32 Legendary Musicians You Should Dress as For Halloween This Year
Choosing a Halloween costume is pretty much like choosing a new identity: it's one night to be whoever you want, and what's more fun than pretending you're a famous musician? Of course you could go more current and channel Beyoncé's "Renaissance" World Tour costumes, Taylor Swift's Eras Tour, or Justin Bieber, but going back in time can be really exciting too — especially when it comes to paying homage to an iconic musician.
As far as musician Halloween costumes go, you'll be in good company. In 2017, Kim Kardashian and her sister Kourtney channeled Madonna and Michael Jackson with spot-on looks, while both Demi Lovato and Kim went as Selena Quintanilla in 2017. Beyoncé herself has often favored famous musician costumes for Halloween, dressing up with Blue Ivy and Tina Knowles as Salt-N-Pepa in 2016 and going as Toni Braxton in 2018. Other stars have paid homage to legends like Amy Winehouse, Cher, or Prince. But you don't have to be a celebrity in real life to choose to embody one on Halloween – that's the beauty of the holiday, which allows you to become whoever you want, whether that's a member of Kiss, Freddie Mercury, Aretha Franklin, or whatever musician you grew up loving.
If you're thinking about taking a trip down memory lane, keep reading for our iconic musician costume inspiration!
There's no shortage of iconic looks Beyoncé has served over her career spanning nearly 30 years, so there are definitely some throwback looks that would be perfect for Halloween. Take the iconic suit from her "Love on Top" performance at the 2011 MTV VMAs. All you'll need to re-create it? Pair a purple sequined blazer with some black slacks and a white shirt.
Britney Spears's perhaps most iconic stage appearance was her 2001 performance of "I'm a Slave 4 U" at the MTV VMAs, during which she held a huge snake for a portion of the act. All you'll need to re-create this memorable 2000s look is to wear a green bralette (or fitted crop top if you want a little more coverage), some jean shorts, and strappy knee-high brown boots and hold a long stuffed toy snake throughout the night.
Like with Cher, the Madonna costume inspiration is endless. There's just something about '80s Madge that will always be iconic, but '90s cone-bra Madonna is also a great choice.
I probably don't need to tell you that you'll need to practice your "moves" for this costume (as well as your pout). To portray the legendary Rolling Stones frontman, you'll need to grab a pair of tight pants, a leather jacket, and a long, shaggy wig (it would be perfect for reusing in an Eddie Munson Halloween costume if you have more than one event to go to!)
The Queen frontman was known for his tight tank tops and unstoppable stage presence. Don't forget the fake mustache!
Courtney Love and Kurt Cobain
Grunge's first couple had a look that's easy to replicate, with a babydoll dress and red lipstick for Courtney, and a striped tee, jeans, and flannel for the Nirvana frontman. You could also choose to copy their onstage looks, from Courtney Love's velvet dresses to Cobain's famous green sweater.
We know you have a wide selection of MJ costumes to choose from, so we thank you for considering this iconic '80s look from the King of Pop's zippered jacket, black loafers, and sparkly glove phase. You could also check out Blue Ivy Carter's 2014 look for inspiration — it's pretty spot-on.
Cher and Sonny Bono
There are truly so many Cher costumes to choose from, but going way back to her days with Sonny Bono is a great way to get a friend (or more than a friend) involved in your look. To pull off this look, you might want to hit the thrift stores in search of some bell bottoms and fur-fringed coats.
Whether you go with early '60s mop-top Beatles or lean toward a "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band"-inspired look, you and your friends will be dressed to impressed. There are plenty of eras to choose from, ranging from the grey suits of their early days to the brightly colored outfits of their later days — just grab a guitar, and you're all set.
Grab your friends and your Adidas sneakers for this fresh group costume. Don't forget the rope chains and Kangol hats!
Bonus points for accessorizing with a guitar — just try not to set it on fire. A Jimi Hendrix costume is the perfect way to express your love for the '60s — it's also a great chance to wear some cool headbands. Bonus points if you can actually play one of his legendary solos on guitar.
