Over the past years, we have seen how many of the world’s most successful musicians have decided to pursue a career in the acting world. Some – like Lady Gaga or J-Lo – have actually hit it off in the silver screen; however, some others have gone unnoticed and their appearance in this list may come as a surprise for many. So here are 25 iconic musicians who are trying hard to become actors. Please, make sure you don’t miss #11, #9, and #1.
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Famous for his albums Release Therapy (2006) and Theater of the Mind (2008), Ludacris is one of the United States’ most famous rappers. But did you know that he has recently delved into acting?
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His first appearance was in the famous action film Fast and Furious 2, released in 2003. One year later, he played a secondary role in the Academy Award winner Crash, and he has landed on several minor roles in other action films ever since then. We’re still waiting for his big break, though!
#24. Harry Connick Jr.
We all know Harry Connick Jr. for his enviable musical talent, which is mirrored in the fact that he has achieved seven top-20 albums and ten number-one jazz albums in the U.S. But not only that! He has also given acting a shot, and not only as a judge in American Idol!
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Many people ignore the fact that Connick Jr. has been playing minor roles ever since the early 1990s, including films such as Copycat, Bug, and PS I Love You. The only time he played a lead role was in the animated film The Iron Giant, where he voiced the cartoon character, Dean McCoppin.
#23. Enrique Iglesias
Enrique Iglesias is a famous Spanish-Filipino singer and songwriter, usually known as the Latin King of Pop. With a total number of 27, he has the world record for the most number-one hits on the Billboard’s Hot Latin Tracks. Beat that!
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But did you know that he has also tried his luck in the acting business? He’s played secondary roles in famous sitcoms such as How I Met Your Mother, The Young and the Restless, and Two and a Half Men. We’re still waiting for his big break on the silver screen!
#22. Nick Jonas
Nick Jonas reached worldwide fame after he formed a band with his two oldest brothers, named Jonas Brothers. But while he’s widely famous as a singer, not many people know that he’s a talented actor too. In fact, he has been acting since the age of 7!
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When he was just a little kid, he starred in Disney’s family show Camp Rock together with Demi Lovato, but he has also starred in some feature-length films such as Goat and Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. Jonas has opened up about the difficulties he faces in order to be taken seriously in the film industry, as many people still regard him as a Disney star and former boy band member.
#21. Justin Timberlake
Justin Timberlake took his first steps in the music industry as a member of the boy-band N’SYNC and later pursued an extremely successful solo career. However, in 2008 he chose to take a 4-year break and focus on his promising acting career.
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He landed some secondary roles in some major blockbusters, such as The Social Network and Friends with Benefits. But the truth is he never hit it off in the film industry, and that’s why he went back to singing in 2012, releasing his latest albums The 20/20 Experience and Man of Woods.
#20. Christina Aguilera
Christina Aguilera is one of the world’s greatest pop stars of all time and there’s no arguing about that. Famous for hits such as Genie in the Bottle and Ain’t No Other Man, and boy does she know how to make us dance!
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But 2010 was a turning point for her career since that’s when she landed a role in the musical film Burlesque. She was praised for her acting, and ever since then she has played several roles in different films, including the sci-fi hit Zoe.
#19. Harry Styles
While Harry Styles catapulted to fame as part of the boy band Jonas Brothers, he has been making a name of himself in the acting world too. Did you know he played a minor role in the blockbuster Oscar-nominated film Dunkirk?
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His role in the war movie was his acting debut, and even though he didn’t nail it, critics claimed he was “a little handsomer than anyone else.” But the poor reviews didn’t stop him, as he has confirmed he wants to persevere with his acting career.
#18. Jennifer Lopez
It’s been nearly three decades ever since pop singer J-Lo launched her acting career, so it should come as no surprise that her name is on this list. Unfortunately, though, the movies she worked in have never been critically acclaimed, nor have her performances.
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She landed her very first role in the early 90s in The Boy Next Door, but her performance went unnoticed. Many critics believe that her greatest performance ever was in the 2016 crime-drama TV Show Shades of Blue, where she played a scorned police officer.
