Music videos prevailed. In the early days, they were a symbol of the MTV generation's rejection of what parents and Dire Straits might have called "good, pure music." Then, the very cable networks that made them popular switched over to reality television, turning music videos, TRL, and veejays into nostalgia almost overnight.
But when YouTube exploded, music videos made a surprising comeback! Today, videos for major hits can rack up more than a billion views, and pop stars' official VEVO accounts have some of the largest subscription numbers on YouTube. With so many music videos appearing each week, we thought it was time to call attention to the best of the best, a list we'll update regularly throughout the year.