Dhoom 3 over Ek Tha Tiger". Bollywood Hungama News Network. Bollywood Hungama. 15 September 2013. Retrieved 16 December 2013.
  25. ^ Mark, 2011, pp. 442.
  26. ^ 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.
  27. ^ "Triumph (Wu-Tang Clan song)":
  28. ^ "California (Mylène Farmer song)":
  29. ^ "Push It (Garbage song)":
  30. ^ "Oops!... I Did It Again (song)":
  31. ^ "Sad Promise (Speed song)":
  32. ^ 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
  33. ^ "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.
  34. ^ "Ashes to Ashes (David Bowie song)":
  35. ^ 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.
  36. ^ "Piece of Me (Britney Spears song)":
  37. ^ "Hold It Against Me (Britney Spears song)":
  38. ^ Jun, R. (March 5, 2014). "Yang Hyun Suk Explains the Concept for 2NE1's "Come Back Home" Music Video". Soompi. Retrieved May 8, 2020.

Print sources[edit]