Inspired by Gigi Hadid's music video (feat. mediocrely enthused Zayn Malik), this list looks back on the debut pop music videos of the industry's now notable artists. Videos are rated and ordered based on "star power" (which is based on how likely it seems based on the video that they'd rise up against their contemporaries) and production quality.
Note: Artists are based on their first MV as a solo lead artist and MVs were chosen by the ordered videography date on their Wikipedia pages. Singers such as Taylor Swift who debuted in a non-pop genre are not included.
Britney Spears - ...Baby One More Time
Very few artists are able to spur a pop culture phenomenon with their first music video. Everything about the single - from the song, to the wardrobe, to the choreography - skyrocked Britney straight to the top and was a defining bridge from the 90's to the 00's.
Mariah Carey - Vision of Love
Simple and soulful, Mariah's powerhouse vocals take center stage. It's no surprise that she became a leading diva among her peers.
Justin Timberlake - Like I Love You
While the fashion is cringeworthy to look back on, Justin's solid smoldering camera gaze and precise dance moves set a high standard for what the pop boys should be capable of showing to their fans.
Whitney Houston - You Give Good Love
A gorgeous look back at the 80's, Queen Whitney serves up confidence and vocal prowess that made the public take notice.
Lady Gaga - Just Dance
Back before she started overthinking her artistry, Gags delivered one of the leading dance songs of the past decade and included several of her iconic Halloween costume worthy outfits.
Christina Aguilera - Reflection
One of the best Disney musical songs, this video is only plagued by the mediocre green screen magic that the late 90's were so fond of using.
Rihanna - Pon De Replay
The weave is tragically basic, but Rihanna's first single was a club bop.
Beyonce - Work It Out
The video probably wouldn't have suffered as badly without the Austin Powers influence, but Bey's confidence and vocals still stand out.
Madonna - Everybody
Pretty basic 80's video though I was amused by Madge's 20% fem/80% butch outfit.
Janet Jackson - Dream Street
It's hard to find a good quality copy of Janet's debut vid. I think she and her girl friend in the MV make a cuter couple than the lead guy.
Miley Cyrus - Start All Over ( + Demi Lovato & Selena Gomez's debut videos )
You can tell that these three are products of the same machine because all of their debuts seem very formulatic/use the same elements vs. being creative. If they didn't have that Disney bump to get that solo career started, I don't think they would have stood out against their peers.
J.Lo - Baila
Notable star potential but terrible lyrics, poor outfit choice and basic video.
Ariana Grande - Put Your Hearts Up
+1 for enunciation, looking healthy and good energy towards simple choreography. Terribly cheesy video though.
Shakira - Magia
I'm....still not sure this is really her? lol
Justin Bieber - One Time
If he didn't have tweens to carry his popularity, this could have just been another Rebecca Black/new money paying for their kid's music hobby type video.
Katy Perry - The Box
A'ight stans - I'm obviously doing her a service by not choosing "Ur So Gay" which was her official first music video. Her actual first video was off of an unreleased album and the dramatics make Evanescence videos look Oscar worthy.
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