Vin Diesel finally released his debut single last week and the internet will never be the same. But he isn’t the only celebrity who has seen success on-screen and on the charts.
The action star’s song “Feel Like I Do,” produced by Kygo and released on the Norwegian producer’s record label, dropped on Friday, and it got us thinking about the celebrities who have come before him.
Making the jump to music after a successful acting career, or vice versa, can be difficult. But here are 10 celebrities who have had success exercising their other creative juices.
1. Dolly Parton
Dolly Parton is a household name when it comes to country music, but she has appeared on the big screen, including two very successful movies: “Steel Magnolias” and “9 to 5.” Both movies were nominated for Oscars, and the title track for “9 to 5” is one of Parton’s most iconic songs.
2. Will Smith
Best known as a blockbuster film star and his beloved role in TV’s “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air,” Will Smith got his start as a rapper. He began his career in the 1980s as part of the hip-hop duo DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince. Smith has released four studio albums since 1997 and still continues to dip his toes in both pools of water. His most recent musical work was a new rendition of “A Friend Like Me” for Disney’s live action version of “Aladdin,” in which he played the genie.
3. LL Cool J
In recent years, LL Cool J has been known for his role in “NCIS: Los Angeles,” but his real legacy lies with his music made in the 1980s and 1990s. LL Cool J — the stage name stands for Ladies Love Cool James — was mostly all music until a breakout role in the hit movie “Any Given Sunday.” Overall, he has recorded 13 albums, received two Grammy Awards and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
4. Zooey Deschanel
You may not know that America’s “New Girl” has been part of a band called She & Him since 2008. The band has recorded six albums and has had songs appear at the top of the Billboard music charts. Deschanel has had to sing in many of her roles including “Elf” and “Yes, Man.”
5. Jennifer Lopez
Most of us know Jennifer Lopez as an actress and TV show host, but between her dancing and acting she was a very successful singer. J.Lo, as she is famously known, has recorded eight albums since 1999 and in the middle of it all became a beloved character onscreen in films like “Maid in Manhattan,” “The Wedding Planner,” and “Out of Sight.”
6. Elvis Presley
Elvis is a classic example of a man of many talents. Besides his incredible fame as a recording artist, the King appeared in 31 films over the course of his life. Classic 1960s films such as “G.I. Blues” and “Blue Hawaii” were the backdrop to some of his most famous work. He supplied the soundtrack to 17 of his acting projects.
Ice-T got his start as a rapper in the 1980s. His first single came out in 1983, and in 1992 he became part of a heavy metal band called Body Count. All in all, Ice-T has recorded 15 albums, and has one Grammy. He started appearing on screen in 1991 in “New Jack City” and has appeared in several movies, and is a regular on “Law and Order: SVU.”
8. William Shatner
It may surprise you to know that William Shatner has recorded multiple albums in his lifetime. That’s right, he did more than just ask Scotty to beam him up. Though Shatner is best known for his role in “Star Trek,” his most recent album was the 2018 release, “Shatner Claus,” featuring Christmas songs, and he has an album of blues songs coming out in October. His musical work is not really singing but more spoken-word interpretations of popular music. Shatner has also written several novels.
9. Lenny Kravitz
Although Lenny Kravitz may always be known for his music, he has appeared in some well-known films in recent years. Kravitz appeared in two of the four “Hunger Games” movies as Cinna, Katniss Everdeen’s designer from the Capitol. He had smaller roles in the 2013 film “The Butler” and the 2009 film “Precious.” Who says that you can’t have four Grammys and act?
The Queen of Pop is known for many things, but the first that comes to mind is her music. An icon of the 1980s, Madonna was the star of the stage, but she had a very successful film career for a time starting in 1979. Some of her most famous work includes “Dick Tracy,” “Who’s that Girl,” and “A League of Their Own.” In all ,she has starred in 18 films over the course of her career. She has directed three films, including a short film that was released in 2013 called “secretprojectrevolution.”