9 Musicians With Successful Acting Careers

9 Musicians With Successful Acting Careers

cher 1979

Vogue Headshot of  Cher in 1967. Photo by Arnaud de Rosnay/Condé Nast via Getty Images

With Oscars season upon us, it’s almost impossible to avoid getting caught up in the infectious Hollywood fanfare. What better time to take a look back at some of music’s biggest icons who have made the successful jump to the silver screen over the years. There are plenty of Oscar nominations and wins on the list of high achieving performers who clearly love to entertain. 

1. Cher 

Cher moonstruck

Cher in 'Moonstruck': YouTube.

Not only is she one of THE Goddess of Pop, Cher is also a successful actress with a diverse and impressive filmography to her name. She has appeared in thirteen films (including two cameos) across a range of genres, often playing bold and daring characters. From musicals and fantasy films to serious dramas, she has worked with some of the most iconic directors in the industry certainly not gone unnoticed by the critics. 

She was nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her work in Silkwood (1983) and won the award for Best Actress for her role in Moonstruck (1987).

2. Frank Sinatra 

frank sinatra pal joey

Frank Sinatra on the set of 'Pal Joey': YouTube. 

Ol’ Blue Eyes, Frank Sinatra, was one of music’s greatest icons who also forged a highly successful acting career in Hollywood. With his immaculate sense of style and signature air of danger, he became an icon for the times, oozing confidence, presence and success born from hard work, he embodied the 1950s American dream, and perhaps even played a hand in creating it. 

In addition to the eleven Grammy Awards Sinatra was awarded, he received four Golden Globe nominations and won three awards, including the prestigious Cecil B. Deville Award in 1971, an honorary Golden Globe awarded for "outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment".

3. David Bowie 

david bowie labyrinth

David Bowie in Labyrinth:YouTube.

David Bowie's depth of talent was insurmountable. Alongside his own cast of rock star personas and alter-egos, he also starred in a range of eclectic films like The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976)and more serious movies such as the World War II drama Merry Christmas, Mr Lawrence (1983). Bowie showed his acting chops. His strange and unforgettable presence left a very ‘Bowie’ touch on David Lynch's Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (1992) as is also true of his most memorable role in Jim Henson's family fantasy, Labyrinth (1986).

4. Queen Latifah  

queen latifah chicago

Queen Latifah in 'Chicago': YouTube.

Born Dana Elaine Owens, Queen Latifah has found success as a rapper, singer, songwriter, actress, and producer! She first broke onto the music scene in 1988 with her single "Wrath of My Madness." And later won her first Grammy for her single "U.N.I.T.Y." in 1993. 

Latifah broke into acting in the 1990s when she starred in the TV sitcom, Living Single, and scored an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress or her fourth full-length feature film, Chicago (2002). 

5. Will Smith 

will smith men in black

Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones in Men In Black: YouTube. 

If you cast your mind back to the early 1980s you might just remember a duo called ‘DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince’. That’s right, before Smith was officially crowned The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air on the primetime sitcom he was a young hip hop artist working his way up the ranks. But acting came naturally to Smith who became a box-office titan after the global success of Men In Black (1997). He's been nominated for two Oscars and five Golden Globes. 

6. Mark Wahlberg 

mark wahlberg ted

Mark Wahlberg in Ted: YouTube.

We might have first met him as frontman Marky Mark from Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch, but he quickly ditched that moniker after his film debut in 1993’s, The Substitute. His big screen with roles range from the iconic Boogie Nights (1997), to the action-packed Transformers: The Last Knight (2017), to the adorable and heart-warming, Ted (2012). And yes, he also two Oscar nominations to add to his list of achievements. 

7. Jennifer Lopez 

jennifer lopez selina

Jennifer Lopez in 'Selina': YouTube.

Jenny from the block is a certified triple threat. She started her illustrious career in entertainment as a back-up dancer for New Kids On The Block before pursuing a career in acting. In her first major role, she starred as the late iconic Tejano singer in Selena (1997), proving her undeniable skills as a singing dancing and acting superstar. As well as going on to star in over 25 movies to date, she also managed to launch a ridiculously successful career as a singer to boot. 

8. Lenny Kravitz  

lenny kravitz the hunger games

Lenny Kravitz and Jennifer Lawrence in 'The Hunger Games': YouTube.

Lenny Kravitz has a surprising number of acting credits under his belt, appearing in everything from blockbuster comedies like Zoolander (2001), dramas like Precious (2009) and The Butler (2013) to recent pop culture sensations like The Hunger Games (2012) series in which he starred alongside Jennifer Lawrence.

9. Madonna 

madonna a league of their own

Madonna and Rosie O'Donnell in 'A League Of Their Own': YouTube.

Popstar extraordinare, Madonna, has acted in 21 movies throughout the '80s and '90s, even making the leap to directing in the early ’00s. Despite her films not always being a hit with the critics, her stand-out roles in Desperately Seeking Susan (1985) and A League of Their Own (1992) are legendary. Her critically acclaimed performance as Eva Peron in the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, Evita (1996), won her a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in Motion Picture Musical or Comedy.

To really get your Oscar party started, tune into a stack of hits from the Goddess of Pop with our I Like: Cher playlist, including songs from her own film soundtracks!

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