23 celebrities you didn’t know had music careers

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 12: Scarlett Johansson attends the premiere of Illumination's "Sing 2" on December 12, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 12: Scarlett Johansson attends the premiere of Illumination's "Sing 2" on December 12, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images) /

Back in the heyday of Old Hollywood, it seemed like every star could sing, dance, and act, without even breaking a sweat. Eventually, musical films waned and the triple threats faded away.

Granted it’s still commonplace for stars to float around from one industry to the next. Some stars, like Jennifer Lopez, Jennifer Hudson, Cher, Justin Timberlake, Madonna, and others, have been able to find success in both film and music, while others tried and failed, and moved on with their respective career.

You may be surprised by some of the actors on this list, especially since a couple of them were huge stars, but only in Japan! Just wait and see…

Others have had well-known music careers, but they were so long ago that younger fans don’t even know about it. Some were much more successful than others, and some of them just failed horribly.

Look at it this way: most of these stars were already successful in one industry and decided to try out another. They took a risk, and it didn’t always pay off. But in the end, they’re still a success in one way or another. See if your favorite celebs dabbled in singing a few notes (or for some, making whole albums)!

This article originally appeared on Culturess and under the byline of Marco Saveriano.

music careers
music careers /

Can Lindsay Lohan sing?

Like many Disney stars before (and after) her, Lindsay Lohan tried her hand at a music career back when she was first breaking onto the scene. For anyone who grew up in that era, it’s common knowledge that Lindsay had a semi-successful music career, but a lot of people don’t actually know about the former child star’s musical ventures!

In 2002, Lindsay was signed to a five-album production deal with Emilio and Gloria Estefan. It wasn’t until a couple of years later that she released her debut album, but she did release the singles “Ultimate” from Freaky Friday and “Drama Queen (That Girl)” from Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen.

Lindsay released her debut album Speak in December 2004, a few months after her major breakout role in Mean Girls. The lead single, “Rumors”, was the starlet’s response to the constant paparazzi presence in her life, even at such a young age. She may have been only a teenager, but she was already being followed and scrutinized at every turn — something that only got worse as she got older, and she definitely gave them lots of lucrative content over the years.

The album got mixed reviews from critics. While some thought it proved Lohan’s talent and ability to compete with her contemporaries, others felt like the album was rushed and “prefab” pop. That didn’t stop Lindsay from releasing her sophomore album A Little More Personal (Raw).

Her second studio album received mixed reviews yet again, but they were surprisingly better than her debut. Critics praised her ambition and her rawness, especially on single “Confessions of a Broken Heart (Daughter to Father)”. “Confessions” was the star’s emotional letter to her father, Michael Lohan, who had been arrested for a DUI and had a complicated relationship with his daughter.

Lindsay stepped away from music to focus on films, though her film career eventually started tanking, too. Maybe it’s time for Lindsay to step away from her new club venture in Mykonos and make a grand return to Hollywood!

music careers
Taryn Manning (Photo by Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images) /

Can Taryn Manning sing?

Nowadays, most people recognize Taryn Manning as Pennsatucky in the Netflix original hit Orange Is The New Black. But years before that, Taryn already appeared in several major movies and she was also the vocalist for the electronic duo, Boomkat. The name may not ring a bell, but you have definitely heard a song or two from the duo.

In the early 2000s, Taryn made her film debut in the film Crazy/Beautiful alongside Kirsten Dunst. She followed that role up in the Britney Spears-starring film Crossroads and later appeared in 8 Mile with Eminem. She earned rave reviews in 2005 when she appeared in the Oscar-winning flick Hustle & Flow.

While building her portfolio onscreen, Taryn and her brother Kellin formed Boomkat, and got signed to a major label with Randy Jackson, which eventually fell through. They were signed to DreamWorks Records, and that’s when things started happening for them. Boomkat songs appeared in campaigns for Gap, and films like The Hot Chick, Crossroads, and 8 Mile.

The song you may recognize the most would be the duo’s cover of Blondie’s “Rip Her To Shreds”, which appeared in the movie Mean Girls. The song plays at the beginning of the movie when Cady Heron (played by another actor-turned-singer, Lindsay Lohan) is navigating her way through her first day in a real high school.

