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10 Most Controversial Music Videos Of This Generation

Updated on May 17, 2015

Bruno Mars And His Lazy Gang

Bruno mars and his gang performs this dance on the music video of The Lazy Song.
Bruno mars and his gang performs this dance on the music video of The Lazy Song. | Source

Everybody loves a good music and we all love to listen as well as dance to it. Music videos are considered to be the art of interpreting music and musicians or artists have different forms or ways of delivering the message. Through music videos, we learn the steps, the dance moves as well as how to dance like a famous artist. I can still remember how I danced until my feet gives up on me, while I was dancing along with the music of Macarena. I mean, all those who were born in the 90’s probably did the same. Other music videos portray a love story, friendship and family.

In today’s generation, music videos have changed tremendously and it has drifted far from what 90’s has delivered. Most of the music videos that are being released nowadays are filled with controversies and rumors. To site an example, Miley Cyrus’ sudden image change has shocked the world, especially when her music video of We Can’t Stop. It went viral and until now, still people can’t get over it. Many artists are also linked with such issues and it actually helped them boost publicity. Reasons for controversies vary but the most common is nudity and sexism. Here are the most controversial music videos of this generation.

1. Sia – Elastic Heart

The most recent music video that created a blast of controversies is “Elastic Heart” by Sia. It features Maddie Zeigler, a twelve-year old Dance Mom's star and Shia LaBeouf, twenty eight and has been known for his roles as Louis Stevens (Even Stevens Movie) and Sam Witwicky in the Transformers Trilogy. In the music video, Shia LaBeouf and 12-year-old Maddie Ziegler are wearing skin-colored leotards as they tussle. People reacted towards this video differently and most of their cries suggest that the video depicts Pedophilia and that the clips were perverted. In the verge of this controversy, Sia apologized to the public who felt that the video is a perverted overtone and at the same time she explains the true story behind.

In one of the scenes in this music video, Shia holds out his hand to the beautiful Maddie as while portraying ths story inside of a cage.
In one of the scenes in this music video, Shia holds out his hand to the beautiful Maddie as while portraying ths story inside of a cage. | Source

2. Booty – Jennifer Lopez Feat. Iggy Azalea

Have you already seen the video? If not, then try to imagine the bootylicious and sexy Jennifer Lopez with the alluring Iggy Azalea in one video. However, fans reacted angrily on this music video because of its porn-like visuals as well as the illustration of smoking. Smoking is a very sensitive issue in the society, especially that a famous singer who is idolized by millions, is the one depicting it. Not only that, according to them they can see the video as another video which has increasing objectification of women in pop. While others slam this clip, there are other people who still received it positively.

The sizzling hot clip from the music video of "Booty" wherein J.Lo and Iggy Azalea dances their booties up against each other.
The sizzling hot clip from the music video of "Booty" wherein J.Lo and Iggy Azalea dances their booties up against each other. | Source

3. Wrecking Ball – Miley Cyrus

Miley Cyrus has truly made great headlines last year and until now. She shocked the world when she totally turned her back from her Hannah Montana image and she released the viral “We Can’t Stop” music video. Few months after that, she even made a greater buzz when her video of “Wrecking Ball” was released. Here, you can see her fully nude especially in a scene where she is riding and swinging on top of the wrecking ball. On the video, you can also see her carrying and licking a sledgehammer. She got people talking about her and the video; others think she’s an artist while others think that she looks like just another porn star. But, without argue, her voice is truly incredible.

Miley Cyrus swings herself on the wrecking ball without anything to cover her nude body.
Miley Cyrus swings herself on the wrecking ball without anything to cover her nude body. | Source

4. Anaconda – Nicki Minaj

We all know that Nicki Minaj has an incredibly huge ass and she made that very clear in this music video. Even the cover art work of her album has received great publicity given that it has prominently displayed her butt. This video has attracted both criticism for its overtly sexual themes and focus on the female posterior. At the same time, it also has received positive feedbacks from fans. The internet stood still as the video went viral and thanks to its lengthy visual tribute to butts. Even the lyrics of the song received various feedbacks especially from critics.

