Three weeks ago, in anticipation of MTV's 30th birthday today (Aug. 1), we asked our readers to celebrate three decades of music television by voting on the best videos of the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s, each week in a separate poll. Now, we are proud to present the top ten of the 2000s, as voted by you, the Billboard.com readers.
Missy Elliott goes for the majorly surreal in her Dave Meyers-directed clip for 2001's "Get Ur Freak On." Missy dances amidst an exaggerated kung-fu world, at one point freezing everything to spit into the mouth of a dancer in this VMA-nominated clip.
Red Hot Chili Peppers (2000)
In 2000's Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris-directed "Californication" video, the Red Hot Chili Peppers proved that to truly "make it" is to be immortalized as video game characters. With visual winks to the "Grand Theft Auto" and "Tony Hawk Pro Skater" series, the Peppers, still in 3D form, meet at the center of the earth to regain entry to reality.
Katy Perry (2010)
Katy Perry took a break from her usual candy-coated visuals on the Dave Meyers-directed video for "Firework," opting instead for a full-on feel-good approach. Perry and her fans find their confidence - a fact that shows through in the fireworks blazing from their chests - before frolicking through Budapest.
7. "The Real Slim Shady"
Eminem was all over the map in his rapid-fire 2000 clip for "The Real Slim Shady," dishing out celeb disses and incriminating himself as a patient in a insane asylum. From his Britney Spears school-girl costume to his evil fast-food worker, Mr. Marshall Mathers and co. (Phillip Atwell and Dr. Dre served as directors) created characters and brightly-colored imagery that remained with fans through the decade and beyond.
Torture chambers, chains and tarantulas aren't exactly abundant in pop music videos, but for sexy Rihanna, they're toys for the taking. Ri-Ri co-directed the sadistic 2008 clip alongside Anthony Mandler, creating a memorable and edgy image akin more to Marilyn Manson than her Top 40 colleagues.
5. "Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)"
The power of the Jake Nava-directed "Single Ladies" video lies in its simplicity: Three identical dancers, clad in leotards and heels, effortlessly present some of the best choreography of the decade. The 2008 black and white clip has inspired parodies from Justin Timberlake and Joe Jonas, and elicited an infamously intense reaction from Kanye West at the 2009 VMAs, where "Single Ladies" won Video of the Year.
4. "You Rock My World"
Michael Jackson (2001)
Drinking, smoking, gambling, fighting and women: the King of Pop covers all the vices in his 2001, Paul Hunter-directed short film for "You Rock My World." But we all know Jackson is a dancer, not a fighter. In a clip that was his last big video moment before his untimely death, Chris Tucker assists as MJ's sidekick while Marlon Brando plays the boss of the bad guys.
3. "I Write Sins Not Tragedies"
Panic! At The Disco (2006)
A wedding, a circus, and a shit-ton of glitter and facepaint: It was a bold first look for Panic! At the Disco. Carnie infidelity led the Shane Drake-directed clip to win Video of the Year at the 2006 VMAs. Five years and personnel (and punctuation) changes later, Panic! At the Disco still have a flair for the super dramatic in their videos.
Britney Spears (2004)
In 2004's Joseph Kahn-directed "Toxic" video, Britney Spears proved that she comes in every flavor: futuristic stewardess, fiery "Alias"-esque agent, and brunette super-heroine. But the one role that stays constant through the dance-heavy clip: Sultry maneater.
1. "Bad Romance"
Lady Gaga (2009)
Lady Gaga's"Paparazzi" video, as elaborate a plotline as it had, was just the appetizer to her cinematic climax of 2009's "Bad Romance," which won Video of the Year at the 2010 VMAs. As an android queen with an evil streak in the Francis Lawrence-directed clip, Gaga struts around a Balkan bathhouse in Alexander McQueen couture, asserting her "free bitch"-ness in the end.