20 Celebrities Who Were Featured In Music Videos Before They Were Famous

Blink and you might’ve missed some of these celebs!

Before celebrities were household names, a common way many of them started out is through roles in music videos. And looking back at these videos featuring celebs prior to fame will definitely make you do a double take.

Here are 20 celebrities who began their careers appearing in music videos that 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 discussed how artists like Madonna and Janet have influenced her work.

“They were my inspirations to even get into the music business, to do what I did,” she said. “Their videos inspired me to do the videos that I did, and so now, to be 20 years in and here and winning this award, it’s … mind-blowing.”


Naomi Campbell

Universal Music Group / Via youtube.com

Naomi was just 7 years old when she was in Bob Marley’s “Is This Love” music video. She remembered the experience in an article for the Guardian in 2016.

“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 realise Bob Marley would be standing right next to me, tucking me under a blanket. He was the most handsome man, with beautiful bone structure; mellow, too, and soft-spoken, with a strong Jamaican accent, the kind I already knew from home.”


Matthew McConaughey

The Orchard Music / Via youtube.com

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

“‘Walkaway Joe’ was my first time in front of the 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’s 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 up to New York and we all started hanging out,” she said. “That was a cool era for us, as well as a really hard time: the AIDS crisis, and losing so many friends back in the mid-’80s, in the early days of New York. It was really wonderful, because it was love and friends, and there was a wonderful sense of coming together, being silly and hoping for the future. It was really special.”


Angelina Jolie

Sony Music Entertainment / Via youtube.com

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


Alek Wek

Virgin UK / Via youtube.com

Supermodel Alek Wek’s first gig was a part in Tina Turner’s 1995 “Golden Eye” music video, per her 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 played 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 the “Cryin'” music video for rock group Aerosmith in 1993, just two years before she would get her breakout role of Cher in Clueless

She later 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 early acting breaks. In 2017, Wesley told Conan O’Brien that one reason Michael chose him to be in the video is he thought he was in a gang in real life.

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


Courteney Cox

Sony Music Entertainment / Via youtube.com

Courteney, who isn’t a trained dancer, was up against professional dancers for a part 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 her first big breaks.

“I thought I was in the wrong place,” Courteney said of the audition for the video. “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 that 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 then in the Aerosmith video for “Hole in My Soul” in 1997.

In addition, seven years before she would star alongside Will Smith in Hitch, Eva played a role in his 1998 “Miami” music video.


Wentworth Miller

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 of hers that same year, for the song “It’s Like That.” He took on these parts just months before he started playing the role of Michael Scofield in Prison Break, which began in August 2005.


Kim Kardashian

The Island Def Jam Music Group / Via youtube.com

Kim starred in Fall Out Boy’s music video for their hit “Thnks fr th Mmrs” in 2007, just months before the first episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians was released. She played Pete Wentz’s love interest in the video.

“I ran into her, and she was probably the nicest person ever,” Pete told People in 2018 about seeing Kim again years after the video shoot. “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 kids featured in Paula Abdul’s 1989 video for “Forever Your Girl.”

“Literally, the first thing that I ever did as an actor was with you,” an adult Elijah later said to Paula when Entertainment Tonight spoke to the two at an event. 

“I’m very proud of it,” he added.