Top 10 Lady Gaga Music Videos

Unforgettable Artistic Visions

Lady Gaga - Bad Romance alternative
Courtesy Interscope

Lady Gaga's success as a pop music artist is not only audio; it's visual as well. Top directors working in the art form created the often powerful clips. Many of the images are unforgettable, and they help define Lady Gaga as an artist. These are the 10 most memorable Lady Gaga music videos.

"Just Dance" (2008)

Lady Gaga Just Dance video
Courtesy Interscope

Directed by Melina Matsoukas

Lady Gaga and her dancers arrive at a party that seems to have ended and kick things back into high gear in the music video for her first #1 pop hit single "Just Dance." There are cameo appearances here by Colby O'Donis, Akon, and her DJ Space Cowboy. That blue lightning bolt beneath Lady Gaga's right eye is a tribute to her idol David Bowie. 

The success of the music video helped kick the career of director Melina Matsoukas into high gear. She later encountered controversy directing clips for hits by Rihanna. Matsoukas has won the Grammy Award for Best Music Video twice, and in 2016 she began directing episodes of TV shows.

"Poker Face" (2008)

Lady Gaga Poker Face video
Courtesy Interscope

Directed by Ray Kay

Lady Gaga's emergence from a swimming pool wearing a silver metallic harlequin mask at the opening of this video is iconic. The music video received four MTV Video Awards nominations and won Best New Artist. Norwegian director Ray Kay received assistance from Anthony Mandler in the creation of the clip. The dramatic imagery helped "Poker Face" become Lady Gaga's second #1 pop hit single.

The music video for "Poker Face" includes multiple striking images and set the bar for Lady Gaga's future music videos. Among the memorable sights are the pair of harlequin Great Danes, Lady Gaga's white mannequin "servants," and her pop culture sunglasses. For some TV cuts of the video, the words "muffin," "Russian roulette," and "gun" are censored.

"Paparazzi" (2009)

Lady Gaga Paparazzi video
Courtesy Interscope

Directed by Jonas Akerlund 

Lady Gaga connected with celebrated Swedish music video director Jonas Akerlund for "Paparazzi." He is known for his work on such landmark clips as Madonna's "Music," Christina Aguilera's "Beautiful," and Maroon 5's "Wake Up Call." For "Paparazzi," he put together a music video that comments on the damage that celebrity does to a person's very existence. The music video received five MTV Video Music Award nominations. It won Best Art Direction and Best Special Effects.

The story contained within the "Paparazzi" music video unfolds like a mini-movie. It is eight minutes in length and shows a rising star nearly killed by her boyfriend and ultimately seeking revenge after she survives the attack. Actor Alexander Skarsgard, known for his roles in the acclaimed TV series "True Blood" and "Big Little Lies," appears as Lady Gaga's boyfriend.

"Bad Romance" (2009)

Lady Gaga Bad Romance video
Courtesy Interscope

Directed by Francis Lawrence

Lady Gaga's music video for "Bad Romance" is one of the most acclaimed of all time. It received 10 MTV Video Music Awards nominations and won seven of those. Also, it received the Grammy Award for Best Short Form Video. The basic story in the clip is that Lady Gaga endures kidnapping by a group of supermodels, drugging, and being sold to the Russian mafia. The initial shooting plan for "Bad Romance" included multiple sets as well as outdoor scenes in New York City. However, those ideas evaporated due to budget concerns. Ultimately, the music video was shot over two days on a single set in Los Angeles.

Director Francis Lawrence was a 15-year veteran in the creation of music videos. Among his previous efforts were Aerosmith's "I Don't Want To Miss a Thing," the Black Eyed Peas' "Pump It," and Britney Spears' "Circus." His work on "Bad Romance" drew comparisons to Michael Jackson's classic "Thriller" music video. He went on to gain even greater acclaim as the director of "The Hunger Games" trilogy of films. 

"Telephone" with Beyonce (2010)

Lady Gaga Telephone video
Courtesy Interscope

Directed by Jonas Akerlund

The music video for "Telephone" continues the story begun in "Paparazzi," but everything is bigger and grander. Homages to Quentin Tarantino and Madonna appear. The basic plotline follows Beyonce breaking Lady Gaga out of prison and engaging in a two-woman crime spree. The video earned nominations for three MTV Video Music Awards. It won Best Collaboration but lost Video of the Year to "Bad Romance."

The "Telephone" music video is over nine minutes long exceeding the length of its "Paparazzi" predecessor. Unusual items abound. Among them are sunglasses made out of half-smoked cigarettes, an outfit made out of yellow caution tape, and a hat made out of a telephone folded into an origami project. Guest stars appear throughout the video. They include Lady Gaga's sister Natali, singer Tyrese Gibson as Beyonce's boyfriend, and members of the band Semi Precious Weapons.