The duo released two studio albums, Boomkatalog. One in 2003, and A Million Trillion Stars in 2009. Their debut earned pretty favorable reviews, while the second album flew kind of under the radar, mostly garnering attention on MySpace (remember those days?). The duo never officially split, but it has been years since any new music has been released.

music careers
Tom Hardy (Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images) /

Can Tom Hardy sing?

Tom Hardy may be the last person you ever expected to have a music career, but he did. And to make things even more confusing and hilarious, Tom didn’t just sing or play in a band, he was a rapper!

The actor, who has been in movies like Inception, The Dark Knight Rises, and Mad Max: Fury Road, had started his career out as a model. He won a modeling contest back in 1998 on the show The Big Breakfast in England and got his start in acting in the HBO-BBC miniseries Band of Brothers.

But before blowing up to be the Oscar-nominated actor he is today, Tom had another odd job: he was an aspiring rapper. Along with his friend Edward Tracy, the duo performed under the name Tommy No 1 + Eddie Too Tall. They recorded a mixtape called Falling On Your Arse In 1999 (catchy title) but they never released it.

Tom has joked about his short-lived rap career, pointing out how nobody wanted to hear a privileged white boy rapping, but his previously-unreleased EP finally made its way onto the Internet in 2018. The 18-track EP was never finished, but Edward Tracy — or “Eddie Too Tall” — uploaded it to Bandcamp for the world to enjoy.

Is Tom a great rapper? No, he isn’t, but he really isn’t that bad either! Maybe if he would’ve stuck with the rap career he would have improved and could have been the next Eminem. Probably not, but who knows, he’s a super talented guy. If he wanted the rap career to work out, he could have made it happen!

music careers
Bruce Willis (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images) /

Can Bruce Willis sing?

He’s not just an action movie star! Bruce Willis has actually released a couple of albums, and they’re not bad!

Known for movies like Die Hard, The Fifth Element, The Sixth Sense, Armageddon, and so many more, Bruce Willis has also expressed a love for music over the years. In 1987, he released his debut studio album, a mix of R&B and blues, with Motown Records, titled The Return of Bruno. The lead single was the song “Respect Yourself” featuring June Pointer of The Pointer Sisters. The song was a hit and debuted in the top 5 of the Billboard Hot 100, but the album got mixed reviews.

A few years later, in 1989, Bruce released his follow-up album, If It Don’t Kill You, It Just Makes You Stronger, also with Motown Records. Reviews were, yet again, mixed, but less than favorable. Bruce could play a mean harmonica, but reviewers felt like he definitely shouldn’t give up his day job of acting. It was commendable, though, that he stuck to the music he loved instead of playing up the popular styles of that era.

That may have been Bruce’s last album, but he has returned to music a few times over the years. He has appeared on several songs from movie soundtracks, including the films Moonlighting, Hudson Hawk, The Whole Nine Yards, and Rugrats Go Wild (obviously a classic). He also appeared on the band Blues Traveler’s album North Hollywood Shootout, on the track “Free Willis (Ruminations from Behind Uncle Bob’s Machine Shop)”.

Bruce hasn’t completely given up music after his two less-than-successful albums, but that’s probably because his music career was more of a passion project. If he loves to do it, then why not?

music careers
Alyssa Milano (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images) /

Can Alyssa Milano sing?

Alyssa Milano brings a whole new meaning to the term “Big In Japan” because she was — literally — big in Japan! Her music career never quite took off stateside, but the actress was a really big deal in Asia, apparently.

You may have never known that Alyssa, star of shows like Charmed and Who’s The Boss, had a music career. But over the years she has released four studio albums, one reissue, two compilation albums, two video albums, five music videos, and 13 singles. That might be pretty surprising to hear, but when you consider most of those releases were exclusively in Japan, it’s not that shocking.

While she was acting, she signed a five-album deal with Japanese label Pony Canyon. She released her debut album, Look In My Heart, and she released several singles from that album. It debuted at #68 on the Japanese charts. Her second album, Alyssa, went certified platinum in Japan.

Alyssa released two more studio albums in Japan — Locked Inside a Dream and Do You See Me? — before she seemingly gave up on her international music career. She released a compilation album, The Very Best of Alyssa Milano, in 1995, and continued to act, like on the hit show Charmed which debuted in 1998.

