Famous Actors Who Took a Shot at Singing But Missed the Mark

Famous Actors Who Took a Shot at Singing But Missed the Mark

Most people are multifaceted. Their talents do not lie in just one arena, making it a smart move to try their hand at different careers, activities, and even hobbies. This is true even for actors. Many talented actors are triple threats; they seemingly can do it all. While many famous actors have spread their wings and been able to cross over into a successful musical career in addition to their acting career, other actors weren’t quite as successful. There’s no doubt that many of the actors on this list are incredibly talented, have had successful music careers, or, at the very least, have captivating voices. However, for whatever reason, many of them could not become as popular a singer as they are an actor. Take a look at our list of actors who tried to make it as singers but didn’t.

This doesn’t necessarily mean they didn’t have successful music careers or talent. Rather, when most people hear their names, they think of acting, not singing. (Read our list of the top legendary sibling singing collaborations.)

To compile a list of actors who tried to make it as singers but didn’t, 24/7 Tempo consulted several entertainment sites, including Sirius XM and Billboard Hot 100. It’s always fun to see how talented actors genuinely are, and while some on this list have seen mild success, it’s safe to say their acting careers have been immensely more successful than their singing careers.

Scarlett Johansson

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Scarlett Johansson is an incredibly talented actress with a unique and recognizable voice. She has taken the acting world by storm with several movies, including “Black Widow,” “Avengers,” and “Jojo Rabbit.” During the animated film franchise “Sing,” audiences can hear her unique singing voice. Johansson has tried her hand at a music career several times. In 2008, she released her album “Anywhere I Lay My Head” with the lead single “Falling Down.” Later, she released a second album titled “Break Up” with Pete Yorn, with whom she remains close.

While some critics loved how brave she was, commenting that her voice was “captivating,” others thought she was a less-than-stellar singer. Instead, some reviews stated that her “pitch was shaky,” and her “voice limited.” Since Johansson received more negative reviews than positive, it became clear that fans saw her as a more talented actress than a singer. At one point, Johansson also formed a girl group named “The Singles”; however, she was served on account of trademark infringement by another girl group of the same name. The band renamed themselves “Sugar for Sugar”; however, their music never went anywhere.

Bruce Willis

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Bruce Willis is a popular actor known for movies like “The Sixth Sense,” “Die Hard,” and “Paradise City.” Many people do not know that he also had a very short-lived music career in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Willis released his debut album, “The Return of Bruno,” in 1987. This album was unique in that it featured Willis’ rockstar alter ego, Bruno Radolini. The song “Respect Yourself” from the album climbed to number five on the U.S. Charts. Additionally, it featured famous musicians like The Temptations and The Pointer Sisters.

After his first album, Willis released a second one, “Young Blood.” However, it was not as successful as his first album. When the movie “Die Hard” became highly successful, Willis’ alter ego was soon forgotten.

Forgetting Bruno Radolini, Willis released another mildly successful album, “If It Don’t Kill You, It Just Makes You Stronger.” Through the ’90s, he often sang at Hollywood Planet restaurant openings.

Eddie Murphy

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Eddie Murphy is an iconic comedic actor known for movies like “The Nutty Professor” and “Beverly Hills Cop.” However, before his comedy career took off, Murphy said he wanted to be a singer. Throughout school, he often started his own bands and, in 1982, released a self-titled comedy album with two parody songs in it. In the 1980s, Murphy released a one-hit wonder titled “Party All the Time,” which climbed to number two on the Hot 100 Chart.

While the song was successful, his album was not quite as popular as he hoped. It became apparent that the singer Eddie Murphy and the Comedian Eddie Murphy were not the same, and most of his fans preferred the comedian over the singer.

Robert Downey Jr.

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Before Robert Downey Jr. was in “Avengers,” “Dolittle,” and “Spider-man,” he gave a singing career a try. His first album was “The Futurist.” He also wrote three songs that appeared in films.

While Downey Jr. was mildly successful as a singer and had a talented voice, an acting career came easier and faster for him.

Kim Kardashian

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NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 06: Kim Kardashian attends the 2023 CFDA Fashion Awards at American Museum of Natural History on November 06, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)

True, Kim Kardashian isn’t necessarily an actress; she is a reality television star. In 2011, she had a short-lived music career when she released the song “Jam (Turn It Up.)” This song was written with The Dream and done for charity. However, she received negative reviews, some even stating that she sounded like a bored baby.

Looking Back, Kardashian later said she wished she had never tried singing, even if it was for charity.