#17. Ice Cube
Commonly known as the creator of the so-called “gangsta rap”, Ice Cube became famous as a member of the rap band N.W.A. But after several years and after releasing two platinum albums, he decided to delve into acting.
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His acting debut was in one of Spike Lee’s greatest classics ever, Boyz’n da Hood. His performance was praised by critics and fans alike, but ever since then, his acting career has been far from memorable. He came into the spotlight once more in 2015 after producing the documentary Straight Outta Compton, which earned nearly $200 million.
#16. André 3000
I’m sure you all know André 3000 for his role in Outkast, one of the most successful hip-hop duos in American history. But did you know he has also acted in several films? In fact, he landed his first role nearly two decades ago.
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He’s always played minor roles, and that probably explains the fact that his acting career has gone unnoticed. If you wanna check out his acting skills, then watch Idlewild, Four Brothers, or Charlotte’s Web.
#15. Mary Blige
Mary Blige is one of the greatest R&B artists in U.S. history. Don’t believe me? What if I told you she won 9 Grammy Awards, 12 Billboard Music Awards, and 3 Golden Globe Award nominations? That’s gotta do it!
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What very few people know is that she also has a long acting career behind her. She began with minor appearances on a few TV shows such as The Jamie Foxx Show, but her big break came just two years ago in the war film Mudbound, which earned her an Academy Award nomination. It seems that nothing can stop her!
#14. Jessica Simpson
Paris Hilton is one of the USA’s greatest pop stars and is most famous for hits such as Stars Are Blind, Turn It Up, and With You. Her first appearance on TV was in the reality show The Simple Life, in which she starred in.
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Ever since then, she has played several roles in mostly comedic films, such as Blonde Ambition and The Dukes of Hazzard, and. She usually casts for roles that require little to no acting, but let’s give her some credit since she sure knows how to make the audience laugh!
#13. Mariah Carey
Pop and R&B icon Mariah Carey had to be on this list! Carey catapulted to fame thanks to her eponymous debut album, which topped the Billboard 200 charts for nearly four months in a row! But during these past years, she has been trying to prove to us she’s a talented actress too.
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To be honest, her first films – such as WiseGirls or Tennessee – have been far from successful, although she’s not the only one to blame for that. However, her performance in the drama TV show Empire proved the world she’s got all it takes to become a Hollywood star. Time will tell!
JoJo is a young and promising that rose to stardom in 2006 when she released her first pop album, The High Road. It wasn’t long before she gave acting a chance, but her career as an actress wasn’t nearly as successful as her music career.
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JoJo co-starred with some very talented stars, such as Robin Williams in the comedy film RV and Emma Roberts in the romantic film Aquamarine. After having released her latest album Mad Love, she has decided to focus on her music career only, and we think it’s a wise choice of hers!
#11. Lenny Kravitz
Lenny Kravitz is one of the greatest icons of the 90s, at least as far as the music world is concerned. He managed to blend different styles throughout his career, such as rock, blues, reggae, and funk. But what about his acting career?
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Kravitz has taken on minor roles in the films Precious, The Hunger Games, and The Butler. He has claimed that his daughter, actress Zoe Kravitz, was the one who inspired him to pursue a career in acting. Clearly, talent runs in the family’s blood!
#10. Queen Latifah
Rap and hip-hop icon Queen Latifah reached worldwide fame during the 90s, especially after the release of her first solo album, Ladies First. But during the turn of the century, the Queen of Hip Hop decided to pursue a career in acting, and her career was more than successful!
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At first, she landed on roles in different comedy films, such as Taxi, Beauty Shop, and Bringing Down the House. However, her most brilliant performance was in the musical drama film Chicago, which earned her her first and only Academy Award nomination.
There is no doubt that Usher is one of the greatest R&B artists of all time. He sold 75 million records throughout the world and won two Grammy Awards as Best Male R&B Vocal Performance. But this just wasn’t enough for him, so he went on to conquer the acting world.
