Supermodels and rock stars go together like burgers and fries. Taking the next logical step on from ‘60s artists such as The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and Rod Stewart dating the latest It Girls, in the ‘70s and ‘80s these dazzling beauties began popping up more frequently in music videos. Here are 12 of the most eye-catching video clip appearances from the cream of the covergirl crop.
Video: Bryan Ferry – "Let’s Stick Together" (1976)
Supermodel: Jerry Hall
A cover of a 1962 single by Wilbert Harrison, Bryan Ferry’s video for his solo take on "Let's Stick Together" following the initial dissolution of Roxy Music featured his young Texan girlfriend. Appearing legs first from behind a curtain, a 20-year-old Hall mimes the tune’s mid-song yelps and sauces it up with Ferry, who had met her when she appeared on the cover of Roxy Music’s 1975 album Siren. While Ferry is looking fine in his white suit and pencil moustache, he meets his match when the breathtaking Hall takes over his stage.
Video: Billy Joel - "Uptown Girl" (1983)
Supermodel: Christie Brinkley
Billy Joel was in fact dating another ‘80s supermodel - Australian icon Elle Macpherson - when he first conceived "Uptown Girl", but it was 29-year-old Michigan-born supermodel Christie Brinkley who appeared in the video for the hit single from Joel’s An Innocent Man album. Brinkley would become Joel’s second wife in 1985, later painting the cover artwork for her husband’s 1993 album River Of Dreams. Rolling Stone awarded Brinkley ‘The Best Album Cover Of The Year’ gong, but it couldn’t save the marriage, with the pair splitting a year later.
The Cars – "Drive" (1984)
Supermodel: Paulina Porizkova
What is it with frontmen ending up with their leading ladies? Like Bryan and Billy, The Cars’ 40-year-old frontman Ric Ocasek was soon engaged to the 18-year-old star of the band’s "Drive" music video, Czech supermodel Paulina Porizkova, with the pair marrying in 1989. "Drive" found Porizkova played a beautiful girl having a meltdown in the wake of a relationship split, but her marriage to Ocasek lasted for 28 years before they separated in 2017. Ocasek died in 2019.
Duran Duran – "Notorious" (1986)
Supermodel: Christie Turlington
Aged just 17 at the time, US supermodel Christie Turlington worked with Duran Duran in the video for their 1986 hit "Notorious" after the youngster was recommended by frontman Simon Le Bon’s model wife Yasmin Le Bon. The video also features a few quick cuts of producer Nile Rodgers, as well as dance sequences choreographed by future pop star Paula Abdul. Turlington would return to the music video world in 1990 with another '80s pop survivor…
George Michael – "Freedom ’90" (1990)
Supermodels: Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, Christy Turlington, Linda Evangelista, Tajana Patitz
Before he became a director of Oscar-winning films such as The Social Network, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button, David Fincher was creating eye-catching music videos for A-list artists including Madonna, Michael Jackson and Aerosmith. Perhaps most memorable of all was his clip for George Michael’s "Freedom ’90", a single lifted from 1990’s Listen Without Prejudice Vol 1 album. A stunning sequence of scenes featuring the world’s biggest fashion names of the era, "Freedom '90" includes a naked Cindy Crawford writhing in a bath, Naomi Campbell saucily dancing about in her underwear and Christy Turlington wrapped in 60 feet of linen. The formula was repeated in 1992 with Michael’s single "Too Funky", which saw Linda reappearing alongside newer supermodels including Eva Herzigova and Tyra Banks.
Chris Isaak – "Wicked Game" (1990)
Model: Helena Christensen
It doesn’t get much sexier than this. The video for "Wicked Game" proved a break-out success for both Chris Isaak and his on-camera muse, the gorgeous Danish model Helena Christensen. Shot by acclaimed photographer Herb Ritts (who also directed the similar monochromatic beach shoot for Madonna’s "Cherish" video the previous year), the smouldering scenario wasn’t as romantic as it seemed. Isaak later told the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame, “It looks romantic in the video, but in real life we were on a beach and they were throwing buckets of cold seawater on us to keep us wet”. The supermodel, who would go on to date Michael Hutchence before he shacked up with Paula Yates, also appeared in Interpol’s "Everything Is Wrong" video in 2015 alongside frontman (and beau at the time) Paul Banks.
