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The Best (or Worst!) Actors That Tried To Be Musicians

Updated on September 28, 2012
Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannie has been writing online for over eight years. She covers a wide variety of topics—anything from hamsters to office work.

Showing Off Their Multiple Skills

Actors belong in movies, on television shows, or commercials. We know them. We love them. Perhaps we love them too much and their egos start to inflate. For some reason, many actors snap somewhere along the way and decide they also want to try out music. As much as we might love these actors, in many cases, they might just want to stick to acting.

I am not sure why it works this way, but musicians that decide to become actors normally works out ever so much better than actors that decide to become musicians. But for now, let's celebrate the actors that attempted to cross over and try out the whole music scene... for better or worse!

Bruce Willis

In the height of his popularity, Bruce Willis was an unstoppable force. He starred in Moonlighting, numerous movies, and he was Hollywood's hottest actor. So, of course, why not try to become a singer? Yes, Bruce Willis somehow thought it would be a good idea to create some songs including a true '80s classic called "Respect Yourself." You may have managed to block this little ditty out of your memory, but I am sure it will all come back to you when you watch the music video.

Respect Yourself by Bruce Willis

Don Johnson

Just like Bruce Willis, Don Johnson was one of the hottest guys in the 1980s. Everyone was watching Miami Vice and even trying to dress like Don. Naturally, it would only make sense to try to start a music career. Sure, why not? Believe it or not, Don Johnson had a hit with the song, "Heartbeat." Even scarier, I am going to openly admit this song kind of rocks.

Don Johnson actually has some singing talent and once you've listened to the song, it will bounce around in your head for the rest of the day. Check out the passion Don Johnson puts into this performance. This song will not escape your head for hours! You can thank me later.

Heartbeat by Don Johnson

Lindsay Lohan

No wonder poor Lindsay Lohan is so messed up. Obviously her fans were sending her a message that she could do anything in the world. When Lindsay was super popular and still a cute redhead, she decided to launch a music career. At the time, Lindsay Lohan was starting to get a party girl reputation, but people were still interesting in her career. Well, that is where the song "Rumors" comes in to the picture. Check out Lindsay's dance pop hit... yes, I said hit. Sad confession #2 for this hub: I actually own this CD. I've said too much.

Rumors by Lindsay Lohan

Rodney Dangerfield

So far, we've covered a number of celebrities that tried to become singers. I think it is time we should discuss an actor that decided to take it to a whole new level and become a rapper. Yes, I am talking about Rodney Dangerfield. I don't know who thought this would be a good idea, but someone came up with the idea to create, "No Respect."

Basically, Rodney Dangerfield became Rappin' Rodney back in the 1980s. Rap was cool and Rodney Dangerfield had a number of funny "no respect" jokes, and somehow, the two merged. Oh Rodney, we all miss you, but the Rappin' Rodney idea was not so great.

No Respect by Rodney Dangerfield

Sam Kinison

While we are on the subject of late, great comics becoming musicians, Sam Kinison also decided to give it a try. Sam was known for screaming through his routines and he pretty much does the same thing in this remake of the song, "Wild Thing." Honestly, it probably never hurts to have a big hair heavy metal version of "Wild Thing," so sit back and enjoy.

Wild Thing by Sam Kinison

David Hasselhoff

Is it possible to have a list of actors turned musicians without including David Hasselhoff? I think not! David Hasselhoff has actually been doing this whole musician thing for a while now. Believe it or not, the Hoff has plenty of fans. From what I've heard, David Hasselhoff has a huge following in Germany. Maybe he is more famous for Baywatch or Knight Rider in the U.S., but hey, if he is popular as a singer in other countries, good for him. After all, you should never "hassel the hoff," so please take a few moments to enjoy his music video, "Jump in My Car."

Jump In My Car by David Hasselhoff

Eddie Murphy

This is a list that can't be stopped! There was no way I was going to let Eddie Murphy get off the hook on this one. Yet another actor that thought singing the '80s would be a good idea, Eddie Murphy created the super awesome jam, "Party All the Time" with Rick James. The video features Eddie Murphy getting down and probably a little too much of Rick James rocking out. Nonetheless, it is a totally awesome '80s treasure I am sure you will enjoy. It is another song that gets in your head and won't leave.

