Ariana Grande’s 10 Best Music Videos: Critic’s Picks – Billboard

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Ariana Grande has had an incredible year. Between dropping her third Billboard 200 chart-topping album, scoring her first Hot 100 leader, becoming Spotify’s most streamed artist and being honored as Billboard’s Woman of the Year this Thursday (Dec. 6), she shows no signs of slowing down any time soon.

While Grande has always been a powerhouse presence in the pop world, she has taken major strides towards establishing herself as an iconic music video artist this year. With five new visuals, one of which was her most-hyped clip yet, released in 2018 alone, we’re taking a look at the impressive catalog of videos Ariana Grande has built over the years.

Below, Billboard shouts out 10 of Grande’s best music videos to date. 

10. “Break Free” 

Fans step out of their worlds and into another galaxy for “Break Free.” The action-packed video follows Grande on a mission to save the planet from aliens. Eventually, she breaks free and meets up with producer collaborator Zedd to celebrate at a much-deserved dance party. 

9. “Love Me Harder”

Ariana sports her signature cat ears and joins forces with The Weeknd while showing off her sultry side in the video for “Love Me Harder.” With storm clouds brewing and lightning striking, the visuals portray the tumultuous elements of romantic relationships.

8. “Problem”

From hypnotic spinning backgrounds to show-stopping choreography, Grande pulls out all the stops for this retro-themed video. The iconic visual for “Problem” helped drive the song to No. 2 on the Hot 100, becoming her highest-charting hit until as of recently and shaping her career into superstardom.

7. “One Last Time” 

Full of explosions, frantic first-responders, bright lights and a meteor headed straight towards Earth, the apocalyptic “One Last Time” music video is a rather literal reflection of the song’s title. Grande will keep you on the edge of your seat as she takes fans through the last moments before disaster strikes.

6. “Breathin'”

Anxiety gets a stunning visual interpretation in this November’s “Breathin’” music video. Crowds pass by Grande at what seems like the speed of light, and smoke surrounds her as she sings, creating a foggy atmosphere that clouds her world. She also manages to include what’s rumored to be a sneak peek of her upcoming album’s tracklist, as scrambled words appear on a board with three legible words: “Needy,” “Imagine” and “Remember.”

5. “Into You”

A glimpse into the “Honeymoon Inn” gives fans a fly-on-the-wall look at the secret love between Ariana and her security guard, played by America’s Next Top Model winner Don Benjamin. Things heat up fast as the flirty couple enjoys a private getaway full of romance, laughter and pure bliss.

4. “No Tears Left to Cry”

Have you ever casually taken a seat on the ceiling or walked up the side of a skyscraper? Well, Ariana Grande has, and she’s taking us on her whirlwind journey to try and find the ground again. The video, directed by Dave Meyers (also responsible for smash clips like Camila Cabello’s “Havana” and Kendrick Lamar’s “Humble”), uses mind-boggling special effects and optical illusions that should have fans’ heads reeling for a while, as the gravity-defying visual turns their worlds upside down.

3. “Side to Side” 

Exercise has never looked so easy. Ariana and her crew cycle through their session in perfect sync without breaking a single bead of sweat. Joining Grande, guest rapper Nicki Minaj makes an appearance in the sauna, delivering her verse in fierce fashion. This dynamic duo brings the heat, and while we may not be at the gym (or in the sauna) with them, we’re definitely sweating while watching.

2. “God Is A Woman” 

“God Is a Woman” is a feminist anthem that’s accompanied by an equally powerful music video. With some subtle (and not so subtle) celebrations of womanhood, Grande begins the video in the center of the universe, recruits Madonna to recite Samuel L. Jackson’s Bible-quoting  speech from the 1994 film Pulp Fiction, and finishes it up with an all-female emulation of Michelangelo’s The Creation of Adam.

1. “Thank U, Next” 

Ariana puts her own twist on four popular rom-coms as she recreates some of the most iconic scenes from Mean Girls, 13 Going on 30, Bring It On and Legally Blonde in the record-breaking “thank u, next” video. Complete with a “Burn Book,” the “bend and snap,” several celeb cameos (Troye Sivan, Kris Jenner, etc.) and a stamp of approval from the movies’ original actors, the highly anticipated music video nonetheless managed to exceed all expectations.

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