Pop stars, they're just like us! They eat, they sleep, they frequently get lost in the desert where they dance and sing and brood! I've decided to make a series on Music Video tropes - some common and relatively normal, some less frequent but incredibly bizarre. I've started with a common and understandable trope to kick things off - the nondescript desert location (sometimes featuring a gas station, or a diner, and frequently featuring a sick overhead shot of a car driving - usually down a lone highway that seems to stretch on forever).
Below I've compiled a short list of music videos featuring pop stars that, for some reason or another, are in the middle of the desert:
Spice Girls - Say You'll Be There
What is the plot of this? Are the girls alien action stars waiting for male prey in the desert? I have no idea, but we've got dancing, iconic fashion, and the obligatory overhead shot of a car cruisin' (which represents FREEDOM! in these music videos, also so does the desert, it's all very symbolic).
Mya - Case of the Ex
A dance battle in the desert! Where else would they do it!? They had to go all the way out there to get away from "her" - they broke up in '96 but she's still a problem!
One Direction - Steal My Girl
The boys apparently materialize in the desert (why are they so confused coming out of that trailer?) and then proceed to shoot a music video with the icon, the LEGEND, Danny DeVito.
Bonus: Poor Louis found himself stuck in a desert again when he filmed his solo music video for his song "Walls"
Ariana Grande - Into You
Still Ariana's best song - ohhh that highway, ohhh that motorcycle, ohhh those...unharmonious shots of Ariana unhappy at a fancy party with a narcissistic man in an attempt to give us a plot. It's a desert video - we don't need a plot, we just need rocks and cute looks!
Beyoncé - Run the World (Girls)
Beyoncé running a very dystopian looking desert world from an underpass!
Bonus: also sort of Spirit (although it makes way more sense and is visually stunning) and to a lesser extent, Sweet Dreams (which is visually bleak and she's only in the desert for a minute before she's trapped by another music video trope - "the room").
Britney Spears - I'm Not A Girl, Not Yet A Woman
How'd she get up there? She probably had to Work Bitch!
Rihanna - Hard (Feat. Jeezy)
Rihanna in haute couture training her Navy in the desert while Jeezy sits on some scrap metal.
Shania Twain - That Don't Impress Me Much
Name a more iconic desert music video. I'll wait!
S Club 7 - S Club Party
A pop group gets lost in the desert, time travel, and have to dance their way back to the present.
Billie Eilish - Bellyache
Just a girl and her wagon full of cash taking a stroll down the highway that cuts through - *checks notes* - a desert.
Ke$ha - Your Love Is My Drug
Ke$ha's $teez is gonna be affected by that dry de$ert air!
Other Music Videos Starring the Desert:
Backstreet Boys - Incomplete
Doja Cat - Rules
Janelle Monáe - PYNK
Justin Bieber - Purpose
Black Eyed Peas - Imma Be
Nelly - Hey Porsche
Selena Gomez & The Scene - A Year Without Rain
Lady Gaga - Stupid Love
Madonna - Frozen
+ 6 hundred million others
Sources: Spice Girls / Mya / One Direction / Louis / Ariana / Beyoncé / Beyoncé 2 / Beyoncé 3 / Britney / Britney 2 / Rihanna /Shania / S Club 7 / Billie / Ke$ha / Backstreet Boys / Doja Cat / Janelle Monáe / Justin Bieber / Black Eyed Peas / Nelly / Selena Gomez & The Scene / Lady Gaga / Madonna