The 10 most expensive music videos ever made

By Nicole Carrington

In honour of the 2015 MTV Video Music Awardson Aug. 30, Hello! is paying homage to record-breaking videos of the past—namely the 10 most expensive music videos ever.

The luxury and splendour of music’s most iconic featurettes (think pop stars frolicking in outer space or rockers outmaneuvering government SWAT teams ) comes at quite the high-ticket cost. The latest in CGI techniques, pyrotechnics and the construction of big-budget sets are married to create the one-of-a-kind visual experiences that we remember today.

Topping our list of music’s costliest videos is " Scream," by legendary brother-sister duo Michael and Janet Jackson. Director Mark Romanek, who most recently managed the visuals for Taylor Swift's "Shake it Off," reflected on working with Michael to Slash Film, saying, “Michael was crazy. Everything’s got to be the biggest, biggest, biggest, biggest, best, best ever in all of history .”


Michael and Janet Jackson's hit song "Scream" generated the most expensive music video ever made. Photo: © Epic Records

In 1991, MTV honoured the artist, whose brilliant attention to detail earned him a reputation as a strident perfectionist, by renaming their prestigious lifetime achievement award the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award .

Past recipients of the Vanguard include Janet Jackson, Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, and this year the award will go to pop music’s most polarizing figure: Kanye West.

Even though the world will never be privy to another new Michael Jackson visual masterpiece, the director of his 'Thriller' short film, John Landis, has announced that he will bring the 14-minute clip back to life with the release of a 3-D version. Speaking with the New York Daily News, John says, "It is going to reappear in a highly polished and three-dimensional way that is very exciting on the big screen."

"Thriller" will be re-released later this year in 3-D. Photo: © Optimum Productions

It’s no wonder that with his eye for extravagance and appetite for grandeur that the King of Pop has earned three of the ten spots on our list, an accolade he shares with music's long-reigning queen, Madonna.

But despite the more obvious contenders, there are definitely some surprises among the bunch, including rock super group Guns N’ Roses, '90s rap titan MC Hammer and business mogul Sean Combs aka Diddy.


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