Every Ariana Grande Music Video, Ranked

image: dave meyers

Over the last decade, Ariana Grande has cemented herself as a pop powerhouse, harmoniously blending her unparalleled vocals with visually stunning music videos that leave audiences spellbound. Her latest single, Yes, And? not only debuted at the top spot on Billboard’s Hot 100 but delivered yet another captivating audio-visual journey.

With the anticipated release of her seventh album, Eternal Sunshine, what perfect way to celebrate than taking a nostalgic tour through Grande’s illustrious videography and ranking her music videos?

The Light is Coming ft. Nicki Minaj (2018)

While this may not be Grande’s first collaboration with American rapper Nicki Minaj, The Light is Coming stands out among their joint music videos. Diverging from their usual style, this visual companion cultivates an almost trippy ambience. The track’s jittery beat, combined with avant-garde visuals, throw viewers into a forest rave where you can’t help but move your shoulders in sync with its pounding rhythm and flickering lights.

Let Me Love You ft. Lil Wayne (2016)

Released on the same day as Grande’s hit single, Into You, the music video for Let Me Love You garnered substantial views and received a nomination for Best Collaboration Video at the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards. Mimicking the song’s laid-back R&B tunes, it captures Grande in a casual setting as she lounges on her bed and couch. Lil Wayne adds an easygoing touch as he smokes a few puffs, maintaining an engaging simplicity.

MONOPOLY ft. Victoria Monét (2019)

This music video feels exactly like a fun little video diary you would film with your best friend. Shot with a handheld camera, Grande unites with R&B singer Victoria Monét to exude spontaneity, free spirit and genuine camaraderie. They effortlessly swap away emojis and meme-like words that occasionally pop up, adding a contemporary and humorous touch. 

Everyday ft. Future (2017)

Grande’s fourth studio album, Dangerous Woman, is widely renowned for its bold and edgier tone – and the music video for Everyday is its match made in heaven. Viewers see the pop star cheer on couples of different ages, races and sexualities as they share intimate moments in various public spaces. Tackling themes of lust and desire, director Chris Marrs Piliero injects humour into his storytelling while underlining Grande’s support for the LGBTQ+ community, a major focus of her activism. 

Almost is Never Enough ft. Nathan Sykes (2013)

In keeping with the poignant duet between Grande and English singer Nathan Sykes, this music video serves as a simple yet emotionally resonant visual companion. Set against the backdrop of a dimly lit recording studio, the video focuses on the chemistry shared between the two artists, enhancing raw emotions delivered through vocals in harmonious equilibrium.

Baby I (2013)

In this 90s-inspired music video, viewers are transported to the early days of Grande’s music career. Featured as the second single on her debut album, Yours Truly, the video encapsulates the burgeoning pop star’s youthful essence as she dances through the vibrant streets of New York City with dancers dressed in colourful, baggy attire. Speaking to Billboard, Grande expressed her goal to capture the “breeziness” reminiscent of TLC and Will Smith music videos, blending that era’s carefree spirit with her unique style.

Put Your Hearts Up (2012)

Put Your Hearts Up marked Grande’s venture into pop music, serving as her debut single during her tenure as the beloved Cat Valentine on Nickelodeon’s hit TV series Victorious. Described as “bubblegum pop” for younger audiences, the music video features a red-haired Grande spreading love and positivity through city streets while people around her break out into Broadway-style choreography. While the song diverges from her later musical style, the video is a testament to Grande’s unmistakable star quality. 

Dangerous Woman (2016)

This mid-tempo song boasts a music video that Grande refers to as “sexy, simple and glamorous”. Unlike some of her other works, Dangerous Woman welcomes a more provocative tone. Clad in black lingerie, the pop star sings against a curtain and on a bed while posing seductively. The video employs a sultry colour palette to highlight Grande’s allure, transitioning between pink, purple and blue, which also complements the song’s R&B influences.

Santa Tell Me (2014)

Cosy, festive, personal. Grande’s cherished Christmas single is accompanied by a delightfully simple yet wholesome music video. Though not as elaborate as her other works, Santa Tell Me excels in capturing the holiday spirit and spreading festive joy, inviting viewers to snuggle under warm blankets while sipping hot chocolate. Filmed within the comfort of her home, Grande dances, laughs and exchanges gifts with her friends. We’re a little jealous, to be honest.