Guns N’ Roses – "November Rain" (1992)
Supermodel: Stephanie Seymour
An epic ‘90s rock hit needs an epic music video. Victoria’s Secret model and Vogue cover star Stephanie Seymour began dating Guns N’ Roses leader Axl Rose not long before the band’s much-vaunted 1991 release of companion albums Use Your Illusion I and Use Your Illusion II. In "November Rain"’s dramatic video, Seymour goes from wedded bliss to open casket in just nine minutes. It was originally intended Seymour would be the lead in the Gunners’ ambitious video trilogy of "Don’t Cry", "November Rain" and "Estranged", however Rose and Seymour had broken up by the time it came to film the final act in 1993. No matter: who needs supermodels when you have oil tankers, dolphins and endless Slash solos?
Michael Jackson - "In The Closet" (1992)
Supermodel: Naomi Campbell
Another monochromatic video directed by Herb Ritts, Michael Jackson’s "In The Closet" featured Naomi Campbell picking up where her sensual "Freedom ’90" moves left off, with the supermodel and Jackson moving provocatively around landmarks in the tiny town of Salton Sea, California. Filmed at the peak of her modelling powers, Campbell also lent a new monologue to the song. In 1994 she would release a solo album titled Baby Woman, however it disappeared without troubling the charts.
U2 – "Last Night On Earth" (1998)
Supermodel: Sophie Dahl
U2 have a history with supermodels: Bono did a Vogue cover shoot with Christy Turlington during the Zoo TV era and Naomi Campbell (her again) even popped up briefly in U2’s 1993 video for "Numb" while going out with bassist Adam Clayton, but it was newcomer Sophie Dahl who got the gig as “Breezy, a psycho nuclear chick” in the band’s "Last Night On Earth" clip. If it wasn’t bad enough their album Pop’s March 1997 release was a critical and commercial fizzer, this particular video shoot pissed off a lot of Kansas City residents after one of their main arterials was shut for two days to film a baffling (and ridiculously costly) zombie scene. Dahl also popped up in videos for Duran Duran and Elton John around the same time as her U2 appearance.
Fountains Of Wayne – "Stacy’s Mom" (2003)
Supermodel: Rachel Hunter
Some cheeky inter-generational fun from the late Adam Schlesinger's power pop group. Due to "Stacy’s Mom"'s sonic debt to The Cars, Fountains Of Wayne had initially hoped to lure Paulina Porizkova (see the "Drive" listing above) to appear in the video for their 2003 hit single. When Porizkova wasn’t available to play the saucy object of a 13 year-old boy’s affections, Kiwi supermodel Rachel Hunter capably stepped in. After filming cleverly framed nude scenes in the video, Hunter got it all off for a Playboy cover shoot a year later.
The White Stripes – "I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself" (2003)
Supermodel: Kate Moss
She’s appeared in videos from the likes of Primal Scream, Paul McCartney, Elton John and Johnny Cash, but few of Kate Moss’ music videos are as memorable as her choreographed pole dancing routine in The White Stripes’ cover of the Burt Bacharach and Hal David track "I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself". Directed by Sofia Coppola (The Virgin Suicides, Lost In Translation, Marie Antoinette), the black and white clip featured neither White Stripes members Jack and Meg White, but it’s unlikely too many fans complained. Cinematography was handled by Lance Acord, who’d won an MTV Award for his work with a dancing Christopher Walken on Fatboy Slim’s "Weapon Of Choice" video in 2001.
Gary Clark Jr - "The Healing"
Supermodel: Nicole Trunfio
She might not have the international recognition of some of the models on this list, but we couldn’t go past adding Australia’s Nicole Trunfio here. The West Australian beauty appeared in Gary Clark Jr’s "The Healing" video in 2015 as a mysterious scarf clad woman voyaging downstream in search of some old school mysticism. In 2016 Trunfio married the Texan-born Clark Jr and the pair now have three children together.
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