WireImage (2), Getty Images
15. 'On the Floor,' Jennifer Lopez Feat. Pitbull
Let's face it, no one's classier than J. Lo these days. The singer and 'American Idol' judge's latest hit with reggaeton star Pitbull showcases elegance on the dance floor again. Directed by Taj, 'On the Floor' features a Swarovski-bedazzled Lopez as the empress of an expansive dance hall, where she leads her party people in countless pours of Crown Royale and an impressive, hip-shaking club routine.
14. 'Price Tag,' Jessie J Feat. B.o.B.
British import Jessie J made big waves in the US with an 'SNL' guest appearance, penning songs for Chris Brown and Miley Cyrus and, we think, this video. Directed by Emil Nava, the clip shows that life isn't all about material things. It depicts a towering Jessie surrounded by excesses of money and acting as a slave to the dollar as a red-headed marionette. "[We] just came up with the idea thinking about showing things that are larger than life, but don't really matter," said Nava. "It's sort of like this hyper-real, toy world with Jessie bringing a fashion edge to it."
13. 'F---in' Perfect,' Pink
Although this video stars 'Napoleon Dynamite' actress Tina Marjorino, don't be fooled into thinking this is another lighthearted celebrity cameo. Themes of self-harm, attempted suicide, and anorexia all make their way into the video. "I want art to make me think. In order to do that, it may p--- me off, or make me uncomfortable," says Pink. The singer also admits that the 'Perfect' visuals were all the more moving since she's expecting her firstborn with husband, skater Carey Hart.
12. 'Just Can't Get Enough,' The Black Eyed Peas
The Peas' video was filmed exactly one week before the devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan on March 11, and was dedicated to the victims. "It was the easiest video I ever shot because it was us living our lives," said Fergie. "I love the fact that it's showing a true perspective of how it can sometimes get lonely on the road away from our loved ones. It also demonstrates the love and connection we have with Japan."
11. 'Till the World Ends,' Britney Spears
The second video from Spears' 'Femme Fatale' album finds the singer in apocalyptic mood. Taking refuge underground from a crumbling outside world, Britney and her 'Mad Max'-esque, leather-clad companions engage in a sweaty dance party, cavorting around their underground bunker as Britney goes through several sexy costume changes. All that partying is for the global good, however, seeming to prompt the sky to clear and the sun to rise, once more.
10. 'Back to December,' Taylor Swift
Taylor has a knack for writing about failed love and alluding, very explicitly, to the men involved. "I always write songs about my life," said Taylor Swift. "And if you're horrible to me I'm going to write a song about you ... That's how I operate." 'Back to December' is a journey through her heart-broken world, showing a grown-up Swift reminiscing about a romance that took place -- and ended -- in December. But who's it about? Perhaps 'Twilight' actor Taylor Lautner? That romance reportedly ended in December 2009.
9. 'Look at Me Now,' Chris Brown Feat. Lil Wayne, Busta Rhymes
These three rowdy rappers team up for one of the best collaborations of the year so far. Leaving the dancing to Chris Brown, Busta Rhymes and Lil Wayne drop supped-up verses all over a graffiti-filled parking garage. Weezy comes in to lay on the grime as he arrives in a chop-shop Delorean, while Busta raps at lightning speed.
8. 'Blow,' Kesha
In a world full of unicorn-chimera dignitaries, Kesha is a leading figure in the Uzbek parliament, and you may want to watch how you act around her. "Bear, you have till the count of zero to put some pants on and apologize to the president," Kesha proclaims at the beginning of her furry new video for 'Blow.' And as if it couldn't get any weirder, 'Dawson's Creek' actor James Van Der Beek shows up to deliver Muenster cheese to the hot-blooded singer, after which a ray gun-rainbow battle breaks out, blowing the place apart.
7. 'All of the Lights,' Kanye West Feat. Rihanna
Kanye might be streetwise, but he'll never let his future children get their education from the streets of ghetto university. The Chicago emcee shines a light over what happens in the shade of darkness in this Hype Williams-directed video for 'All of the Lights.' A dazzling display of illuminated lyrics and wild graphics, this video could just be among his best to date. Let's not forget to mention that it features a scantily clad Rihanna.
6. 'Moment 4 Life,' Nicki Minaj Feat. Drake
Minaj appears as a princess, a fairy godmother with a British accent and a bad-ass rapper in her vibrant 'Moment 4 Life' video. A collaborative effort with Young Money pal Drake, the video is a straight-up fairy tale gone awry. Revealing a more girlie side as the princess, Minaj manages to stay true to her hip-hop roots. "I'm still hood," says Minaj. "Hollywood can't change me."
5. '21st Century Girl,' Willow Smith
Just like her dad Will in 'I Am Legend,' this pint-sized singer knows how to outlast the future. In this top video of 2011, an old woman is seen traipsing around a barren desert, searching for clues to the past, when all of a sudden Willow emerges from the depths of the sand. She then joins a gaggle of other modernizers, reaching back through the sands of time to resurrect the streets of Los Angeles in the 21st century. Pretty powerful stuff for a 10-year-old, don't you think?
4. 'S&M,' Rihanna
Banned in 11 countries and pulled from the all-ages section of YouTube, 'S&M' is Ri-Ri's most controversial video to date. The Bajan diva courts ball-gagged reporters from behind plastic wrapping, walks Perez Hilton around like a dog, gets hog-tied and simulates sex with a blow-up doll. "The song is called 'S&M'!" said Rihanna, defending the video. "I think the imagery follows suit with what the song is. So if they don't want to play it ... watch it somewhere else."
3. 'I Need a Doctor,' Dr. Dre
Off his third -- and final -- studio album 'Detox,' this video shows Dre in a nostalgic mindset, looking back on his hip-hop past with a montage including footage of N.W.A and Ice Cube. At one point, Dre dies in the video, but Eminem and newcomer Skylar Grey's angelic voices bring the maestro back to life. Partially a tribute to rapper and N.W.A partner Easy E, who died of AIDS in 1995, the video ends with Dre at his partner's graveside.
2. 'E.T.' Katy Perry Feat. Kanye West
Visually stunning, and deserving of the No. 2 spot on our list, the Floria Sigismondi-directed 'E.T.' video features an extraterrestrial, shape-shifting Katy Perry who arrives in a junkyard world and awakens another alien -- striking albino male model Shaun Ross, who plays the role of Perry's love interest. For his part, workhorse rapper/producer Kanye West spits typically well-timed rhymes, contentedly floating in space, but doesn't get any alien action.
1. 'Born This Way,' Lady Gaga
No. 1 on our list of the best videos of 2011 so far, this dazzling, Nick Knight-directed video begins with Mother Monster giving birth and wraps with a Day of the Dead-inspired, skull-faced Gaga blowing a gum bubble at the camera. What's going on in between is anyone's guess, but with the combination of the video's awesome, 'Thriller'-esque dancing and the pulverizing dance beat, it's hard to, well ... beat.