I Know That Song! The One Where The Singer Refused To Be In The Video

This song has had a lasting cultural impact. The catchy song addressed today’s singer and his struggles with identity, artistic growth and stardom in a meaningful way. And because he refused to appear on-camera for the video, the song ended up with an iconic music video that brought the worlds of fashion and entertainment together.

He didn't want his image used to promote his 1990 album, but his record label still wanted music videos for MTV. After spotting the January 1990 cover of British Vogue, which featured five of the era's top models — Christy Turlington, Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista, and Tatjana Patitz — he had the inspired solution to this dilemma: instead of him appearing in front of the camera, these supermodels could be in a music video for today’s song.

It took some doing because the women were in high demand, and their fees weren't cheap, but all five eventually agreed to appear in the video. And though models being in a music video wasn't a new phenomenon, in the past women had usually been cast in a "girlfriend" role. 

Here, instead of being appendages, the models were the focus of the video. They were the ones lip-syncing lyrics such as "All we have to see is that I don't belong to you, and you don't belong to me."

And because they'd appeared in the video, many people who'd never paid much attention to fashion became aware of the world of supermodels. As Evangelista said in a 2013 interview, "We did hit another audience there. No matter where I went in the world, they knew me from the video and not from my campaigns."

Alicia Keys performed this as part of her set during the 2007 MTV Video Music Awards. While she was performing this, Kid Rock and Tommy Lee got in a fight that many said was because of the presence of Pamela Anderson, who was part of the show. The incident did not appear in the broadcast, but a camera caught the end of the fight and MTV made this video available online.

David Fincher, who'd directed many other music videos before the one for today’s song, was already on his way to Hollywood with Alien 3. But he would go on to direct big movies like, Seven, Fight Club and Gone Girl. 

Stylist Camilla Nickerson went on to become a contributing editor at Vogue and used many of her own clothes for the shoot, which was out of necessity because, and this is a FUN FACT here, most of the budget for the entire video had been used to buy the one linen sheet wrapped around Turlington in the video!

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