Since rising to fame in 2008, pop superstar Katy Perry has dominated the pop scene and gone on to become one of the biggest names in music today. She has crafted hit after hit, and created some visually amazing music videos to go along with her chart smashes.
Perry’s latest video for “Hey Hey Hey” is due today (Dec. 20), but before then, take a look back at her greatest MTV and YouTube hits so far. From the intergalactic spectacle that was “E.T.” to the pure reminder of our innocence as teens in “Teenage Dream,” check out our picks for Katy Perry’s 10 best music videos to date:
10. “Teenage Dream”
Katy Perry’s smash hit off her 2010 blockbuster LP of the same name came with a simple video that perfectly showcased the feelings of being young and in love. Taking place in Perry’s hometown of Santa Barbara and featuring all of her real-life friends, the video isn’t as visually stunning as her other work, but the clips raw vulnerability allows the lyrics to take center stage.
9. “Waking Up In Vegas”
Anyone who has been to Sin City remembers the feeling of excitement that the city instills upon your first visit, and the video for this single (from 2008’s One of the Boys) captures just that. Directed by MTV fixture Joseph Kahn (Taylor Swift’s “Look What You Made Me Do” and Britney Spears’ “Womanizer”), the video tells the story of two lovers whose luck is turned upside down when they win big in Vegas, before losing it all in a turn of events.
We heard her roar indeed. In the video for her Prism lead single, we find Perry stranded in the jungle and learning to find her inner voice — a lesson many of us need from time to time. Katy battles the animals and elements of the jungle in this wild adventure, and finds the strength within her that she needed to set free to become the Queen of the Jungle.
7. “Swish Swish” (feat. Nicki Minaj)
KatyCats around the world were able to take the lyrics from this song and create the perfect Instagram caption to dismiss their haters. Rumored to be a diss track about Taylor Swift, the video finds Perry rocking a new short hairdo at the center of a basketball court. Joined by a team of celebrities, including a killer verse from iconic rapper Nicki Minaj, she plays her way through the song and puts another one in the basket.
For this underrated and hilarious music video, Perry disguised herself as five different party entertainers, who were each terrible at their respective jobs. From giving a lap dance to a 90-year-old man to pretending to eat a live mouse, Perry outdid herself by creating a music video that not only guaranteed hilarity but reminded us of the fun and goofiness that should be celebrated during birthday times.
5. “E.T.” (feat. Kanye West)
We’d never have believed a song about having relations with an extraterrestrial would be such a smash, but Katy Perry created a Hot 100-topper out of it, along with a visually captivating music video to go along with it. Featuring rapper Kanye West, Perry is an intergalactic sight to see in the clip, which took home the Best Visual Effects Moonman at the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards.
4. “California Gurls” (feat. Snoop Dogg)
Cotton Candy. Gummy Bears. Snoop Dogg. What more could you want from a music video? Perry’s “California Gurls” video had it all and more. Perry stars in this colorful and creative video about a game piece in “Candyfornia,” who must free the other women that Snoop Dogg’s character, Sugar Daddy, has captured in candy related traps. By combining the candy theme with various California landmarks, Perry created a fun and sweet visual to match the song that it’s about.
3. “Dark Horse” (feat. Juicy J)
The ancient Egypt–themed music video for the third single off Perry’s Prism album, “Dark Horse” finds Perry starring as Katy Pätra, a takeoff on Egyptian Queen Cleopatra, who is the witch of Memphis, Egypt, looking for the perfect suitor. Matthew Cullen, who also directed Perry’s California Gurls clip, helped make this video the first by a female artist to reach 1 billion views on YouTube. Despite the arguable cultural insensitivity showcased in the video, the stunning set pieces, special effects and hit verse from Juicy J make it worthy of recognition.
What does it mean to feel like a plastic bag? We’re still not exactly sure, but this hit off of Perry’s iconic Teenage Dream album shares compelling visuals and an ever-important message – that you’re perfect exactly as you are. Dedicated to the It Gets Better Project, the video finds Perry and various teenagers throughout the city finding the courage to overcome their insecurities and fears, which ignites their own set of fireworks that was within them the whole time.
1. “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)”
Coming in at No.1 is this dazzling and colorful video, where Katy Perry teams up with numerous celebrities from Glee stars Darren Criss and Kevin McHale to Kenny G and even the Queen of Friday herself, Rebecca Black, to throw a house party in a homage to the ’80s. Perry, starring here as nerdy teenager Kathy Beth Terry, shows off her fun side and that she’s not afraid to be a little goofy — making this our top choice among Katy Perry videos.