Special Report

25 of the Most Iconic Music Videos Ever Made

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Virtual Insanity
> Released in: 1996
> Artist: Jamiroquai

Shot with movable walls and a stationary gray floor, this futuristic video from director Jonathan Glazer created the illusion that objects on the floor were moving on their own, as lead singer Jay Kay danced through the shots. It was nominated for 10 MTV video music awards, of which it won four, including Video of the Year, Best Visual Effects, and Best Cinematography.

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Praise You
> Released in: 1999
> Artist: Fatboy Slim

This low-budget, guerrilla-style music video by Spike Jonze, who went on to direct such films as “Adaptation” and “Her,” was shot on location without permission outside an L.A. movie theater. It features a flash mob of dancers in aerobics attire performing a bizarre routine to Fatboy Slim’s song, as bemused passersby look on and a theater employee attempts to turn off the music. It is often ranked as one of the best music videos of all time.

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> Released in: 2000
> Artist: Red Hot Chili Peppers

Stylized as a 3D video game in which avatars of the band members encounter obstacles in a variety of California landscapes before being swallowed by an earthquake, this video by directorial team Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Farris reached 1 billion views on YouTube in 2022. The fictional portrayal inspired a real video game that was released in March 2022.

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Work It
> Released in: 2002
> Artist: Missy Elliott

One of the most decorated female rappers in history, Missy Elliott is known for outlandish visionary music videos that feature unapologetic eroticism and body positivity. Directed by Dave Meyers, “Work It” features Elliott covered in live honeybees, as well as the artist in several surreal landscapes and gravity-defying poses.

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Feel Good Inc.
> Released in: 2005
> Artist: Gorillaz featuring De La Soul

This video from the virtual band Gorillaz portrays an animated band member, 2-D, as he attempts to convince himself to just “feel good” as he wakes up to the dark state of the world, and attempts to wake others. Exploring themes of intellectual freedom and the mass media’s role in influencing culture, the video won two MTV video music awards for Best Special Effects and Breakthrough Video.

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