Party All The Time by Eddie Murphy

William Shatner

I've heard rumors for years that William Shatner recorded a number of classic rock songs, but for some reason never believed it. Oh, well you'd better believe it. William Shatner has covered a number of songs like "My Way," "Rocket Man," and "Iron Man." I decided out of all the interesting songs I found on YouTube, this lovely rendition of "Bohemian Rhapsody" best represents the William Shatner sound. So yes, you'd better brace yourself for this one.

Bohemian Rhapsody by William Shatner

Jared Leto

To some of us, Jared Leto will always be Jordan Catalano from My So-Called Life. Jared Leto has also starred in a number of movies, like American Psycho and Girl, Interrupted. However, acting was apparently never Jared's first love. Jared Leto is actually an actor that is now an extremely successful musician.

Jared Leto is the lead singer in the band 30 Seconds to Mars. Some folks are quick to judge Jared and his success, but they are probably just jealous. It is not everyday you find a guy that is a successful actor, a great musician, and incredibly good looking. OK, I have a crush on Jared Leto. Whatever. So, last but never least, check out the 30 Seconds to Mars music video, "The Kill."

The Kill by 30 Seconds to Mars

Videos used in this hub are re-posted from YouTube.

All written material in this hub is by Jeannieinabottle.

Copyright ©2012 Jeannieinabottle


Submit a Comment
  • Jeannieinabottle profile imageAUTHOR

    Jeannie Marie 

    8 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    Oh, you are right. I did miss a couple of "good" ones there. :-) And yes, I actually enjoy the Don Johnson song and listen to it sometimes. That man almost knew how to rock out! Thanks for checking out my hub!

  • rcrumple profile image


    8 years ago from Kentucky

    Let us not forget John Revolting, excuse me, John Travolta with his singles and his performances in Grease. Scary stuff! David Soul also did "Don't Give Up On Us", which actually did well, and Steve Martin did "King Tut." You really admit to enjoying Don Johnson's song? Oh, and I had such hopes for you! lol Great Hub!

  • Jeannieinabottle profile imageAUTHOR

    Jeannie Marie 

    8 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    Thank you for your comments, Daisy Mariposa, Peanutritious, and Ruchira! This hub was a labor love. I absolutely adore cheesy stuff like this.

  • Ruchira profile image


    8 years ago from United States

    Great research and well written, Jeannie

  • Peanutritious profile image

    Tara Carbery 

    8 years ago from Cheshire, UK

    Ha! As soon as I saw the title to this I knew it was a must read! Might I add the English actor 'Jimmy Nail'. His songs 'Crocodile shoes' and 'Big river' made me cry, for all the wrong reasons. Truly dreadful and bloody hilarious!

  • Daisy Mariposa profile image

    Daisy Mariposa 

    8 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)


    This is another excellent article! Thanks for the time you took in researching and selecting the videos to include. Well done!

  • Jeannieinabottle profile imageAUTHOR

    Jeannie Marie 

    9 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    DeborahNeyens - I remember Starsky & Hutch, but don't quite remember the actors. It does seem like most actors from the 80s wanted to be singers, too. Thanks for letting me know!

    weestro - Oh please, you must do a hub about the worst rappers turned actors. That will be great! Thanks for the votes!

  • weestro profile image

    Pete Fanning 

    9 years ago from Virginia

    This was very enjoyable jeannie, I would like to do a worst rappers turned actors hub! Voted up and awesome!

  • DeborahNeyens profile image

    Deborah Neyens 

    9 years ago from Iowa

    Great list! But how about David Soul, who was Hutch in the Starsky and Hutch TV show? There is a hilarious scene in the Starsky and Hutch movie where Owen Wilson, who plays Hutch in the movie, sings David Soul's one hit wonder. I think it's called "Don't Give Up on Us Baby."