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Usher made his acting debut in the 2006 comedy-drama show Moesha, where he played the main character’s love interest. Ever since then, he has appeared in several minor roles in both films and TV shows, though one of his most memorable performances was in Robert Rodriguez’s film The Faculty.
#8. 50 Cent
American artist 50 Cent is one of hip hop’s greatest legends of all time and was named the sixth most influential artist of the 2000s. He has sold over 30 million albums and has earned dozens of awards, including a Grammy Award.
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But just like Usher, 50 Cent has made a name for himself in the film industry too. Even though most of his work in film has been behind the scenes, he has also starred in a few movies, such as the biographical drama Get Rich or Die Tryin’ and the thriller film Escape Plan.
#7. Janet Jackson
The youngest sibling of the Jackson family, Janet Jackson actually began her career with the iconic TV series The Jacksons and later took on minor roles in comedy shows like Good Times and Diff’rent Strokes. But once an adult, she focused on her music career.
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Jackson has sold over 160 million records and has written world-famous singles like All for You, That’s The Way Love Goes, and Nasty. However, she has also taken on a few roles in some famous films, such as Poetic Justice and The Velvet Rope.
#6. Lady Gaga
Is there any doubt that Lady Gaga is one of the greatest pop legends of all time? Famous for hits such as Poker Face, Paparazzi, and Bad Romance, she has sold nearly 150 million albums worldwide and her fame continues to grow year after year.
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But just a few years ago, she decided to give acting a try, and she’s really nailing it! After landing on minor roles on the action film Machete Kills and on the horror TV show American Horror Story, she hit it off in the drama film A Star Is Born, for which she received her first Academy Award nomination for Best Actress.
Beyoncé took her first steps in the music industry when she was just a teen, as part of the famous girl band Destiny’s Child. Later on, she came to be one of the most influential and best-selling music artists in the world, having sold over 100 million albums.
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In 2006, Queen B chose to take her first steps in the film industry after starring in the musical-drama film Dreamgirls, although her performance wasn’t critically acclaimed. However, she has come into the spotlight this year once more after having voiced Nala in the live-action version of The Lion King. If you ask me, she’s got all it takes to win an Oscar!
#4. Snoop Dog
Snoop Dog is one of rap’s greatest legends of all time, and there’s no arguing about that! His solo debut album The Chronic was a major success and he has sold over 35 million albums worldwide. But what about his acting skills?
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In 2016, together with Martha Stewart, he began hosting the famous cooking show Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party. However, it’s also worth mentioning that he has acted in several important films, such as the comedy film Starsky & Hutch and the crime-drama films Training Day and Baby Boy.
#3. Nicki Minaj
Born in Trinidad and Tobago, Nicki Minaj is one of the greatest female rappers ever. Her second album, Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded, was a whopping success and sold millions of copies worldwide. But it was only five years ago when she made her acting debut. Can you guess in which film?
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Minaj played minor roles in Cassavetes’ famous comedy film The Other Woman (2004) and the comedy film Barbershop: The Next Cut (2016). Oh, and did you know she voiced the female mammoth Steffie in Ice Age 4?
Bjork is a talented Icelandic musician who has delved into a wide range of genres, including electronic, pop, trip-hop, and avant-garde music. 31 of her singles have reached the top 40 on the US Billboard 200, which proves just how successful she is.
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However, did you know she has also hit it off on the silver screen? She starred in Lars Von Trier’s 2000 drama film Dancer in the Dark, for which she won an award for Best Actress in the Cannes Film Festival. Surprisingly, though, she has barely acted in movies ever since.
Born in Barbados, Rihanna is one of the most popular pop singers of this century, although she has also delved into other genres such as R&B, hip-hop, and reggae. Her single Diamonds has topped the charts for months and she has sold over 250 million albums worldwide.
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But it seems that the sky is the limit for this multi-faceted artist, as she has also begun to conquer the film industry. Her first major role was in the 2018 heist film Ocean’s 8, though she has also played minor roles in Battleship and This Is The End.