With fame being such a fleeting commodity these days it’s important to make sure you’re skilled in multiple elements of the entertainment business. We take a look at 10 musicians who made it to the big time on the silver screen too.
Undoubtedly the performer who has excelled the most in his new found career as a leading man, Will Smith began his career under his hip hop moniker The Fresh Prince before getting his first big break in Michal Bay’s “Bad Boys”. Since that point, he’s gone on to star in some of the biggest films of his generation, appearing in smash hits like “Independence Day,” “Men In Black,” “I Robot” and “I am Legend” and reportedly commanding a healthy $20 million per film.
In a two-for one deal, two parts of South African trio Die Antwoord have just made their cinematic debut in the recent film “Chappie” which has just been released on March 5. Ninja and Yo-Landi are from Cape Town which is where the majority of director Neil Blomkamp’s films have been filmed. The outlandish pair are the protagonists in the film and manage to combine a lot of their off screen personas into their first cinematic roles.
Cher must barely be able to keep up with her list of achievements. After initially gaining popularity as one half of folk rock duo Sonny and Cher after the release of ther first hit ‘I Got You Babe’ she has gone on to a career as a model, fashion designer, television hst, comedian, dancer, businesswoman, philanthropist, author, film producer, director, record producer and of course, actor. Proving her worth in front of the camera she even took down an Oscar for 1987’s “Moonstruck.” Which almost cancels out 2010’s abomination “Burlesque.”
The ever talented Barbara Streisand has had a successful career as a singer, actress, filmmaker and producer. Throughout a career that has lasted more than 60 years she has sold more than 245 million albums as well as collecting Oscar nominations or wins for Best Song (1976’s A Star Is Born), Best Picture (1991’s The Prince of Tides,” which she directed) and Best Actress (1968’s Funny Girl).
The King of Rock ‘n Roll managed to put together an immense body of work both in the studio and behind the camera. The problem was, especially towards the end of his career there became a focus on quantity rather than quality which ended up watering down his legacy somewhat. All in all, Elvis starred in 31 films including “Jailhouse Rock”, “Live a Little, Love a Little” and “Viva Las Vegas.”
Was David Bowie a more influential singer than he was an actor? Probably, but that didn’t stop the innovative musician from starring in some of modern cinema’s most memorable roles. Tackling roles like Jareth the Goblin King in “Labyrinth” and Andy Warhol in “Basquiat” he tackles roles in a manner that you couldn’t possibly imagine anyone else replicating.
One of the most successful female vocalists of her generation, Mariah Carey has sold more than 54 million albums and to this day, gets played incessantly in department stores every Christmas. When she tried her hand at acting in 2011’s ‘Glitter’ she was savaged by critics but returned in 2009 to star in Precious, and proved she is a versatile performer.
Growing up an environment of crime, drugs and violence, Curtis James Jackson III turned his life around when he embarked on his career as a hip hop artist under the name 50 Cent. After the success of his first two albums “Get Rich Or Die Tryin'” and “The Massacre” he went on to star in a biopic with the same name as his first album. Whilst not as versatile as some of the other performers on this list, he has remained busy and gone on to appear in around 20 films in the past decade.
The youngest of 9 siblings, Mark Wahlberg got his first start in show business headlining musical group Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch. Going on to a career as an underwear model, he then transitioned to acting with his breakthrough film Renaissance Man in 1994. Going on to star in a staggering 40 films he has twice been nominated for both an Oscar and Golden Globe awards, proving he’s far more than just a pretty face.
It’s easy to forget that Justin Timberlake was just one part of ’90s boy band ‘S Sync before he distinguished himself as a solo artist. In tandem with his musical career he’s flexed some acting muscle too, having stared in ‘The Social Network’ ‘Bad Teacher’ and taking on a leading man role in ‘Friends with Benefits’ alongside Mila Kunis.