Whenever someone leaves their band and ventures out on their own as a solo artist, the first music video is a big deal. It declares who they are, what their solo music will be about and, most importantly, how they look without two or four other people behind them, forcing them to share the spotlight.
Oh, and it also serves as a reminder to their fans that things are about to change.
JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE — “LIKE I LOVE YOU”
Subtract the boy band curls, add heaps and heaps of bad boy swagger and a pinch of sexy whisper-talking, break out your slickest moves, and you’ve got the recipe to turn Timberlake into a grown-up, worldwide phenomenon. He’s got so much swag in this video that he manages to make two terrible hats look cool!
BEYONCÉ — “CRAZY IN LOVE”
The horns began, Beyoncé strutted down the street, and by the time she started singing all of those “oh oh”s, the Queen had officially arrived. To be honest, this video still has us shook.
JOE JONAS — “JUST IN LOVE”
Before he formed DNCE, the middle Jonas Brother tried his hand at a Timberlake-esque R&B career, which he launched with a brooding music video reminiscent of a French film. Hey, what’s more grown-up than foreign films?
NIALL HORAN — “THIS TOWN”
For his first venture into solo-dom, Horan went for a minimalist approach, with a video that just featured him singing and playing guitar in a studio. Sometimes less really is more.
HARRY STYLES — “SIGN OF THE TIMES”
Horan’s former bandmate went in a very different direction for his first video — namely, up. Although, to be fair, watching Styles fly is the only thing that could possibly top those high notes.
KELLY ROWLAND — “DILEMMA”
No matter what we do, all we think about is this epic early-aughts love story between Nelly and Kelly, and how it taught us all that we shouldn’t try and text our boyfriends using Microsoft Excel.
ZAYN MALIK — “PILLOWTALK”
Nothing says “I’m not in a boy band anymore” like a sexy, psychedelic video in which you make out with your supermodel girlfriend to the tune of your steamiest slow jam.
NICK JONAS & THE ADMINISTRATION — “WHO I AM”
Post-Jonas Brothers mania, pre-six pack, Jonas was just a dude in another band, playing the guitar and begging someone to love him for who he was. (To be honest, we weren’t really paying attention to the video — we were busy staring at those glorious, glorious curls.)
JC CHASEZ — “BLOWIN’ ME UP (WITH HER LOVE)”
Ladies and gentlemen, we officially present to you, the entire year 2000 in one music video. Thankfully, that soul patch — like his rumored relationship with Tara Reid — didn’t last forever.
VICTORIA BECKHAM — “OUT OF YOUR MIND”
Posh Spice … in something other than a little black Gucci dress? We didn’t even know that was possible.