Musicians love to dress up. Whether it’s to shock squares, blow minds, or put on a show, they inspire us all to be freakier than we ever thought possible. While stage costumes are an integral part of performances and personas, Halloween calls for a different kind of dress-up. Check out some of the best musician costumes to inspire your Halloween look this year.
Listen to our Halloween & Chill playlist here.
Björk invented the Björk Halloween costume when she showed up at the 73rd Academy Awards dressed as Bjork.
From kooky costumes to multiple personalities, Nicki Minaj is a one-woman show of her own. She built her career on wild stage costumes and even performed an exorcism of her “Roman” persona at the Grammys. For the 2010 BET Awards, she went full Bride of Frankenstein, while strapped to an electric chair.
Though Taylor Swift may have been called the “princess of pop” by Madonna, some may be shocked to learn she isn’t a real princess. Here she is channeling her best Ren Faire look on her 2009 Fearless tour.
Even Questlove’s not above joining the fray of chain-smoking Elmos, Batmen, and other costumed characters who occupy the tourist-hustling-economy of Times Square for Halloween.
Brides Of Funkenstein
The 70s were essentially Halloween for 10 years, but the debauched decade also gave rise to some of the most inventive costumes in music. Few were wilder and cooler than the Parliament-Funkadelic musical collective. Once George Clinton established the origin story of intergalactic funk with Star Child and Dr. Funkenstein, he took a cue from the classic horror film Bride of Frankenstein and created the Brides of Funkenstein, to help bring the funk to the funkless earth.
Iggy Pop makes an absolutely perfect… Weird judge from Who Framed Roger Rabbit? Weird preacher guy from Night of the Hunter? Weird old man from Poltergeist? Eccentric rock singer from Iggy Pop & The Stooges? He’s already given several brilliant Halloween ideas without even trying.
The Met Gala is already like a Halloween parade for celebrities, but the 2019 theme of “Camp” took it to the next level by convincing celebrities to embody the “spirit of extravagance,” and nobody does that better on a red carpet than Katy Perry.
Mariah Carey and P. Diddy
Haters will say Diddy waited until the last minute and grabbed whatever was left at Party City, but we all know this a BTS shot from the unreleased “Honey” (Bad Boy Remix) sequel shoot.
Is it sacrilegious to worship at the holy altar of RiRi?
The Rolling Stones
Before landing on the Rock and Roll Circus idea for their concert film, The Rolling Stones actually tried out several other ideas, including Rock and Roll Side Show, Rock and Roll Picnic, Rock and Roll Bar Mitzvah. The circus concept worked because Mick Jagger was already wearing a top hat in public, so this became the workaround.
Donna Summer was famously Guillermo del Toro’s inspiration for Pan’s Labyrinth.
Unbelievable! Cher’s shocking Happy Days audition tape reveals she auditioned as The Fonze. It’s the tape Henry Winkler doesn’t want you to see!
Frank Sinatra’s 1938 mug shot is one of the most famous bits of music ephemera out there. Less famous is when he was on the other side of the law.
Before he was Sir Elton John, he was Lady Liberty, holding the world’s biggest candle in the wind.
Ringo Starr and Marc Bolan
Is this a still of Ringo Starr and Marc Bolan from the film Born to Boogie or an all-male remake of Thelma and Louise?
Alice Cooper was so committed to shock’n’roll he ended up in a straitjacket. You’ve heard of self-care, but self-scare?
Rod Stewart had to do this photoshoot in international waters where there are no laws, because it’s criminal to look this good.
So many performers in the 70s seemed to be convinced that they actually came from outer space, but only that Heaven’s Gate group had the guts to do anything about it.
It’s tough to sweat it out on stage in a tuxedo shirt night after night, sometimes you gotta get back to your roots on the ranch like Meatloaf.
Cats famously have nine lives, but Grace Jones has lived enough for more than 20 lifetimes.
The Fat Boys
A nod to their hit single “Jail House Rap” and debut album cover, rap trio The Fat Boys proved they’d go to get lengths for a Sbarro slice.
Boy George reminding us of the true spirit of Halloween: extremely horny.
One of the scariest legends in rock’n’roll history is often misunderstood. Ozzy is infamous for allegedly biting the head off of a bat, but a little-known fact is, the only reason he did that is because he’s actually a werewolf. See? Not so strange anymore, once you know the real story!
Harry Styles is an idiosyncratic dresser in his own right, but for Halloween, he aimed for the fences, donning Elton John’s iconic bedazzled L.A. Dodgers outfit, which the singer wore during his 1975 performance at Dodgers Stadium. Game recognizes game.
Hello Dolly! UK pop singer Ellie Goulding paid tribute to the leading lady of country, Dolly Parton for this charity benefit. Time for a “Jolene” cover.