You may think, “why would she release that many albums in Japan and never in America?” Well, Alyssa has said that she would rather release the music in Japan where it was appreciated, than in America and be laughed at. You can’t argue with that logic.

music careers
Jennifer Love Hewitt (Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images) /

Can Jennifer Love Hewitt sing?

Speaking of Japan, Alyssa Milano wasn’t the only actress to find musical success in Asia. Jennifer Love Hewitt also found fame in Japan, but she attempted what Alyssa never wanted: crossing over in the United States.

When she was only 12 years old, JLove got signed to a record deal and released her debut album, Love Songs, in 1992. The album was only released in Japan but was finally unleashed on American audiences five years later. The album’s lead single was the actress’ cover of ABBA’s “Dancing Queen”, which is an interesting choice to introduce yourself as an artist to the world. Hewitt became a certified pop star in Japan, which she says is because the Japanese “love perky music. The poppier the music, the better.”

After getting cast on Party of Five, she was signed to a new record deal stateside with Atlantic Records. They rushed out her next album, Let’s Go Bang (a questionable title for a girl her age, but whatever), to capitalize on her recent rise in fame thanks to the popular sitcom. The teenager was trying to juggle it all, but the album and singles failed to make an impact on the charts. The same thing happened with her third self-titled studio album the following year, and she was dropped from Atlantic.

A few years later, in 1999, she recorded the song “How Do I Deal” for the teen horror flick, Know What You Did Last Summer soundtrack, which she starred in alongside Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ryan Phillippe, and Freddie Prinze Jr. Then in 2002, she was signed to another record deal, this time with Jive, and released her fourth album BareNaked.

The album was more successful than her previous releases. The lead single, also titled “BareNaked”, charted on the Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100, Adult Top 40, and Top 40 Mainstream charts. Jennifer has mostly stayed in the acting world in recent years but hinted at a country album in the past. Who knows what the future holds for JLove!

music careers
Eddie Murphy (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Champagne Collet) /

Can Eddie Murphy sing?

Eddie Murphy actually has one of the more successful music careers on this list, but a lot of people probably didn’t even know he dabbled in music!

Eddie has released a total of three studio albums throughout his career. His debut musical album, How Could It Be, featured the hit single “Party All The Time” which was produced by Rick James. The single reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 for three weeks, and has become a bit of a club staple in some countries, especially after being sampled by different artists.

With success also comes criticism, and “Party All The Time” received plenty. It was even named one of the 50 Worst Songs of Ever by Blender.

He released his follow-up album So Happy in 1989 with the singles “Put Your Mouth on Me”, which peaked at #2 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles, and “Till the Money’s Gone.” But Eddie wasn’t done with music just yet. In 1993, he released his third studio album Love’s Alright, and it didn’t get better from there.

The album featured the song “Whatzupwitu” featuring the King of Pop himself, Michael Jackson. But even a collaboration with one of the biggest pop stars in the world couldn’t save this album. It tanked on the Billboard charts and failed to make any impact.

In more recent years, Eddie released a single with Snoop Dogg — who was then performing under the moniker Snoop Lion — in 2013. The single was titled “Red Light” and had a more reggae feel than most of his previous work. He’s reportedly working on a new album, but there has been nothing new in a few years.

music careers
Clint Eastwood (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images) /

Can Clint Eastwood sing?

When you think Dirty Harry, you probably don’t think of singing and dancing. But actor Clint Eastwood has been releasing music for years now, and it seems like something he’s really passionate about. Who knew? (Many, many people, probably)

For those who didn’t know, Clint is actually a trained pianist and composer and explored his musical interests early on in his career. Mostly he dabbled in jazz and country music, and he released his first album, Rawhide’s Clint Eastwood Sings Cowboy Favorites, in 1963.

Not only has he recorded many songs for his films over the years, but he’s also composed the score for a lot of them too. He has songs on the soundtracks for Paint Your Wagon, The Beguiled, and Trouble With The Curve, and composed scores for films like Mystic River, Million Dollar Baby, Changeling, American Sniper, and Sully.

Besides his composing work, Clint released three more albums. He released the two-disc live album Eastwood After Hours: Live at Carnegie Hall in 1997, which featured many performances of his film scores over the years. The album received positive reviews and was considered a fitting tribute to Eastwood’s years of success in film and music. His next release was 2001’s Music for the Movies of Clint Eastwood, which is pretty self-explanatory, and The Singing Cowboys with Frankie Laine in 2014.

