Duran Duran finally discover who the model was on the Rio album cover - and she had no idea

12 June 2024, 13:50

Duran Duran find out who was on the Rio cover
Duran Duran find out who was on the Rio cover. Picture: Getty/Alamy

By Tom Eames

The model featured on the cover of Duran Duran’s Rio has finally been identified after decades of speculation.

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The iconic artwork, which has become one of the most memorable album covers in music history, was originally painted by American artist and illustrator Patrick Nagel and designed by Malcolm Garrett to resemble classic ’50s cigar packaging.

Despite its fame, the identity of the model remained a mystery until now.

An Instagram account called @nagel_angel dedicated “countless hours” to uncovering the original reference photo used by Nagel.

Their efforts have revealed that the model is Marcie Hunt, now known as Marcie Dinkel. The revelation was reportedly confirmed by Barry Hahn, Nagel’s assistant, who verified that Hunt was indeed the inspiration for the renowned portrait.

Duran Duran enthusiastically shared the discovery on their social media platforms. Hunt herself commented on the post, expressing her surprise and excitement.

“This is so cool! I absolutely did not know until now that this photo of me was used for the Rio cover,” she wrote. “Very exciting! Love Duran Duran, and danced to their music often in the ’80s… and later at my wedding.”

Duran Duran - Rio (Official Music Video)

Duran Duran's album Rio, released in 1982, is a quintessential example of 1980s new wave music. Featuring hits like 'Hungry Like the Wolf,' 'Save a Prayer,' and the title track 'Rio,' the album propelled the band to international stardom.

Its vibrant and sophisticated sound, combined with striking music videos, captured the essence of the MTV era. The iconic cover art by Patrick Nagel, depicting a glamorous model, has become synonymous with the band's image. Rio is celebrated for its catchy melodies, innovative production, and stylish aesthetic, solidifying Duran Duran's place in pop music history.