Musicians have been featuring celebrities in their music videos for a very long time. Some star their real-life partners, some their friends, some enlist actors to portray a role, and others someone completely unexpected! It makes sense since music videos are an essential component of any hit song and the celebrities starring in them make it more epic! We take a look at ten iconic celebrity music video cameos.
Bad Blood – Taylor Swift feat. Kendrick Lamar
If anyone knows how to feature legendary cameos in their music videos – it’s Taylor Swift! Directed by Joseph Kahn, many familiar faces appeared as various badass alter egos in the star-studded video for Swift’s track ‘Bad Blood’. The highly anticipated music video premiered during Billboard Music Awards in May 2015 and gave a new, fresh look to the artist.
Kendrick Lamar has a major role in the video as he raps several verses on the song while we watch supermodels like Gigi Hadid, Karlie Kloss, Martha Hunt, and Lily Aldridge honing their fighting skills in what looks like a training facility. With Cindy Crawford as the “Headmistress”, ‘Law & Order: SVU’ star Mariska Hargitay as “Justice” and Grey’s Anatomy’s Ellen Pompeo as “Luna” on the squad, this team is not to be messed with!
Taylor fights alongside some of the most popular names in the entertainment industry such as singers Selena Gomez, Empire’s Serayah McNeill, Ellie Goulding, Zendaya, Jessica Alba, Paramore’s Hayley Williams, Hailee Steinfeld, Lena Dunham, and Cara Delevingne. The video went on to win two MTV Video Music Awards, one MTV Europe Music Award, a GRAMMY, and the hearts of many.
Love the way you lie – Eminem feat Rihanna
Eminem enlisted the Transformers’ star Megan Fox and ‘The Lord of The Rings’ actor Dominic Monaghan in his 2010 music video for the song ‘Love The Way You Lie’.
The actors took on the role of two lovers in a toxic and tumultuous relationship, one in which their passion turns violent as their relationship wavers between ecstasy and agony in the video. Rihanna and Eminem can be seen singing and rapping in front of a burning house as well as an open field.
“I think we tried as hard as we could to not glorify the violence, to try and explain that this was a relationship that is by no means ideal and a relationship that probably should have ended a lot sooner than it did,” Monaghan told MTV News. The song became an instant hit and the video has surpassed 2.2 billion views on YouTube.
Dusk till Dawn – ZAYN feat. Sia
HBO’s Girls actress Jemima Kirke and Zayn Malik transform into modern-day Bonnie and Clyde in Malik’s music video for his hit collaboration with Sia – ‘Dusk Till Dawn’. The cinematic video is packed with action and may remind you of the film ‘Pulp Fiction’ because of the mysterious briefcase.
In this video directed by ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ director – Marc Webb, Zayn follows Kirke’s character through the streets, both carrying a briefcase while anonymous agents are thwarting his progress. Malik’s character is on a run from a group of police and a pair of hulking gangsters. At the end of the video, Zayn and Jemima drive off into the sunset in a sports car.
I Really Like You – Carly Rae Jepsen
Carly Rae Jepsen’s hit comeback single ‘I Really Like You’ starred the ‘Forrest Gump’ and ‘Toy Story’ actor Tom Hanks and also featured Justin Bieber who arranged for Jepsen to be signed to Scooter Braun’s record label after hearing ‘Call Me Maybe.’ Hanks is seen lip-syncing the song while traveling to the video set and then dancing in the streets of NYC with both Jepsen and Bieber.
Many might assume that Carly must’ve begged the Oscar winner to do a cameo in her video but turns out it was Hanks’ idea when one night Scooter shared Jepsen’s concept for the clip with Hanks over dinner.
“He was telling him how I had this vision for like a male lead, that I wanted to have this guy sing the song rather than me, and I thought it would be really comedic and funny, especially if it was someone totally unexpected,” Jepson told ABC News. “And Tom was like, ‘Well, why don’t you guys ever ask me?’
Speaking of Bieber’s appearance in the video, Carly said, “He was in New York. It was like a wonderful surprise. He was like, ‘I’m coming down.’ And we’re like, ‘Great … we’re gonna do, like, a flash mobby-type dance at the end, so come be a part of it!'” And that’s how the ‘I Really Like You’ music video came together.
I Know I’m Not The Only One – Sam Smith
Sam Smith recruited the ‘Glee’ star Dianna Agron and The Mindy Project’s Chris Messina for their sad but soulful ‘I Know I’m Not The Only One’ music video in 2014. The brilliant music video highlighted Dianna’s incredible acting skills and brought the soulful British crooner’s song to life.
Both the mid-tempo song and its video tell the tale of a couple dealing with infidelity – making Agron transform into a jilted wife and Messina into her sleazy husband. ‘I Know I’m Not The Only One’ music video has been directed by Luke Monaghan and it has garnered 1.2 Billion views on YouTube so far.
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WAP – Cardi B feat. Megan Thee Stallion
There was no denying that Cardi B’s comeback with Megan Thee Stallion was gonna be HUGE, considering the fact that both the rappers are at the top of their game. However, what we didn’t see coming was the WAP music video. The video featured some fierce female artists that served looks that could kill such as Normani and Rosalía to up-and-comers like Mulatto, Sukihana, and Rubi Rose as well as the mogul Kylie Jenner.