Unlike most of the other people on this list, Clint didn’t try to be a pop star, and he also managed to seamlessly mix his love of music with his passion for film. He has been honored many times over the years for his work in both music and movies and has received many awards and nominations for his scores, including multiple Golden Globe noms

music careers
Joe Pesci (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images) /

Can Joe Pesci sing?

Here’s another actor you may not think of when you think “singer/actor” but Joe Pesci has been passionate about music for years.

In the 1960s, Joe was just a barber with his sights on the big times. Before becoming an actor, however, he was playing guitar in a number of bands. One of those bands was Joey Dee and the Starliters. One fun fact about that band is that, after Pesci left the role of guitarist, it was once filled with a little-known guitar player named Jimi Hendrix. Not bad company to be in!

Joe did eventually release his own studio album under the moniker “Little Joe” in 1968. The album was titled Little Joe Sure Can Sing! which was composed of cover songs of popular pop tracks, such as The Beatles song, “Got to Get You into My Life” and several songs by the Bee Gees.

Little Joe wasn’t Joe Pesci’s only foray into the music world. In 1998, he released an album in character called Vincent LaGuardia Gambini Sings Just for You. The album was released six years after My Cousin Vinny. It featured songs with titles like “Yo Cousin Vinny”, “Wise Guy”, and “Take Your Love And Shove It”. As expected, it did not receive positive reviews, and many said it was just filled with bad jokes.

When you get an album that’s filled with My Cousin Vinny references and mob jokes, it must get old after a while. Even though he drew on his background in lounge singing for a couple of jazz numbers, the album fell flat.

Joe announced that he would be retiring from acting in 1999, but has since appeared in a few roles.

music careers
Zooey Deschanel (Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images) /

Can Zooey Deschanel sing?

This one probably won’t be that shocking for most people, but Zooey Deschanel has been in a musical duo ever since 2006.

Zooey started exploring her musical interests around the same time she started to break out on the Hollywood scene back in 2001. Along with actress Samantha Shelton, the two started a jazz cabaret act that performed around Los Angeles. But it wasn’t until Zooey met Matt Ward on the set of the film The Go-Getter that her music career really took off.

The two recorded a song for the film’s end credits, and the rest is history. Since that chance encounter, the duo — known as She & Him — have released six studio albums, including their debut album Volume One in 2008 as well as two Christmas albums and a cover album of classics, titled Classics.

Zooey is also a Grammy nominee. Her song “So Long” was featured in the film Winnie The Pooh in 2011 and got nominated for Best Song Written for Visual Media. Unfortunately, it lost out to “I See The Light” from Tangled. Pretty stiff competition, but definitely still an honor to be nominated.

Besides her projects with She & Him, Zooey has also performed in a number of her film projects. Her voice can be found on the soundtracks for films like The New Guy, Elf, Yes Man, (500) Days of Summer, and Bridge To Terabithia. Zoey also wrote and performed the theme song for her Fox TV show New Girl and performed the song “Fallinlove2nite” on a season three episode, with none other than Prince.

music careers
Scarlett Johansson (Photo by VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images) /

Can Scarlett Johansson sing?

From one indie darling to another, Scarlett Johansson has also dabbled in music throughout her career.

After years of being a successful actress, the sultry-voiced Scarlett released her debut studio album in 2008. The album, titled Anywhere I Lay My Head, was a mix of covers of Tom Waits songs and one original track. It also featured big names like David Bowie, but that didn’t help it out much.

The album received mixed reviews and ranked low on the Billboard 200 Charts, but it did fare better in Europe. Some reviewers found it to be a unique attempt and surprisingly alluring, while others were not a fan of Scarlett’s singing. It was, however, named one of the best albums of the year on NME’s Top 50 Albums of 2008.

Since music was more of a passion project for Scarlett, she wasn’t afraid to take risks with her releases. Her second album was a collaborative project with Pete Yorn titled Break Up. The album was apparently inspired by French singer Serge Gainsbourg’s 1967 and 1968 albums with Brigitte Bardot.

Reviews for the album were once again mixed, but Break Up did manage to make it to #6 on the Billboard US Top Alternative Albums charts. The duo released another project together back in June, this time an EP titled Apart.

