Making the transition from a chart-topping musical artist selling arenas and performing night after night in front of a sea of adoring fans to a prominent movie star lighting up the big screen is no easy task. For an elite group of celebrities, this can be a smooth transition, and for others, not so much. Here, I’ve compiled a list of the top five celebrities who braved the transition from musician to actor.
Will Smith — Best
Few celebrities have been able to make such a smooth transition from musician to actor as Will Smith; he practically created the plan! He first entertained us in the late 1980s as one half of the musical duo DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince, producing hits such as “Parents Just Don’t Understanding”, for which he won the very first Grammy Award for best rap. Performance. Shortly thereafter, we welcomed him to our homes every week when he starred in a television series loosely based on his own experience as “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air”. He then set his sights on the big screen, landing the leading roles in blockbuster hits such as Bad Boys (1995), and Independence day (1996) and showed his talents as a dramatic actor in the years 2006 The pursuit of happiness. He received rave reviews for his performance in that film and bolstered his A-list status when he became the first Hip Hop artist nominated for an Academy Award that same year. He now orders around $ 20 million per movie and counts people such as Tom Cruise and Oprah Winfrey as close personal friends. He’s proven to be just as successful whether he raps on “Summertime” or dominates the summer box office.
Jennifer Lopez — Pire
It hurts me to include her on this list because Jennifer is my daughter, but I know that no one can forget the disaster that has been Gigli. This 2003 cinematic gem was “weird and awkwardly plotted … just a mess,” according to Rotten Tomatoes. Admittedly, this film does not cancel any of its successes. His first album, 1999’s The 6, went platinum six times! She was the first Latina actress to be paid $ 1 million for a movie role in Selena (1997) ! She has traveled several continents, launched a successful perfume line and even offers a clothing line at Kohl’s. But there is little we can do to wipe away Gigli of our minds; it even earned her a Razzie for Worst Actress. Despite this fact, she is still able to order nearly US $ 15 million per film; so it looks like the joke is on us!
Mark Wahlberg — Best
Many of us first remember Mark Wahlberg as the sexy younger brother of Donnie Walhberg from New Kids on the Blocks. In fact, it was his brother Donnie who used his connections to help him get a recording deal. Mark fulfilled his role as a bad boy rapper who danced in his boxers as part of his band Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch. It was the way he filled those boxers that quickly landed him a modeling contract with Calvin Klein. However, his rap career was cut short as his second album was a total flop. He decided to try his hand at acting and took on a disturbing role in Fear (1996) as a violent and obsessed stalker in front of a young Reese Witherspoon. He landed his big break as Dirk Diggler in Boogie evenings (1997) and quickly took on more dramatic roles in films such as The perfect storm (2000) and more recently Smuggling (2012). He showed his talents as an actor in the years 2012 Ted, and received positive reviews for her role in the 2010/11 film The fighter. He solidified his superstar status when he received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his work in The dead (2006). He further expanded his resume with his work as executive producer on “Boardwalk Empire,” “In Treatment,” and the hit series “Entourage,” which was loosely based on his own experiences in Hollywood. He’s certainly come a long way since strutting around in his tight whites; although I’m sure not many people would complain if he decided to take over the role (as long as he left the mic at home).
Mariah Carey — Worse
With a voice like hers, and the attention it has earned her, it’s hard to see why she would want to try anything else since she is apparently destined to sing. Sadly, even fate couldn’t stop her from making her acting debut in the ill-fated 2001 film. Shine, who vaguely charted his real path to fame. With a 7% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, where it was called “one of the worst movies of all time”, it certainly wasn’t its moment of glory. She received scathing reviews for this movie, and after going through depression, decided to stick with the music for a little while. While the movie was bad, he did nothing to highlight his successes. Her self-titled 1990 debut album went multi-platinum, spawned four consecutive singles, and won her the Grammy for Best New Artist and Best Female Singer. She is currently the only artist since the Beatles to have so many number one singles and albums! Sitting comfortably at the top of the charts, she decided to try her hand at acting again. She played a small role in the 2009 drama Precious for director Lee Daniels, where she played the role of New York social worker Ms. Weiss. This character was the complete opposite of the real Mariah; in fact, she underwent a “make-under” to play the unglamorous social worker. She was barely recognizable and received rave reviews for her work in the film. So maybe when you take out all the “glitter” she really can do it all!
Jennifer Hudson — Best
Proof that humble beginnings, hard work and a lot of talent can take you a long way in life; Jennifer Hudson is the ultimate example of a musician making a successful transition to the world of theater. Hudson grew up singing in church, performing in musical productions on a Disney cruise ship, and even worked in a Burger King before auditioning for “America Idol.” In the end, she was the 6e Idol’s season three runner-up, but she quickly became the perfect example that not winning the title isn’t necessarily the end of a childhood dream. Hudson went on to land the role of Effie Melody White in 2006 Dream girls, beating out 782 other actresses, including Idol competitor Fantasia Barrino. She managed to outshine both Beyoncé and Eddie Murphy, which is no easy task! She has received rave reviews and won numerous awards, including a Critic’s Choice Award, a Golden Globe Award, a SAG Award and the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. She is also one of fifteen actors to win an Oscar for their film debut. In 2008, she released her self-titled debut album, which was certified gold by the Recording Association of America, and won her the Grammy for Best R&B Album. Jennifer Hudson has certainly proven herself worthy of all her success and made her mark as a multi-talented musician turned actress.
Going from musician to actor is no easy feat, but these people have proven that it can (or in some cases cannot) be done!