The Way ft. Mac Miller (2013)

Another bop from Grande’s earlier discography, The Way marked the beginning of her evolution from Nickelodeon star to pop music sensation. The track features flirtatious lyrics catered to an older audience, indicating Grande’s artistic growth which is apparent in its subsequent music video. Collaborating with Mac Miller, the duo’s onscreen chemistry is palpable as they dance in a room brimming with party balloons, foreshadowing their later real-life romance in 2016. 

Love Me Harder ft. The Weeknd (2014)

Teaming up with Canadian singer The Weeknd, the music video unfolds with the duo braving various forces of nature in pursuit of a profound goal – love. Grande treats her surroundings as a personal litterbox, ditching her signature high ponytail for cat ears as she sensually moves through the sand. Meanwhile, The Weeknd confidently strolls through rainstorms. The symbolic use of natural elements reflects the ebb and flow of a turbulent relationship, reminiscent of the lyrics the artists sing while yearning for a deeper connection with each other. 

34+35 ft. Doja Cat & Megan Thee Stallion (2021)

Did someone say girl’s vacay? The 34+35 remix music video unravels as a dreamy escapade. Collaborating with Doja Cat and Megan Thee Stallion, the trio merges glamour, friendship and a splash of vintage to create the ultimate weekend getaway at a luxurious hotel. From poolside lounging to candid moments recorded on camcorders, what’s not to love?

break up with your girlfriend, i’m bored (2019)

Admit it – we all love drama, especially when there’s a love triangle involved. After all, as an infamous vampire once said, It’s okay to love them both, I did.

The music video for this slightly controversial song received mixed reviews, with critics raising concerns about queerbaiting. The plot unveils Grande entangled in a romantic predicament between Charles Melton and Ariel Yasmine, who play an onscreen couple. Some critics argued the pop star misled viewers by creating the impression she was pursuing Melton, only to reveal her true desire was for Yasmine all along. The unexpected twist sparked conversations about the implications of such narrative choices, while others acknowledged the intriguing dimension it added to the song’s lyrics. 

Right There (2013)

O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo? We’d pose the same question if Romeo was portrayed by Patrick Schwarzenegger. In this modern rendition of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Grande steps into Juliet Capulet’s shoes at a masquerade costume party. Watching her lock eyes with Schwarzenegger’s Romeo enchants viewers into a contemporary fairytale. It’s game over for us hopeless romantics, especially when Grande starts belting out the song’s lyrics from a balcony while Schwarzenegger gazes at her with unwavering admiration. 

Don’t Call Me Angel ft. Miley Cyrus & Lana Del Rey (2019)

Written for the soundtrack of the 2019 Charlie’s Angels movie, Grande alongside her comrades – Miley Cyrus and Lana Del Rey – morph into the infamous crime-fighting women. Decked out in black angel costumes complete with wings on their backs, the trio balances flair and ferocity to command attention. Shadowy visuals create a dark yet sultry ambience which complements the song’s defiant tone while capturing the enigmatic aura of the secret agents. 

Into You (2016)

If you’re into forbidden romances and biker dudes, this one’s for you (yes book girlies, I’m talking to you). Stolen glances, secret rendezvous and invigorating chemistry – three key ingredients to brew the perfect scandalous concoction. Grande embarks on a passionate affair with her bodyguard, portrayed by American model and TV actor Don Benjamin. Similar to Dangerous Woman, the music video alters between varying shades of pink and purple to mirror the song’s visceral feeling, building on the enticing appeal of an illicit desire. 

Stuck With U ft. Justin Bieber (2020)

Straying from conventional music video formats, Stuck With U artfully strings a montage of intimate moments, each shot from diverse locations. Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, Grande joined forces with Justin Bieber to curate a song that not only inspires solidarity but also serves as a fundraiser for the First Responders Children’s Foundation.

The video shines a spotlight on fans and celebrities in lockdown, including the pair, sharing heartfelt moments with their loved ones. Grande surprises viewers at the end when she reveals her relationship with then-husband Dalton Gomez.

Stuck With U won Best Music Video From Home at the 2020 MTV Video Music Awards.

