2. One Of The Best Videos of All Time
Was Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)” really one of the best videos of all time?
Consider the following:
1. “Single Ladies” was nominated both for Best Video and Best Female Video. Beyoncé actually won the Best Video award, announced later in the evening. Nominating the same video for two very similar categories makes voting complicated. If you consider Best Video a higher honor than Best Female Video, however, then we might consider this a crude approximation of Condorcet method voting. So perhaps Kanye was right.
2. And yet, as several pop connoisseurs have pointed out for months, “Single Ladies” is almost a shot-for-shot remake of Gwen Verdon’s “Mexican Breakfast,” choreographed by Bob Fosse. Consult the video below:
Beyoncé acknowledged the similarity in recent interviews, saying she was “inspired” by Fosse. And there’s nothing wrong with taking inspiration from the great directors and choreographers of the past. All art steals from prior art, and music videos are no exception.
But is a video that borrows so heavily from a prior work really the best in a given year? Is originality not a voting criteria? So perhaps Kanye was wrong.