By Britt Bickel
Today (June 25th) marks five years since the tragic death of Michael Jackson, and for many fans, the untimely passing of the King of Pop in 2009 remains an unbearable loss to music and the world.
As we look back at Michael’s life, legacy and memory on this somber day, we remember what a dominate force he was in music, specifically when it came to his music videos.
Michael was one of the pioneering artists of the music video takeover at the height of the MTV era in the mid-’80s. Many of his music videos were mini cinematic masterpieces on their own that set the bar for dozens of artists to come.
Below, we rounded up some of those unforgettable music videos MJ created for his songs, and we want to know – what do you think is his best music video of all-time? Vote below!
“Billy Jean” (1983)
The short video for MJ’s “Billie Jean” was the first video by a black artist to be in heavy rotation on MTV and went on to be ranked #5 in the Top 20 Music Videos of Ever in a 2005 poll.
“You Are Not Alone” (1994)
This love ballad featuring his then wife, Lisa Marie Presley, gave fans a small glimpse into the couple’s brief relationship.
Considered one of MJ’s masterpieces, this 14-minute long mini horror movie by John Landis changed the game of music videos. Featuring zombies, monsters and narration by horror king Vincent Price, this video has become a Halloween favorite and had everyone replicating the iconic “Thriller” dance.
“Rock With You” (1979)
Then 20 years old, MJ kept it simple with just a strobe light and sequined jumpsuit while dancing into a single camera.
“Black Or White” (1991)
Featuring childhood star Macaulay Culkin, this video takes MJ all around the world and teaches a valuable lesson on embracing all people no matter what race, color or nationality.
“Smooth Criminal” (1987)
The video for “Smooth Criminal” was not only aesthetically pleasing with a dark, film-noir theme, but it also introduced the world to one of MJ’s most mind boggling moves – the anti-gravity lean.
“Scream” featuring Janet Jackson (1995)
With a whopping budget of $7 million, MJ’s black and white futuristic video for “Scream” was named the most expensive music video by Guinness Book of World Records. The iconic imagery in the video has been replicated by many artists following its release.
With Martin Scorsese as the director, this video was bound to become one of Jackson’s signature music videos. MJ plays the leader of a street gang that goes toe-to-toe with a rival gang in an underground Subway battle. Actor Wesley Snipes even makes a cameo in the extended 16-minute version.
“Beat It” (1983)
Like “Thriller,” the music video for “Beat It” was noted for its mass choreography and synchronized dancers in the epic dance battle between two rival street gangs.
“Remember The Time” (1992)
Starring Eddie Murphy and supermodel Iman as an Egyptian Pharaoh and wife, this video may go back in time, but still features all of MJ’s memorable dance moves.
What do you think is Michael Jackson’s all-time best music video? Choose from the options, or add in your favorite below!