Yes, And? (2024)

After a three-year hiatus, fans rejoice as Grande finally returns to the pop music scene with the release of a new single. Taking playful jabs at critics, the music video incorporates sneaky nods to negative comments made at her. Keep an eye out as they enter a room filled with statues – you might catch a few easter eggs representing artworks from Grande’s past discography! As she appears with a team of dancers dressed in minimalistic colours, they burst into catchy choreography. Initially wary, Grande successfully transforms her critics into dance partners, who leave fully supportive of the pop star’s comeback.

It’s clever, and we can’t wait to see what else she has in store for her upcoming album.

Problem ft. Iggy Azalea (2014)

With a staggering 1.3 billion views on YouTube since its release, one can’t help but ponder if Grande used the black-and-white spiral in her Problem music video to cast a hypnotic charm on audiences. Alongside Iggy Azalea, the pop star revisits the chic beauty of the 1960s with white go-go boots, authentic hairstyles and a backdrop incorporating artistic elements from that era. The video went on to win Best Pop Video at the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards. 

Focus (2015)

When Ariana Grande demands focus, we give it to her. Widely recognised as being the cooler, older sister to Problem, this music video establishes itself as a vibrant spectacle of energetic pop. Billboard drew parallels between the video’s aesthetic and the 1999 Disney Channel Original Movie Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century, a stark contrast from its 2014 retro predecessor. Even when she is bathed in silhouette, Grande’s vocal pipes command the spotlight with dance moves compared to those of Beyonce in the Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It) music video. 

Breathin’ (2018)

Much like the rest of her fourth studio album, Sweetener, Breathin’ envelopes viewers in dreamlike visuals that echo the soothing cadence of its lyrics. Grande shared in an interview that the song captures the struggle of dealing with anxiety amidst chaos, a feeling she has personally experienced. The video purposefully portrays moments where the crowd around Grande moves at lightning speed, illustrating the disconnect one feels during a panic attack. Some scenes show Grande swirling amongst clouds, creating a serenity that lulls viewers to peace, almost acting like an antidote for the turmoil anxiety causes. 

Boyfriend ft. Social House (2019)

Directed by Hannah Lux Davis, Boyfriend depicts Grande and Social House’s “Mikey” Foster in an undefined relationship. It’s clear both parties harbour intense feelings for one another yet hesitate to officially commit, prompting a cat-and-mouse chase as they take turns making each other jealous. This playful and petty narrative allows viewers to ravel in their own intrusive thoughts, intertwining reality with fantasy. One scene sees Grande flirting with a guy as Foster imagines ripping out his still-beating heart, Vampire Diaries style.

One Last Time (2015)

Long before she was cast in Don’t Look Up, a political satire comedy about the world ending, Grande starred in her own apocalyptic universe. In the music video, chaos ensues when the imminent comet Eurydice threatens Earth’s existence. Unbothered, Grande races through the frenzied crowd with her boyfriend – played by her Victorious co-star Matt Bennett – to get a closer look at the comet.

There’s something tragically beautiful about a doomsday ending, especially with the pop star singing her desire to be with her lover one last time in the background. And there’s also an unnerving allure when you’re watching from a first person’s point of view. The coolest thing? Everything was shot in one take!

Side to Side ft. Nicki Minaj (2016)

Whip out your sportswear, ladies. We’re going to the gym! Despite the song’s lyrical suggestions, its visual counterpart interprets it in a literal fashion. The video kicks off with Grande as a spin class instructor, leading a group through synchronised choreography while pedalling on stationary bicycles. Such creativity didn’t go unnoticed – it was nominated for Best Choreography at the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards.

The tropical ambience and neon colour scheme amplify the song’s infectious reggae-pop tunes, luring viewers into a steamy workout session. Minaj adds a burst of magnetic appeal, reassuring the seamless synergy between her partnership with Grande.

7 Rings (2019)

This trap pop song showcases Grande’s celebration of luxury stemming from her global success. Set against a lavish backdrop, the pop star basks in a world of opulence surrounded by expensive jewellery, champagne towers and an entourage sporting bold fashion choices. The video’s neon pink hue coupled with dynamic choreography and Grande’s diamond-clad space buns align with the song’s message of female empowerment and financial autonomy. After all, as Grande sings, happiness is the same price as red bottoms. 

