MTV Masterpieces

10 music videos that changed everything

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Above: Michael Jackson, Thriller

    BY: Michael Perris and Liz MacDonald

    Wednesday, March 15, 2017

When MTV first launched in 1981, it was a small experimental cable channel airing to a limited market in New York and New Jersey. But almost immediately, MTV’s music videos transformed the music industry—and with each coming decade, this art form has continued to evolve, still thriving today in the age of Netflix, YouTube and Snapchat. We’ve collected our favorite examples of MTV’s finest efforts above and below, the best boundary-breaking music videos from 1980s through the 2000s. 

Kanye West: Famous

 

Beyoncé: Sorry

 

David Bowie: Lazarus

 

Sia: The Greatest

 

Lady Gaga: Bad Romance

 

Eminem: My Name Is

 

Britney Spears: …Baby One More Time

 

The Police: Every Breath You Take

 

Madonna: Like a Prayer