18 Successful Actors and Actresses Turned Musicians!

In Hollywood, it isn’t uncommon for musicians to venture into acting or for actors and actresses to become musicians. Sometimes, stars can successfully transition from one career to another. Here are 18 successful actors and actresses that decided to become musicians!

18. Miley Cyrus

Miley Cyrus made her way into the spotlight in 2006 via her lead role as Hannah Montana on the hit Disney television show of the same name. In 2007, Miley released her debut album, Meet Miley Cyrus, which became certified quadruple-platinum by the RIAA. Miley is considered one of the most successful Disney artists of all time. She had 5 non-consecutive No. 1 albums on the US Billboard 200.

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17. Selena Gomez

Selena Gomez has been acting since she was just 10 years old. In 2002, at age 10, Selena appeared on Barney and Friends. She became a household name after securing the lead role in the hit Disney show Wizards of Waverly Place. In 2009, Selena released her first studio album as Selena Gomez & The Scene, which debuted inside the Top 10 of the Billboard 200. In 2013 the lead single from her debut solo album, Come & Get It was released and became her first Top 10 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

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16. Hilary Duff

The multifaceted Hilary Duff began her career as an actress on the television series “Lizzie McGuire.” A couple of years after she began acting, she released her debut album Metamorphosis, which has been certified triple platinum by the RIAA. Duff continues to act and is also working on a new album that is due out this spring.

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15. William Shatner

William Shatner is a world famous actor thanks to his portrayal of Captain James Tiberius Kirk on the television series “Star Trek.” He has been dabbling in music since the late ‘60s and is known for speaking his lyrics instead of singing them, which has garnered him some criticism.

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14. Juliette Lewis

Academy Award-nominated actress Juliette Lewis was a major up-and-coming actress in the ‘90s; however, she gave up on her acting career in 2003 to focus on music full-time. She fronted the band “Juliette and the Licks” until 2009 when she formed her new band “New Romantiques.”

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13. Billy Bob Thornton

Oscar-winning screenwriter Billy Bob Thornton was well established in Hollywood as an actor, screenwriter and director when he began dabbling in singing and songwriting. He has released four solo albums and, in 2007, he formed the band “The Boxmasters” where he is the drummer and vocalist.

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12. Jared Leto

When Jared Leto first moved to L.A. in the early ‘90s, he was planning to pursue a musical career with acting roles on the side; however, acting ended up becoming his full time job. In 1998, he founded the band “Thirty Seconds To Mars” and they have released four albums and have sold over 10 million albums worldwide.

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11. Lindsay Lohan

Lindsay Lohan became widely recognized when she starred in “Mean Girls;” however, it didn’t take her long to foray into music. Her debut album Speak was certified platinum and her second album A Little More Personal (Raw) was certified gold. The actress-singer was supposed to release a third album, but she seems to have given up on it.

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10. Scarlett Johansson

Scarlett Johansson is a critically acclaimed actress who has garnered Golden Globe nominations for her work in “Lost in Translation,” “Girl with a Pearl Earring,” “A Love Song for Bobby Long” and “Match Point.” She released an album back in 2008 called Anywhere I Lay My Head, which received mixed reviews, and a collaborative album in 2009 with Pete Yorn called Break Up.

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9. Jada Pinkett Smith

Jada Pinkett Smith rose to fame as an actress in the ‘90s with films like “The Nutty Professor” and “Menace II Society;” however, she put her acting career on the back burner when she formed her metal band Wicked Wisdom in 2002. Wicked Wisdom opened for Britney Spears back in 2004 during her Onyx Hotel Tour.

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8. Bruce Willis

Bruce Willis is a well-respected actor best known for his roles in “Die Hard,” “12 Monkeys,” “Unbreakable.” He has also dabbled in music. In 1987, he released an album The Return of Bruno and a couple of years later he released a follow up album titled If It Don’t Kill You, It Just Makes You Stronger. Around this time, “Die Hard” ended up making him a huge star, so he abandoned his musical aspirations.

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7. Jennifer Lopez

Jennifer Lopez is one star who has managed to have successful careers in music, film and TV – all at the same time! Although she has established herself as a prominent figure in all of these areas, her music career has been exceptionally successful. With record sales of 75 million, she is considered the most influential Hispanic performer in the U.S.

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6. Vanessa Hudgens

Vanessa Hudgens has been involved in films for over a decade; however, she became a household name with her as role Gabriella Montez in the “High School Musical” trilogy. After the success of the first film, she released her debut album V, which was later certified Gold. Following the release of her second album, Hudgens decided to focus on her acting career.

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5. Steve Martin

Steve Martin is a well-established actor who is known for his work in films like “Father of the Bride” and “Pink Panther.” Unbeknownst to most, he is also an accomplished banjo player and bluegrass musician who has released an album, The Crow: New Songs for the Five-String Banjo.

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4. Lucy Hale

Lucy Hale – who is best known for her role as Aria Montgomery on “Pretty Little Liars – is also a budding singer. She has been working on a country album and just recently released her first single “You Sound Good to Me.” Her album Road Between will be released in June.

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3. Kylie Minogue

Many people may not know this but Kylie Minogue was an actress before she ventured into music. As a teenager, she had roles in “The Sullivans,” “Skyways” and “The Henderson Kids” and then she made it big with her hit song “The Loco-Motion.” Since then, Minogue has enjoyed a fairly prosperous career in music.

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2. Leighton Meester

Leighton Meester rose to fame with her role on “Gossip Girl” as Blaire Waldorf. She was supposed to release an album back in 2010, but it never came out; however, she has released two singles and another two were leaked. Meester has collaborated with artists like Robin Thicke and Cobra Starship.

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 1. Taylor Momsen

Taylor Momsen’s breakout role was in “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” and she became a household name with her her role “Gossip Girl” as Jenny Humphrey, the social climber. In 2011, she quit acting to focus on making music and touring with her band “The Pretty Reckless” and she hasn’t looked back since.

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Cate

Cate

Cate has a B.A. and an M.A. in English Literature and has been the Managing Editor of Fame10 for more than 6 years. Despite having a love for the works of Thomas Hardy, Leo Tolstoy and Lord Byron, she also has an intense fascination with pop culture. When she isn’t writing for Fame10, she’s planning her next big adventure in Southeast Asia.

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