34+35 (2020)

Doppelgängers, anyone? While 34+35 may be known for its highly sensual lyrics, the original version sets itself apart from the remix by favouring a futuristic visual narrative to complement its cheeky nature. Adorned in a pristine white lab coat and matching platform boots, Grande once again showcases her acting skills, this time embodying the role of a mad scientist who tries to engineer a cyborg to life. 

The twist? It’s a spitting image of her!

Grande’s clone surprises us with hair and makeup reminiscent of the 1960s, allowing for a touch of retro into the otherwise techno-forward video. As the plot unfolds, Grande swaps out her lab coat for velvet gloves when she transforms into a seductive Fembot, a nod to the American spy comedy, Austin Powers.

5. Break Free ft. Zedd (2014)

Move over Princess Leia, there’s a new space warrior in town! Inspired by the Star Wars franchise and the 1968 sci-fi movie Barbarella, Break Free catapults audiences into a whimsical space adventure with Grande at its helm. Portraying an intergalactic heroine in a cosmic universe, Grande bravely battles robots and extraterrestrial villains while clad in campy spacewear (that, by the way, fires missiles from its busts). Infused with EDM and electro beats, Break Free marks a bold departure from Grande’s usual discography of pop and R&B genres.

The video’s outer space theme serves as the perfect visual companion, echoing the track’s upbeat tempo – it’s nearly impossible to resist getting swept up in the epic dance party that unfolds after Grande defeats the bad guys! After nearly a decade on YouTube, the Vevo-certified video has surpassed an impressive 1.1 billion views. 

Positions (2020)

Directed by Dave Meyers, this music video portrays Grande as the President of the United States in an alternate universe. Positions fuse both presidential glamour with a dash of everyday life, as Grande masterfully transitions from overseeing Cabinet meetings to exploring culinary skills in the White House kitchen (watch out, Jeremy Allen White!). These contrasting pursuits celebrate leadership and femininity, proving strength and grace can coexist in unity. With its vibrant colour palettes, smooth scene-switching transitions and Grande’s evident charisma as commander-in-chief, Positions delivers a visual feast for the eyes. 

No Tears Left To Cry (2018)

The lead single from Sweetener saw the pop star’s return to music following the Manchester Arena bombing in May 2017. Addressing Billboard, Grande expressed a profound desire for her first post-incident release to inspire positivity and love, highlighting the power of music to heal amid hardship. Paired with a music video that – literally – defies gravity, Grande is forced into ever-shifting landscapes that perfectly mirror disorientation in life. Another visual spectacle from director Dave Meyers, NTLTC expertly plays with perception using kaleidoscopic visuals.

Grande is a force to be reckoned with as she continues to navigate a disillusioned world, representing tenacity and conquering adversity. It’s also no wonder that this video claimed its crown as Best Pop Video at the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards.

God is a Woman (2018)

Talk about ethereal. Undoubtedly one of Grande’s most visual masterpieces, God is a Woman transcends the mundane and plunges audiences into a mystical journey of divine femininity. Cosmic elements embrace Grande, who portrays a celestial being, as she elegantly floats between ideas of empowerment, spirituality and sexuality. The video honours vulnerability and strength, reflecting womanhood’s dual nature. In one scene, Grande wields a Mjolnir-like hammer while lip-syncing to a quote from Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction. 

The cherry on top? It was recited by Madonna!

Thank U, Next (2018)

This music video snagged a Video of the Year nomination at the 2019 MTV Video Awards, and boy, did it deserve the spotlight!

Another hit from director Hannah Lux Davis, Thank U, Next feels like a glittery love letter to the early 2000s sealed with a comforting red lip print. As Grande sings a joyous ode to the ghosts of her past relationships, she gives audiences front-row seats to pop culture nostalgia, paying tribute to cult classic flicks including Mean Girls, Bring It On, 13 Going on 30 and Legally Blonde. Even Grande’s wardrobe is a trip down memory lane as she channels iconic outfits and hairstyles once worn by memorable characters.

The video effortlessly weaves past and present together with humour, clever storytelling and a sprinkle of celebrity cameos – we’re looking at you, Jonathan Bennett (yes, the OG Aaron Samuels!)

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