supermodel karaoke: when the fiercest faces try to be popstars
The other day we reminded you of all those music video cameos our favorite models have made throughout the years. Sure, they can dance, play the beautiful girlfriend, and strike a pose. But did you know about the times they attempted to launch their own music careers? Some succeeded, but many were swept under the carpet of regret long, long ago. We've compiled our favorite singing supermodels, from the faces who joined their musical lovers for a romantic duet, to the girls who went full-on 90s R&B.
Nico, "Chelsea Girl"
Discovered at 16, Nico (actual name Christa Päffgen) was the original model turned singer. After a stint modeling in Paris, she accompanied The Velvet Underground in the mid 60s before being encouraged to take up songwriting by Jim Morrison. Nico released her own album Chelsea Girl, featuring Wes Anderson favorite tracks "The Fairest of the Seasons" and "These Days." Things soon descended into a darker soundscape, with the experimental The Marble Index featuring just her and a harmonium. Her blonde hair was dyed black, and the album's producer went on to describe the album as "a hole you fall into." Deep.
Will Heard and Cara Delevingne, "Sonnentanz"
Who remembers that time when, back in 2013, Cara took time out from her modeling and acting schedule to give singing a go? With a bunch of oohs and ahhs, she provided the unrelenting backing vocals for Will Heard's acoustic take on Klangkarussell's "Sonnentanz." With almost 10 million views and a comment section full of Delevingners, if she were to give it another try, they'd be waiting for her.
Tyra Banks, "Shake Ya Body"
We know what you're thinking… this is actual fire! Produced by Darkchild (who worked on Destiny's Child's "Lose My Breath") and released in 2004 during cycle two of America's Next Top Model, "Shake Ya Body" failed to move everybody. The classic R&B video was quite J.Lo, quite entertaining, and more or less an ANTM shoot in video form, with the final six contestants making cameo appearances. Grab Tyra's hips real tight and enjoy the ride!
Coco Rocha, "I Wanna"
While she wasn't exactly trying to kickstart a music career with this video for Cavalli and Hunger, nice girl Coco actually did an okay job of singing while dancing around a very windy mirror room. Rock and roll.
Heidi Klum and Seal, "Wedding Day"
During a 2007 Victoria's Secret show, Heidi Klum joined then husband Seal to sing about the special place in their hearts that they kept for each other, with the line "you're my angel" working particularly well here. Rose petals fell in the background and things ended with a kiss, a leg pop, and ultimately divorce — but not before Heidi starred in the beautiful example of oversharing that was Seal's music video for "Secret" in 2010.
Naomi Campbell, "Love and Tears"
"She's everywhere at the moment; on the catwalk, releasing books, and now a hit single for Naomi Campbell!" says the presenter of TOTP (before weird facts like she supposedly earns £14 a minute as a supermodel, that we think might not be entirely accurate, pepper the screen). It's blurry as hell but as far as we're aware, she's wearing a sari, wishing she knew how to separate love and tears, and properly slaying despite not having a killer voice. The record was part of an album called Babywoman that was released in 1994 and apparently did quite well in Japan.
Five O'Clock Heroes ft. Agyness Deyn, "Who"
Agyness Deyn was the hottest thing in the world circa 2008, appearing on all six covers of i-D's The Agyness Deyn Issue (for real) in May of that year, including the topless sparkler pic that is arguably one of the best i-D covers of all time. While she got into acting, Aggy teamed up with Five O'Clock Heroes on a this track which we love, but reckon would've been even better if she had sung it in a northern accent. Encore!
Twiggy, "Good for You Too"
Worlds away from the pixie cut face of the 60s, did you know that Twiggy was also a successful country-pop singer? Since her first release in the early 70s, she's been putting music out sporadically, with the latest, a love song cover album called Romantically Yours, released in 2011.
Karen Elson, "Call Your Name"
"From supermodel to rock star" said the Guardian about Karen Elson in 2010. With a beautiful voice and a credible music career, she releases music on her husband Jack White's record label Third Man Records. The pair met when Karen starred in the White Stripes's "Blue Orchid" video. We caught up with her last month as she prepared to put out her first album in seven years.
Milla Jovovich, "The Gentleman Who Fell"
In the build up to the release of 1994 album The Divine Comedy and a US tour with the Crash Test Dummies, model turned actress Milla added another string to her bow. Live on Conan O'Brien though, it was more impressive karaoke tune than break out first single. Not to worry though because Resident Evil wasn't too far off, and that was killer.
Primal Scream ft. Kate Moss, "Some Velvet Morning"
Well, isn't this lovely? Kate Moss joins Primal Scream for a very 2003 cover of Lee Hazlewood and Nancy Sinatra's "Some Velvet Morning." Skip to the end for some nice supermodel ASMR.
Gisele Bündchen ft. Bob Sinclar, "Heart of Glass"
We're not sure why this happened and as much as we love Gisele, we're not sold on this. Her voice is alright, but why Bob Sinclar?
Bobby Fox ft. Miranda Kerr, "You're The Boss"
Again, lovely voice Miranda but we're not entirely sure why this happened.
Grace Jones, "Pull Up to the Bumper"
Ending on a high now with the ultimate model turned singer. Just as well known for her music as she is her look, Grace Jones has 10 albums to her name, with tracks like "Warm Leatherette," "Slave to the Rhythm," "Nightclubbing," and "Pull Up to the Bumper," just as brilliant today as they were on release. Grace was shot by Nick Knight for the cover of i-D back in the 80s for an issue featuring an interview with Malcolm McLaren, an AIDS update, and a feature on new trash metal, obviously. She's still performing live with fabulous costumes, hula hooping, and the kind of dance moves that we couldn't do now, let alone at the age of 68. Grace Jones is Queen.
Text Frankie Dunn