Ryan Gosling

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Ryan Gosling has shown us how talented he is quite a few times as a singer. These include in “La La Land” and more recently in “The Barbie Movie” where he sang “Just Ken.”

Gosling began his career as a young boy on the “Mickey Mouse Club” in 1993. While he has seen success as an actor, his singing career hasn’t seen the same success. He created a band with his friend Zach Shields named “Dead Man’s Bones” and released a self-titled album. The band collaborated with the Silverlake Conservatory Children’s Choir.

They also toured in 2009 and 2010 but stopped releasing music around 2012.

Gwyneth Paltrow

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Gwyneth Paltrow is one of those actresses who seems to be able to do everything. She can even sing, as apparent in the movie “Country Strong.” Paltrow sang on the show “Glee” and released two cover singles in 2000.

However, even though she can sing, her acting career is what most people know her for.

Alyssa Milano

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Before Alyssa Milano became the “Charmed” actress she is known as, she was a teenage singer. During her singing career, she even went platinum, released thirteen singles, and four studio L.P.s.

While most people think of her as an actress when hearing her name, Milano was very big as a singer in Japan at one point.

Russell Crowe

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Russell Crowe has always loved music, and alongside his acting career, he has also been successful as a musician. In his early 20s, he released his song “I Just Wanna Be Like Marlon Brando” as Russ le Roq.

Later, Crowe joined together with Billy Dean Cochran to create a band named Roman Antix, later renamed 30 Odd Foot of Grunts. Their debut EP was titled “The Photograph Kills,” and the band later recorded three full-length albums. Around this time, Crowe’s acting career took off, but he continued working on his music.

30 Odd Foot of Grunts disbanded in 2005, and Crowe joined with Alan Doyle to form a new band called The Ordinary Fear of God. They released only one studio album, “My Hand, My Heart.”

While Crowe may not be as successful a singer as he is an actor, he continues to work on musical projects.

Emma Roberts

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Emma Roberts is known for her role in “Unfabulous” and in the movie “We’re the Millers.” While she was a teenager, Roberts released the album “Unfabulous and More” in 2005. The album was successful on the Kids Charts. However, this was where Roberts’s musical career stopped.

Jada Pinkett Smith

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Jada Pinkett Smith has always been into metal and was once the lead singer of a Nu Metal Band, “Wicked Wisdom.”

In 2006, the band released one self-titled album. However, after playing at the 2005 Ozzfest, Pinkett Smith, as a metal singer, confused some metal fans, and the band received a lot of hate. So much so that she has stated she has even received death threats.

The band continued to tour in 2013 and even reunited for some shows in 2018, but their music has stopped since then.

Brie Larson

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In 2015, Brie Larson saw immense acting success with the movie “The Room.” She later entered the Marvel universe as Captain Marvel in 2016.

However, before this success, she tried her hand at being a singer. In 2005, Larson released an album at the age of 16 titled “Finally Out of P.E.” She also toured with Jesse McCartney.

Although Larson has recorded songs for movies, her singing career never truly took off. It’s safe to say her acting career has seen more success than her singing career.

Steven Seagal

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MOSCOW, RUSSIA - MAY 9: Actor Steven Seagal attends the Victory Parade which is a part of celebrations marking the 70th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany and the end of World War II on May 9, 2015 in Moscow, Russia. Celebrations are taking place throughout the day across the city. Most European leaders have snubbed the parade because they accuse Russia of actively interfering the war in eastern Ukraine.. (Photo by Alexander Aksakov/Getty Images)

Steven Seagal is known as an exceptionally talented action star. However, he has also dabbled in singing and playing the guitar. He has two studio albums, “Songs from the Crystal Cave” and “Mojo Priest.”

Scott Baio

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Scott Baio starred in hit sitcoms “Charles in Charge” and “Happy Days” and was incredibly successful. In the 1980s, he decided to release two pop albums, one self-titled and the other “The Boys Are Out Tonight.” Additionally, Baio has three singles. However, his singing career was less successful than his acting career.

David Duchovny

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BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 10: David Duchovny attends the 76th Directors Guild of America Awards at The Beverly Hilton on February 10, 2024 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for DGA)

David Duchovny is known for his roles on “X-Files” and “Twin Peaks.” While Duchovny is an excellent actor, he has also seen some success with music.

He has released three albums in the folk and indie rock genres. These are titled “Gestureland” (2021), “Hell or Highwater” (2015), and “Every Third Thought” (2018).

Duchovny has even shown his multifaceted talent by writing several of his songs. (Read our list of the most popular music artists of all time.)

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