15 Musicians Who Were Great in Movies

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Singers are not really known for their acting abilities (think Mariah Carey in her disastrous attempt at acting). However, there are some who actually do well transitioning from the stage to the screen. Some have become even more famous actors than singers, and some have been surprisingly good on screen. Time will only tell how many more of the famous musicians of the world will make great actors or actresses, but it’s safe to say that some will fail and others will succeed. Read on to find out which 15 musicians were or are great as actors on television or in movies.

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Eminem in 8-Mile

8 Mile is the story of a young white rapper from a trailer park in Detroit – which is supposedly loosely based on real events – that follows the life of Eminem’s character as he tries to make it as a rapper. Things don’t always go well for him, as he has to overcome some serious obstacles, overcome his own lack of confidence and deal with his personal life, which is not one of the better ones. The cast includes the late Brittany Murphy and some other famous faces, but no one was as good in this film as Slim Shady.

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3rd Annual Norman Mailer Center Gala Honoring Keith Richards, Elie Wiesel, Arundhati Roy, And Gay Talese - Inside

Keith Richards in Pirates of the Caribbean

Pirates of the Caribbean is one of the most popular movie franchises in the world. While most women can name the cast by heart, some are not aware that Keith Richards was even in the movie. Most women were more concerned with the cast that includes both Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom, but Richards’ role was one he portrayed surprisingly well. To the surprise of many of his fans, he was able to pull it off not just a little, but a lot. You wouldn’t realize he’s a singer and not an actor when you watch the film.

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Madonna in Evita

Madonna is one of the most talented songstresses of all time. She’s famous for her big dance moves, her hit songs and her long career. She’s also famous for the role she played in Evita and the beautiful singing she did in the film. Critics were not looking forward to her performance – as they rarely ever do when it comes to celebrities that want to cross over into other careers – but she pulled it off and managed to surprise even her most diehard fans with her role. She was not unprofessional. In fact, she was very talented in her role.

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Andre 3000 in Four Brothers

Andre 3000 is one half of the rap duo OutKast, and he’s a very good actor. It was something that most people didn’t think was going to happen. When he was cast in the movie Four Brothers, most people assumed he’d do a mediocre job. However, he was very serious about his role, perfecting it to the point that no one could say a negative word about his character. When the film was released in 2005, critics were shocked to see the fun singer, famous for his bold clothing and lyrics, play his part like someone who has been acting for years.

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Bjork in Dancer in the Dark

Bjork plays a mother and factory worker who spends a great deal of her time daydreaming she is part of beautiful musicals. Her character, Selma, is actually a mother with a young son. She suffers from a degenerative disease that does pass from generation to generation that causes her to slowly lose her eyesight. Though she hides this fact from her friends, the point is that Bjork plays the character flawlessly. Even if you’ve never heard of the film, critics raved about the singer’s performance and her beautiful skill in front of the camera. It was a surprising performance by someone who sings.

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Ludacris in Crash

Ludacris plays the role of Anthony, a man who hijacks cars for “a living.”  His performance in this 2004 film is so impressive and so worthy of accolades. No one saw it coming. He’s known for being a hardcore rap star with heavy chains and flashy cars, so when people found out he could really act, it came as a shock. He’s received several noticeable accolades for his role in Crash, including the fact that his critics couldn’t find a negative thing to say about him or the character he portrayed in the film. It was a stellar performance.

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David Bowie in Labyrinth

David Bowie is one of the most famous singers of all time. He’s also the husband of the very beautiful supermodel, Iman. When he’s not busy being a famous rock star, he can be found doing many things. What most people don’t realize, however, is that he’s spent some time in front of the camera. If ever you’ve seen the movie Labyrinth, you’ve seen David Bowie act. In this particular role, he takes on the persona of his character so well that everyone was impressed. It’s not often you see a famous rock star do such a wonderful job acting. He was also great as Tesla in The Prestige.

