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These Musicians All Tried Acting And We Wish They Wouldn’t Have

Updated February 19, 2019 390 votes 57 voters 1.5k views12 items

List RulesVote up the musicians who should have stuck to music.

Sometimes a crossover career works out well - Elvis Presley was both a successful musician and actor, and Justin Timberlake has found success in both areas as well. But not everyone has the same luck. Some of the most beloved musicians who light up the stage have failed to do the same once the cameras started rolling. 

Everyone from Britney Spears to Mick Jagger has attempted to delve into the world of movies and TV, only to be told by fans and critics that they should stick to their day job. Whether it's Jennifer Lopez's performance in Gigli or the trainwreck that was Mariah Carey's Glittersometimes even the best musicians just don't end up translating to the big screen. 

Here are some of the most notorious examples of singers turned actors. 

  • Mariah Carey is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list These Musicians All Tried Acting And We Wish They Wouldn’t Have
    Photo: D Dipasupil / Getty Images

    Mariah Carey's disastrous turn at acting came in 2001 with the release of Glitter, a movie that was so widely hated that it's still talked about to this day. Critics were not kind to Carey, and blasted not only the movie but also her individual performance.

    One review said that Carey had "the acting range of a parakeet," while another said that the movie was "so bad it's actionable." With another critic slamming the film as "total escapism without a shred of believability," it's easy to see why Carey's acting career didn't quite take off. 

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  • Britney Spears' infamous venture into acting came in the form of the movie Crossroads, a much-hyped road trip dramedy that was, interestingly enough, written by Shonda Rhimes. The movie completely bombed, with critics panning it almost unanimously. The Austin Chronicle called it "a staggering example of how stage charisma does not automatically translate into acting skill."

    "Watching Ms. Spears sing, dance and act can leave you wondering what is meant nowadays by the concept of talent," the New York Times said bluntly. 

    Unsurprisingly, Spears' acting career didn't take off from there, and she almost immediately returned her focus to music. 

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  • Vanilla Ice is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list These Musicians All Tried Acting And We Wish They Wouldn’t Have
    Photo: Scott Harrison / Getty Images

    If you're not aware that Vanilla Ice tried to be a movie star once, then we're sorry for ruining your ignorant bliss. Yes, Mr. "Ice, Ice, Baby," himself once starred in a film tragically titled Cool As Ice, and it was unsurprisingly not a hit.

    At the time of its release 1991, the Washington Post called the movie "a cross between an after-school special and MTV video." The same review also took aim at Ice for his more well-known skills.

    "Having established that he can't rap or dance, Vanilla Ice now adds acting to his resume," the review read. 

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  • Adam Levine is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list These Musicians All Tried Acting And We Wish They Wouldn’t Have
    Photo: Andrew Walker / Getty Images

    Maroon 5 singer Adam Levine tried his hand at acting in the 2014 film Begin Again, and then never did it again. Sure, it's a movie about musicians, but as one review put it, Levine "has absolutely no business acting in movies." Perhaps the worst part about his performance, as the reviewer noted, was that his character was almost identical to Levine himself. 

    "I don't know who told him he could act, but the man is a cardboard cutout of himself, struggling to make even blinking and turning his head look natural while playing a character who honestly should have just been named Adam Levine," the reviewer stated

    Levine revealed in an interview around the release of the film that he tried to take an acting class for the film but "didn't like it," and ultimately decided to simply hope he could pull it off. 

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