The ’90s and ’00s were a great time for music. The universe blessed us with pop queens like Britney Spears and the Spice Girls to boy band wonders like NSYNC and the Backstreet Boys. Even better, some of our favorite hits came to life in the form of music videos.
But no matter how many times you watched the music videos for “Hey Ya!” or “I’m Real” on MTV, you probably never knew what was going on behind the scenes. Check out these surprising facts about your favorite music videos from the ’90s and ’00s.
Remember the hot guy in Britney Spears’ music video for “…Baby One More Time”? He was related to Brit all along.
Alicia Keys Was Originally Supposed to Play the Convict In “Fallin'”
It was 2001 when the world fell in love with the smooth sounds of Alicia Keys. Her debut single, “Fallin'” was a major hit on Top 40 radio and her debut album, Songs In A Minor, was quick to follow.
As it turns out, for her big video debut, label executives wanted Keys to make her grand entrance into the music world gracefully. In her “Fallin'” video, Keys was originally supposed to play the convict, but her label forced her to play the long-suffering girlfriend because they didn’t want her first appearance on TV to be behind bars.
Did You Catch This Celeb’s Appearance In OutKast’s “Hey Ya!” Music Video?
We’re still obsessed with OutKast’s 2003 hit “Hey Ya!” from back in the day (and we’re sure everyone else is too). There’s no escaping the urge to do the dance at weddings and parties some 15 years later. If you were paying close enough attention (and if you’re a ’90s movie buff) you may have caught this fun fact.
Actor Ryan Phillippe plays the announcer at the beginning of the video. Fans might remember Phillippe as the seductive brother in Cruel Intentions and other films such as I Know What You Did Last Summer. He was also married to actress Reese Witherspoon with whom he had three children.
Britney Spears’ Love Interest In “…Baby One More Time” Was Actually Her Real-Life Cousin
There are many shocking facts about Britney Spears videos back in the day, but nothing is as intriguing as her 1998 debut video for “…Baby One More Time.”
Remember that hot basketball dude that played Britney’s love interest? Well, it turns out that guy was played by her real-life cousin, Chad. Chad was an Abercrombie & Fitch model at the time. Another fun fact? The school where the video was filmed was also the same school used in the iconic movie-musical, Grease.
Christina Aguilera’s music video for ‘Dirrty” was controversial in more ways than one.
The Director for Christina Aguilera’s “Dirrty” Issued an Apology for the Music Video
Back in 2002, everyone was pretty shocked when Christina Aguilera went through her ‘dirrty’ stage. Her second album, Stripped, defied the odds and the singer came out stronger for it, but not without a little controversy.
In X-Tina’s video for “Dirrty,” there is a poster advertising Thailand’s “adult” industry. It also had the words “Young Underage Girls” written in Thai. Later on, when these things were brought to video director David LaChapelle’s attention, he issued an apology, stating, “Thailand is a beautiful country with a long cultural history that I truly respect. I would never intentionally do anything to insult the people of Thailand. Please accept my deepest apologies.”
The Real Reason AJ McLean Wore Sunglasses In the Backstreet Boys “The Call”
While the Backstreet Boys maintained a clean-cut image back in the day, AJ McLean was often known as the wild one of the group. It turns out, right before shooting their music video for “The Call,” McLean was experimenting with drugs and had just used cocaine for the first time — hence the sunglasses in the video.
McLean managed to not tell anyone else in the band and made it through the video shoot without any problems. “I pulled it off and nobody ever knew. No one was ever wiser. But unfortunately, after that night, my body had gotten a taste of something new and I was hooked,” shared McLean.
Kelis Doesn’t Even Like Milkshakes
If Brooklyn has seen anything in recent years, it is the rise of gentrification. Unfortunately, gentrification played a part in an iconic diner closing down. The diner in question just happened to be where Kelis filmed her music video for “Milkshake.”
Kelis and crew filmed the music video at the Relish diner in Williamsburg. You might remember Nas, her now ex-husband, featured as one of the cooks. But perhaps the most surprising fact is that Kelis doesn’t really like milkshakes, stating that she never thought they were very good. So…how are they supposed to bring all the boys to the yard then? Probably one of life’s biggest questions.
