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10 Actors with Surprising Musical Careers on the Side

By Lois Kennedy

Some people are overflowing with talent. One type of art form isn’t enough for them. For example, Stephen King has a band, peopled with his fellow writers. Michael Jordan tried baseball and golf. The following ten actors (genre favorites, natch, cause this is a horror site) are all famous for their acting skills but have also dabbled in the musical arts.

Viggo Mortensen: Can sing beautifully in multiple languages, including Elvish

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Maybe I fudged a little calling Mr. Mortensen a genre favorite, since he’s most famous for playing Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings movies. However, he’s been in a handful of horror movies, including The Reflecting Skin, Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III, Psycho, and David Cronenberg can’t seem to get enough of him.

He’s been making albums since 1994, and has 19 under his belt. I scoured YouTube looking for a music video, but all I could find were videos by other artists with a slideshow of photos of him, for some reason. So here’s a clip of him singing “Aragorn’s Coronation.”

Kevin Bacon: Has a folk rock band with his brother, plays a conga drum

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Of course we know Kevin Bacon from Friday the 13th, Tremors, Flatliners, Stir of Echoes, Hollow Man, and The Darkness.

But he’s been in the Bacon Brothers band since 1995, and has released six albums. Here’s their song “36 Cents”:

Jared Leto: Has a metal band, plays guitar, bass, and keyboards

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Of the ten performers listed here, Jared Leto is probably the least surprising, and probably the most famous for his musical side. He played brooding musician Jordan Catalano on My So-Called Life, after all. It might be stretching a little to call him a genre favorite, but he’s been in Urban Legend and American Psycho.

His band 30 Seconds to Mars formed in 1998, and has released four albums. I of course had to include the video for “The Kill,” both because it’s their most famous song and because the video is a nifty nod to Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining.

Corey Feldman: Has a rock/pop band called Corey Feldman’s Truth Movement

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Corey Feldman first won our hearts as a child actor, appearing in Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter, Gremlins, Friday the 13th: A New Beginning, Stand By Me, The Lost Boys, and in adulthood in Bordello of Blood, Puppet Master vs. Demonic Toys, Lost Boys: The Tribe, Splatter, Lost Boys: The Thirst, 6 Degrees of Hell, The Zombie King, and Zombex. 

His music is often not taken very seriously by critics, particularly his latest single, “Ascension Millennium,” which has been widely panned by critics, both for the song itself and for the music video. If you haven’t seen it, check it out:

Milla Jovovich: A poet who is “a mix between Kate Bush, Sinead O’Connor, This Mortal Coil, and the Cocteau Twins”

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Milla Jovovich is well-known for her role as Alice in the current Resident Evil franchise. She was also in A Perfect Getaway and The Fourth Kind.

She’s been a musician for almost twenty years, releasing two albums in 1994 and 1998. She wrote her own songs from her poetry and played some of the instruments as well. Here is her video for “Gentleman Who Fell”:

Tim Curry: A multi-genre master

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Tim Curry, the best of the best. He was in Legend, It, Blood Moon, Ritual, Gingerclown, and a bazillion other non-horror but awesome things. And of course we know Tim Curry can sing. We’ve seen The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

But did you know he released 3 albums between 1978 and 1981? The styles are considered pretty eclectic, including everything from rock to reggae. His single “I Do the Rock”:

Idris Elba: Dabbles in hip-hop

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Idris Elba, the English dreamboat who landed the part of Roland in The Dark Tower. He’s been in The Reaping, 28 Weeks Later, Prom Night, The Unborn, Prometheus, and Pacific Rim.

He’s also a rapper/DJ who sometimes goes by the name King Driis. Mostly his specialty is appearing on other artists’ tracks (like Jay-Z), but he released a six-song EP in 2009. Here’s his song “Hold On”:

Jessica Harper: Does it all for the kids

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Jessica Harper is well-known as Suzy from Dario Argento’s Suspiria. She was also in The Phantom of the Paradise, Shock Treatment, and the upcoming remake of Suspiria.

Well, in her off-time she records childrens’ albums–she has 7–(and writes childrens’ books). Here she is singing “Down By the River”:

Jada Pinkett Smith: A Badass Nu Metal Queen

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Jada Pinkett Smith is known for playing strong, confident women (and being married to Will Smith). She’s made a horror movie or two; she gave a thrilling performance as the lead in Demon Knight, and she was in Scream 2.

Smith, a major metal geek, formed Wisdom in 2002 and has released two albums. Here’s their single “Bleed All Over Me”: (Note–her singing takes a bit of getting used to)

Christopher Lee: A Christmas Metal Wizard

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Sir Christopher Lee is a major name in the horror world; he played Frankenstein, Dracula, and The Mummy. He made a ton of horror movies for the Hammer studio. Then of course there’s The Wicker Man, and in 1999 Tim Burton started grabbing him up for all of his movies. He has almost 300 projects to his name.

And he was a divine singer. He released four albums and a few EP’s. He liked his metal, and released some Christmas metal songs. Here he is in a guest appearance on Rhapsody’s “The Magic of the Wizard’s Dream”:

So now when you see these folks in their natural habitat of acting, I hope you picture them in these music videos, Idris Elba especially.

Source: Wikipedia, IMDB

 

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About GhoulieJoe (169 Articles)
I like to write, from horror movie reviews to poetry and (very) short stories.

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