“I wanted a lot of different females, not just female rappers. … Y’all going to see it on the music video as well, from models to influencers and everything. And I really wanted the video to be very sexy, very clean, very nice, very cut,” Cardi told Apple Music.
Speaking of the cameos, specifically, some of the up-and-coming stars featured, including Rubi Rose, Sukihana, and Mulatto, the rapper said, “I’m like, ‘These are the girls that I personally like. That I like their music. That I really feel they are going to go mainstream, to me.” The whimsical music video that also featured many tigers definitely increased the heat in this world.
As long as you love me – Justin Bieber
Directed by Anthony Mandler, Justin Bieber’s 2012 ‘As Long As You Love Me’ features the ‘Reservoir Dogs’ and ‘Bill’ actor Michael Madsen who takes on the role of a protective father of Bieber’s love interest, played by 21 Jump Street and ‘Transformers: Age of Extinction’ actress Chanel Celaya.
The music video is 5 minutes 52 seconds long and it begins with some narrative dialogue between Justin and Madsen’s character wherein the father spits some pretty harsh words in his disapproval of Bieber. Michael’s character tells Justin to hit the road; however, the young Romeo stays the course.
The video also features rapper Big Sean who briefly appears to deliver his verse. Justin gets bruised and battered by fighting in the violent battle for his girl.
Bitch I’m Madonna – Madonna feat. Nicki Minaj
Madonna featured some of the A-list stars in her playful music video – ‘Bitch I’m Madonna’. With every room of the raging house party filled with famous faces from Chris Rock, Rita Ora to Katy Perry and Queen Bey herself! The Spanish model Jon Kortajarena also appeared in the video along with a blink-and-you-miss-it famous designer Alexander Wang’s cameo.
Miley Cyrus kept it classy while Diplo who co-wrote the song appeared alongside Rocco Ritchie – Madonna’s eldest son. Beyoncé was flawless in the video (duh!) and Katy’s hot pink outfit took us back to her epic ‘Last Friday Night’ music video.
Madonna’s younger son too could be seen busting some sick moves at the party and Kanye was one of the most turnt celebrities in the room. Nicki Minaj, who is featured on the track obviously had to be there, right? She did make an appearance on a TV screen! Madonna certainly took us all on an interesting ride with this video.
Nice for What – Drake
Directed by Karena Evans, Drake’s 2018 ‘Nice For What’ music video is packed with some of the most fierce and powerful women from the worlds of Hollywood, dance, social media, fashion, and more.
It features actresses like Olivia Wilde, the ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ and Avatar star Zoe Saldana, Tiffany Haddish, breakout Black Panther star Letitia Wright, ‘Fast & Furious’ recurring actor Michelle Rodriguez, Insecure‘s Issa Rae, Black-ish‘s Tracee Ellis Ross, and Yara Shahidi.
The ‘Parks and Recreation’ actor Rashida Jones and American Horror Story’s Emma Roberts – as well as singer Syd, and ballet star Misty Copeland also made an appearance in the video.
Instagram beauty stars and twins Elizabeth and Victoria Lejonhjärta (who also appeared in the cover art for Drake’s 2016 album Views) and the British model Jourdan Dunn who was the first British black model to make Forbes’ top-earning models list in 2014 also starred in the video. Oh, and obviously the rapper – Drake himself can be seen dancing along to the song.
You Need To Calm Down – Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift who is the queen of celebrity cameos in her music videos welcomed a score of LGBTQIA+ stars in her ‘You Need To Calm Down’ video. The Pride-themed video featured appearances from queer celebrities like the Pose star Billy Porter to Laverne Cox, Netflix’s newly reimagined cast of Queer Eye, and a score of RuPaul Drag Race queens. Adam Lambert was featured as Ellen DeGeneres’ tattoo artist.
Adam Rippon the first openly gay athlete to win a medal in Winter Olympics history showed up in the video as a Snow-Cone vendor. Ciara appears in the video officiating the Emmy-winning star Jesse Tyler Ferguson’s wedding to Ferguson’s actual husband and a lawyer – Justin Mikita. Mayfield, a queer plus-size model, and dancer who’s worked with Jennifer Lopez and Katy Perry can be seen dancing in a rainbow onesie in front of Taylor’s trailer.
Hannah Hart appears in the opening of the video weightlifting with a boombox while Hayley Kiyoko shoots a bow and arrow at a target. Chester Lockhart is an actor and singer who judgmentally looks at Laverne Cox when she walks out of her trailer.
Taylor’s close friend Todrick Hall as well as Swift’s bestie Blake Lively’s husband Ryan Reynolds who plays the pansexual superhero – Deadpool also feature in the video. Katy Perry makes a dramatic and surprise-guest appearance wearing a burger suit to embrace Swift, who is dressed in a french fry suit, as the video concludes by asking viewers to support the Equality Act to protect LGBTQ people.
These are just some of the star-studded music videos. Tell us your favorite celebrity music video cameos in the comments!