20 Celebrities Who Were In Music Videos Before They Got Famous

Blink and you might have missed some of these celebrities!

Before celebrities were household names, many of them started out playing roles in music videos. And looking back at these videos featuring celebrities before fame will definitely make you do a double take.

Here are 20 celebrities who started their careers by appearing in music videos you might remember.


Jennifer Lopez

LatinAutor / Via youtube.com

In 1993, Jennifer appeared in Janet Jackson’s music video for her track “That’s the Way Love Goes”.

In a 2018 MTV interview following her MTV Video Vanguard Award win, Jennifer opened up about how artists like Madonna and Janet have influenced her work.

“They were my inspirations even to get into the music industry, to do what I did,” she said. “Their videos inspired me to do the videos I did, and so now to be 20 and win this award is… mind-blowing.”


Naomi Campbell

Universal Music Group / Via youtube.com

Naomi was only 7 years old when she starred in Bob Marley’s “Is This Love” music video. She recalled the experience in a 2016 Guardian article.

“Of all the videos [I did], Bob Marley’s “Is This Love” was the most exciting. Our family loved reggae,” she said. “I didn’t realize Bob Marley would be standing right next to me, tucking me under a blanket. He was the most handsome man, with a fine frame; sweet too and soft-spoken, with a strong Jamaican accent, the kind I already knew from back home.”


Matthew McConaughey

Orchard Music / Via youtube.com

In 1992 Matthew starred in Trisha Yearwood’s music video for the song “Walkaway Joe”. He opened up about filming the video while in college during a 2021 interview.

“‘Walkaway Joe’ was my first time on camera,” he said on The Kelly Clarkson Show. “‘And I still don’t believe I’ve met Trisha in person.’



Warner Music Group / Via youtube.com

The B-52’s “Love Shack” music video was RuPaul’s first-ever acting appearance. B-52 member Cindy Wilson revisited the experience of filming the video in a 2017 Billboard interview.

“Ru was a drag queen in Atlanta, and a bunch of people came to New York and we all started hanging out,” she said. “It was a cool time for us, as well as a really difficult time: the AIDS crisis and the loss of so many friends in the mid-80s, in early New York. It was really wonderful, because it was love and friends, and there was a wonderful feeling of reuniting and being silly and hoping for the future. It was really special.”


Angelina Jolie

Sony Music Entertainment / Via youtube.com

Angelina started out in many videos, including this one for Antonello Venditti’s 1991 rendition of “Don’t Dream It’s Over,” titled “Alta Marea.” She later appeared in Lenny Kravitz’s music video for “Stand by My Woman” and two Meat Loaf music videos.



Virgin UK / Via youtube.com

Model Alek Wek’s first gig was part of Tina Turner’s “Golden Eye” music video in 1995, according to his IMG Models page.

“This Tina Turner video was one of my very first jobs and I thought it was pretty fabulous!” Alek said. She also had a role in Janet Jackson’s video for “Got Til It’s Gone” in 1996.


Alicia Silverstone

UMG Recordings, Inc. / Via youtube.com

Alicia starred in rock band Aerosmith’s ‘Cryin” music video in 1993, just two years before landing her starring role as Cher in clueless.

She then performed a routine with the song on Lip Sync Battle in 2018.


Wesley Snipes

Sony Music Entertainment / Via youtube.com

This appearance in Michael Jackson’s 1987 “Bad” music video was one of Wesley’s first acting breaks. In 2017, Wesley told Conan O’Brien that one of the reasons Michael chose him to be in the video was because he thought he was part of a gang in real life.

“Unfortunately, [Michael] …I really thought I was in a gang. He didn’t know I was a trained comedian,” Wesley said.


Courtney Cox

Sony Music Entertainment / Via youtube.com

Courteney, who is not a trained dancer, competed against professional dancers for a role in Bruce Springsteen’s “Dancing in the Dark” music video, she told Howard Stern in March 2022. She still scored the role, which was one of his first big breaks.

“I thought I was in the wrong place,” Courteney said of the video audition. “I was like, I don’t know what they’re doing, but I can’t even bend my leg…I think that’s what they wanted, a fan who just couldn’t believe it.”


eva mendes

EMI Records Ltd / Via youtube.com

In 1996, Eva appeared in the music video for “Se A Vida E (That’s the Way Life Is)” by the Pet Shop Boys. She was next in Aerosmith’s music video for “Hole in My Soul” in 1997.

Plus, seven years before she starred alongside Will Smith in CouplingEva had a role in her 1998 “Miami” music video.



Universal Music Group / Via youtube.com

Wentworth was featured in Mariah Carey’s “We Belong Together” music video in 2005. He was also in another video by her that same year, for the song “It’s Like That”. He took on those roles just a few months before he started starring as Michael Scofield in prison escape, which began in August 2005.


Kim Kardashian

Island Def Jam Music Group / Via youtube.com

Kim starred in the Fall Out Boy music video for their hit “Thnks fr th Mmrs” in 2007, a few months before the first episode of keeping up with the Kardashians has been freed. She played Pete Wentz’s love interest in the video.

“I met her, and she was probably the nicest person ever,” Pete told People in 2018 of seeing Kim again years after the video was filmed. “She’s exactly the same as she was then, except she’s, like, a trillion times more famous.”


And finally, Elijah Wood.

Universal Music Group / Via youtube.com

Elijah was one of the children featured in Paula Abdul’s 1989 video for “Forever Your Girl.”

“Literally the first thing I did as an actor was with you,” adult Elijah later told Paula when entertainment tonight spoke to the two at an event.

“I’m very proud of it,” he added.

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