Thursday, January 9, 2014

5 Actors Turned Singers (And Vice Versa) You May Not Know About

It's rare for one person to make an indelible mark in both the acting and singing industries. Jamie Foxx is probably the most recent success story, with Jennifer Lopez, David Hasselhoff and Hilary Duff deserving honorable mention. Some performers are so great at their native talent that people don't even notice when they try to expand their horizons. Here are five singers and actors who quietly tried crossing over to the other side.


Die-hard Prince fans knew him from early hit songs like "1999" and "Delirious." But it wasn't until his fifth album that Prince became a household name. "Purple Rain" sold 20 million copies worldwide and produced two number-1 hits: "Let's Go Crazy" and "Purple Rain." The movie "Purple Rain" was Prince's film debut on the big screen. He didn't have to do much acting, as much of the movie is musical performances by the artist known as "The Kid," Morris Day and The Time and Apollonia 6. It also chronicled his troubled life and highlighted his spunky side, as he rode his motorcycle complete with Honda motorcycle parts throughout the film.

The movie is now considered a cult classic, and received several awards including a Grammy and Oscar.

Eddie Murphy

By the time Eddie Murphy was 22-years-old, he had already played a con-man twice to perfection in "48 Hours" and "Trading Places." His stand-up comedy special "Delirious" was also a huge hit, but nobody knew his ribbing of Rick James in the skit would lead to a top-10 hit on the Billboard charts. Murphy and James teamed up in 1985 and released "Party All The Time" that May. It peaked at number-2 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts and finished 1986 at number-6. Murphy's other hit "Put Your Mouth On Me" peaked only at number-27.

Ringo Starr

Most people know Ringo as the drummer for one of the world's most popular bands of all time. He also has an extensive filmography dating back to the 1960s. His most underrated role was in the 1981 cult classic "Caveman." The film also carries a bit of irony, as Ringo and his caveman tribe created music "a zillion years ago" and did a pretty good job thereof.

Bruce Willis

"Die Hard" and "Armageddon" are probably the first things that come to mind when playing a word-association game with Bruce Willis. "Motown soul singer" is probably not. Several groups covered the Staples Singers 1971 hit "Respect Yourself," but none did it quite like Willis.

He teamed with the Pointer Sisters in 1987 and reached number-5 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number-20 on the Hot Black Singles charts. Willis had a few more songs make it on the charts thereafter, but none of them got higher than number 59.

Jack Wagner

Stay-at-home moms and other soap opera followers in the 1980s knew Wagner from several daytime dramas, most notably as Frisco Jones in "General Hospital." He introduced himself to a much broader audience in 1984 when "All I Need" reached number-2 on the Billboard Hot 100 (Madonna's "Like A Virgin" kept him from reaching the top).

Wagner reprised his role as Frisco Jones after an 18-year absence in February 4, 2013, but his singing career all but ended after the one-hit record.