12 Most Expensive Music Videos of All Time: A Look at the Most Lavish and High-Budget Productions

Music videos have become an integral part of the music industry, and artists are increasingly looking to produce high-quality videos to complement their songs. While some music videos are produced on a shoestring budget, others are created with no expense spared. In this article, we’ll take a look at the 10 most expensive music videos of all time, exploring what made them so costly and how they have impacted the music industry.

“Scream” by Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson (1995)

Cost: $7 million

Directed by Mark Romanek, “Scream” was released in 1995 and is widely regarded as one of the most iconic music videos of all time. The video was filmed in black and white and features Michael Jackson and his sister Janet dancing in space. With its elaborate sets, high-tech special effects, and futuristic costumes, “Scream” remains one of the most expensive music videos ever produced.

“Die Another Day” by Madonna (2002)

$6.1 million

Madonna makes the list again with her video for “Die Another Day,” which was produced in 2002. The video was directed by Traktor and features a range of high-tech special effects, including a robotic suit and a body-scanning machine. With its elaborate sets and advanced visual effects, “Die Another Day” remains one of the most expensive music videos ever produced.

“Make Me Like You” by Gwen Stefani (2016)

$6 million

Gwen Stefani’s “Make Me Like You” video was released in 2016 and was created entirely live during a commercial break for the Grammy Awards. Directed by Sophie Muller, the video features Stefani dancing on a rotating set and was filmed in real-time using multiple cameras. With its high-energy dance routines and complex choreography, “Make Me Like You” is one of the most expensive live music videos ever produced.

“Express Yourself” by Madonna (1989)

$5 million

Madonna’s “Express Yourself” was released in 1989 and features the singer dressed in a range of elaborate outfits, including a pinstripe suit and a metallic corset. Directed by David Fincher, the video was produced with no expense spared and features a range of lavish sets, including a giant metronome and a replica of Fritz Lang’s “Metropolis” set.

“Bedtime story” also cost $4M, whiklst some sources say £2.5m, which was closer to the exchange rate in 1995, was directed by Mark Romanek and featured surreal imagery inspired by the work of artist Frida Kahlo. The video’s cost was largely due to the use of groundbreaking computer-generated graphics and special effects.

“Black or White” by Michael Jackson (1991)

$4 million

“Black or White” was released in 1991 and features Michael Jackson dancing with a range of people from different cultures and backgrounds. The video was directed by John Landis and features a range of elaborate sets and special effects, including morphing faces and a giant globe. With its message of unity and inclusion, “Black or White” remains one of the most iconic music videos ever produced.

“What’s My Name?” by Rihanna ft. Drake –

$4 million

Rihanna’s music video for “What’s My Name?” featuring Drake, released in 2010, cost $4 million to produce. The video, directed by Philip Andelman, features Rihanna dancing and singing in various locations, including a brightly-lit alleyway and a neon-lit club. The video’s stunning visual effects and Rihanna’s stunning performance make it one of the most expensive music videos ever produced.

“Make Me Like You” by Gwen Stefani

$4 million

Gwen Stefani’s “Make Me Like You” music video, released in 2016, cost $4 million to produce. The video, directed by Sophie Muller, features Stefani performing a song and dance routine in a series of different sets, including a diner, a bar, and a roller-skating rink. The video’s high production values and Stefani’s stunning performance make it one of the most expensive music videos ever made.

“Bad Romance” by Lady Gaga

$2.5 million

Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” music video, released in 2009, cost $2.5 million to produce. The video, directed by Francis Lawrence, features Gaga as a fashion icon, performing a series of provocative dance routines in a variety of elaborate costumes. The video’s bold visuals and Gaga’s theatrical performance make it one of the most expensive from all her releases.

“Heartbreaker” by Mariah Carey feat. Jay-Z (1999)

Cost: $2.5 million

Mariah Carey’s “Heartbreaker” video was released in 1999 and features the singer in a range of glamorous outfits, including a diamond-encrusted bra. Directed by Brett Ratner, the video was produced with no expense spared and features a range of elaborate sets, including a casino and a futuristic nightclub.

“Victory” by Puff Daddy and the Family ft. The Notorious B.I.G. and Busta Rhymes

$2.4 million

“Victory” by Puff Daddy and the Family ft. The Notorious B.I.G. and Busta Rhymes was released in 1998 and featured an epic battle scene inspired by the movie Gladiator. The video’s cost was largely due to the elaborate sets, costumes, and special effects used to bring the battle to life.

“M.I.L.F. $” by Fergie

$2.2 million

Released in 2016, “M.I.L.F. $” by Fergie features a star-studded cast of celebrity moms, including Kim Kardashian, Chrissy Teigen, and Ciara. The video’s cost was largely due to the elaborate sets and costumes used throughout the production.

“We Found Love” by Rihanna feat. Calvin Harris (2011)

Cost: $1.5 million

Rihanna’s “We Found Love” video was released in 2011 and features the singer and actor Dudley O’Shaughnessy as a couple engaged in a turbulent relationship.

Author Profile

Mark Boardman
Mark Boardman
Mark Boardman is an established showbiz journalist and freelance copywriter whose work has been published in Business Insider, Daily Mail, Bloomberg, MTV, Buzzfeed and The New York Post amongst other press. Often spotted on the red carpet at celebrity events and film screenings, Mark is a regular guest on BBC Radio London and in-demand for his opinions for media outlets including Newsweek. His TV credits include This Morning, The One Show and T4. Email Mark@MarkMeets.com

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