Although no artist reached PSY-levels of popularity this year, there were plenty of quality music videos that raked in the views with their creativity, wittiness and, oh yeah, great music. Take a look below at a selection of some of the biggest and best music videos of the year!
The Most Popular Music Video of 2014: Katy Perry feat. Juicy J — Dark Horse
With over 700 million views, Dark Horse was the most watched new music video of 2014 and its absurdity really did garner some attention: from its strange product placement of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos (Perry would later on dress up as one for Halloween) to the controversy over a burning Islamic necklace, Dark Horse was Perry’s most memorable video of the year.
The Most Beyoncé Music Video: Beyoncé — 7/11
At the end of 2013, Beyoncé released a music video for every track on her surprise self-titled album and while those clips slowly rolled out throughout 2014, it was her brand new clip for bonus track 7/11 that we loved the most. The high production value of her previous clips were all cinematic visual experiences, but this scrappier homemade look gives us a glimpse into Bey’s personal life and even if that’s staged, we still ate it up. Face it: you reenacted that bathroom/hairdryer scene right after you watched that video.
Most Satirical (Yet Still Annoying) Music Video: The Chainsmokers — #SELFIE
We get it. It’s satire. But that still doesn’t excuse how effin’ annoying this song and music video are. This almost made us stop taking selfies. Almost.
Best Use Of Drake In A Music Video: I Love Makonnen feat. Drake — Tuesday
Although Drake didn’t put out an album this year, he was plenty busy with singles and guest verses on other artists’ tracks including one of the year’s best R&B tracks, Tuesday by OVO signee I Love Makonnen. Never has partying on a Tuesday looked and sounded so appealing.
Best Homage In A Music Video: Iggy Azalea feat. Charli XCX — Fancy
Whether you love or hate the song, you must admit that the music video for Iggy Azalea and Charli XCX’s Fancy is one of the most spot-on homages ever. A shot-for-shot remake of selected scenes from ’90s teen flick Clueless, Iggy assumes the role of Cher Horowitz perfectly, but adds her own swagger as she spits verses about being the realest.
Best One-Shot Music Video: Kiesza — Hideaway
This music video helped turn Canadian artist Kiesza into a star this year and part of the reason why Hideaway became such a hit is because of its one-shot video concept (one that’s been used a bunch of times before her). Showing Kiesza busting all of the moves on the streets of Brooklyn, Hideaway was a GIF goldmine and gave fans a solid impression of Kiesza, solidifying her as one of the most unique and talented singers and dancers in 2014.
Most Confusing (Yet Wonderful?) Music Video: One Direction — Steal My Girl
We had too many questions about this video, but at the end of the day, we must admit that we actually kind of enjoyed the randomness of One Direction’s Steal My Girl, from the Danny DeVito appearance to Eli, the sixth member of the band.
Most Bootylicious Music Video: Nicki Minaj — Anaconda
Yes, Nicki has the best buns in the business, but it’s her spitfire satirical take on booties that make this the booty anthem of the year. Unlike other odes to butts this year, Anaconda is truly empowering and you can argue all you want, but that scene where Nicki slices the banana should answer any questions of this video being made for the sole purpose of the male gaze.
Dreamiest Music Video: One Direction — Night Changes
The dream date we’ve been hoping for our entire lives. Thank you, One Direction.
Wildest Music Video: Tove Lo — Habits (Stay High)
Most videos depict wild nights, but Tove Lo’s heartbreak anthem Habits (Stay High) is the definition of a crazy night out. It’s at once both exhilarating and exhausting and this video is an in-depth look into those moments in your life you want to simultaneously remember and forget.
Most Perfect Music Video: 5 Seconds of Summer — She Looks So Perfect
This video looks so perfect.