The couple that makes music videos together, stays together. Or, not. In any case, it is Valentine season, so we figured we’d look back at some of the all-time most unforgettable music videos starring real-life romantic couples. These lovebirds once canoodled on camera for the sake of getting some MTV airtime. But which ones kept on making beautiful music together after the final cut? Let’s find out.
37. Jessica Simpson & Nick Lachey / 36. Nick Lachey & Vanessa Minnillo (tie)
Back when they were still newlyweds, J.Simp took her love for husband No. 1 very public in the romantic, gauzey-lensed “Where You Are” video. Later, post-divorce, Nick Lachey cast Vanessa Minnillo in the Jessica role for his breakup video, “What’s Left of Me.” Now, ironically, Nick and Vanessa are married.
35. Jon Spencer & Cristina Martinez
The sizzling chemistry these married underground icons exhibit onscreen makes them garage rock’s coolest couple, and the couple has survived three musical projects (Pussy Galore, Boss Hog, and Solex vs. Cristina Martinez + Jon Spencer) and nearly three decades of hot indie love. (Boss Hog released their first album in 17 years, Brood X, last year.) Clearly, they really do dig each other.
34. Paula Abdul & Arsenio Hall
Before she was hanging out with Simon Cowell, or Emilio Estevez, or even MC Skat Cat, Paula was forever Arsenio’s girl. OK, so it didn’t last forever … but they were together long enough for the dog pound leader to make a cameo in the classic “Straight Up.”
33. Jason Derulo & Jordin Sparks
They didn’t ever get married (Sparks secretly eloped last year with fitness model Dana Isaiah, with whom she is now expecting her first child), but Jason and Jordin sure were a cute couple from 2011-14.
32. Devendra Banhart & Natalie Portman
Future Oscar-winner Portman, in her weirdest performance outside of Black Swan, played a Bollywood princess in singer-songwriter Banhart’s “Carmensita” video when the two dated in 2008.
31. Kelis & Nas
The chemistry between this former married couple is so hot in “Blindfold Me,” it’s shocking that they split up acrimoniously in 2009.
30. Robert Smith & Mary Smith
Few people know much about the longtime wife of the Cure’s Robert Smith, other than her equally generic name, Mary Smith. But you can catch a quick glimpse of her in the “Just Like Heaven” video — she’s the pale-skinned, black-haired lass dancing in Robert’s arms during the guitar solo. Childhood sweethearts, the two have been married since 1988, and certainly seem made for each other. They even have matching hair!
29. Josh Kelley & Katherine Heigl
This singer-songwriter met his A-list actress wife back in 2005, when she starred in his “Only You” video. He’s been with only her ever since. Aw … it’s like a real-life version of one of Katherine’s rom-coms, right?
28. Jack White & Karen Elson
When the White Stripes Renaissance man and flame-haired supermodel met in 2005 on the set of the Stripes’ “Blue Orchid” video, director Floria Sigismondi noticed the “energy between them.” The two were married mere weeks later during a shaman-officiated ceremony in a canoe on the Amazon River. (Jack’s first wife and bandmate, Meg White, was the maid of honor.) Although the two divorced rather acrimoniously in 2013, they had two children together, and Elson even released an album on Jack’s Third Man Records. The exes now seem to be on good terms.
27. Carrie Underwood & Mike Fisher
In an inspired bit of typecasting, Carrie chose her husband, hockey player Mike Fisher, to play her groom in the marriage-minded video for “Mama’s Song.” He was certainly born to play the role, as these two lovebirds are the very picture of wedded bliss here. Mike comes in at the end; look for Carrie’s real-life mother at the beginning of this tearjerker.
26. Justin Timberlake & Jessica Biel
JT’s halftime show this year garnered mixed reviews; the husband/wife dance in this adorable video was much better received.
25. John Mellencamp & Elaine Irwin
In late 2010, John split from his third wife, a supermodel that he met at a 1991 album cover photo shoot and proposed to only 10 weeks later. Despite their insta-marriage, not to mention a nearly two-decade age difference, their union lasted longer than anyone might have predicted (18 years). And they certainly did seem cozy in this clip for “Get a Leg Up.”
