With great showmanship on stage, it is not surprising to see musicians having the ability to act. As success begins to elevate, so does the possibility of numerous side projects and movies being one of them. Though not every musician has succeeded as a great actor, lets have a look at the following 15 best musicians turned actors:
15. Justin Timberlake
Hailed as one of the most commercially successful artists of the decade as his first two albums sold more than 10 million copies, a chance to star in movies proved to be too much for him as Timberlake took a hiatus from his movie career and starred in The Social Network, Friends with Benefits, In Time and Bad Teacher.
14. Courtney Love
13. Meat Loaf
Born Marvin Lee Aday and better known with his stage name Meat Loaf, the musician has released 13 albums while his second album Bat Out of Hell sold more than 43 million copies worldwide. Even almost 40 years after its release, the album continues to sell 200,000 copies annually and established itself as one of the best-selling albums of all time.
Once he made a cameo appearance as Eddie in cult movie The Rocky Horror Picture Show, there was no going back as Meat Loaf made his way to several television shows such as Monk, Glee and House, M.D. and movies such as The 51st State and Fight Club.
12. Ice Cube
Starting his career as a member of hip hop groups CIA and NWA, Ice Cube always stood as a showman and it was just a matter of time he became an actor with Anaconda, XXX: State of the Union and Ride Along as his most prominent movies.
11. David Bowie
David Bowie was second to none when it came to combining art and music. With a career spanning more than five decades, the late musician was always able to reinvent himself in order to adapt with the changing trends in music and sold more than 140 million albums worldwide.
With unprecedented charisma, Bowie was one of the most wanted musicians even in the eyes of prominent directors who wanted him to be a part of their movies. Starring in Labyrinth, The Man Who Fell to Earth, The Last Temptation of Christ, Bowie’s most recent great role as an actor was as Nikola Tesla in Christopher Nolan’s The Prestige.
10. Queen Latifah
Breaking gender barriers in a male dominant industry, Queen Latifah stands out as one of the greatest rappers of all time. Releasing seven albums and selling more than two million records, the rapper has also made a name for herself as a model, talk show host and actress.
With her first movie appearance as a waitress in Spike Lee’s Jungle Fever, Latifah steadily began her second career as an actress and when she struck an Academy Award nomination for her role in Chicago, a star was born.
9. Elvis Presley
Despite being a cultural phenomenon due to his epic music career and regarded as the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley actually wanted to follow the footstep of Marlon Brando and James Dean as he desired to be an actor.
Commercially successful in many genres such as pop, rock, blues and gospel, having one sold out concert after another and with more than 600 million albums sold worldwide to become the best-selling solo artist of all time, it was never enough for Presley as he longed for a movie career and had his wish granted.
Though there was doubt whether Presley could pull off as a convincing actor, the singer made his debut in Love Me Tender but his acting career spanned for only 13 years after a couple of commercial disappointments.
8. Jennifer Hudson
Heartbroken after being eliminated from the third season of American Idol, Jennifer Hudson thought that her life was over. Little did she know that the elimination was a blessing in disguise as several new doors of opportunities opened for her. The girl was filled with enthusiasm and talent; leading her to be cast as Effie White for the musical drama film Dreamgirls.
The part was no easy pickle for Hudson as she beat seasoned singers and actresses such as Raven-Symoné and Fantasia Barrino for her debut role. Sharing the spotlight with A-list names Jamie Foxx, Eddie Murphy and Beyoncé Knowles, Dreamgirls was nominated for six Academy Awards; winning two including one for Best Supporting Actress for the excited Hudson.