When Lil’ Kim showed up to the 1999 MTV Music Video Awards in a purple Misa Hylton-Brim pantsuit with a matching seashell pasty over her left breast, her iconic look became an instant legend. Since then, musicians have paid homage to the provocative statement in their own ways, whether it be politically charged or a fashionable fix to sheer material.
Here are five times music’s most stylish ladies have pulled off pasties like Lil’ Kim:
The “Black Barbies” rapper was photographed at Haider Ackermann’s Paris Fashion Week show wearing a one-shouldered Mugler top, purple Veronique Leroy sunglasses, leather Givenchy shorts and Alexandre Vauthier shoes. Her left breast was covered only by a single Agent Provocateur nipple pasty. There’s been an overwhelming comparison of Minaj’s fashion week statement to Lil’ Kim’s legendary 1999 seashell-pasty ensemble.
When Miley Cyrus appeared on Jimmy Kimmel in August 2015, she wore a chunky rainbow getup that included pink heart-shaped pasties over her bare chest. The singer, who has adamantly advocated the #FreeTheNipple movement against female censorship, spoke with Kimmel about the decisions behind her sartorial choices, saying, “My dad would rather me have my tits out and be a good person than have a shirt on and be a bitch.”
On June 9, 2015, Lady Gaga gave a surprise performance at the jazz club Ronnie Scott wearing metallic, star-shaped pasties under a sheer bodysuit. Matching metallic eyebrows and ripped fishnet leggings unified the edgy look.
Rihanna arrived at the 2014 amfAR LA Inspiration Gala wearing a sheer Tom Ford dress that featured a high-slit and sheer bodice. Though the strategically placed crystals aren’t technically pasties, their intention fits the bill.
During a 2014 live performance in Las Vegas, the 70-year-old Goddess of Pop wore a sparkling tangle of crystal strings and a heart-shaped, sequin nipple pasty. The daring ensemble was topped with a pink and white wig.