Scarlett has also performed songs for the soundtracks of movies like Chasing Ice, The Jungle Book, and the animated film Sing.

music careers
Penn Badgley (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images) /

Can Penn Badgley sing?

Not only is he THE Gossip Girl (spoiler, sorry), but Penn Badgley is also a musician!

After starting his acting career at the ripe young age of 11, it wasn’t until the film John Tucker Must Die that Penn started getting some attention. But it was the CW hit Gossip Girl that really put him on the map. As the funny, brooding Dan Humphrey, Penn became known around the world and went on to appear in films such as The Stepfather and Easy A.

It wasn’t until 2014 that Penn started making moves in the music industry. With his band, then named Mother (stylized as M O T H E R), he released the single “Easy” on SoundCloud. The band had to change their name because of another band named Mother that threatened legal action, so they went with MOTHXR instead.

The band was signed to a label in 2015 and released their debut album Centerfold in February 2016. They haven’t had a huge impact on the music industry, but have toured with acts like San Cisco, Sir Sly, Har Mar Superstar, The Neighbourhood, and Miami Horror.

Like many actors, Penn’s music career seems to be more of a side project to his acting. Even though he hasn’t been very present on-screen these days either, he is still known for his acting career far more than he is for the role of the lead singer of MOTHXR (that name is really irritating to both write and read). Next up for Penn is a role in the upcoming Lifetime television series, You.

music careers
Keanu Reeves (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images) /

Can Keanu Reeves sing?

Keanu Reeves is one of those mysterious stars that never ceases to surprise us. Before being an actor, Keanu dreamed of being a hockey player. He was a successful goalie on his high school team, but an injury kept him from achieving that dream. It seems like acting wasn’t the only talent Keanu could explore.

Keanu was one of the founding members of the alternative rock band Dogstar. He was the bassist and also provided backing vocals for the group. The band released their debut EP Quatro Formaggi in 1996, followed by two studio albums in 1996 and 2000. They never really broke the mainstream market, but two of their opening acts went on to become huge successes: Rancid and Weezer.

Keanu left the band to focus his time on his acting career. Their last performance together was in Japan back in 2002. Keanu and bandmate Robert Mailhouse later teamed up again to perform in a band named Becky. They performed on some TV shows but didn’t last for very long.

Maybe it’s best that Keanu focus on his acting career. After hit movies like Point Break, Speed, John Wick, and The Matrix, his movie career seems to be much more successful than his attempt at music. But it doesn’t seem like Keanu ever does anything for the money or praise. As we said, he’s that mysterious star that we can never quite read.

For all we know, he can be found busking somewhere in middle America and nobody would even know. And to be honest, nobody would really be surprised either.

music careers
Brie Larson (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for BET) /

Can Brie Larson sing?

From teen actor, to aspiring pop star, to Oscar winner. Talk about a glow-up!

Even though so many child and teen stars before her ventured into the music industry, Brie Larson wasn’t just another pretty face yearning for pop stardom. She grew up loving music and started writing songs by age 11 when she learned to play the guitar. She started recording and posting her songs on her own website, and landed a record deal with big shot record exec Tommy Mottola from Casablanca records.

It was in 2005 that Brie finally released her debut album Finally Out Of P.E., an album for which she co-wrote many of the songs. Her singles — like “She Said” — were popular on MTV, namely on the show Total Request Live. She went on tour with teen heartthrob Jesse McCartney, which is the most 2000s thing ever, performed in malls (again, how 2000s), and even performed at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Unfortunately, even with all that promo and high hopes, the album was a flop.

Fast forward a few years and small movie roles later, Brie landed a starring role on the Showtime dramedy United States of Tara in 2009 and finally started getting some serious attention. She had a chance to sing again when she appeared in the movie Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, in which she played Envy Adams, badass rock chick and Scott’s bitchy ex-girlfriend. She performed the song “Black Sheep” with the band Metric for the film’s soundtrack.

Whether her music career was a bust or not, just remember one thing: Brie Larson is now an Oscar-winning actress and Marvel hero, so who really cares?

music careers
Russell Crowe (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images) /

Can Russell Crowe sing?

You may already know that Russell Crowe can sing — especially if you’ve seen Les Miserables — but did you know just how far back his passion for music goes?

