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26 Athletes Who Are Also Musicians

Updated January 27, 2020 39.3k views26 items

This list contains information about athletes who are also musicians, loosely ranked by fame and popularity. Several famous baseball players, boxers, and NBA all-stars are also musicians. Some of these athletes' albums flopped, while others are Grammy-winning musicians. One famous athlete even learned to play guitar from some of the greatest guitarists in the world.

Who is the most famous athlete who is also a musician? Kobe Bryant tops our list. In the late-1990s, NBA player Kobe Bryant released a rap album entitled K.O.B.E. Shaquille O'Neal released four rap albums in the 1990s. His debut Shaq Diesel was certified platinum in the U.S. Besides being a champion boxer, Oscar de la Hoya is also a Grammy-nominated singer for his eponymous 2000 CD.

Tennis player John McEnroe sang and played guitar in The Johnny Smyth Band. He learned to play guitar from Eddie Van Halen and Eric Clapton. Barry Zito plays guitar, and he co-wrote the song "Butterflies," which was featured in the film A Thousand Words. Chris Webber released the rap album 2 Much Drama, and he also produced two tracks for Nas.

Are you surprised that so many professional athletes are also musicians? Share your thoughts in the comments section.
  • In the late-1990s, Kobe Bryant released a rap album entitled K.O.B.E.
    Kobe Bean Bryant (August 23, 1978 – January 26, 2020) was an American professional basketball player. He played his entire 20-year career in the National Basketball Association (NBA) with the Los Angeles Lakers. He entered the NBA directly from high school and won five NBA championships. Bryant was an 18-time All-Star, 15-time member of the All-NBA Team, 12-time member of the All-Defensive team and was the NBA's Most Valuable Player (MVP) in 2008. His four All-Star MVP Awards are tied with Bob Pettit for the most in NBA history. At the 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympics, he won gold medals as a member of the U.S. national team. In 2018, Bryant won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film...  more
    • Age: Dec. at 41 (1978-2020)
    • Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States of America

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  • Shaquille O'Neal
    Photo: Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY
    Shaquille O'Neal released four rap albums in the 1990s. His debut Shaq Diesel was certified platinum in the U.S.
    Shaquille Rashaun "Shaq" O'Neal ( shə-KEEL; SHAK; born March 6, 1972) is a retired professional American basketball player who is a sports analyst on the television program Inside the NBA on TNT. He is considered one of the greatest players in National Basketball Association (NBA) history. At 7 ft 1 in (2.16 m) tall and 325 pounds (147 kg), he was one of the tallest and heaviest players ever. O'Neal played for six teams over his 19-year career. Following his time at Louisiana State University, O'Neal was drafted by the Orlando Magic with the first overall pick in the 1992 NBA draft. He quickly became one of the best centers in the league, winning Rookie of the Year in 1992–93 and leading...  more
    • Age: 48
    • Birthplace: Newark, New Jersey, United States of America

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  • Manny Pacquiáo
    Photo: Metaweb / CC-BY
    Manny Pacquiáo is an accomplished vocalist and has released several albums and singles from 2006-2013.
    Emmanuel Dapidran Pacquiao, PLH ( PAK-ee-ow; Tagalog: [pɐkˈjaʊ]; born December 17, 1978) is a Filipino professional boxer and politician, currently serving as a senator of the Philippines. Pacquiao is regarded by many boxing historians as one of the greatest professional boxers of all time.He is the only eight-division world champion in the history of boxing, having won twelve major world titles, as well as being the first boxer to win the lineal championship in five different weight classes. Pacquiao is also the first boxer in history to win major world titles in four of the eight "glamour divisions" of boxing: flyweight, featherweight, lightweight and welterweight.He was named "Fighter of...  more
    • Age: 42
    • Birthplace: Kibawe, Philippines

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  • Deion Sanders
    Photo: Metaweb / CC-BY
    Deion Sanders released the rap album Prime Time in 1994.
    Deion Luwynn Sanders Sr. (; born August 9, 1967), nicknamed "Prime Time" and "Neon Deion", is a retired American football player, baseball player and sports analyst who played in the National Football League (NFL) for 14 seasons. During his football career, he was a member of the Atlanta Falcons, San Francisco 49ers, Dallas Cowboys, Washington Redskins, and the Baltimore Ravens. He also had a part-time career as a baseball outfielder for nine seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB), where he played professionally for the New York Yankees, the Atlanta Braves, the Cincinnati Reds, and the San Francisco Giants. Sanders won two Super Bowl titles and made one World Series appearance in 1992,...  more
    • Age: 53
    • Birthplace: Fort Myers, Florida, United States of America

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