15 Musicians Who Are Also Actors
Musicians who make a mark in the world of acting have always fascinated both fans and the entertainment industry.
These talented individuals not only excel in creating music that resonates with audiences but have also managed to conquer the big and small screens with their acting prowess. From iconic legends to modern pop stars, these artists have shown that their talents stretch far beyond any one label.
Birthdate: November 21, 1965
Net worth: $20 million
Roles in: Dancer In the Dark, The Northman
Bottom Line: Bjork
It should be no shock that someone as unique and eccentric as Bjork would take roles that reflect her character. She's only taken two so far, and they were a number of years apart.
Her first role was as a Czech immigrant named Selma in Lars Von Trier's "Dancer in the Dark." Selma is going blind and works hard to save money for her son's surgery. She finds comfort in music and dance but faces a series of tragic events, including being wrongly accused of murder. Bjork's song from the movie, "I've Seen It All," was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song in 2001.
The role in Von Trier's movie was so intense and on set tension was so fraught, Bjork vowed never to make another movie, but she does show up in director Robert Eggers' "The Northman" as the mystical Seeress.
Birthdate: September 25, 1983
Net worth: $40 million
Roles in: Community, Atlanta, Solo: A Star Wars Story
Bottom Line: Donald Glover
Donald Glover (aka, Childish Gambino) gained fame for his role as Troy Barnes in "Community" (2009-2014), but he's more widely known as the creator, writer and main actor in the critically acclaimed FX comedy/drama series "Atlanta" (2016– 2022).
Glover is also known for his role as Lando Calrissian in "Solo: A Star Wars Story" and as the voice of Simba in the 2019 remake of "The Lion King."
Birthdate: September 12, 1981
Net worth: $30 million
Roles in: Dreamgirls, Respect
Bottom Line: Jennifer Hudson
Singer Jennifer Hudson has graced the big screen with several notable movie roles. Her breakthrough came with 2006's "Dreamgirls," where she won an Academy Award for her portrayal of Effie White.
Beyond that, she took on the role of Louise, Carrie Bradshaw's assistant, in the 2008 "Sex and the City: The Movie," and played Aretha Franklin in "Respect" from 2021.
Birthdate: August 28, 1969
Net worth: $50 million
Roles in: The Holiday, School of Rock, Kung Fu Panda, Super Mario Bros
Bottom Line: Jack Black
Whether he's on stage with Tenacious D. or on the big screen Jack Black's charisma always shines through. Among his roles are a down-on-his-luck musician who poses as a substitute teacher to win the local battle of the bands in "School of Rock," a Mexican monk turned luchador in "Nacho Libre," and Kate Winslet's love interest in "The Holiday."
He's also the the voice of Po in the "Kung Fu Panda" series and most recently played Bowser, the villain in "Super Mario Bros."
Birthdate: June 22, 1936
Net worth: $50 million
Roles in: A Star Is Born, Blade, Hickock
Bottom Line: Kris Kristofferson
Known for his rugged charm and songwriting skills, Kristofferson played Bradley Copper's part in "A Star Is Born" in 1976 opposite Barbra Streisand. His role as John Norman Howard, an alcoholic who's star is dimming while his wife's is rising, earned him a Golden Globe. The movie was one of the top earning films of the 1970s.
While he said that acting opposite Streisand "is an experience which may have cured me of the movies," he's acted quite a bit since. Other roles include that of a vampire hunter in 1998's "Blade" and as Jim Averill in Michael Cimino's epic Western, "Heaven's Gate."
Birthdate: February 16, 1958
Net worth: $65 million
Roles in: New Jack City, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Bottom Line: Ice-T
Rapper Ice-T got his start on the big screen in movies like "New Jack City" and "Survivor's Game," but he's really made his mark in television.
He's built a very successful acting career in long-running series "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," which he joined in 2000 and remains a main character on to this day. He plays Odafin "Fin" Tutuola, a sergeant with the NYPD Special Victims Unit and has appeared in 456 episodes to date. Needless to say, he has a very devoted fan base.
He recently said of his time on the show, "I got on the show to do four episodes, and it just keeps on going. This year, we had one of the greatest ratings seasons ever. So, we haven't been picked up for a 25th season, but you got Dick Wolf. I mean, Dick Wolf has six shows on NBC. So, we're sitting pretty. We'll be back for seasons 25, 26."
Birthdate: March 18, 1970
Net worth: $70 million
Roles in: Bringing Down the House, Chicago, The Equalizer
Bottom Line: Queen Latifah
Queen Latifa has made a very successful career transition into acting. He role as a bank robber in 1996's "Set It Off" easily demonstrated her acting range. She was soon able to branch out into comedy in films such as "Bringing Down the House" and "Hairspray."
In 2002, she was also able to flex her musical muscles in the Academy Award-winning movie "Chicago" as prison matron Mama Morton and became the first female rapper to get nominated for an Oscar.
Today, she stars in the CBS series "The Equalizer" as Robyn McCall, an enigmatic woman with a mysterious background who uses her skills for good to redeem herself from her past.
Steven Van Zandt
Birthdate: November 22, 1950
Net worth: $80 million
Roles in: The Sopranos, Lillyhammer
Bottom Line: Steven Van Zandt
You may know Steven Van Zandt, aka Little Steven from Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band as Silvio Dante, the second man in charge of the Soprano crime family and Tony Soprano's close confidant. Van Zandts performance in "The Sopranos" earned him critical acclaim and showcased his acting abilities beyond his musical career.
