15 Celebrities Who Play An Instrument

POSTED BY Tayyab Khalil, UPDATED ON February 15th, 2024
Celebrities Who Play an Instrument

Celebrities are few of the most talented people in the world but that does not mean they are limited to their fields. Among several one has a hidden talent, and it is amazing to see how many of them can play an instrument and are capable of having a second career in music. Take a look at the following 15 celebrities who play an instrument:


15. Chevy Chase (Drums)

Chevy Chase can Play Drums

The American comedian and actor is best known for his appearances in the inaugural season of Saturday Night Live and his late-night talk show The Chevy Chase Show but if there is one thing more to Chevy Chase is the fact that he can play the drums.

During college, he formed a jazz band with future celebrities Walter Becker and Donald Fagen named The Leather Canary. The two later started a music career together by forming the band Steely Dan but Chase did not join.

However, the comedian did release one album with the rock band Chameleon Chruch in which he played the drums and keyboards.


14. Halle Berry (Flute)

Halle Berry in Catwoman

Once among the highest-paid actresses in Hollywood, Halle Berry is one talented diva. A former fashion model, Halle Berry has done wonders in her career such as being the only woman of color to win the Academy Award for Best Actress.

Best known for her performances as Leticia Musgrove in Monster’s Ball and Ororo Munroe aka Storm in the X-Men franchise, it is interesting to know that the actress used to play the flute when she was in school.


13. Steve Martin (Banjo)

Steve Martin Knows How To Play Banjo

The stand-up comedian is as great at acting as he is at music. Learning to play the banjo at the age of 17, Steve Martin was a student of John McEuen of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.

Martin even won a Grammy Award for Best Country Instrumental Performance by doing a remake of the song Foggy Mountain Breakdown with his banjo. Regularly playing at jazz festivals, the comedian has even performed in Carnegie Hall.


12. Julia Roberts (Clarinet)

Julia Roberts Knows How To Play Clarinet

Nominated for four Academy Awards and winning one, Julia Roberts certainly had a lot of choices to make when she was young. As a child, the actress wanted to be a veterinarian and might have even thought about a career in music since she played the clarinet in her school band.

Nevertheless, it can be safely assumed that acting was perhaps the best choice for her career. Roberts was the highest-paid actress in the world from the 1990s till the mid-2000s and has a net worth of an estimated $250 million.


11. Hugh Laurie (Piano)

Hugh Laurie Actor Playing Piano

A perfectionist in his field, Hugh Laurie is best known for his role as Dr. Gregory House in the television show House for which he earned the 2011 Guinness World Record as the most-watched leading man and one of the highest-paid actors on television.

Apart from his acting success, Laurie has a great and successful second career in music. He is a singer and plays the guitar, harmonica, drums, and saxophone but he’s best at playing the piano. He took lessons on the instrument since the age of six and has also released two blues and jazz albums.


10. Bill Clinton (Saxophone)

Bill Clinton Playing Sexophone

The 42nd President of the United States of America has taken actions throughout his career which spoke louder than words but things could have taken a different direction if Bill Clinton chose a music career.

The former President can play the saxophone and be good at it but realizing he could never be great as John Coltrane or Stan Getz, Clinton began to plan something else for his life.

Not hiding his love for the instrument, Clinton has played the saxophone from time to time. At one particular moment, Clinton played the instrument on The Arsenio Hall Show and was described by a few religious conservatives as “the MTV president.”


9. Bruce Willis (Harmonica)

Bruce Willis Playing Harmonica

Beginning his career on the Off-Broadway stage and eventually landing some television roles and finally movie deals, Bruce Willis is one of the most popular actors in Hollywood today.

The two-time Emmy Award winner has another talent besides acting as well. Willis can play a mean harmonica and once demonstrated it in his appearance on Saturday Night Live.


8. Mahatma Gandhi (Concertina)

Mahatma Gandhi Knew How To Play Concertina

The non-violent Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi is a man of many individualities, but can a “musician” be among them? Believe it or not, Gandhi could play the concertina.

Impressed by classical Indian dramas, the leader of the Indian Independence movement often reiterated the melodious tunes as Gandhi states,

“The melting tune moved me deeply, and I played it on a concertina which my father had purchased for me.”


7. Johnny Depp (Guitar)

Johnny Depp Playing Guitar

Undoubtedly the most versatile actor in Hollywood today, Johnny Depp is a certified A-lister who nails his roles with great perfection. As strange as it may sound, acting was never among Depp’s goals in life.

The actor quit school at the age of 15 to pursue a music career. Though he failed to do so despite knowing how to play the guitar, Depp soon found success in acting and used his super-stardom to follow his original dream by occasionally performing.

Depp has collaborated with several musicians now and then including the rock band Oasis and Marilyn Manson.


6. Samuel L Jackson (Trumpet)

Samuel L Jackson

Best known for his aggressive vocal performances in Pulp Fiction and Django Unchained, Samuel L. Jackson is a great actor but enjoyed quite a time as a musician as well.

Between the third and twelfth grades, the actor used to play the trumpet and the French horn in his school orchestra.


5. Keanu Reeves (Bass Guitar)

Keanu Reeves Celeb Who Plays an Instrument

Beginning his acting career at the age of 9, life was not at all easy for the Matrix star initially. Before getting his big break, the actor would perform in low-budget movies and as a musician on stage.

Keanu Reeves could play the bass guitar and has even performed with the bands, Dogstar and Becky. Since acting has always been his true calling, Keanu Reeves worked hard to be recognized as a great actor and indeed he has been successful at it.


4. Ryan Gosling (Cello)

Celebrities Who Play an Instrument Ryan Gosling

Beginning his career in Disney’s Mickey Mouse Club, Ryan Gosling is a man known for his movies, charity work, dating a few co-stars, and of course, his music career. With his friend Zach Shields, the actor formed an indie rock duo called Dead Man’s Bones and continues to perform on numerous occasions.

As a multi-instrumentalist, Gosling who performs under the alias Baby Goose can not only sing but also play the guitar, bass guitar, piano, and cello. Despite his schedule as an actor, Gosling still manages to take out some time as a musician to the point of releasing one album with the band.


3. Dr. Ishrat Ul Ebad Khan (Guitar)

Dr Ishratul Ibad Khan Playing Guitar

A Pakistani politician has something in common with the rest of the well-known celebrities on the list. Despite graduating from Dow Medical College in Karachi, Dr. Ishrat Ul Ebad Khan’s mettle was in politics and serving the people. He became the youngest person to take up the position of Governor of Sindh and the longest-serving person once he resigned from it.

The politician showed that he knows a thing or two besides medical sciences and politics as he rocked and shocked everyone in the audience by playing an electric guitar to a romantic Bollywood song during the ‘I am Karachi’ Festival in Karachi.


2. Clint Eastwood (Piano)

Clint Eastwood Playing Piano

Nominated for Academy Awards a dozen times and bagging four of them, Clint Eastwood is a living legend in the business. Perhaps the greatest example of actor-turned-director, Eastwood has another talent up his sleeve. Believe it or not, the actor is an accomplished pianist and composer.

The actor has utilized his piano skills to compose several scores of the movies he directed such as Mystic River, Billion Dollar Baby, Hereafter, and Changeling. If Eastwood could have taken out time of his hectic schedule of acting and directing, the legend would have probably achieved the same amount of success as a musician.


1. Albert Einstein (Violin)

Albert Einstein Playing Violin

With a name synonymous with genius, the fact that Albert Einstein was into music is no surprise because the harmonious effects of melodies are practical examples of physics. The theoretical physicist was an avid admirer of music as he once stated:

“I often think in music. I live my daydreams in music.”

The German-born scientist began to play the violin at the age of 5 and mastered it perfectly.

“I know that the most joy in my life has come from my violin,”

states Einstein who was certain that he would be a musician if he was not a physicist.

Now that is a statement worth consideration and hypothesis. No doubt that Einstein reshaped the world of science with his laws and theories but if he was a musician, he would be certainly among the likes of Ludwig van Beethoven and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

Hope you like our list of celebrities who play an instrument. Feel free to share your views in the comments below!

One Comment

  1. Robert A. says:

    You forgot Jeff Goldblum; excellent pianist.

    Meryl Streep is skilled on the violin.

    Dustin Hoffman is also skilled on keyboards and wanted to be a jazz pianist.

    Berry Gordy, former Motown president, plays keyboards, and stepped in to play on Shop Around, Motown’s first million-seller, when the keyboard player didn’t show up for the session.

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