David Letterman REALLY liked the dress that Alicia Keys wore on his show last night. I think she looked liked a bee. She would not be the first pop star to look like one!
The last time I saw someone in an outfit that looked so much like a bee was in 2002, when Nas posed in this crazy fur coat for the cover of XXL magazine. He looked a lot like how I imagine Sting looked the night that he got his nickname in the mid-’70s. Performing at a jazz club in London (as, of course, was his wont) he wore a yellow-and-black striped sweater that reminded bandleader Gordon Solomon of a yellow jacket’s jacket. The name stuck. It is surely a sign of his monstrous vanity that there are no photos available of Sting dressed up like a bee since. (Come on Sting, lighten up, huh? Imagine what a kick Letterman would get out of you showing up on his show in Alicia Keys’ dress.)
Around that same time, John Belushi starred as a “killer bee” in a recurring skit on “Saturday Night Live.” When he and Dan Aykroyd began performing musically as the Blues Brothers, Belushi sang a version of the Slim Harpo classic “I’m a King Bee” in costume.
In 1993, the Los Angeles rock band Blind Melon joined the young actress Heather DeLoach in dressing up like bees in the video for their hit song, “No Rain.”
In 1997, The Wu-Tang Clan took the form of a swarm of “killa bees” in the video for “Triumph.”
That same year, in the video for Puffy’s “All About the Benjamins,” Lil Kim wore black-and-yellow stripes to deliver her famous rhyme “Wanna bumble with the bee, huh?/Bzzz/I’ll throw a hex on your family…”
I wish Frank Black had made a video for the title track of his great 2005 album, Honeycomb that featured him dressed up like a bee. But he didn’t. It’s still a great song, though.
And then of course, the ever charming Blackie Lawless of W.A.S.P. often dresses up like some sort of chimerical wasp-tiger-chainsaw monster unleashed to terrorize the world. That’s kind of like a bee.