8 Famous Actors With Musical Careers

People of many talents they are.

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After going through the "Through the Never" film-making process, Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett gave a nice explanation on why being a musician is "much cooler" than being an actor.

He said: "I just get such a bigger feeling from making albums with your band. It's the four of you with maybe the engineer and the producer. I thought that making a movie would be similar to making an album, but I was totally, completely wrong.

"It's the four of you, then the directors, the producers and all the production people. All these people have opinions of how the movie should unfold; it's just amazing because you need all these people and you have to listen to their opinions because they might be valid. It's strange because it takes a lot more people to make a movie than it does an album. Now that we've actually been through it and experienced it, I can say that it's a fun project, but I'm glad I'm a musician."

Anyhow, today we'll focus on actors who decided to delve into the world of music. We singled out 8 of 'em to kick things off, here goes...

Christopher Lee, the Metal Master

We'll kick things off with an obvious favorite of UG community - late great Sir Christopher Lee.

In addition to a string of iconic movie roles, which saw Lee taking part in such class films as "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy, "Star Wars," "Hobbit," "The Wicker Man," "Dracula" and many more, Sir Christopher started a musical career in the realm of metal, which saw him releasing a pair of symphonic metal records.

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Bruce Willis Has the Groove

Bruce Willis actually managed to reach Top 15 on the US Billboard 200 albums chart with his musical alter ego Bruno Randolini. Regardless of chart figures, the man can deliver the groove, just check out the clip below.

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Eddie Murphy Has ALL the Groove

"Party All the Time," Rick James, that is all.

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Adrian Grenier of 'Entourage' Wields a Guitar

When not starring in "Entourage," Adrian Grenier likes to jam the six-string and sing in one of his two bands - The Honey Brothers and Kid-Friendly.

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Russell Crowe, the Crooner

When not starring in box office hits, Russell Crowe likes to sing a mellow ditty or two.

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Adam Brody Behind the Battery

Seth Cohen is in a band, big surprise! While he was on "The O.C.", Brody was a member of a band called Big in Japan. His band was referenced during the show several times, and at one point a character even wore a Big in Japan shirt.

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Macaulay Culkin Has a Weird Band

He reached fame as the kid in "Home Alone," and then reached infamy for drug abuse. Then, Macaulay Culkin got himself a band called Pizza Underground. The group was launched with a semi-viral clip of Macaulay eating a slice of pizza, giving a nod to Andy Warhol's Burger King burger-eating video.

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Hugh Laurie Knows His Stuff

The show made it clear that Dr. House can deliver a mean jazzy, bluesy vibe. In real life, Mr. Hugh Laurie took that to the next level.

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Got more to share? Do it in the comments.

48 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Rastapunk
    I don't like his band but really? No Jared Leto?
    Crofty89
    I think in his case he's a musician with an acting career
    Nero Galon
    Johnny Depp
    N-D
    Yes, Depp was a musicians originally (he played in different bands since 12). List of his bands (not full): The Flame, The Kids, Rock City Angels, P (band with Butthole Surfers frontman Gibby Haynes formed in 1993), Tonto's Giant Nuts and more recent The Hollywood Vampires (supergroup with Alice Cooper) - not counting a lot of almost unknown local bands.
    N-D
    Also, Steve Martin has a band.
    theogonia777
    Steve Martin was definitely the first the came to mind. Though technically they are not his band. He just plays with them often. There are some great old Muppets clips of him from back in the day:
    TMoreau15
    Man these lists people do on their own rock. Bruce Willis is a motherfucker on that harmonica. That was more of a surprise than the 6th Sense.
    AkioKuro
    kianu rivz...
    N-D
    His actual name is Keanu Reeves But anyway yes, Keanu played bass in an alternative rock band Dogstar (they were active from 1991 to 2002). But technically he was a musician first.
    KennyM79
    What about David Hasselhoff?
    Baby Joel
    :y: nice
    He has one of the best performances of this song. Not technically perfect, but he is in it hardcore.
    Mack888
    That was actually really great. Cheers for the share! Really great column post UG, keep em coming
    Izzy-Sweet
    I guess technically this was before his acting career, but Peter Capaldi was in a punk band called the "Dreamboys". It came to the limelight recently after Peter Capaldi appeared playing a guitar on Doctor Who.
    everjump
    But what about Will Farrell? He's rocking the cowbell more than anyone else could even imagine.
    triface
    Wow, loved the video of Hugh Laurie! It's a little strange to see the idiot prince in Blackadder sing jazz so well though.
    soapalot
    It's interesting that the article mentions Adam Brody, whose band (and acting career, what's he done since The O.C.?) is pretty obscure, but omits Jason Schwartzman and his band Phantom Planet, who wrote and performed the title song for the show; "California", which was a fairly big hit. I guess the UG Team aren't big Wes Anderson fans.
    artbleich
    i'm assuming they took black actors off this list because about 90% of them also do music?
    Candlewolf
    Because Eddie Murphy is white, right? And it's actors with singing as a side. Will Smith was a music guy first. All of these suggestions are musicians who turned to acting. It's the other way around. Even though the list does include some who started at musicians but they became famous for acting first. *stops over-analysing*