24. Zayn Malik & Gigi Hadid
The ex-Directioner and the millennial model, who have been dating since 2015, engaged in a bit of sultry “Pillowtalk” in Zayn’s first solo music video.
23. Tyga & Kylie Jenner
Before she was giving birth to Travis Scott’s baby, the then-barely-legal Kylie made her relationship with rapper Tyga official in this, um, “stimulating” video.
22. Lady Gaga & Taylor Kinney
Meeting that special someone while shooting a sex scene starring a mermaid and a hunky farmer is a very Gaga love story. Actor Taylor Kinney, who played said farmer, met the fishtailed Lady on the Nebraska set of “Yoü and I” in 2011; the two dated for five years.
21. Tim McGraw & Faith Hill
The First Couple of Country, who are still going strong despite persistent rumors of marital woes, flaunted their perfect love all over the screen in the nauseatingly romantic “Let’s Make Love” clip. Seriously now, do these two ever bicker over who left the toothpaste cap off, or anything like that?
20. Mariah Carey & Nick Cannon
When these two eloped only weeks after meeting on the set of “Bye Bye,” no one thought it would last. And … it didn’t. But Mimi and Nick managed not to say bye-bye to each other for six years. Their onscreen chemistry translated offscreen, and they later became the parents of twins, aka “Dem Babies.”
19. John Legend & Chrissy Teigen
John and Chrissy are total #couplegoals in the romantic clip for the hit ballad John penned with his quirky bride in mind.
18. Adam Levine & Behati Prinsloo
Because what better way to show your wife you care than to portray her hoodie-clad stalker in a disturbing music video, right?
17. Cyndi Lauper & David Wolff
The so-unusual pop star cast many of her relatives and friends in her charming early videos, and in “Time After Time,” then boyfriend David portrayed her love interest. The video was prophetic, since it depicted a couple that had grown apart and was forced say goodbye; the two parted in real life soon after. Their “acting” is so sad and convincing here, it’s almost painful to watch. A classic.
16. Ric Ocasek & Paulina Porizkova
Paulina played a crazed girlfriend in the Cars’ “Drive” video — on the set of which she met her co-star and future husband, band leader Ric, who was married to another woman at the time. This certainly didn’t seem like a promising start to their relationship, but the pair married five years later in 1989, and they’re still together today.
15. Travie McCoy & Katy Perry
Cupid loosened his chokehold on these two long ago, but back when Travie was still Travis, he cast a little-known Katy as his love interest in Gym Class Heroes’ breakthrough video, “Cupid’s Chokehold.” Soon the two were an item in real life, though it didn’t last. Watch for Katy’s cameo at the end, around the three-minute mark. You have to admit, they made a nice couple back in the day.
14. John Mayer & Katy Perry
The couple took a wild ride — on a mechanical bull, for some reason — in “Who You Love,” but the good times didn’t last. They dated on and off for three years, but called it quits for good in 2015. Mayer has been open about discussing his love life in some interviews, but he was not thrilled when Perry discussed their sex life during her 96-hour Witness live stream — even though she flatteringly ranked him No. 1 on her list of past lovers.
13. Jhené Aiko & Big Sean
Sean was cute in his former girlfriend Ariana Grande’s “Problem” video, but when he’s paired with current paramour Aiko in the alternative hip-hop duo TWENTY88, the heat is intense. Things get very steamy around the three-minute mark in the misleadingly titled “Out of Love” video below.
12. Enrique Iglesias & Anna Kournikova
Rumors regarding the status of their relationship — were they secretly married? did they break up? — circulated throughout their relationship. But back in 2001, when the “Escape” video was shot, it was definitely a game of love between the Latin crooner and the sexy tennis star. They’re actually still together today, and recently became the parents of twins.
