the top ten most iconic model cameos in music videos

Sex, drugs, and MTV.

by Tish Weinstock and i-D Staff
03 April 2017, 3:59pm

As proven by the likes of Kate Moss and Pete Doherty, Mick Jagger and Jerry Hall, models and musicians have always gotten along famously. But beyond the bedroom, they've also shared the spotlight. No, I don't mean getting the crewdem up on stage, Taylor Swift style. I'm talking about good old-fashioned MTV Making the Video vibes. Think Helena Christensen in "Wicked Games," Christie Brinkley in "Uptown Girl," and pretty much the whole of Premier Models Women's Board in George Michael's "Freedom! '90." To celebrate some of the world's greatest supers, we've collated a list of the most iconic model cameos in music videos to date.

1. Fountains of Wayne, "Stacy's Mom," starring… Rachel Hunter
I think we can all agree, Stacy's mom had it going on, but actually so did Stacy. Nevertheless, it was Rachel Hunter in the itsy-bitsy teeny-weeny peanut-smuggling bikini that caught the attention of our prepubescent friend. Classico from the word go, there are too many highlights to pick from, but we guess Stacy walking in on her crush buffing the banana, burping the worm, choking the chicken (whatever you wanna call it) is pretty up there. Does no one in that family knock?

2. Michael Jackson, "Black or White," starring… Tyra Banks
It may be very much blink and you'll miss it (thank god for Wikipedia's "models in music videos" page), but that really is Tyra Banks morphing out of a sumo wrestler's face, but still smizing and keeping it fierce in Michael Jackson's iconic video for "Black or White." Not as good, but def still a lol-er was Tyra's cheesecake throwing cameo in Drake's video, "Child's Play." I mean Drake and Tyra, no one could have called that one.

3. Billy Joel, "Uptown Girl," starring… Christie Brinkley
What better way to say "I love you," than by dedicating a song to your loved one and featuring them in the accompanying music video, which is exactly what Billy Joel did for his one-time wife and big-time model Christie Brinkley. She was a Playboy Bunny and he liked reading magazines, and together they were a match made in rabbit heaven. They married, then divorced, but they will always share that now iconic video for "Uptown Girl," in which Joel plays a greasy car mechanic whose world changes when a terribly chic Christie shows up at his garage, and swears off society men forever.

4. Westlife, "Uptown Girl," starring… Claudia Schiffer
Did someone say uptown girl? Swapping a garage for a greasy pizzeria, and Christie Brinkley for Claudia Schiffer, Westlife's comic-relief nod to Billy Joel's banger comes in at number four. With more cheese than a fromagerie, it's an absolute classic.

5. Michael Jackson, "In the Closet," starring… Naomi Campbell
He was the king of pop and she was queen of the catwalk. Add to this a sepia filter and you've got one hell of a music video.

6. Michael Jackson, "Remember the Time," starring…. Iman
Clearly no one seems to make music videos as well as Michael Jackson did. In fact, this might be his greatest video of all time. What more could you want than Eddie Murphy and Iman playing jaded Egyptian pharaohs whose worlds are blown when Jackson shows up in a full-on gold look and starts busting a move.

7. The White Stripes, "I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself," starring… Kate Moss 

She's pole dancing. Not much more to say, really.

8. Chris Isaak, Wicked Game, starring… Helena Christensen
One of the sexiest music videos of all time, Chris Isaak's desert island kiss with Helena Christensen shot in black and white by the great Herb Ritts is everything you could possibly want, if not more.

9. Beyoncé, "Yoncé," starring… Chanel Iman, Jourdan Dunn, and Joan Smalls
They say that two is company and three is a crowd, but when that trio is Chanel Iman, Jourdan Dunn, and Joan Smalls, and they're essentially dry-humping a brick wall, three sure sounds like a party. Guest of honor? Beyoncé of course.

10. George Michael, "Freedom! '90" starring…. literally everyone
No music model cameo list would be complete without reference to the late, great, George Michael and his iconic video for "Freedom! '90." At this point in his career, the G Man had grown so weary of making public appearances and starring in music videos, and so tired of the immense fame that Wham! had brought him, that he decided to cast five of the most famous supermodels in the world to stand in as his replacements. Linda, Naomi, Cindy, Christy, and Tatjana — the Big Five who only needed to go by one name (ok, not strictly true for Tatjana Patitz), and wouldn't wake up for less than $10,000 a day. Legend has it that George had been inspired by Peter Lindbergh's iconic portrait of the fivesome, on the January 1990 cover of British Vogue, and the rest, as no one in particular says, is history.


Text Tish Weinstock

Chanel Iman
Jourdan Dunn
Joan Smalls
Helena Christensen
Claudia Schiffer
supermodel week
christie brinkley
rachel hunter