There are so many iterations of Bowie to choose from, so he makes a great Halloween option. You could channel the creative brilliance of David Bowie by paying homage to his iconic Ziggy Stardust look or don the wild Goblin King costume from "Labyrinth" — whatever version of Bowie you choose to embody.
A beehive wig, bold eyeliner, and temporary tattoos are all you need to dress as the late, great Amy Winehouse. Some faux tattoos would enhance the tribute to the beloved "Back to Black" singer.
The flashy, over-the-top looks from Elton's performances in the '70s and '80s are perfect for Halloween (or, you know, a random Wednesday).
When it comes to dressing like Parton, bigger is better: the hair, the sleeves, and yes, the bosom. I'm not saying you should stuff your bra, but I'm not not saying it, either. The country legend remains as universally beloved as ever today, so she's a timeless pick for your costume wherever you are.
Copying Minnelli's iconic "Cabaret" look is incredibly easy (take it from me, I've done this costume myself!) All you need are thigh-high tights, a low-cut bodysuit, a bowler hat, and lots of lashes.
Grab two friends for your '60s-chic Supremes costume, or go solo as Diana Ross! The Supremes brought elegance to a new level, and they wore fabulously glittery gowns to match, so this would be a fun group to go as if you're just looking to dress up.
Spoiler alert: you are going to need lots of leather and heavy-duty costume makeup for this one. Miles Teller went as Gene Simmons in 2017, and he certainly didn't skimp on the makeup, so you shouldn't either.
A short dress, high heels, and a frosted wig are all you need to turn yourself into the late, great Tina Turner. The Queen of Rock 'n' Roll wore everything from glittery ballgowns to leather to jeans and a tank top onstage, so you have plenty of options to choose from here.
The late soul singer will never be replicated, but you can pay homage to her this Halloween in a sparkly gown and faux fur coat. For inspiration, you could check out H.E.R.'s 2022 Grammys tribute to the legend, or just go down a YouTube rabbit hole watching her performances — a worthy way to spend an afternoon.
Johnny Cash and June Carter
Copy the country couple's look with a black suit and wig for Johnny and a floaty '70s-style dress for June. Cash and Carter were known for hits like "If I Were a Carpenter," but also for their complementary style and for their beautiful love story, so this is a great couple's costume option.
The one accessory you cannot forget to add to your Stevie Nicks costume? A tambourine! But a shawl is pretty necessary too, and some kind of flowing dress and a long, shaggy blonde wig would perfectly complete your transformation into the witchy musician.
The King's look might take some work to put together, but with some rhinestones and a glue gun, you'll be in good shape. Austin Butler's performance as "Elvis" in the 2022 biopic should also provide some great inspiration for perfect Presley cosplay.
You know you're going to have to wear purple for this one, right? Track down a frilly white shirt, purple pantsuit, and curly wig to channel the iconic Prince.
The Rat Pack
If you're looking for a suave group costume that probably already exists in your closet, consider this legendary pack of crooners. The Rat Pack included Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, and all you really need to embody them is a nice suit.
The rock and blues singer with the throaty vocals had such a freewheeling style that will be fun to copy for yourself. Add oversize round sunglasses, lots of beaded necklaces, and a feather boa.
If you're looking for a very sexy and cool look, turn to some of Shakira's most iconic costumes for inspiration this Halloween. But you better practice your Shakira-inspired belly-dancing skills too.
Bruce Springsteen embodies classic Americana. Reach for his '70s "Born to Run" era or his '80s "Born in the U.S.A" years for some iconic costumes ideas.
No one did Y2K fashion like Destiny's Child. Get two (or three) friends and copy this iconic girl group and their classic, streetwear-inspired styles.
Missy Elliott's style is all her own. The hip-hop legend has worn tons of iconic looks, but for one that's effortlessly cool (and also really comfy), pair a coordinated sweatsuit with a visor, hoops, and some over-the-top jewelry.