"Alejandro" (2010)

Lady Gaga Alejandro video
Courtesy Interscope

Directed by Steven Klein

Famed fashion photographer Steven Klein directed Lady Gaga's music video for "Alejandro." She saw the clip as a "celebration and admiration of gay love." Much of the dancing shows the influence of the musical "Cabaret" and choreographer Bob Fosse. The music video generated some controversy due to its use of religious imagery particularly a segment of Lady Gaga ingesting rosary beads. Observers saw echoes of the landmark music videos for Madonna's "Like a Prayer" and Janet Jackson's "Rhythm Nation" in "Alejandro." 

The full video for "Alejandro" exceeds eight minutes. It received criticism for hewing too close to Madonna's past work. Some explained that might be because Steven Klein often worked closely with Madonna. Also, many saw the use of religious imagery as a deliberate attempt to court controversy. Katy Perry said on Twitter, "Using blasphemy as entertainment is as cheap as a comedian telling fart jokes." 

"Born This Way" (2011)

Lady Gaga Born This Way video
Courtesy Interscope

Directed by Nick Knight

The music video for Lady Gaga's #1 smash hit "Born This Way" is a conceptual piece about the birth of good and evil and their eternal battle. Beyond the concept, however, it is centered on dancing. Key inspirations for the music video are the surrealistic work of painters Salvador Dali and Francis Bacon. Full-body tattoo model Rick Genest, aka "Zombie Boy," appears in the clip. The music video closes with a visual tribute to Michael Jackson and "The Way You Make Me Feel." Acclaimed British fashion photographer Nick Knight directed the music video.

Critics saw the "Born This Way" video as one of the most expansive and unique visions yet created by the artist. It didn't all make sense, but that didn't matter. Lady Gaga worked with her choreographer Laurieann Gibson to improve her dancing for the clip. The avant-garde modern dance routine was her most difficult so far in a music video. A shower of high fashion clothes and jewelry included pieces by Thierry Mugler, Alexis Bittar, and Petra Storrs among others. 

"You and I" (2011)

Lady Gaga You and I video
Courtesy Interscope

Directed by Laurieann Gibson

Filmed in Springfield, Nebraska, the music video for "You and I" is one of Lady Gaga's most complex. She said, "The video is quite complex in the way that the story unfolds, and it's meant to be slightly linear and slightly twisted and confusing, which is the way that love is." It was celebrated as a return to form in the visual feast for the eyes and the use of sometimes bizarre but ultimately fascinating elements. Lady Gaga appears as two alter egos. One is the male Jo Calderone, and the other is the mermaid Yuyi. Actor and model Taylor Kinney portrays Lady Gaga's love interest in the music video.

Among the unique items that show up in the "You and I" music video are Lady Gaga's mother's wedding dress, glasses decorated with hairpins, and an ice cream truck. It is loaded with cutting-edge fashion, too including pieces by Hussein Chalayan, Norma Kamali, Jan Taminiau, and many more.

"Til It Happens to You" (2015)

Lady Gaga - Til It Happens To You video
Courtesy Interscope

Directed by Catherine Hardwicke

Lady Gaga co-wrote the song "Til It Happens to You" with Diane Warren for the 2015 documentary film "The Hunting Ground" about the epidemic of college campus rape in the U.S. The music video directed by Catharine Hardwicke focuses on the emotional impact of sexual assault and rape. Critics praised the disturbing scenes depicted and Lady Gaga's fearlessness in bringing the issue to the attention of the general public.

Although it only reached #95 on the pop singles chart, "Til It Happens to You" became Lady Gaga's first #1 dance hit in more than two years. It also earned a nomination for Best Original Song at the Academy Awards. It was only the fifth song from a documentary ever nominated for the award.

"Million Reasons" (2016)

Lady Gaga - Million Reasons video
Courtesy Interscope

Directed by Ruth Hogben and Andrea Gelardin

The "Million Reasons" music video is a continuation of topics presented in her previous clip for the song "Perfect Illusion." Following the narrative of Lady Gaga's album "Joanne," the music video shows Gaga's friends and team helping her heal after the emotional and physical pain she experienced earlier in her career. In many ways, it is a stripped down, more conventional, video than her previous work. Critics praised it for helping audiences see a different, more human, side of Lady Gaga. 

"Million Reasons" returned Lady Gaga to the pop top 10 for the first time in over three years. It also earned a platinum certification for sales and streaming.