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If there's one thing we know about zombies - apart from the fact that they don't make great dinner party guests - it's that they're bleedin' persistent. True to their undead nature, zombies are the pop culture trend that just won't die. From George A Romero's Living Dead series via Shaun of the Dead and The Walking Dead to Game of Thrones, zombies have been our constant, dishevelled companions for as long as we can remember. So it's no surprise that bands and singers have periodically tried to cop a bit of undead cool.

Here are 11 gory examples of when pop stars were bitten by the zombie bug.

Taylor Swift

If you're among the 0.01 per cent of the world's population who haven't seen it yet, Taylor Swift's video for her new single Look What You Made Me Do begins with a shot of a gravestone on which are carved the words: "Here lies Taylor Swift's reputation" (for a handy guide to every piece of symbolism in the video, head over to Newsbeat). Even when you know what's coming next, it's still a shock to see a zombified Taylor crawl out of the ground and launch into the opening line of the song. Plenty of celebs have wheeled out a lazy 'zombie bride' look for Halloween, but credit to Swift for going the whole hog - Zombie Taylor looks genuinely disturbing. Bolt your door, Katy Perry.

Mastodon / Bastille

Any metal fans watching the Game of Thrones season finale this week - and let's be honest, that's a pretty tight venn diagram - may have noticed some familiar faces among the White Walkers' undead hordes. Mastodon previously appeared as wildings in season five, where they were slaughtered at the Battle of Hardhome, so it made perfect narrative sense that they should now reappear as zombies under the spell of the evil Night King. Yet Mastodon weren't the only musicians moonlighting as icy zombies in the Game of Thrones finale. According to the Independent, those epic crowd scenes also featured Bastille keyboardist Kyle Simmons (the rest of the band were filmed, but didn't make the final cut). Wouldn't it be great if Bastille and Mastodon bonded over their shared role and formed a McBusted-style supergroup? We'll let you speculate as to what they should be called.

Jamie T

Jamie T's rabble-rousing 2014 single used the popular image of a Zombie - sallow, bloodshot and "possessed behind the eyes" - as a metaphor for someone sleepwalking through life and a series of bad relationships. But in the video, he chose to take to the title more literally. Clearly influenced by Simon Pegg's classic 2005 "rom-zom-com" Shaun of the Dead, it features Jamie and his band trying to play on as they become increasingly zombified, complete with dead eyes and decaying limbs. We've all seen a few pub bands like that…


Talking of Shaun of the Dead, everyone remembers Coldplay's wry cameo at the end of the film, where they came out in support of the fictional charity Zombaid. But Chris Martin also appeared as a zombie, shambling around outside The Winchester Tavern. It's worth going back to rewatch the scene, because among the groaning undead masses, you can also spot Tyres - the raving cycle courier from Pegg's sitcom Spaced.

Scott Ian, Anthrax

You might think that playing a zombie is a simple case of walking with your arms outstretched and your head lolling back, moaning quietly. But as Anthrax founder Scott Ian revealed when invited to play a 'walker' on long-running post-apocalyptic TV series The Walking Dead, it's a bit more nuanced than that. After spending hours in make-up having his face extravagantly disfigured, Zombie Scott got his big moment in Season 5 Episode 12, when he emerged from beneath a pile of rubbish to grab lead character Rick Grimes's ankle. Sadly, Scott's undead adventure ended mere seconds later with a big metal spike through his skull.

Debbie Harry, Blondie

When it came to playing a zombie in the video for Blondie's 2011 single Mother, Debbie Harry could actually draw on a decent pedigree as a horror actor. Back in 1983, she starred in David Cronenberg's weird cult classic Videodrome and followed that up with a number of schlockier roles in films called things like Tales from the Darkside and Anamorph. We'll be honest, the Mother clip is no Videodrome - it's not even an Anamorph - but if you've ever wanted to see what would happen if the singer of Heart of Glass and French Kissing in the USA were infected by a zombie virus, now's your chance.

Michael Jackson

The mother of all zombie pop videos is, of course, Michael Jackson's Thriller. Released in 1983, the 14-minute epic was the most expensive video ever made at the time. Whole academic courses have been taught about Thriller and its galvanising effect on the music industry, but the video's director John Landis (speaking to writers Rob Tannenbaum and Craig Marks for their book I Want My MTV) says the reason for its existence was simple: "Everything that happened on Thriller happened because Michael wanted to turn into a monster. None of it was planned. I want to make that clear, because there was a course taught at the Harvard Business School on Thriller and it was complete b*******."

KT Tunstall

Michael Jackson may have left us, but true to undead form, his Thriller zombie lives on. In this case, it's inhabited the body of mild-mannered Scottish singer-songwriter KT Tunstall. Yes, that really is her beneath the monster make-up.

Demi Lovato

Halloween can make pop stars do funny things. Here's former Disney child star Demi Lovato cheerily getting made-up as a deranged, blood-drenched, flesh-eating maniac on 31 October, 2013.

Years & Years

However, few celebrity Halloween costumes are as creative as Years & Years' efforts for a 2015 gig in Manchester. Singer Olly Alexander performed as Zombie Ginger Spice while bandmate Mike Goldsworthy squeezed gamely into a strapless black number to become Zombie Posh Spice (or was it Scary?). Thinking about it, we don't actually recall the Spice Girls ever being killed off and reanimated as zombies, but perhaps that was one of Spice World's deleted scenes.

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