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70+ Musicians Who Became Famous Actors

Updated August 14, 2020 130.0k views76 items

List of musicians turned actors, loosely ranked by fame and popularity. Several famous rock stars, pop singers, and rappers have all established successful acting careers as well. Some of these famous musicians prefer to take roles in comedies while others appear mostly in dramas. One famous “American Idol” alum even won and Academy Award for her performance in a film. Some of these musicians are even on some of the best current TV shows.

Who is the most famous musician turned actor? Madonna tops this list. The "Material Girl" singer has appeared in such films as Evita and Swept Away. Mariah Carey has appeared in such films as Precious and Glitter. "Spotlight" singer Jennifer Hudson has appeared in such films as Sex and the City and Dreamgirls, for which she won an Oscar.

Several male musicians have also made the jump to film. "SexyBack" singer Justin Timberlake has appeared in such films as Alpha Dog and The Social Network. Rapper Will Smith has appeared in such films as Men in Black and Independence Day. Mark Wahlberg was known for his rap career before he landed acting roles in Boogie Nights and The Departed.

Why do you think so many musicians decide to give acting a try? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

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  • Lady Gaga, born Stefani Germanotta, rose to fame with her singles like Poker Face and Just Dance in 2008. As her music career continued to shoot into the stratosphere, Gaga started acting, first with smaller roles in films like Machete Kills and Sin City: A Dame To Kill For. In 2018, she starred in the reboot of A Star is Born and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress and Best Original Song. She took home the award for Best Original Song. 

    • Born: 1986-03-28
    • Age: 29
    • Birthplace: New York City, USA, New York

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  • Beyoncé Knowles
    Photo: Metaweb / CC-BY
    Beyonce Knowles has appeared in such films as Austin Powers in Goldmember and Dreamgirls.
    • Born: 1981-09-04
    • Age: 39
    • Birthplace: Houston, Texas, United States of America

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  • After his rap career, Mark Wahlberg has appeared in such films as Boogie Nights and The Departed.
    • Born: 1971-06-05
    • Age: 49
    • Birthplace: Dorchester, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America

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  • Dolly Parton
    Photo: Metaweb / CC-BY
    Dolly Parton has appeared in such films as Steel Magnolias and 9 to 5.
    • Born: 1946-01-19
    • Age: 74
    • Birthplace: Sevierville, Tennessee, United States of America