On April 9, Paulina Porizkova turns 50. Yes, she still looks amazing. She’s very much the same supermodel stunner who first graced the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue back in 1984, which was the same year she appeared in the video for The Cars’ ballad “Drive.”
The video is notable not only because it features a supermodel, but also because it gives her more to do than just stand around looking pretty. Porizkova emotes in this. The experience of filming the video also led Porizkova to meet Cars frontman Ric Ocasek, whom she’d marry in 1989. Even better, this supermodel-rocker pair continues to beat the odds and are still together 26 years later.
But while “Drive” may have set the gold standard, it’s not the only music video to make great use of a supermodel.
Billy Joel – "Uptown Girl"
Christie Brinkley looks gorgeous as the title character in this 1983 video. Brinkley married Joel two years later. In 2001, Irish band Westlife remade the song, putting Claudia Schiffer in the Brinkley role.
Duran Duran – "Notorious"
The back-up dancers in this 1986 video are moving to some Paula Abdul choreography that’s downright Sparkle Motion-worthy, but Christy Turlington is working just as hard shooting sultry looks at the camera.
George Michael – "Freedom ’90"
Chris Isaak – "Wicked Game"
This 1990 video features some of the sexiest use of black and white ever committed to film. Of course, Helena Christensen on a beach in Hawaii would look sexy in any color scheme.
Guns N Roses – "November Rain"
One of the most expensive videos for its time, “November Rain” features Axl Rose marrying his then girlfriend, Stephanie Seymour, who also starred in the video for the band’s 1991 track "Don’t Cry." It doesn’t end well for the pair in the video In real life, the couple split two years later.
Tina Turner – "Love Thing"
Michael Jackson – "In the Closet"
Released in 1992, this video has Naomi Campbell radiating sexual energy to the point that you’d almost thing there was physical chemistry between her and Michael Jackson. Well done, Ms. Campbell.
George Michael – "Too Funky"
Essentially, Michael outdoes his “Freedom! ’90” effort by adding in even more supermodels. This one features Eva Herzigova, Linda Evangelista, Nadja Auermann, Emma Sjöberg, Estelle Hallyday, Shana Zadrick, Tyra Banks, Beverly Peele, Emma Balfour and Julie Newmar.
Michael Jackson – "Remember the Time"
This epic 1992 video recreates ancient Egypt on a scale that makes videos today seem downright unambitious. Iman is perfectly cast as the pharaoh’s queen and should have first dibs on playing female Egyptian royalty in everything for the rest of time.
Jon Bon Jovi – "Please Come Home for Christmas"
The song has been covered by anyone with a Christmas album for more than 50 years. But this is the sexiest version – and also the only one to feature Cindy Crawford. Coincidence?
Fountains of Wayne – "Stacy’s Mom"
This 2003 song really builds up the title character, but Rachel Hunter delivers on the promise of Stacy’s mom being a suburban bombshell.
The White Stripes – "I Just Don’t Know What to Do with Myself"
The song title is a lie. In this 2003 video, Kate Moss seems pretty clear on what she’s doing, why she’s doing it and what she looks like while she’s doing it.
Seal – "Secret"
Seal and then-wife Heidi Klum went extremely intimate in this video for his 2010 track. Not only is it a lot of skin, it’s mostly skin.
Usher – "Dive"
The appeal of spending the day with Chanel Iman on a yacht is not up for debate. What is, however, is whether she and Usher drown at the end of this video. Maybe the voyage was worth it anyway?