From “Vogue” To “Hung Up,” Madonna’s 25 Best Videos
Few artists have managed to leave as big an impact on pop music as Madonna. The living legend has unleashed countless hits over the course of her lengthy career. And part of what makes her such an enduring icon is her ability to bring anthems to life both in video and onstage. Starting her career at the dawn of MTV, she helped pioneer the art of the music video. And so many of her best are truly iconic and timeless.
Over the years, she has constantly shifted her image to suit each release. From exploring Venice (and posing with a lion) in “Like A Virgin” to spending the day with a group of mermen in “Cherish” and dancing in a studio for “Hung Up,” each lives on as a perfectly preserved moment. In honor of the hitmaker’s 60th birthday, we took on the momentous task of ranking her 25 best videos. Take a look and let us know if you agree with our final lineup below.
25. “Bad Girl” – 1993
Murder, one-night stands and a guardian angel come together in one of the hitmaker’s most over-the-top and underrated visuals.
24. “Rain” – 1993
Appearing on set for a shoot, the superstar gets intimate with a costar but remains the absolute center of attention. Featuring gorgeous set pieces and stunning cinematography, this is sheer class.
23. “Love Profusion” – 2003
Putting a whimsical spin on early millennium graphics, this is a campy delight and proves that Madonna can in fact lay on water and walk on air. Oh yeah, she is also friends with a horde of fairies.
22. “Girl Gone Wild” – 2012
The Queen defies gravity, locks herself up in chains, features a slew of sexy back-up dancers and pulls off some impressive choreography in the striking black-and-white release.
21. “Give Me All Your Luvin'” – 2012
Who else can say they have hired Nicki Minaj and M.I.A. as personal cheerleaders? Also, seeing Madonna strut her stuff with a pram is utterly iconic.
20. “Music” – 2000
The animated portion of this video alone is everything. In mere moments the crime-fighting diva flies out of a limo, transforms into a mermaid, undergoes a costume change, spins some hits at a club and travels through space. In real time, she turns a limo into a strip club and serves fierce looks while popping a bottle of champagne.
19. “Lucky Star” – 1984
Serving classic ’80s vibes, this is evidence of the then-rising star’s undeniable appeal. Appearing against a white background with two dancers, she exudes confidence and star power.
18. “Take A Bow” – 1994
In “Living For Love,” Madonna is a matador. Here she finds herself in the middle of a relationship with one. The cinematic release charts the tragic highs and lows of the love affair
17. “Erotica” – 1992
Introducing her alter-ego, Mistress Dita, the sensual video brought soft porn to the mainstream.
16. “La Isla Bonita” – 1987
Queen of the crossover hit. In the video for her Top 5 Latin smash, the icon plays two starkly different characters and crashes a street party in a vibrant flamenco dress.
15. “Human Nature” – 1995
The Queen of Pop wrapped herself up in black latex and executed some memorable choreography with a horde of dancers in the striking release. She’s not sorry, it’s human nature.
14. “Nothing Really Matters” – 1999
Exploring parallels between being a geisha and a pop star, the living legend delivered striking looks and a visual lush with deeper meaning for her underrated Ray Of Light anthem.
13. “Bedtime Story” – 1995
The Bjork-assisted floorfiller was treated with an appropriately surreal and stunning video that is rumored to have cost upwards of $5 million.
12. “Hung Up” – 2005
Simple but exceedingly iconic, “Hung Up” is easily one of Madonna’s most enduring releases from the new millennium. And the retro costuming and studio scenes in the video make for one of her most memorable videos of all time.
11. Open Your Heart” – 1986
Exotic dancer Madonna befriends a young boy who attempts to get into her club. If this isn’t an Academy Award-worthy plot, I don’t know what is. She also vamps onstage in her timeless cone bra and executes some daring choreography on a chair.
10. “What It Feels Like For A Girl” – 2001
After busting an octogenarian out of a nursing home, the pair go on a wild crime spree. Thelma and Louise could never.
9. “Cherish” – 1989
Madonna hits the beach for a good time with a crew of sexy mermen in the playful video.
8. “Like A Virgin” – 1984
The breakout star tossed on a short wedding dress and explored the streets of Venice in the timeless release. Oh, yeah. She also posed with a lion.
7. “Material Girl” – 1985
Channeling Marilyn Monroe in one of the most iconic videos ever, the pink-clad legend put a unique spin on “Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend.”
6. “Frozen” – 1998
A desert has never felt icier. Shot is cool shades of blue, the witchy video received critical acclaim.
5. “Justify My Love” – 1990
So overt that it was banned on MTV at the time of release, the “Justify My Love” video embraces a sexual fluidity and is one of Madge’s most daring.
4. “Papa Don’t Preach” – 1986
Showing off a more serious side of her artistry, the hitmaker played the role of a pregnant teen who has to tell her father the news. Highlighting her relationship with the father, it creates tension but ultimately concludes with a positive message.
3. “Express Yourself” – 1989
Set in a futuristic city, the Queen looks down on a horde of working and dancing men while stroking a cat in one of her most expensive videos to date. Exploring concepts of feminine power, it is a tour de force from the hitmaker.
2. “Like A Prayer” – 1989
Madonna romances a saint in the controversial “Like A Prayer” video. Featuring an interracial relationship and religious iconography, it was early evidence of the icon’s ability to incite controversy but embed artful messages in all that she does.
1. “Vogue” – 1990
Strike a pose. Helping to mainstream an underground dance craze, the exceptionally fashionable video would be a landmark release in any videography. Shot in black and white, it is incredibly choreographed and is the definition of a timeless, enduring success.