From Script to Song: Actors Who Can Actually Sing…

January 14, 2012  |  
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Have you noticed that in the entertainment industry, everyone feels like they can crossover from field to field? Actors become singers, singers become actors, actors become authors etc.  But are they all truly talented in these varied fields, or do they simply get bored with their current job?  Whether they were discovered during a movie or have branched out into the music world on their own, these celebs have crossed over successfully.

Take a look at these 8 celebrities who actually have vocal talent….

1. Jamie Foxx

Eric Marlon Bishop, professionally known as Jamie Foxx, is an American actor, stand-up comedian, and singer. His standout performance was his portrayal of Ray Charles in the biopic Ray, out in 2004, for which he won the Academy Award for Best Actor and the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role. Foxx’s performance is the perfect homage to the scrappy, heroin-addicted soul crooner Ray Charles. Foxx’s latest music release, Best Night of My Life, has become a R&B chart-topping hit.

2. Meryl Streep

Meryl Streep is widely regarded as one of the most talented and respected actors of the modern era. She has worked in theatre, television and film. After appearing in Mamma Mia!, Streep’s rendition of the song “Mamma Mia” rose to popularity in the Portuguese music charts, where it peaked at #8 in October 2008.  At the 35th People’s Choice Awards, her version of Mamma Mia won an award for “Favorite Song From A Soundtrack.”  Then in 2008, Streep was nominated for a Grammy Award (her fifth nomination) for her work on the Mamma Mia! Soundtrack.

3. Gwyneth Paltrow

Gwyneth Paltrow is an American actress and singer born in Los Angeles, California. Paltrow made her professional stage debut in 1990 and began here acting career. Her singing debut, however, emerged in the 2000 in the film Duets, in which she performed a cover version of Smokey Robinson’s “Cruisin'”. The song was well received and released as a single. The song went to number one in Australia, while Paltrow’s rendition of the Kim Carnes classic “Bette Davis Eyes” reached number three.  Most recently, in 2010, she appeared in the country musical, Country Strong, where she also recorded the song Country Strong for the films’ soundtrack. The song was released to country radio in August 2010 and confirmed Paltrow’s strong and piercing voice talent.

4. Terrence Howard

The actor nails his rendition of “Hard Out Here for a Pimp,” the song that won his Hustle & Flow collaborators an Academy Award. The Oscar-nominated actor also debuted his jazz CD entitled “Shine Through It.” In 2010 while Howard was attending the Cannes Film Festival, he admitted that he is hoping to play Marvin Gaye in Cameron Crowe’s long-gestating biopic. Howard seems to be aware of the responsibility of portraying one of America’s most famous musicians on the big screen.  “Nothing’s been signed on paper yet,” Howard tells me. “Everybody who loves music will hate me if I get this one wrong.”

5. Anne Hathaway

The actress has already showed her stuff in a musical number in Ella Enchanted, at 2006’s benefit for Children Will Listen, and during her time as host at SNL.  Most recently, the actress is said to take the role of Fantine in The King’s Speech director Tom Hooper’s big screen adaptation of the musical Les Miserables. The actress has already sang and danced with Hugh Jackman during a previous telecast of the Academy Awards, it now sounds like Anne Hathaway may get more musical time with the actor!

6. Robert Downey Jr.

Downey, best known for his acting career and stand out performance in Iron Man, has actually been pursuing a musical career for years.  In November 2004 he released his first album, The Futurist, although he had exhibited musical talent prior to this release, crooning a poignant version of Charlie Chaplin’s “Smile” for the soundtrack of his film Chaplin. If your unfamiliar with his musical endeavors, be sure to check out below the song “Broken,” which played during the closing credits of Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.

7. Jada Pinkett Smith

Jada wears more hats than you might realize.  She is an American actress, producer, director, author, singer-songwriter, and businesswoman.  Beyond that, she’s also raising some beautiful and talented children.  However, Willow is not the only singer in the famous Smith acting clan. Pinkett Smith launched her music career in 2005, when she helped create the Heavy metal/rock band Wicked Wisdom, for which she is a singer and songwriter.  Most recently, Jada Pinkett Smith, daughter Willow Smith, and son Jaden Smith sang on stage during the Nobel Peace Prize Concert at Oslo Spektrum on December 11, 2009.

8. Joaquin Phoenix

Joaquin Phoenix has ventured behind the camera, directing music videos as well as producing movies and television shows, and has recorded an album, the soundtrack to Walk the Line. Upon being cast as Johnny Cash in 2005’s Walk the Line, Phoenix responded by buying a guitar and learned how to play. Reese Witherspoon, who portrayed June Carter Cash in the film and won a Best Actress Oscar for her performance, stated during an interview that when they first performed in-character before a live audience, she was so impressed with his impersonation that she knew she “had to step it up a notch”. The actor dug deep for his portrayal of Johnny Cash in 2005’s Walk the Line, and his raspy take on the Cash sound earned him accolades.

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