(Photo by Jo Hale/Getty Images)

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Jennifer Lopez in The Cell

Jennifer Lopez is a lot of things. She’s a singer. She’s a dancer. She’s a mother. She’s a judge on American Idol. She’s also an award-winning actress whose had dozens of roles in movies that we all know and love. While most of the movies she takes parts in are romantic comedies that we like to watch to take our minds off of real life, she does more serious roles. Her role in The Cell is one she played so well that she was applauded by many for the role. It showed she has more talent than most of us gave her credit for.

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Courtney Love in The People Versus Larry Flynt

Courtney Love; she’s an interesting character. She’s a rock singer who was known at one time for her sort of punk rock, trash rock anthems. She’s the woman who mothered a child with the late Kurt Cobain, and she’s the woman who plays the love interest of Larry Flynt, the man behind Hustler. In the movie The People Vs. Larry Flint, Love portrays a woman that falls in love with Flynt (and vice versa). She does a bang up job with the performance, taking on the role so well that you wouldn’t know she wasn’t her character in real life.

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Michael Jackson in Men in Black 2

Michael Jackson is one of the most famous people in the world. Whether you cared for him as a person or not, you loved his music. Everyone loved his music. The world was a sadder place the day he passed, even though he’d managed to turn his life upside down. A truly talented man, he didn’t lose his talent when he began to appear to lose his grip on reality however, as he actually did quite the job in his role in Men in Black II. His performance was impressive enough not to take an flak from movie critics.

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LL Cool J in Deep Blue Sea

If there is one thing we know about LL Cool J, it’s that he’s a great singer and a great actor. He’s more famous for his roles in movies and on television than he is for singing these days, however. His rap career certainly wasn’t a bad one, but we think his acting chops may have surpassed his rap career. One of his best performances was in the movie The Deep Blue Sea, in which he portrayed his character so well that many people were taken aback. While we’d seen him in movies and on television before, no one’s ever seen him in a role like this.  He was also great in Toys.

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Ice Cube in Friday or Boyz in the Hood

Oh, Ice Cube. Who doesn’t love his rapper? He’s so much more famous for his movie roles these days than he is for his singing, however. He’s been in some of the funniest movies on the planet, including his role in Friday. It is, hands down, one of the most hilarious movies of all time. It’s a movie that’s been around for decades, but people still talk about it, watch it, and even still quote the movie time and time again due to its hilarity and its sheer entertainment value. Ice Cube did an amazing job in the movie, and it’s certainly part of the reason he’s such a star today.

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Sting In Concert

Sting in Dune

Who knew Sting could act? It’s not a secret that he’s a huge rock star, that he’s got one of the most seemingly successful marriages in all of Hollywood and that he finds charitable work of the utmost importance. However, when he made his acting debut in Dune, the world was surprised to see that he tackled that role with the same vigor and success he’s used to tackle every other role in his life. Sting’s performance in the movie was worthy of recognition from critics and fans alike, with nothing negative to say about his portrayal.

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Meatloaf in Fight Club

Meatloaf is a very famous rock star, and he’s the singer of the song we all know as the longest song ever in the world (by the dashboard lights) even though we all know the words and sing along for the duration of the song. What people don’t know about Meatloaf, however, is that he’s also an actor. He had a part in one of the most famous movies of all time; Fight Club. And guess what? He wasn’t too bad on the big screen. In fact, he was actually pretty good in his role, and it was a surprise to many.

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Mick Jagger in Freejack

Mick Jagger is famous for one thing; being one of the most popular rock star musicians in the entire world. What he’s a bit less famous for is his role in the 1992 film Freejack, starring himself, Antony Hopkins and Emilio Estevez. However, it’s a shame that most people don’t remember this role of his. You might remember the movie, but Jagger’s role was actually one that was impressive. He played a great character, and it was shocking for his fans to see him in a role so different than what they’d come to expect of him as a rock star.

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