He first dipped his toes in the music pond in 1982 when he recorded the song “I Want To Be Like Marlon Brando” under the stage name Russ Le Roq. Also in the 1980s, he formed the band Roman Antix, which later became the band 30 Odd Foot of Grunts (or TOFOG). The band was together for more than 20 years and had several releases: The Photograph Kills EP in 1995, and the studio albums Gaslight (1998), Bastard Life or Clarity (2001), and Other Ways of Speaking (2003).

The band dissolved in 2005, but Russell wasn’t done with music yet. Instead, he teamed up with Alan Doyle (of the band Great Big Sea) to form his newest musical endeavor, the band Russell Crowe & The Ordinary Fear of God. They released their album My Hand, My Heart in 2005, as well as the single “Raewyn”.

Russell Crowe & The Ordinary Fear of God sold out tours across Australia and the U.S. and had a huge press tour along the way. The pair continued to collaborate and even released The Crowe/Doyle Songbook Vol III, an album featuring nine original songs and all of their demos, in 2011.

Russell’s musical career has actually been quite successful over the years, but it doesn’t seem to be as common knowledge as you would think. Either way, he’s done what many couldn’t, and that’s having both a successful acting and music career, so kudos to him.

music careers
Steven Seagal (Photo by Tristar Media/Getty Images) /

Can Steven Seagal sing?

Steven Seagal is an interesting character to begin with. He’s an action star but was originally a martial arts instructor in Japan. He has also recently been appointed as Russian Special Envoy to the United States by President Vladimir Putin (what even is happening in America?). So with so many different things going on, surely nobody is surprised to find out that he has also dabbled in music.

The actor is a guitarist and actually has an extensive guitar collection. Even though his interest in music goes far back, he didn’t release his first studio album until 2005. The album, titled Songs from the Crystal Cave, was a rock-blues album, and also had some reggae and dancehall-style tracks (seriously).

Songs from the Crystal Cave featured some surprising collaborations. Seagal worked with Stevie Wonder, as well as dancehall artist Lady Saw (probably known stateside for her vocals on No Doubt’s “Underneath It All”). Saw was featured on the track “Strut” which featured lyrics like — wait for it — “Me want the poonani, see for make nice”. And yes, that was a line Seagal uttered. Gross.

He released his second album, Mojo Priest, in 2006. Unlike with his first album, Seagal embarked on a huge tour to promote Mojo Priest across the United States. It probably didn’t make much of a difference. His music career has never really been taken seriously, and his albums have received less than favorable reviews, in case you were wondering. How he managed to get Stevie Wonder and other accomplished musicians onboard is beyond us!

music careers
Jared Leto (Photo by Taylor Hill/Getty Images) /

Can Jared Leto sing?

This one probably isn’t surprising to anyone. Jared Leto has had a very successful music career along with his thriving film career. He’s managed to keep both going for years and has kept them completely separate for the most part.

Jared has been the vocalist of the band Thirty Seconds to Mars since he first founded the group back in 1998, along with his brother Shannon Leto on the drums. The band has gone through a lot of changes over the years, but the two constants were always Jared and Shannon.

Thirty Seconds to Mars released their debut self-titled album in 2002. The album received great reviews but wasn’t exactly a huge commercial success. But for their first album, and for a band fronted by a well-known actor, great reviews are a good start. It was the band’s sophomore album that really put them on the map.

They released A Beautiful Lie in 2005, and it has since gone on to sell 1.2 million copies in the United States. The album featured the singles “A Beautiful Life”, “Attack”, and their hit “The Kill”. The album once again received favorable reviews, with many critics praising Jared for his writing skills and his vocals. Thirty Seconds to Mars was no longer just a side project, Jared was finally being recognized for being a singer as much as he was for being an actor.

The band has released three more albums since A Beautiful Lie, This Is War (2009), Love, Lust, Faith and Dreams (2013), and most recently, America (2018). They have toured all around the world, and have sold over 15 million albums worldwide.

In fact, Jared Leto might be one of the more successful singer/actors, and definitely the most successful one on this list at the very least. He’s an Oscar winner and he’s the frontman of a world-famous rock band. You can’t ask for much more in Hollywood!

music careers
Queen Latifah (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images) /

Can Queen Latifah sing?

Unless you have been living under a rock for the last decade or so, you obviously know that Queen Latifah is an amazing singer. We’ve seen her work her vocal magic in movies like Chicago, Hairspray, and Joyful Noise, so we know that girl can siiiiing. But some people don’t realize that she got her start in music as a rapper.

