Musicians who became actors

Some of the most prominent actors working in the Hollywood film industry today got their start as musicians. It all started with Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra back in the 1950s and 1960s. Elvis appeared in 31 films and Sinatra even won the Academy Award for best supporting actor for his role in From Here to Eternity. Today, we have many singers who have turned to acting. Some have been successful, others have failed. Check them out.

Queen Latifah








Dana Owens, better known as Queen Latifah, first found fame as a female rapper. She won a Grammy in 1994 for the single “U.N.I.T.Y.” But she also has acting chops, as she proved by becoming the first hip-hop star to be nominated for an Academy Award (for her performance in 2002’s Chicago) and the first rapper ever honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.









The ‘Material Girl’ decided to try her hand in movies starting with a brief appearance in Vision Request. The singer then went on to appear in Desperately Seeking Susan, A League of Their Own, Who’s That Girl and several more movies. She is probably best known for playing the lead role in Evita. The role helped land her a Golden Globe Award.

Mark Wahlberg








Given his wide-ranging success in films as varied as The Basketball Diaries, The Perfect Storm and I Heart Huckabees, you may have forgotten Mark Wahlberg got his start riding in music as Marky Mark. Wahlberg’s film and television success eclipsed what was a relatively short-lived career as a pop rapper and today he is an A-list actor with an Academy Award nomination.

Mariah Carey








The singer made her acting debut in the movie The Bachelor in 1999. She then went on to star in Glitter, WiseGirls and several more movies. She won the Breakthrough Actress Performance Award at the Palm Springs International Film Festival for her acting in the movie Precious.

Jennifer Lopez

17th Annual  Human Rights Campaign National Dinner-Washington DC







Before she was the highest paid Latina actress of all time, she was “Jenny from the Block,” a household name as a pop performer while simultaneously pursuing acting gigs. With 2001’s opening of the film The Wedding Planner, she became the first woman to have the number-one movie and the number-one album in the same week, securing her status as an entertainment triple threat.

Justin Timberlake








The lead singer of the boy band ‘N Sync decided to try his hand in acting. In 1999 he made his first acting debut in a Disney Channel movie called Model Behavior. He went on to do more movies like Edison Force, Alpha Dog, The Social Network and several more films.

Jennifer Hudson








The American Idol contestant decided to use her singing career to help launch her acting career. The first role she gained was in the film adaptation of the musical Dreamgirls. She won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in the film. Since then she has appeared in several movies such as Winnie and The Secret Life of Bees.









The Diva and one half of the duo ‘Sonny & Cher’ tried a little bit of acting as well. With the help of Sonny, the duo released movies that showcased her acting ability like Good Times and Chastity. They also served as hosts on the TV program ‘The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour.’ Her stardom led her to land roles in Mask, Silkwood and many more films. In 1987 she wowed viewers with her performance in Moonstruck. The role led her to win the Academy Award for Best Actress.

Will Smith








Will Smith started his career as a rapper known as The Fresh Prince. He got his first acting gig by playing a fictionalized version of himself in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. He then turned his TV career into a film career and landed roles in Men in Black, Wild Wild West, I Am Legend and many more. Smith has even received Best Actor Oscar nominations for his acting in Ali and The Pursuit of Happyness.


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One response to “Musicians who became actors”

  1. Harry says:

    I have always sad when the person is talented, he/she is talented in many ways. There are so many gifted people and why the do not do what they are good at and what they really like doing. I am very happy to see how many nice actors have turned out of the singers and that their popularity in singing career gave them a rise in acting field. Jennifer Lopez is one of my favorites and definitely not for her outstanding part of the body, though it is nice too! LOL