Nicki Minaj showed off her amazing gift none other that her astounding butt, in the music video and made the world go crazy while watching it.
Nicki Minaj showed off her amazing gift none other that her astounding butt, in the music video and made the world go crazy while watching it. | Source

5. Dark Horse – Katy Perry

Katy Perry has also made headlines in the past few years of her career. To top it off, her Egyptian-inspired video of Dark Horse, a collaboration with Juicy J, received backlash from the internet users as well as critics and fans. The reason for this controversy is the Allah Pendant which was burnt on the video. Her video has been accused of blasphemy and therefore petitioned to be removed from Youtube. Over 57,000 people added their names to the petition of removing the music video. In response to this, the clip where the said pendant was burnt was removed after receiving such criticism.

Dark Horse is an egyptian-inspired music video which has received criticisms for blasphemy despite its beautiful theme and colorful costumes.
Dark Horse is an egyptian-inspired music video which has received criticisms for blasphemy despite its beautiful theme and colorful costumes. | Source

6. Criminal – Britney Spears

It is no longer a secret for everyone that Britney Spears has been one of the most controversial artists since the 90’s. Spears eloped Jason Alexander in Vegas, let her sex tapes get into the wrong hands and got her head shaved – these are only few of the many headlines she has made. However, in the music scene, she made great controversy when her video of “Criminal” was released. The video was shot in London while widespread riots occur. She received criticisms for the scene in her video where she packs a pistol as she flees a London-area building, in which others interpreted as a depiction of violence. Politicians saw it as an insensitive gesture from the pop icon. However, she has no plan of apologizing for the said act.

In the aftermath of riots in London, Britney Spears shot er music video there and received criticisms for gripping a gun which is said to glamorize violence.
In the aftermath of riots in London, Britney Spears shot er music video there and received criticisms for gripping a gun which is said to glamorize violence. | Source

7. Animals –Maroon 5

Adam Levine has been one of the world’s favorite artists and his band Maroon 5 is one of the most popular bands. He and his wife Behati Prinsloo starred this music video wherein Adam is a rocker who stalks Behati. This video has been slammed by sexual assault groups and other women’s groups for glamorizing stalking and violence. Some even said that it was dangerous which is not a good impression and criticism for the clip. However, despite the negative feedbacks, the band was able to receive support for the video People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), which happens to be an unlikely source.

Among Maroon 5's amazing hits through the years, their music video of Animals has received negative criticisms from various support groups. It is said that this video is a dangerous depiction of a stalker's fantasy.
Among Maroon 5's amazing hits through the years, their music video of Animals has received negative criticisms from various support groups. It is said that this video is a dangerous depiction of a stalker's fantasy. | Source

8. Dirrty – Chritina Aguilera

Aside from Britney Spears, another famous artist from the 90’s has made controversies – Christina Aguilera. Dirrty was a 2002 song from Christina Aguilera’s album Stripped which was shot in Thailand. In this video, people were shocked of her change in image. Not only that, it has received controversy worldwide for the visual elements in the video. It is said that the signs at the back of the boxing ring where Christina was dancing, translates to 'Thailand's Sex Tourism' and 'young underage girls. Her record label stood up and said that they have no idea what those signs meant when translated but it didn’t stop Thailand from banning this video from their country.

Christina's dancing on the boxing ring with a stripped outfit made the world go crazy over her changed image.
Christina's dancing on the boxing ring with a stripped outfit made the world go crazy over her changed image. | Source

9. Blurred Lines – Robin Thicke Feat. T.I and Pharell

After Robin Thick and Miley Cyrus’ appearance in the VMA awards, another contention came out. Blurred lines have indeed gained major publicity through its racy music video. It has been dubbed as the most controversial song of the decade. In this video, you will see half naked models in a nightclub. Plus, according to women’s support groups, this video promotes non-consensual sex. Netmums also made their comments and said that it is clearly into the realm of porn which should be moderated for the sake of children who are watching and copying the lyrics as well as the dance moves. This song has made its way to the top charts but then it is still shrouded with great controversies.