Originally, Queen Latifah was a beatboxer in a hip-hop group named Ladies Fresh and was also part of some other rap groups around New York. She got the attention of Fab 5 Freddy, the host of Yo! MTV Raps and this led to her getting her first record deal and recording her debut single, “Wrath of My Madness” in 1988. She signed to Tommy Boy Records and released her first album All Hail The Queen in 1989. She was only 19 years old.

Since her debut, she has released six more solo albums, including her follow-up Nature of a Sista in 1991, and The Dana Owens Album in 2004, which was a departure from her usual rap and R&B music, and featured the Queen performing jazz standards. And if you needed proof that music was never just a stepping stone to acting, she has been nominated for a total of seven Grammy Awards.

So along with being an amazing singer and a powerful rapper, a Grammy winner, an Oscar-nominated actress, a producer, a philanthropist, and so much more, Queen Latifah genuinely just seems like a nice woman. Because come on — who doesn’t love Queen Latifah?

music careers
Tyra Banks (Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images for ABA) /

Can Tyra Banks sing?

To say Tyra Banks had a “music career” is a bit of a stretch, but so is saying she’s an actress, so just roll with it. The supermodel and businesswoman has worn a lot of hats over the years, from high fashion model to Victoria’s Secret Angel to creator of America’s Next Top Model and even the host of her own daytime talk show. But she just couldn’t resist trying her hand at music.

Tyra’s first foray into music was with the movie Life-Size in 2000. The Wonderful World of Disney TV movie featured Tyra as a doll named Eve, who comes to life to help out a young girl in need, played by Lindsay Lohan. After playing around with some weird witchcraft, Casey (Lohan) ends up bringing her Eve doll to life, which is especially awkward considering she didn’t want the doll to begin with.

The Eve Doll, like every good children’s toy, had a catchy jingle to go with it, and Tyra sang the Eve theme song in Life-Size. “Eve’s great, no matter where she goes. Dress her up, from her head to her toes. On the town, at the mall, Eve loves high fashion!” Did Tyra prove herself as a powerful vocalist? Definitely not. But it was fun and cheesy, and so delightfully Disney that you couldn’t help but love it and sing along.

Tyra recorded another single, titled “Shake Ya Body”, this time for her show America’s Next Top Model. It also wasn’t great, but clearly, Tyra wasn’t aiming to become a singer full-time or anything. She also recorded a song with basketball superstar Kobe Bryant, titled “K.O.B.E.” The duo performed the single live on NBA TV, and let’s just say they should keep their famous day jobs.

music careers
Ryan Gosling (Photo by Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images) /

Can Ryan Gosling sing?

Ryan Gosling is the ultimate Hollywood heartthrob, so of course, he can sing too. He proved that in movies like La La Land and Blue Valentine, but he’s done more than just sing in his movies!

He released his first solo single on the Internet in 2007, titled “Put Me In A Car”. Later that year, he formed the band Dead Man’s Bones with his friend Zach Shields. They released their debut self-titled album in 2009, which was a collaboration with the Silverlake Conservatory Children’s Choir.

Dead Man’s Bones had only two members, Gosling and Shields, with both contributing to the vocals and a variety of instruments. The two first met in 2005 and realized they both shared an obsession with ghosts and the Haunted Mansion ride at Disneyland.

After the album’s release in 2009, the duo did a string of shows across North America in the fall around Halloween time. Each show consisted of them performing with a children’s choir, similar to the Silverlake Conservatory Children’s Choir, the choir they recorded the album with. The shows earned rave reviews. Interestingly enough, instead of an opening act, each night started with a talent show.

Two songs by Dead Man’s Bones have been featured in films over the years, neither of which featured Ryan Gosling. First, the song “Lose Your Soul” played during the credits of French film Age of Panic. Following that, the song “In the Room Where You Sleep” appeared on the soundtrack for the horror film The Conjuring in 2013.

Gosling and Shields apparently have plans for more Dead Man’s Bones music in the future, but this time without the children’s choir.

music careers
Jada Pinkett Smith (Photo by Jason Koerner/Getty Images) /

Can Jada Pinkett Smith sing?