Mariah Carey Wore Her Wedding Dress From a Failed Marriage In “We Belong Together”
Who wasn’t crazy in love with Mariah Carey’s video for “We Belong Together” when it premiered in 2005? If you were just as obsessed with the wedding dress in the video, you’re not alone. Turns out, it’s the highlight of the entire video.
The dress’s origins go back to Carey’s 1993 wedding to Tommy Mottola. They later divorced in 1998 but the dress remained gorgeous in all its glory. “I wanted to burn the train of the dress. It was 27 feet long and [director] Brett [Ratner] wouldn’t let me burn the train! I don’t know what was wrong with him. He didn’t want to set me on fire but we could have done it in post-production. I mean, c’mon,” shared Mariah.
Jennifer Lopez’s Music Video for “I’m Real” Helped Put Juicy Couture on the Map
Everyone who ran out to get a pink Juicy Couture tracksuit after seeing Jennifer Lopez’s “I’m Real” music video is going to love this tasty bit of video trivia!
It turns out, the singer almost didn’t wear the iconic pink Juicy suit. At the time, Juicy was still a relatively new and unknown company but that didn’t stop them from sending J-Lo a bunch of clothes to chill out in on set. Lopez loved them so much that she decided to wear them in the video, thus creating the frenzy, and possible success, of the now iconic Juicy Couture brand.
You saw Channing Tatum shirtless in Magic Mike, but before that, he was showing off his six-pack in a ’00s music video.
Channing Tatum Is the Shirtless Bartender In Ricky Martin’s Music Video for “She Bangs”
There have been plenty of interesting tidbits of information circulating about Ricky Martin music videos since the late 1990s. But one thing that we absolutely cannot overlook is the fact that actor Channing Tatum is the hot, shirtless bartender in the singer’s “She Bangs” music video.
Yes, you can catch a young Channing Tatum doing all sorts of bartender tricks if you look closely enough – or pause the video…or watch it in slow-mo…or just watch gifs made out of the special moment to relive over and over. You know, the usual.
blink-182 Weren’t Really Naked In the Music Video for “What’s My Age Again?”
Here’s something that will ruin your view on this classic! We all remember the first time we saw blink-182 run around naked on TV in the “What’s My Age Again?” music video. Turns out, the pop-punk trio wasn’t really naked. They were just wearing flesh-colored Speedos for most of the music video.
For a lot of us who grew up around the time of the music video’s release, this was the video that pretty much made us all aware of what shock factor was. Now we’ll just have to move on with our lives knowing our favorite kings of pop-punk were actually clothed.
More on blink-182’s iconic videos later!
LeToya and LaTavia Learned They Were Kicked Out of Destiny’s Child From the “Say My Name” Music Video
Imagine being a member of Destiny’s Child. Now imagine finding out you got the boot by seeing someone else perform your lines in a music video you knew next to nothing about. That’s exactly what happened to former Destiny’s Child members LeToya Luckett and LaTavia Robertson.
The “Say My Name” music video was released on February 15, 2001, and featured two new members — Michelle Williams and Farrah Franklin — much to the surprise of Luckett and Robertson. Prior to the release of the music video, tensions had been high between Luckett, Robinson and the rest of the group over poor communication. While they may have seen their departure coming, we doubt they were expecting the find out they were out of the group like this!
Speaking of all things Beyoncé…
It Took More Than a Month to Learn the Dance Moves to Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies”
Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies” premiered more than a decade ago and the hit has some pretty interesting facts behind the making of the music video. We all know Beyoncé gives it her all to everything she does, but the music video for “Single Ladies” is a whole other story!
It took the singer a month and a half to learn the video’s choreography. During the shoot, Bey and the dancers did the routine 50 times, while breaking multiple pairs of their high heels because they were dancing so hard. Now that’s dedication!
Did blink-182’s Music Video for “All The Small Things” Inspire One Direction?
While blink-182 has contributed to the list of iconic music videos of the late ’90s and early ’00s, nothing has caught the attention of fans of different generations than the video for “All The Small Things.”
In the music video, blin-182 poke fun at pop culture by pretending to be a boy. It turns out, they were way ahead of their time! More than a decade later, boy band One Direction filmed their video for “What Makes You Beautiful” at the very same beach blink-182 filmed “All The Small Things.” Guess it’s those ‘small things’ and coincidences that really make pop culture trivia so fun to explore.
