Madonna tops Billboard’s 100 Greatest Music Video Artists of All Time Staff List
On the verge of this Sunday’s MTV Video Music Awards – the one time a year where we’re still guaranteed to celebrate one of media’s most influential-but-under-recognized artforms – Billboard wanted to take a look back at the artists who have given the most to the music video, whether through heavy rotation on MTV, millions of views on YouTube, or other mediums that predate both. Madonna tops their list of the 100 artists who have made the music video eternal.
Why She’s a Video Icon: Ascending to era-defining supremacy shortly after MTV itself, Madonna’s high-concept videos – which channeled old Hollywood while paving a provocative visual path into the future — were an integral part of her ever-changing image and the meticulous control she exercised around it.
The MTV Classic: The satirical “Material Girl” and controversial “Like a Prayer” are equally impactful, but the David Fincher-directed “Vogue” – with its life-affirming alchemy of old-school glamour, ball culture choreography and sumptuous cinematography – stands as her finest visual moment.
Worth YouTubing: “Open Your Heart,” with its playful subversion of the male gaze via an art deco peep show, is an early and effective distillation of her endlessly analyzed, celebrated, vilified and imitated take on sexuality and ownership. — J. Lynch