11. Billy Joel & Christie Brinkley
So what if it was later revealed that Billy originally wrote “Uptown Girl” for another ’80s supermodel, his pre-Christie girlfriend Elle Macpherson? And so what if Billy and Christie eventually divorced after nine years of marriage? This video is still pretty darn adorable.
10. Michael Jackson & Lisa Marie Presley
Much like their icky, seemingly staged kiss at the 1994 MTV Video Music Awards, the trying-too-hard video for “You Are Not Alone” did little to convince the general public that pop music’s oddest odd couple were legitimately in love. Years later, however, it’s still a bizarre artifact of the Jackson legacy.
9. Jennifer Lopez & Ben Affleck
“Bennifer” mania was at an all-time high when Jenny thought it was a bright idea to include scenes of her movie-star boyfriend ogling her backside in the voyeuristic video for “Jenny From the Block.” The result was a tad embarrassing, although admittedly more watchable than Jen and Ben’s other onscreen collaboration of the Bennifer era, Gigli.
8. Seal & Heidi Klum
Looking at how, ahem, cozy these two appeared in 2010, it is astounding to believe that this seemingly solid, incredibly sexy couple split up acrimoniously only two years after “Secret” was shot. Here’s the pair in happier, hotter times.
7. Axl Rose & Stephanie Seymour
The Guns N’ Roses bad boy and his supermodel girlfriend never made it to the altar in real life, but their wild rock ‘n’ roll wedding of the century was staged for GNR’s epic “November Rain” video. Given the fact that these fictional nuptials ended with a rained-out reception and Stephanie’s mysterious death — and that the other video this couple made together, “Don’t Cry,” depicted them fighting like Jerry Springer guests — we can see why they broke up acrimoniously in 1993.
6. Ivy Rorschach & Lux Interior
Was there ever cooler couple of ghouls than Lux and Ivy of the Cramps? The two fringe-dwellers met and fell in love in 1972 — when, as legend has it, Lux picked up Ivy hitch-hiking — and they cranked out their mutant strain of diseased, sleazed shockabilly until Lux’s tragic death in 2009. The dominatrix video romp below perfectly depicts their sweet, sick love.
5. Beyoncé & Jay-Z
Hip-hop’s most powerful power couple went semi-public with their relationship in Jay’s road-tripping caper clip, “’03 Bonnie & Clyde,” and they’ve been on adventures together ever since. Jay returned the favor by making a cameo in Bey’s breakthrough solo video, “Crazy in Love,” and later in her “Déjà Vu” and “Drunk in Love” videos. Mrs. Carter recently also appeared in Hova’s epic mini-movie “Family Feud.”
4. Marilyn Manson & Evan Rachel Wood
Marilyn and his Lolita-like girlfriend at the time, Evan Rachel Wood, got down and dirty in the racy “Heart-Shaped Glasses” video, sparking speculation as to whether they’d actually done the deed on camera. If they didn’t, all we can say is Evan is one heck of an actress. (Viewer discretion advised!)
3. P!nk & Carey Hart
PInk and her daredevil husband were estranged and on their way to divorce court when he decided to be a good sport and accept her invitation to star in her “So What” video (which was in fact a kiss-off to Carey). Sparks flew on the set, and the rest was history: The two soon reconciled, and have been back together ever since.
2. Kanye West & Kim Kardashian
The focal point of this impossible-to-unsee spectacle is the endless motorcycle ride that ’Ye and a topless, internet-breaking Kim take through various nature landscapes as they flex, stand, and stretch. If they were on a real bike, they surely would have crashed. Fortunately for them and their growing family (including newborn daughter Chicago), nearly five years later, their marriage hasn’t crashed yet.
1. David Coverdale & Tawny Kitaen
This is the gold standard by which all couple videos must be judged. The Whitesnake frontman actually cast his future ex-wife in three of his band’s iconic videos — “Still of the Night” and “Is This Love?” completed the unholy trilogy — but it was this one, featuring Tawny rolling and lolling atop her mane man’s luxury automobile, that stood the test of time (even if their marriage did not).
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