Jada Pinkett Smith is a talented woman, and she’s married to another actor who has experience in the music industry, so it should come as no surprise that she also has her own musical projects.

In 2002, Jada founded the metal band Wicked Wisdom under the stage name Jada Koren. They released their self-titled debut album in 2006, which received surprisingly favorable reviews. Before even releasing their debut album, though, the band was already garnering a lot of buzz. They landed a coveted slot on Ozzy Osbourne’s Ozzfest festival after his wife Sharon saw the band perform in a small club in Los Angeles in 2005.

Oddly enough, before landing the spot on the Ozzfest lineup, Wicked Wisdom opened for another surprising artist in 2004: Britney Spears. The band was the opening act for the pop superstar’s Onyx Hotel Tour, on the European leg. The Onyx Hotel Tour was one of the year’s most high-profile tours in the music industry, and despite the difference in music styles, Wicked Wisdom got the chance to tour with one of the biggest musical acts in the world.

More recently, the band got back in the recording studio to release a new single. “Stuck” was released in 2013, along with a music video on YouTube. The band will also appear at the Afropunk Brooklyn festival later this summer, so there’s more proof that Wicked Wisdom is here to stay!

While they may not be making a huge mark on the heavy metal community, Jada is passionate and is able to channel more of her creativity into the project. Plus, she’s already rich enough to just keep funding the band’s music as long as she wants to, so that’s fine.

music careers
Miranda Cosgrove (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images) /

Can Miranda Cosgrove sing?

Like most child stars, iCarly’s Miranda Cosgrove gave a singing career a try. She was moderately successful, but… it wasn’t great.

Miranda’s debut as a recording artist began with the iCarly theme song “Leave It All to Me” back in 2007, and later, in 2008, with the iCarly soundtrack, which featured four songs performed by the actress. Not surprisingly, the soundtrack debuted at #1 on the Billboard Kid Albums charts. But it wasn’t until 2009 that Miranda released her first EP, About You Now.

About You Now wasn’t meant as Miranda’s debut, but rather just as a promotional tool for her single, also titled “About You Now”. Her real debut was her album Sparks Fly, released in 2010. The album was popular among fans of her show iCarly, but it struggled to make any real impact in the music industry. Despite working with big-name producers and songwriters like Max Martin, Avril Lavigne, Darkchild, and Dr. Luke, it still felt very juvenile.

For her sophomore EP High Maintenance, Miranda explored a more dance-pop sound, but it still didn’t really stick. The EP’s sole single, “Dancing Crazy”, was written by Avril Lavigne, and was met with negative reviews. The single peaked at #100 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Unfortunately, Miranda Cosgrove became just another Nickelodeon star to try and fail at music. Ever since it seems like she has been focusing more on her acting than music, but not much has been happening on that front, either.

Not everyone can be a Nickelodeon success story like Ariana Grande, so don’t be too hard on yourself!

music careers
Kim Kardashian (Photo by Jean-Baptiste Lacroix / AFP) (Photo by JEAN-BAPTISTE LACROIX/AFP via Getty Images) /

Can Kim Kardashian sing?

Okay, this one we had to include just for the laughs. Kim Kardashian is barely an actress, and she’s even less of a singer. But she did record a single once, and no matter what the reason for it was, we now have the timeless classic, “Jam (Turn It Up)”.

Back in 2011, Kim took the leap into the music biz, like plenty of other wannabe reality stars have done in the past. She released the single “Jam (Turn It Up) in 2011, and proceeds from the song were donated to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, so at least it was for a good cause.

Kim revealed after recording “Jam” that she didn’t have any intentions of recording an album anytime soon, and later said she regretted recording the single. She told Andy Cohen on Watch What Happens Live, “I don’t like it when people kind of dabble into things they shouldn’t be. And that I don’t think I should have. Like, what gave me the right to think I could be a singer? Like, I don’t have a good voice.”

But it seems like it may have just been a plot point for her TV show, Keeping Up With The Kardashians. The single was written and produced by The-Dream, who also provided backing vocals on the track. Dream reached out to Kim with the offer to make a song in the first place, and the whole thing was documented on the reality show, including the filming of a very sexy music video that has never been officially released.

You know what? This may not even be the worst song on the list, and Kim had fun doing it, plus half of the proceeds went to charity. The only downside is that this horrible song is going to be stuck in your head for days. Sorry about that!

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