GIMME FIVE: Actors-Turned-Musicians

BY MICHELLE MEDFORD

It’s no secret, a lot of actors think they can sing, much like singers think they can act, actors think they can direct, singers think they can dance, models think they can sing, and the list goes on. That’s not to say that they’re all wrong. In fact, some of them are even better at their second career than their first (although it’s rare). In honour of the Grammys coming up, here’s to all the good actors that dared to also become good musicians and succeeded. (P.S. Rilo Kiley doesn’t make the list, not because Jenny Lewis and her band aren’t beyond amazing, but because her biggest role lasted less than 5 minutes in Pleasantville.)

5) Zooey Deschanel (She and Him)

Propelled possibly by one of the best-ever singing-in-the-shower scenes in Elf, Zooey’s singing career and acting career seemed to help each other along. Up until 2008, when her first She and Him album dropped, she was just the cute blue-eyed girl in a lot of good movies. Since then, she’s starred in one of the most beloved rom-coms of recent times, stars in a hit TV show and is loved beyond words by fangirls for her relatability and quirkiness.

4) Jamie Foxx

Jamie Foxx has been around in movies for about as long as he’s been in music, but no one really paid attention until Kanye West decided to feature him on “Gold Digger” in 2005. However, it helps that he really began to get recognized just before that in 2004 for the likes of Ray and Collateral. He hasn’t done much musically recently, but if you ask me, Django Unchained was amazing enough for the rest of his entire career. Also, only Jamie Foxx gets Jake Gyllenhaal, Forest Whitaker, Ron Howard and Samuel L. Jackson to appear in a music video.

3) Jack Black (Tenacious D)

Okay, so, technically, Tenacious D has been around longer than Jack Black’s acting career but their first official album wasn’t out until 2001, when Jack Black’s career had already had a nice start (and would continue to grow). Although Tenacious D in itself is part comedy act, there’s no denying how talented Jack and long-time friend Kyle Glass are.

2) Juliette Lewis (Juliette and the Licks)

I understand that most people wouldn’t put Juliette Lewis this high up on the list, but I would. The best part about Juliette and the Licks is that you aren’t conscious the entire time that you’re listening to an actress sing. Maybe this has to do with the fact that she’s probably the least popular actor on this list, but maybe it also has to do with the fact that she’s genuinely talented. Unfortunately, the band broke up three years ago, which is really disappointing for fans like me who loved her angry rock voice.

1) Steve Martin

Steve Martin is a hilarious and brilliant actor, but he’s also an equally amazing musician. Martin’s been in film for a very long time, and although one of his earliest roles included a musical performance (in Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band), his musical career didn’t really begin until about 2009 with his album The Crow: New Songs for the 5-String Banjo. The album featured Earl Scruggs, Dolly Parton and Vince Gill, to name a few, and went on the top the bluegrass charts, not to mention, it also won a Grammy! He followed it up with another Grammy-nominated album, this time bringing on The Dixie Chicks and Paul McCartney. He’s perfectly capable of doing it third time and blowing us all away again with his banjo-picking skills. Here’s hoping he does.

Who are your favourite actors-turned-musicians? Leave a comment and let us know!

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