Several musicians and singers have transformed themselves for music videos to the point where their fans didn’t recognize them!
Kourtney Kardashian’s fiancé and Blink-182 drummer, Travis Barker, was seen looking vastly different in Machine Gun Kelly and WILLOW’s music video for “Emo Girl,” which was released in February 2022. The rocker donned a gray wig and glasses for the opening scene.
Travis even shared his big moment to Instagram the day the video premiered. “Who wants to go on a field trip?” he captioned his post at the time.
Of course, there’s also The Weeknd‘s single “Save Your Tears,” which surprised many fans. The Grammy Award winner, whose real name is Abel Tesfaye, shocked viewers everywhere when the January 2021 video first dropped.
In the clip, which is a little over four minutes long, The Weeknd’s features were completely exaggerated with fuller cheeks, a thinned nose, surgery scars and plump lips — think Jim Carrey in The Mask. Of course, the Toronto, Canada, native didn’t actually get plastic surgery in the name of his art. In fact, The Weeknd’s over-the-top look was the result of CGI and prosthetics.
To date, The Weeknd has never fully explained the meaning behind his “Save Your Tears” transformation. However, many fans and outlets believe it is the final installation to a story he began telling through his music with 2019’s “Heartless” video.
Obviously, not every artist is as mysterious with their metaphors, and Taylor Swift‘s video for “The Man” fits the bill. “I’m so sick of running as fast I can/ Wondering if I’d get there quicker/ If I was a man/ And I’m so sick of them coming at me again/ ‘Cause if I was a man/ Then I’d be the man/ I’d be the man/ I’d be the man,” are the lyrics to the chorus of the 2019 single off Taylor’s Lover album.
With that, the songwriter turned herself into a — you guessed it — man for the music video. The transformation was so believable that Swifties didn’t immediately realize the video’s main character, Tyler, was actually Taylor herself. As entertaining as “The Man” is to watch, the track has a much more significant meaning.
“It was a song that I wrote from my personal experience, but also from a general experience that I’ve heard from women in all parts of our industry. And I think that, the more we can talk about it in a song like that, the better off we’ll be in a place to call it out when it’s happening,” Taylor explained during a December 2019 interview with Billboard.
“So many of these things are ingrained in even women, these perceptions, and it’s really about retraining your own brain to be less critical of women when we are not criticizing men for the same things,” she added. “So many things that men do, you know, can be phoned-in that cannot be phoned-in for us. We have to really — God, we have to curate and cater everything, but we have to make it look like an accident. Because if we make a mistake, that’s our fault, but if we strategize so that we won’t make a mistake, we’re calculating.”
Scroll through the gallery below to see photos of artists who completely transformed themselves for music videos.
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