Blurred lines has been dubbed as the most controversial song of the decade due to its lyrics and most of all its music video. Half-naked models and unlikely characters rule the video and support groups claim that is promotes rape.
Blurred lines has been dubbed as the most controversial song of the decade due to its lyrics and most of all its music video. Half-naked models and unlikely characters rule the video and support groups claim that is promotes rape. | Source

10. Alejandro – Lady Gaga

It is undeniable that Lady Gaga always stirs headlines especially from her peculiar music videos. Lady Gaga is an artist which reflects a different styles and interpretations in every song that she makes. She is widely known for her outrageous stunts and crazy outfits. However, she made an enormous controversy from her Alejandro music video. It is a mix of sexual and Catholic imagery which includes her sucking on rosary beads. Here, she wears a latex nuns' outfit and suggestively swallowing a set of rosary beads which was interpreted by others as blasphemy and a mock to the Catholic Church. Others even said that it has a double meaning which is in contrast with the doctrines of Christianity and then they said that she is a member of The Illuminati.

Lady Gaga's latex nun costume, her act of swallowing rosary beads and dancing with half-naked men were only few of the many scenes that received criticisms for her video of Alejandro.
Lady Gaga's latex nun costume, her act of swallowing rosary beads and dancing with half-naked men were only few of the many scenes that received criticisms for her video of Alejandro. | Source

Bed Scenes Are Most Likely To Gain Criticism

The given list of top ten most controversial music videos and their artists are not the only one who is in the limelight of arguments. There are various artists as well, in fact, almost all of them have their own issues. Music videos with much or even greater bed scenes are more likely to draw attention from the public and to set examples, here are the few. Haunted by Beyonce, Justify My Love by Madonna, Just Give Me A Reason by Pink and California King Bed by Rihanna. In fact, Rihanna is also one of the most controversial artists in the music industry.

Rihanna's music video actually used a California king bed, not just the title but the bed size, in which she and her boyfriend in the story sits like they are strangers instead of lovers. The dimension of a California king bed is 183 cm × 213 cm.
Rihanna's music video actually used a California king bed, not just the title but the bed size, in which she and her boyfriend in the story sits like they are strangers instead of lovers. The dimension of a California king bed is 183 cm × 213 cm. | Source

Sensitive Issues On Music Videos


The top ten music videos listed above have one thing in common which is why they are all controversial – sensitivity. Sex, gender discrimination, sexual abuse, religion and nudity are just few of the many issues that require sensitivity. This is the reason why criticisms arise on the occasion if one of these issues are being violated by various artists. Yes, the society has a great respect for freedom of speech or expression, but there are times when artists should consider their audience while making a music video. Every artist has their own way of interpreting and characterizing the story or the message of the song, and we, as audiences should give acknowledgement to that as well. Showbizness will not be where it is right now if not for the controversies and publicities done by artists. The bottom line here is entertainment.

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    • aprilsemogan profile imageAUTHOR

      aprilsemogan 

      3 years ago

      Hi Larry Rankin,

      These music videos really did make a scene and looking at it, there's no doubt why people riled up. I appreciate that you find it wonderful. Thanks! :)

    • aprilsemogan profile imageAUTHOR

      aprilsemogan 

      3 years ago

      Hi Tike,

      It's great to know that you found this hub as a reason to stay indoors. Is there a specific music video that you like?

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 

      3 years ago from Oklahoma

      Certainly some images that riled folks up in the past.

      Wonderful analysis.

    • profile image

      Tike 

      3 years ago

      Until I found this I thouhgt I'd have to spend the day inside.

    • aprilsemogan profile imageAUTHOR

      aprilsemogan 

      3 years ago

      Hi poetryman6969,

      Yeah, those two artists are always on the headlines. In fact, they are the ones with most controversies regarding outfit; Lady Gaga is an artist with an exotic taste when it comes to wardrobe while Miley Cyrus doesn't even want to wear anything. Miley said she is a nudist.

    • aprilsemogan profile imageAUTHOR

      aprilsemogan 

      3 years ago

      Hi Lee,

      Thanks for taking the time to drop by and read this hub as well as for voting it up. Music videos nowadays are getting more and more controversial because of its contents, soon, we'll no longer be surprised of what's coming.

    • poetryman6969 profile image

      poetryman6969 

      3 years ago

      Lady Gaga and her outre outfits came to mind and then there is Miley Cyrus and her continuing battle to wear as little as possible.

    • profile image

      Lee Cloak 

      3 years ago

      A very thought provoking article about pop videos we see every day, an interesting info packed hub, very well done, voted up, thanks for sharing, Lee

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