Baby Spice Taught the Other Girls Karate Moves for The “Say You’ll Be There” Music Video
Name one friend from your childhood who didn’t know every word and dance move to “Say You’ll Be There” by the Spice Girls. In one of their most iconic music videos of their career, “Say You’ll Be There” was filmed in the desert, but that didn’t stop these girls from giving it their all.
If you’re wondering how the girls learned all those cool karate tricks, you have Baby Spice (Emma Bunton) to thank. Turns out, Bunton knew karate from her younger years so she took it upon herself to add some no frills ‘spice’ to the mix.
Missy Elliott Got Drunk While Filming “Work It”
We all know and love the music video for Missy Elliott’s “Work It” featuring a young Alyson Stoner, but what you may not know is how Elliott herself was pretty drunk during parts of the song!
Director Dave Meyers shared that in one scene, he kept replacing Missy’s glass with alcohol instead of water! “We shot that take maybe seven times from different angles, so by the time that was over, she was trashed. She was so smiley…and then, coincidentally, Janet Jackson came to visit us and bless us with her presence. Missy was talking all kinds of gibberish to Janet. It was really a good time.”
Next up: learn how one fashion company made their own luck!
Gwen Stefani Took Some Heat for Her “Hollaback Girl” Music Video
Gwen Stefani was called out for cultural appropriation for her video for “Hollaback Girl,” but fans were quick to defend her love of Japanese culture. At the beginning of the music video, Stefani says, “Get in really close. Aww, super kawaii,” as she takes a picture of her dancers. “Kawaii” is a Japanese word for “cute” and was an adorable touch to the video.
However, the song was originally a response to a comment singer Courtney Love had made in an interview about Stefani. Love stated that she thought Stefani was a “cheerleader.” Umm, so what? We’re proud!
Adam Levine’s Then-Girlfriend Wasn’t Happy With Maroon 5’s Music Video for “She Will Be Loved”
They say it’s tough to be dating a famous musician, especially if that man is Adam Levine. We all remember and love Maroon 5’s classic video for “She Will Be Loved” – look at that baby-faced Levine! That kiss between him and actress Kelly Preston was quite amazing and we’re not the only ones who got a little jealous.
Turns out, Levine’s girlfriend at the time was furious about his scenes with Preston and considering his comments about his on-screen affair, we can’t say we disagree. “Kelly Preston is a woman I would love to make out with in real life. My girlfriend was less than happy when I did the shoot,” Levine revealed in an interview. Awkward!
Evanescence’s “My Immortal” Music Video Might Be Symbolic of Bandmate, Ben Moody, Leaving
Back in 2003, you couldn’t go anywhere without hearing the angelic voice of Evanescence’s leading woman, Amy Lee. The band has had a few fallouts through the years but none were as intense as the departure of Lee’s best friend and bandmate, Ben Moody.
Moody left Evanescence a week after shooting the “My Immortal” music video and rumors spread that the line “And if you have to leave, I wish that you would just leave,” was about his split. While it all may have been just a funny coincidence, you can’t deny the notion of art imitating life with this story.
The Controversial Inspiration Behind the Dance Moves In NSYNC’s “Bye, Bye, Bye”
Who hasn’t memorized all the choreography from just about every single NSYNC video? Turns out, the dance moves from their “Bye, Bye, Bye” video from 2000 come with a little controversy.
The fist pump choreography we all know and love from the video was actually inspired by the Black Power fist salute. Years after the video was shot, director Darren Dewitt Henson shared, “The choreography simply was a combination of a few things: the puppeteers-style dancing, which came from them singing about feeling like puppets on a string on the original track; then the Black Power fist — at the time the group did not know where the move come from, they just enjoyed doing the move. This is the first time I’ve actually talked about it.”
Katy Perry’s “I Kissed A Girl” Was Filmed In a Castle…Sort Of
Once Katy Perry’s “I Kissed A Girl” made its debut, there was no turning back for the pop star. With its racy lyrics and singalong-worthy chorus, the song was an immediate hit. And who could forget the music video set in an old castle in the Hollywood Hills?
Initially, the music video was supposed to be filmed in a hotel room, but due to budget concerns, the location was switched to “The Hollywood Castle.” However, Perry wasn’t the first star to use the set. The Hollywood Castle has been used in a slew of horror movies and, yes, adult films. Go figure. Also, who remembers that little cameo from a then-unknown Ke$ha thrown in there? It feels like 2008 was a lifetime ago.