After the show ended in 2007, Van Zandt took a role in "Lilyhammer, as Frank "The Fixer" Tagliano, a former mobster who enters witness protection and requests relocation to Lillehammer, Norway, after being captivated by the town during the 1994 Winter Olympics. "Lillehammer" was Netflix's first scripted show and ran for three seasons before ending in 2014.
He was last seen in Martin Scorsese's "The Irishman," playing '60s crooner Jerry Vale.
Birthdate: February 1, 1994
Net worth: $120 million
Roles in: Dunkirk, Don't Worry Darling, My Policeman
Bottom Line: Harry Styles
Harry Styles is new to acting in comparison to everyone else on this list, and the roles he's taken are not business as usual. He made his debut as a World War II soldier being evacuated from Dunkirk in Christopher Nolan's movie of the same name. He then starred as a loving husband working on a secret project in "Don't Worry Darling," then played a 1950s cop who begins a same-sex relationship in "My Policeman."
Styles has also dipped his toes in the MCU — he has a cameo in "Eternals" as Eros, the brother of supervillain Thanos.
Birthdate: June 15, 1969
Net worth: $160 million
Roles in: Friday, Boyz in the Hood, Are We There Yet?, Barbershop
Bottom Line: Ice Cube
Legendary rapper Ice Cube has made a significant impact in Hollywood as an actor. He began his acting journey with a standout performance in 1991's "Boyz n the Hood" as Doughboy, a gang member in Los Angeles who is part of a tight circle of friends from his neighborhood.
Ice Cube's comedic talents shone through in the cult classic "Friday" (1995), a film he co-wrote and starred in. He further showcased his acting range in films like "Barbershop," Are We There Yet?" (2005), and its sequel "Are We Done Yet?" among others.
Most recently, he lent his voice to "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem."
Birthdate: January 31, 1981
Net worth: $250 million
Roles in: The Social Network, Friends with Benefits, The Trolls franchise, Palmer
Bottom Line: Justin Timberlake
Justin Timerlake has come a long way from teen pop icon to serious actor. One of his most notable roles came in the critically acclaimed film "The Social Network" directed by David Fincher, where he portrayed Napster co-founder Sean Parker.
He also starred in movies like "In Time," a science fiction thriller where time is currency, the Coen Brothers' "Inside Llewyn Davis," in which he portrayed a folk musician, and "Palmer" where he stars as a down on his luck ex-con who gets a second chance at life through a young boy in need of a father figure.
Birthdate: March 28, 1986
Net worth: $320 million
Roles in: A Star Is Born, The House of Gucci, Joker: Folie à Deux
Bottom Line: Lady Gaga
There is really nothing Lady Gaga can't do. She made her acting debut in an uncredited bit part in "The Sopranos" and has steadily worked her way up the ladder to the lead in the most recent version of a "A Star Is Born," for which she was nominated for a Best Actress Oscar in 2019.
In 2022, she was nominated for a Golden Globe for her starring turn as murderess Patrizia Reggiani in "House of Gucci." Gaga is soon to be seen on the silver screen in one of the most anticipated films of the next year — "Joker: Folie à Deux," where she will be playing Harley Quinn next to Joaquin Phoenix's Joker in the sequel to the Academy Award-winning original from 2019.
Birthdate: April 24, 1942
Net worth: $400 million
Roles in: A Star Is Born, The Way We Were, Funny Girl, Meet the Parents/Meet the Fockers franchise
Bottom Line: Barbra Streisand
Barbra Streisand has been an entertainer of both stage and screen since the early 1960s.
One of her most iconic film roles was in "Funny Girl" (1968), where she portrayed the legendary comedienne and singer Fanny Brice, which won her an Academy Award for Best Actress, solidifying her status as a Hollywood superstar.
Her work in "A Star Is Born" where she starred alongside Kris Kristofferson earned her an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress (as it did for Lady Gaga in 2018.)
Streisand's filmography also includes directing and producing credits, with notable works like "Yentl," a musical drama where she played the lead role and became the first woman to win a Golden Globe for Best Director.
Birthdate: September 4, 1981
Net worth: $540 million
Roles in: Dreamgirls, Austin Powers: Goldmember, The Lion King
Bottom Line: Beyonce
Beyonce has spent most of 2023 on one of the biggest tours of all time, but we can't forget her star-turning roles in movies like "Dreamgirls" and as secret agent Foxy Cleopatra in "Austin Powers in Goldmember."
She lent her voice to the 2019 animated feature, "The Lion King" and has been focusing on her music ever since. If and when she decides to return to the silver screen it will likely mean big box office for whatever project is lucky enough to land her talents.
Birthdate: January 19, 1946
Net worth: $650 million
Roles in: 9 to 5, Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Steel Magnolias
Bottom Line: Dolly Parton
One of country legend Dolly Parton's most iconic film roles came in the 1980 comedy "9 to 5," where she starred alongside Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin. In this workplace comedy, Parton played the role of Doralee Rhodes, a secretary who, along with her colleagues, takes on a chauvinistic boss.
She then starred in and co-wrote the 1982 film "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas," showcasing her acting prowess alongside Burt Reynolds. Additionally, she appeared in heartwarming TV movies "Coat of Many Colors" and its sequel "Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love," and, of course, another iconic role in "Steel Magnolias" alongside Sally Field, Julia Roberts, Olympia Dukakis, and Daryl Hannah.
Most recently, Parton showed up on the small screen in "Grace and Frankie," once again opposite Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin.