Who remembers getting back from school and searching YouTube for the latest music video that everyone was obsessing over? I know, I do. Music videos have become a phenomenon since the days of MTV, and have gained importance now, more than ever. These videos became a part of our visual language—they told a story and added a layer to the vocals, lyrics and music. From Taylor Swift’s ‘You belong with me’ video, in her white Junior Jewels t-shirt to Shakira’s ‘Waka Waka’, we look back at some music videos that remain etched in our minds even today.
Taylor Swift’s You Belong With Me
This video is straight out of a high school drama! It takes us through the whole gamut of emotions—we all have, at some point, related to the underconfident teenage girl dancing alone in her room, crushing on the boy next door, having conversations across windows, and owning her way through the homecoming dance, and confessing her love.
Miley Cyrus’ Party in the U.S.A
For all those who loved Hannah Montana, this one’s for you. Party in the U.S.A isn’t just an incredible song or a music video; it is a phenomenon among an entire generation. No birthday party, dance class or jam session playlist was complete without this song. The video gave us all the feels—making us feel powerful, free and vulnerable, all at once (at least back when we were teenagers).
Shakira’s Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)
The 2010 FIFA World Cup brought with it two special things—the song Waka Waka and its music video. Besides its awe-inspiring lyrics and Shakira dancing like an absolute queen in a red fringe top, the video pays an ode to football and its players, from Maradona to Messi, and gives us goosebumps with the glimpses of the energy in the stadium.
One Direction’s Best Song Ever
This one is for the Directioners! The band, which announced their indefinite hiatus in 2015, gave us some of the most memorable songs, videos, and adorable dance moves by the five boys. The Best Song Ever video sees the band creating absolute havoc in a music studio with a bunch of quirky dialogues and great music. This video definitely had our hearts!
Taylor Swift’s Love Story
What good is a throwback list without this iconic number by Taylor Swift? What starts as a regular day at high school, goes into a flashback reimagining scenes from Romeo and Juliet. From Taylor’s champagne-colour gown to the most romantic proposal we could ever ask for—this song will be an ever-favourite.
Anna Kendrick’s Cups
Here’s a major throwback for the high-school you: practising the cups and claps for hours to get it perfect, just like Anna Kendrick in the ‘cup song’. Set in a streetside cafe, the video captivates us with its quirky clapping, snapping and using cups to create rhythm. The video eventually went far and beyond—musicians across the globe used the cups to create beats for other pop songs, including Hindi and Marathi songs such as Hi Chal Turu Turu.
Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream
The Teenage Dream music video starring Katy Perry had all of us wishing we were living this dream: cruising the streets in a convertible, taking weekend getaways to the beach in the cutest outfits, and sharing a romantic kiss with our crush! An iconic song that we’re ready to sing along at the drop of a hat!
Bruno Mars’ Just the Way You Are
When Bruno Mars sang, ’When you smile, the whole world stops and stares for a while,’ we all went a little crazy. Inspired by the artworks of Erika Iris Simmons, the video is a play of cassettes and graphics with Bruno and Peruvian actress Nathalie Kelly. In one of the most creative music videos of the time, we see Bruno being adorable as ever and we’re left with all smiles.
Beyoncé’s Run the World
The one with everything empowering. Queen B slays yet another music video with her song Run the World written to encourage and empower girls and women from across cultures and communities. With her gladiator outfit and gold crown—the message was pretty clear to us!
Miley Cyrus’ Hoedown Throwdown
Way before TikTok and reels took over the world, Miley Cyrus’ Hoedown Throwdown from Hannah Montana: The Movie, was our dance fix. Set in a countryside restaurant in Tennessee, Miley rocks the cowboy hat and chequered shirt as she gets everybody to dance along to the song. With quick and easy steps, the video was our go-to activity, and we are low-key hoping it starts trending on reels, again!