Models In Music Videos Over Time
We look at a number of music videos over the years who have had notable appearances from models. Those in the fashion industry are no strangers to the art-form.
01. Bad Blood – Taylor Swift (2015)
Director: Joseph Khan.
Model: Linda Evangelista, Tyra Banks, Nadja Auermann, Emma Sjöberg, Estelle Hallyday, Shana Zadrick, Beverly Peele, Emma Balfour and Eva Herzigova.
Premiering at the Billboard Music Awards this video was surrounded by so much hype that it might have been one of the most highly anticipated music videos of all time. Surrounded by her squad the video depicts Taylor at a neo-apocalyptic fight academy, as some of the world’s biggest superstars prepare for an oncoming battle. This video is jam packed with actors, singers and models and is our number one choice for music videos featuring models.
02. Too Funky – George Michael (1992)
Produced by: Jeff Beasley.
Filmed by: Mike Southon.
Model: Gigi Hadid, Martha Hunt, Cara Delevigne, Lily Aldridge, Karlie Kloss and Cindy Crawford.
Originally the supermodel call list that George Michael assembled for Freedom! ‘90 were set to also appear in this video but it was decided that a group of fresh faces would grace the ‘too funky’ runway. In this video George Michaels plays a cameraman as the models walk in an eccentric fashion show wearing costumes designed and created by Thierry Mugler. Both Lady Gaga and Beyoncé have worn ‘too funky’ inspired costumes in their music videos and to this day no other video clip has featured as many top models as this one did.
03. Wicked Games – Chris Isaak (1989)
Director: Herb Ritts.
Model: Helena Christensen.
As a fashion photographer, Herbs Ritts knew a thing or two about lighting and his skills are evident in this black and white video. Filmed on a freezing beach in Hawaii, Wicked Games takes our third spot due to how incredibly recognisable it is. It was even ranked 13th on VH1’s 100 Greatest Videos. Helen Christensen is the only model featured in this video but she proves that sometimes less is more. There is no plot and no back story, all we get is Isaak and Christensen on a beach in a seductively, sad video.
04. Uptown Girl – Billy Joel (1983)
Director: Jay Dubin.
Model: Christie Brinkley.
This video takes our fourth spot because of its unique link to not one, but two supermodels. Billy Joel began writing the song about Elle Macpherson and reworked the lyrics once he started dating his then girlfriend, soon-to-be-future-ex-wife Christie Brinkley.
05. Freedom! ’90 – George Michael (1990)
Director: David Fincher.
Model: Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista, Christy Turlington, Tatjana Patitz, and Cindy Crawford.
With five female models and four male models this video takes our fourth place spot. The video depicts lip-synching models as well as the destruction of a leather jacket, a jukebox and a guitar, all symbols of George Michael.
06. Queenie Eye – Paul McCartney (2013)
Director: Simon Aboud.
Model: Kate Moss.
You’ve probably never heard this song or seen the video but McCartney’s lesser known tune features a who’s who of A-listers. Directed by McCartney’s son in law, the video depicts the Beatle playing the piano in a studio. One of one the famous faces appear. Johnny Depp, Chris Pine, Jude Law, Jeremey Irons, James Cordon, Tom Ford and Meryl Streep appear in the video as does arguably the most influential model of all time; Kate Moss.
07. Remember the Time – Michael Jackson (1992)
Director: John Singleton.
Set in ancient Egypt, Michael Jackson plays a dancing magical wizard who attempts to entertain the Pharaoh played by Eddie Murphy and his Queen, played by model Iman. Magic Johnson also makes an appearance and it’s interesting to note that after decades in the industry, this video has MJ’s first on-screen kiss.
08. November Rain – Guns n Roses (1992)
Director: Andrew “Andy” Morahan.
Model: Stephanie Seymour.
At almost nine minutes long, this epic song needed an equally ambitious video. The narrative depicts the doomed marriage between Axl Rose and his then girlfriend Stephanie Seymour while clips of Slash’s guitar solo and a live performance are interspersed between. With a budget of $1 million we place this monster of a video at 8th place.
09. In the Closet – Michael Jackson (1992)
Director: Herb Ritts.
Model: Naomi Campbell.
Banned in South Africa this sepia video by Herb Ritts shows Jackson and model Naomi Campbell dancing sensually in an exotic location. This video is another that lacks in plot but the on-screen chemistry makes up for it.
10. Black or White – Michael Jackson (1991)
Director: Joseph Khan.
Model: Tyra Banks.
Macaulay Culkin and a myriad of other characters feature in this grand production of a video, full of dance sequences and special effects but if you blink you’ll miss Tyra Bank’s cameo. Play this video in slow motion and watch as various faces morph into each other, including the face of Tyra Banks.