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Top-10 of the Most Expensive Music Videos Ever Made

Top-10 of the Most Expensive Music Videos Ever Made

Have you ever thought about which music video is the most expensive?

I've heard before that the most expensive clip was "From Yesterday" by 30 Seconds to Mars and I truly believed these rumors. People said that its production cost more than $13 million. How surprised was I when I found the list of the most expensive music clips ever made. There were no mentions about Jared Leto or any of his music clips. And as the last video in this list cost $500K, "From Yesterday" was even cheaper. What a surprise!

But then what was the most expensive music video and who is that brave singer, who decided to spend so much money on it? Let's find out! I give you the list of the most expensive music videos.


Michael & Janet Jackson - "Scream"

$7 million
Michael & Janet Jackson -
The most expensive music video of all time is "Scream" by Michael and Janet Jackson. The production team spent two weeks and $7 million to create sci-fi decorations for this video.

"Scream" by Michael and Janet Jackson is the most expensive music video of all time. And it's not a surprise, considering that the production crew had to build a whole spaceship. Two weeks and $7 million were spent to create sci-fi decorations for this video. As a result, the Jackson duo got their own space transport with stone garden, art gallery, video games, sports ground and exciting cosmic scenes outside the illuminator.

Want to know, why this black & white video was so expensive? Well, in our highly technological times this clip would be much cheaper and the work on it would last only a few days. But, let's agree, in 1995 (when the clip was made) to do something like that was really a thing. And let's agree, the visual effects are not so bad"...

By the way, the plot of this video had a strong personal message: they say, it was Michael's answer to accusations of children abuse in 1993. The Jacksons duo opposed to the media slander and public misleading. But this attempt to protect Michael's personal honor was interpreted badly.

Meanwhile, the director Mark Romanek said that this is a story of many famous people: they are persecuted by society. On the plot, Janet and Michael are trapped and they want to get their freedom back.

The idea for this video was borrowed from Romanek's favorite movie "2001: A Space Odyssey" and from a novel "The Holy Terrors".

Nevertheless, efforts of the directing team were not useless: the video got Grammy and three MTV Video Music Awards. And we can enjoy a great song, some hot moves by the Jackson's Family and world's most expensive music video.


Madonna - "Express Yourself"

$5 million
The third most expensive music video ever made is "Express Yourself" by Madonna. $5 million was spend to create it in 1989.

Madonna also gets the third place in this list. This time she was working with a famous Hollywood director David Fincher. Only this can make the video special if not to mention the expenses.

This time our star looked for inspiration in old movies, that is the 1927 silent anti-utopia called "Metropolis". By the way, this sci-fi movie is considered the greatest silent movie ever. As the clip appeared on the screens, MTV got exclusive rights to broadcast it for three weeks. They showed Madonna's video once every hour.

The clip shows us hot and glamorous Madonna dominating over a bunch of muscular workers. Warren Beatty, the ex-boyfriend of the pop-star, was offered to be one of these men, but he refused. He said that it was only an attempt to demonstrate Madonna's sexual prowess. Well, see for yourself.


Madonna - “Bedtime Story”

$5 million
Madonna's “Bedtime Story” music video is one of the most expensive in the history. It cost $5 million in 1994.

Yes, Madonna again. It seems she wanted to dominate in this list too


Michael Jackson - “Black or White”

$4 million
One of the most expensive music videos is "Black or White" by Michael Jackson. Some movie and cartoon stars starred in this clip.

Missed Michael already? It seems that he and Madonna were competing in spending money on their music videos. Despite the pop-diva is winning in amount, we must give a credit to Jackson. And so, the fifth place and the clip for $4 million.

What can we say about this video? Hot song, famous Michael's moves, well-known actors like George Wendt and Tess Harper, and a cute boy – Macaulay Culkin (apparently the "Home alone" premiere hadn't gone unnoticed). The most famous cartoon family was also in this clip – in the end you can see Homer and Bart Simpsons.

Back then in 1991, the premiere of "Black or White" video saw about 500 million people from 27 countries. I think that's really amazing.

The critics' views were different: some laughed at Michael, saying he changed his skin color and now is singing about equality among people. Others said it was the best song of the 90th. And what do you think?


Guns’N’Roses - “Estranged”

$4 million
One of the most expensive music clips ever made is "Estranged" by Guns’N’Roses with $4 million spent on its production.