  • Jeannieinabottle profile imageAUTHOR

    Jeannie Marie 

    9 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    urgurl_bri - Oh no! I can't believe the Lindsay Lohan video isn't up anymore. How can we make it without a quality video like that. I will check out YouTube and put it back up. You've got to have Lindsay! Hehehe. Thanks for checking out the hub!

    Zakmoonbeam - Yes, I was quite surprised at the delight that is the William Shatner video myself. Thanks for reading and thanks for the vote!

  • Zakmoonbeam profile image

    Michael Murchie 

    9 years ago from Parts Unknown

    Absolutely LOVED this hub, especially the Shatner video, there are some things in life one simply must experience ones self !!

    Thanks for a great read, and a laugh to boot, rated up :)

  • urgurl_bri profile image

    Brandi Goodman 

    9 years ago from Holland, MI

    This was such a great hub to read! Very funny and interesting to see all those actors in their music videos. (except your Lindsay Lohan video doesn't work.) But this was a very fun hub to read and one of my favorites.

  • Jeannieinabottle profile imageAUTHOR

    Jeannie Marie 

    9 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    Thanks, Kelley, Ruchira, and Flora. I am glad all of you enjoyed the hub. Thanks for the votes, too!

  • FloraBreenRobison profile image


    9 years ago

    My favourite has always been Shatner. I have a cd of him singing various songs from earlier in his career...including the "classic" Lucy in the sky with Diamonds and "Mr. Tamberine Man." Those were recorded when he was trying to be serious, unintentionally funny. Luckily, he has always had a great sense of humour about himself and kept these up-this time on purpose being silly. If ever you are in need of laughter therapy! And yet, reciting Shakespeare to music, he sounds perfectly natural. Exactly what you would expect if you were listening to Shakespeare on the radio with appropriate music in the background.

  • Ruchira profile image


    9 years ago from United States

    This was an interesting list Jeannie. Thanks for enlightening me :)

  • profile image


    9 years ago

    Jeannieinabottle this was great! Don Johnson giving both a try... "What was he thinking?". Voted up and funny!

  • Jeannieinabottle profile imageAUTHOR

    Jeannie Marie 

    9 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    Alecia - Thanks! I am glad you liked it. Yes, I agree the William Shatner thing is just... well... different.

    trusouldj - Are you kidding? Mr. T? Oh, I have to look into that. It seems like actors that were really popular in the 80s were most likely to give music a try. I had no idea about Michael J. Fox, although I do remember Justine Bateman sang in a movie now that you mention it. Thanks for the list... I am going to research and add more people to the video list. :-)

  • trusouldj profile image

    LaZeric Freeman 

    9 years ago from Hammond

    Cool list, but here's some extra ones for you :

    Jack Wagner - General Hospital/Melrose Place

    Mr T

    Jasmine Guy - A Different World

    Phillip Michael Thomas

    Joey Lawrence

    John Stamos (not really, but he plays drums for The Beach Boys)

    Greg Evigan

    Justine Bateman

    Lisa Hartman Black

    Michael J Foxx ... wow, this is fun, but I'll stop here.

  • Alecia Murphy profile image

    Alecia Murphy 

    9 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

    This is an awesome hub! I almost wrote something like this. But I agree with this list. William Shatner singrapping or whatever he's doing is unbearable. And let's not even get started with Lindsay Lohan. That's funny you own the CD! But nonetheless, this is a great hub!

  • Jeannieinabottle profile imageAUTHOR

    Jeannie Marie 

    9 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    Hahahaha, Jamie... try getting that song out of your head now. Thanks for dropping by!

    Cogerson - Wow, your mom went out with William Shatner? Your mom is super awesome! That is a great story to pass down for many generations.

    drakun23 - Yes, out of everyone, Jared Leto is the most talented musician. I have a couple of their CDs.

    Thanks everyone for the comments!

  • drakun23 profile image


    9 years ago from Serbia

    Good list,but my favourite is Jared,he is amazing.

  • Cogerson profile image


    9 years ago from Virginia

    Well I admit I am a huge fan of Willis, but he has to have some talent as he still sings with his band and occasionally performs with real singers...I am not thinking Don Johnson is doing to many concerts 25 years Shatner video is priceless....I even forward that to my mom(she and Shatner used to go out back in the 1950s in Montreal).

