The video was shot in Detroit, Michigan and was directed by Anthony Mandler. It premiered on July 2, 2009 on Yahoo! music. The video opens with captions stating that "In 1950, Michigan was 1 of 8 states in America that collectively produced 36% of the world's GNP" and that "Detroit was the greatest manufacturing city in the world." It then cuts to present-day images of the city, featuring Eminem walking through three abandoned structures from that era: Michigan Central Station; the former Packard plant; and Tiger Stadium, including demolition footage of the latter. In each location, he is joined by several people appropriate to each building: an older woman with a suitcase, several autoworkers holding their lunchboxes and tools, and a neighborhood youth baseball team, respectively.
The song received critical acclaim. Rolling Stone called it a "touching attempt at an inspirational ballad". Pitchfork Media claim that "Relapse hits something of a stride with 'Beautiful'". "Beautiful" scored Eminem his ninth straight Top 40 single on the BillboardHot 100, going back to "Smack That" with Akon. Billboard called the song "epic" and described it as "Part confessional ("I'm just so fucking depressed," begins the track's explicit version) and part "Lose Yourself"-style motivational anthem, "Beautiful" encapsulates the introspective nature of "Relapse" but deviates from the shock tactics that dominate the album" adding that "The song is as much a lighters-in-the-air, arena rock power ballad as it is a lyrical showcase". The song was nominated at the 52nd Grammy Awards in the Best Rap Solo Performance category, but lost to Jay-Z's "D.O.A. (Death of Auto-Tune)".
"Beautiful" entered the UK Singles Chart on May 17, 2009 at number 38 and re-entered at #31 due to massive airplay. It was released as the third UK single after "We Made You" and peaked at #12. It became Eminem's 21st Top 40 single in the UK but also his second official single to miss the Top 10. In the U.S., it debuted at #17 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song was on the A-List of the BBC Radio 1 playlist. In the week of July 23, 2009 it re-entered the Hot 100 at #98.