Best Music Videos of 2019 (So Far!)
A three- or four-minute clip might not seem like enough time to make a starkly political statement or buttress a big ol’ pop comeback, but the best music videos of 2019 have so far proved that music’s biggest stars remain up for the challenge.
Since January, and to accompany huge Billboard hits, artists like the Jonas Brothers, Katy Perry and Stray Kids have pulled out all the stops to deliver music videos that have left us totally entranced. Between the many colors of Kacey Musgraves’ “Rainbow” and the sparkling, ‘80s-tinged supplement to Lizzo’s earworm “Juice,” pop hasn’t relied on gimmicks or tropes to keep fans hooked. Superstars can still make real art, and in the case of the The Killers’ “Land of the Free,” make powerful tools of protest, too.
There will be plenty more to feast your eyes on before New Year’s, and no doubt stars like Taylor Swift have still got video tricks up their sleeves. But for now, we’re celebrating what’s already come out. Below, PopCrush has collected our favorite music videos of 2019 (SO FAR!!!). Check 'em all out and tell us which YouTube vid has left you tapping the replay button.
Didn’t see a music video you loved on our list this year? Let us know in the comments or hit us up on Twitter!
It could fit seamlessly between a commercial for board game Crossfire and that oh-so-familiar battle cry, “Where’s the Beef?” The video for Lizzo’s most famous single yet is ‘80s pop fluorescence at its most potent. The clip, which finds the often hilarious and reliably self-assured Lizzo on talk-show couches, in hairspray adverts and Olivia Newton John-inspired workout classes, takes the song’s anthemic funk and makes it feel, somehow, even freer. And check out those leg-lifts — go off, hip flexors! — Matthew Scott Donnelly
Forget Digital Distortion drama — “Sally Walker,” the first single from Azalea’s forthcoming new album (her first since signing with EMPIRE) is letting her former vendettas die…literally, with respect to the track’s accompanying video. The hyper-stylish clip, which features beloved drag queens Shea Coulee, Mayhem Miller and the one and only Miss Vanjie, kicks off with Coulee running over the titular Walker with her car and leaving the schoolgirl to die in a pool of blood. What follows is a funeral befitting of a Vogue cover, complete with a lilac-haired Azalea, mourning gowns you could only find in Barney’s and a graveyard dance routine that could raise the dead. We’ll just say it: death looks good on I-G-G-Y. — Matthew Scott Donnelly
In an increasingly polarized political climate, the enduring rock band make their stance on the Trump administration clear in the video for “Land of the Free,” a politically charged project directed by Spike Lee that mixes footage of asylum seekers at the border, in tent cities and struggling along migrant caravans. Brandon Flowers told Zane Lowe that he sought out Lee after watching BlacKkKlansman, and that the video is ultimately an answer to everything from the Sandy Hook shooting to constant vitriolic immigration policies. Sometimes, you need a palate cleanser, but here, you’ll instead get the harsh truth: our country’s approach to humanitarian efforts in 2019 is an unmitigated disaster. — Matthew Scott Donnelly
Understandably, most pop stars would probably rather not incorporate their real-life romances into their work. Sure, a vague song lyric here and there about a current lover or ex, but a blatant by-name mention or music video cameo? Never — that's too much tabloid ammo! That's what makes the Jonas Brothers' wildly over-the-top "Sucker" video so damn special: the trio's respective wives — Priyanka Chopra, Sophie Turner and Danielle Jonas — all take center stage in the quirky clip. Dressed in haute couture, the ladies are magnetic as they chew scenery (in Sophie's case quite literally, as she gnaws at a hedgerow) while romping around a sweeping, ornate estate. Quite frankly, they steal the show, and just like Nick, Joe and Kevin, we are total suckers for it. — Erica Russell
Lil Dicky brought together some of the most iconic artists today together for a song that benefits the planet. If that wasn’t enough, the video features each of the collaborators — from Ariana Grande to Justin Bieber — as different animals. The animals are just as unique as the featured artists, and from almost every genre of music. Though the video is primarily animated, it does feature a major throwback moment when (an animated) Leonardo DiCaprio poses on the Titanic ship with Lil Dicky. Overall, Lil Dicky was able to bring comedy, music, and activism together for this once in a lifetime video. — Jacklyn Krol
Taylor Swift has been known for her elaborate and Easter egg-filled music videos, but “ME!” goes above and beyond. In an unlikely team up, Swift and Brendon Urie of Panic! At The Disco prove to be the perfect collaborative pair. Urie and Swift’s banter, senses of humor and acting abilities shine throughout the video. The duo share delightful fashion choices and cheesy dance moves, all while hiding clues about Swift’s upcoming album in somewhat plain sight. Plus: The kitten featured in the video ended up being later adopted by Swift. (She named him Benjamin Button. Awww.) — Jacklyn Krol
Katy Perry did not disappoint when she dropped the music video for her song “365” featuring Zedd. The visuals sees the singer play an android looking to find a genuine connection with Zedd, a human man. Viewers are made to believe the AI is incapable of feeling emotions, but when she realizes she was purely just a text subject, she sheds a tear. If you’re a fan of Netflix’s Black Mirror, you’ll love this video because it’s basically an episode of the show condensed into three minutes. — Natasha Reda
After winning four awards at the 2019 Grammys, Kacey Musgraves dropped the music video for her hit single, “Rainbow.” The stunning clip sees the country singer looking on as various people try to navigate their way through their respective struggles in life, including a single mother taking care of her child and a young person wrestling with their identity. Aside from the song’s powerful message of resilience and hope, the visuals offer a sense of calm that makes us believe Musgraves when she sings the line, “It’ll all be alright.” — Natasha Reda
If you ever needed a music video to show a friend who’s not into K-pop what they’re missing, look no further than Taemin’s “Want.” As a solo artist and member of SHINee, Taemin’s dancing ability has wowed crowds for over a decade, but “Want” takes his dancing to the next level with the sinister, lustful dance track. The video is laden with biblical parallels, including snakes, crosses and Rodin’s Gates of Hell, and if that’s not enough to tempt you, Taemin’s sensual, lithe dance moves will have you reaching for a forbidden apple. With “Want,” Taemin solidifies himself as one of the most captivating performers in K-pop. — Emlyn Travis
Stray Kids are leading the revolution in real life and in the music video for their single “Miroh.” Set in the middle of a political rally in the fictional City Jungle, the members transform from passersby into protestors. As they plot to overthrow the city’s leaders, they perform their powerful choreography throughout different districts, rallying troops to their side. After successfully ousting the city’s elite, Stray Kids stand in front of a podium, ready to pave a brighter future with their supporters. With “Miroh,” the group continues to dazzle as they become a representative voice for youth around the world. — Emlyn Travis