Britney Spears, 1998 – “…Baby One More Time”
Brittney Spears is comparable to Madonna’s “Borderline” video in that it empowered women. A fair amount of controversy surrounded Spear’s sexy school-girl outfit, it’s the top iconic moment of her music video legacy. Spear’s set the tone and inspired other female singers to follow in her footsteps. Artists like Jessica Simpson and Christina Aguilera have added to the movement and are still going strong.
Spice Girls, 1996 – “Wannabe”
Who can forget Ginger, Scary, Baby, Sporty, and Posh Spice? Girls around the world looked up to young women for inspiration and empowerment. Many were drawn to the Spice Girls and their memorable songs, popular videos, and stellar fashion style that made “girl power” a way of life. “Wannabe” was a huge influence on artists like Lady Gaga, Haim, and Charlie XCX.
Madonna, 1989 – “Like a Prayer”
With some of the most memorable music videos ever made, Madonna was always controversial. She drew attention from Pope John Paul II who wanted the music video “Like a Prayer” to be boycotted, claiming Madonna was behaving sacrilegious and inappropriate. In “Like a Prayer” her video featured a love story that pushed the boundaries and included an interracial couple. Madonna had intended the video to cause a stir and it still remains as one of the most interesting, creative, and infamous music vids ever made. Pepsi would even join in on the fun later on.
Peter Gabriel, 1986 – “Sledgehammer”
“Sledgehammer” is a historical piece of art. The music video was cutting edge and used claymation, pixilation, and stop motion animation which led it to win 9x at the MTV Video Music Awards in 1987. The video paved the way and opened the door for bands and artists to get creative with visuals in their music videos.
A-ha, 1985 – “Take On Me”
With over 1 billion views on YouTube, “Take On Me” takes the top spot as one of the most innovative and creative MTV music videos ever. Many don’t know this, but it’s actually the second version that made it to TV screens. The video used rotoscoping and pencil-sketch animations to tell a romance story that led “A-ha” to the MTV Video Music Awards stage in 1986 where they picked up six awards.