While music videos truly reached their height back in the ’90s and early 2000s, 2020 has been a banner year for the medium. It’s not to say music videos ever disappeared, per se—but the scale and flashiness of them has certainly decreased in the digital age, where TikTok, Instagram Reels, and other video mediums have diluted the power of a big video.
But this year, with big-stadium concerts put on pause and many live performances kept to a minimum, artists were left with new material but nowhere to showcase it—and many of them channelled all of their energy into traditional music videos again. Videos became a refreshed opportunity for artists to bust out a fashion moment and unleash their wildest imagination. And thank god for it—it kept us entertained!
One of the biggest and splashiest was Beyoncé’s visual album, Black Is King, which featured several different music videos—each equipped with high fashion. In “Already,” for instance, the singer sports a custom cow-print Burberry corset designed by Riccardo Tisci and a crescent-print bodysuit from Marine Serre. We also saw this incredible range of looks from Lady Gaga in Chromatica’s “911”, in which she declares a fashion emergency wearing surreal ensembles by Alexander McQueen, Diego Montoya, and more. And no list of 2020 music videos would be complete without discussing Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s “WAP.” The bodycon looks by Nicolas Jebran and Mugler made the rap diva’s hit a visual feast. (Plus, who could forget that unexpected Kylie Jenner cameo in head-to-toe leopard print?).
It wasn’t just music’s finest leading ladies leading the style charge, either. Harry Styles continued to bring his fashion A-game. In his “Watermelon Sugar” video, he sports a groovy assortment of exciting menswear brands, including Gucci, and Bode. BTS also delivered the fashion drama in their “Dynamite” video, complete with a colorful (and coordinated) wardrobe.
Below, all that and more of this year’s most-stylish music videos.
“Already” — Beyoncé, Shatta Wale, Major Lazer
“XS” — Rina Sawayama
“Do It” — Chloe x Halle
“Midnight Sky” — Miley Cyrus
“Dynamite” — BTS
“WAP” — Cardi B feat. Megan Thee Stallion
“911” — Lady Gaga
“Hit Different” — SZA feat. Ty Dolla $ign
“TKN” — Rosalía and Travis Scott
“Therefore I Am” — Billie Eilish
“Watermelon Sugar” — Harry Styles
“How You Like That” — BLACKPINK
“Levitating” — Dua Lipa feat. DaBaby
“Yo Perreo Sola” — Bad Bunny
“Positions” — Ariana Grande
“Cardigan” — Taylor Swift
“Own It” — Rico Nasty
“La vita nuova” — Christine and the Queens