Actors Who Are Musicians
Published on 29 March 2022
This Spring heralds the release of Marvel’s newest blockbuster, Morbius, which sees Jared Leto play the leading role of Dr Michael Morbius, a scientist turned vampire set within the Marvel cinematic universe.
Jared Leto of course isn’t just a movie star, he’s the lead singer and guitarist of 30 Seconds to Mars and has been releasing music since 2002!
So that got us thinking…
Which other actors have made a seamless transition from the silver screen to the big stage?
As mentioned, Mr Leto fronts 30 Seconds to Mars along with his brother Shannon Leto on drums and programming. The brothers formed the band in 1998 and have gone on to sell over 15 million records worldwide! This alone would be a good mark to leave, but of course he has had an incredibly successful acting career alongside his music career…not that we are jealous! For anyone who played Guitar Hero back in the day, when “The Kill” comes on you can’t help but sing along to that chorus at the top of your voice.
The New Girl herself has made quite a few appearances in movies where her singing was a key part in the story, like Elf & Yes Man. Art usually imitates life and Zooey has released several albums under She & Him, with M. Ward. The Grammy nominated duo have been writing music together since 2006 after meeting on a movie set, even going on to release a Christmas album! As well as having a great singing voice, she can also play piano, banjo and guitar.
This one seems obvious, but Jack gets a place on this list for starting in acting before gaining notoriety in the music scene. His most famous musical outing, Tenacious D, formed in 1994 (more than 10 years after his acting debut) and has gone on to huge critical success, even bagging a Grammy in the process! I mean, they did write the greatest song in the world after all…but unfortunately all we have is a Tribute.
Maybe a little more known for throwing kicks instead of licks, this black belt actually owns a considerable amount of the world's most famous blues guitars! With a collection that would make any guitar player drool, he owns guitars played by Stevie Ray Vaughn, Albert Collins, B.B. King & Jimi Hendrix. Not only that but he also owns many “Holy Grail'' guitars including pre war Martins and Pre CBS Fenders.
While all the people on this list concurrently did acting and musical ventures, Taylor is the only one to officially retire from her acting gig to fully commit to pursuing a musical career. It seems to have worked in her favour, with several albums and singles breaking the top 10 charts across the world. Big names in the world of guitar, including Tom Morello and Warren Haynes from The Allman Brothers Band, have also collaborated with Taylor and her band, The Pretty Reckless.
Some potentially cheating on this list, but Johnny Depp was originally trying to be a rockstar before his star flew towards Hollywood instead. Featured on countless songs with bands such as Oasis, Iggy Pop & Aerosmith. He has also leant his skills for the soundtracks to Sweeny Todd & Chocolat, as well as forming a supergroup with Joe Perry & Alice Cooper called The Hollywood Vampires.
The template for many a meme and loved by most of the internet, Keanu Reeves has released several albums with the band Dogstar. Surprisingly, Keanu doesn't play guitar in Dogstar, like he does in the Wyld Stallyns, but handled the low end by playing bass. The band released 2 albums and even opened for David Bowie & played Glastonbury before splitting up when Keanu wanted to focus on his acting career.