And so we're out of Madonna-Jackson circle. The clips of this legendary group are always grand. They usually tell us a whole story, mostly a hard one. And Estranged wasn't an exception. If you watch it to the end, you'll understand why they spent so much money on it. They say it's a part of the trilogy along with "Don't cry" and "November rain" – these videos are combined with the shooting techniques.

And what's more important (and I think it's really amazing) these guys don't have to use some complicated visual effects to create an impressive picture. The grandiosity of real-life scenes is so amazing. And concert parts make me think only about one thing: "Damn! Why didn't I had an opportunity to be there and to feel it on my own?".


Gwen Stefani - “Make Me Like You”

$4 million
"Make Me Like You" by Gwen Stefani is one of the most expensive music videos and one of the newest on the list. It was shot during the live performance at the 58th Grammy awards.

Apparently, it's the newest clip in our top 10 most expensive music videos list. It was made in 2016. An interesting fact is that the video was shot during Gwen's live performance at the 58th Grammy awards. So this means everything was shot with only one try? That is really great!

Since they shot it in only four minutes, we can call it one of the shortest in production (if not to mention six days of rehearsals). And even though the crew rehearsed a lot, there were some mishaps. But in all, the video turned out to be really bright and nice.

Turns out Gwen paid $12 million for this clip. That means it is the most expensive video ever made. But $8 million were spent on airtime during Grammy awards and we're talking about money spent on production only, so… enjoy


Puff Daddy, Notorious B.I.G. Busta Rhymes - "Victory"

$2,7 million
Puff Daddy, Notorious B.I.G. Busta Rhymes shot one the most expensive music videos ever for their song "Victory". The plot of the clip was inspired by “The Running Man” movie.

These guys made a real blockbuster with explosions, damaged cars, guns and some mysticism. And it's not surprising knowing that it is a referral to Schwarzenegger's "The Running Man" movie. The plot gives us a gloomy anti-utopian future. The city is ruled by some evil men, the democratic institutions are destroyed. People like to watch some bloody reality shows like the "Running man" where a man is a hunting object.

I must say that I really liked Busta Rhymes' character. He looks a bit like The Crow if you know what I mean.

And once again – a nice surprise: you can enjoy the play of two great actors Danny DeVito and Dennis Hopper!


MC Hammer - 2 Legit 2 Quit

$2,5 million
MC Hammer with his "2 legit 2 quit" clip is in top-10 of the most expensive music videos ever. The uncut version of the video lasts for 15 minutes.

Hello, nostalgy, even if you were born much later


Die another day - Madonna

Cost: $6,1 million

The second place goes to Madonna and her "Die another day" clip. It costs more than $6 million. It was the Swedish team called Traktor who worked on this one. Director Ole Sanders recalled that one day they got a letter written by Madonna herself. She asked them to work on this music video with her. Of course at first, they thought it was a joke. But it wasn't.

In 2002 when the work on video started, the new James Bond "Die another day" movie was about to appear on the big screen. Apparently, it influenced the clip: there are no obvious similarities, but you can feel the connection anyway.

Sanders mentioned that Madonna was very serious about this work. She kept abreast of the video and always gave some edits to the plot.

They say the clip tells us a story of her life with Sean Penn and violence she experienced in this marriage. I think it's a bit hard to see this connection if not to mention a bunch of men torturing Madonna…

There is also one interesting fact about "Die Another Day" video: The Jewish community was angry with this clip because of the Jewish symbols used in it. Apparently, the directing team misinterpreted them.

Nevertheless, Madonna's fans liked it a lot. As always Madonna appeared as a strong woman. She got “Soundtrack Video of the Year" trophy at the 2003 MVPA Awards for this clip.


Mariah Carey & Jay-Z - Heartbreaker

$2,5 million
"Heartbreaker" clip by Mariah Carey & Jay-Z is on the list of the most expensive music videos in the history. It refers to Enter the Dragon movie and to “Grease” musical.

The last one in our top of the most expensive music videos of all time. In addition to being one of the most expensive, this video is one of the most favorite with Mariah's fans. As for me, I find it a bit strange, cause she had much better ones in her career. But it's only my opinion.

They say it refers to 1972 Enter the Dragon movie (the fight in the lady's room) and to "Grease" musical (scenes in the cinema).

It's another music video where you can see a famous actor. This time it's Jerry O'Connel.

And though the plot is really simple – boyfriend's betrayal, a hot rival, noisy girlfriends and the victory of a shy girl – this story is really common for pop-music from the 90th.

Later another video for this song was made. This time Jay-Z was in it, too.