  • Jamie Brock profile image

    Jamie Brock 

    9 years ago from Texas

    LOOL! My girl wants to party all the time, party all the time, party all the ti-ime.. hehe..I remember this one for sure! Great hub :)

  • Jeannieinabottle profile imageAUTHOR

    Jeannie Marie 

    9 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    Cogerson - I am glad you enjoyed the William Shatner video. It was a very special moment for me when I found that online. :-)

    The '80s were a crazy time. I think you are right that all three of those songs were hits. I certainly remember Eddie Murphy's song jamming everywhere I went for a while. I personally enjoy Don Johnson's song the most. Perhaps I need to not judge Bruce Willis in such a harsh way. If you say his band is really good, then I will trust you on that. Thanks for the votes and for sharing!

  • Cogerson profile image


    9 years ago from Virginia

    Very very funny....especially the Shatner video...first time I have ever seen and heard him covering the great Queen song Bohemian Rhapsody. I love the Shat....he is a great celebrity....and always seems to be having fun.

    As for Willis, Murphy and Johnson....I do believe all three of these songs were hits on the Billboard Top 40...each reaching the Top 10. Being a Bruce homer, I can tell you I got a chance to him and his band play...they are pretty good in person. Awesome hub that I am sharing and voting up and interesting and funny.

  • Jeannieinabottle profile imageAUTHOR

    Jeannie Marie 

    9 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    Sunshine625 - I am glad you enjoyed it. Yes, let me know if you think of anyone else. I know John Tesh is an obvious one, but I would consider him more of a TV personality rather than an actor, so I excluded him.

    epigramman - Thanks so much for the compliments and checking out my hub. I really appreciate you posting a link to my profile on the group page, too. All of my music hubs are a labor of love. I often visit them myself to listen to music. My favorite is still my Halloween playlist. Thanks again!

    rlaha - Thanks so much! If you think of anyone else to add to the list, just let me know. :-)

    Vincent Moore - I have to admit, I love rocking out to that Don Johnson song. He sounds pretty decent. The Bruce Willis and Rodney Dangerfield songs were kind of painful. Thanks so much for reading my hub!

    Amazontickets - I had been hearing for years about William Shatner and all of his many songs. It was good to finally hear them. I can't say I am really a fan of his music, but it was interesting anyway. :-)

    Thanks for everyone for the comments!

  • Amazontickets profile image


    9 years ago from Florida

    Great list, but you know The Shat (William Shatner) has a cult following all his own for his dramatic interpretations of pop songs. It all started early in his career when he recorded "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds". Leonard Nimoy did something similar with "Bilbo Baggins".

  • epigramman profile image


    9 years ago

    ...I have posted something else to our group which is near and dear to you - go and have a look - you will be pleasantly surprised - 10:22am

  • profile image

    Vincent Moore 

    9 years ago

    Wow what a great hub. I was surprised by the wonderful voice of Don Johnson, he can really sing. As for Bruce and Rodney they should never be seen in a recording studio again:-) Eddie Murphy was great to. Old Billy Shatner well what more can be said about his diversity:-)

    I never could get into David Hasselhoff, however the beach bunnies he hung out were sweet. My three favorites in this order were, The Kill thirty seconds to Mars, Don Johnson, Heartbeat and finally Eddie Murphy. This was a fun listen, enjoyed the laughs. Voted UP awesome, interesting and useful and a little funny, especially Rodney, William and

  • rlaha profile image


    9 years ago from Spartanburg, SC

    Yes, there are a few more. I don't have them off the top of my head, but thanks for the laugh! :)

  • epigramman profile image


    9 years ago this one very much - and I am glad you already posted your labor of love here to our group and beat me to it or else I would have already done it for you - lol - I was royally entertained and educated by this world class effort and I am so happy you decided to join us because it's passionate people/excellent writers like you that makes our group look so good .......lake erie time 10:00am

  • Sunshine625 profile image

    Linda Bilyeu 

    9 years ago from Orlando, FL

    Great list! I agree with all of them. I know there are a few more, i'll be back when I remember them.


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