Being a musician can be a very rewarding and fulfilling career path that can also come with challenges peculiar to it. The success of the career choice to be a musician differs among individuals, with some struggling to make a basic living while others go on to achieve great success. Various things can be said to contribute to the success of a musician’s career and being a musician can be rewarding for those who are passionate about their art.
The lifestyle of a musician requires certain attributes such as creativity, passion, expression, and dedication. Musicians must also be able to perform at a high level, as well as evolve as time goes on to stay relevant. A lot of these personality requirements can also be found in the requirements for several other careers in the arts, especially in acting. As a result of this, several musicians have also had an acting career as it comes naturally to them. Here are six musicians who have also had an acting career.
Tracy Lauren Marrow better known by his stage name Ice-T was born on 16 February 1958. After leaving the Army in December 1979, he looked to avoid gang violence by making a name for himself as a DJ. He then began his career as a rapper in the 1980s and released his debut album Rhyme Pays in 1987. His acting career started in 1984 with a role in Breakin’, but his first major role came in 1991 when he played a police detective in New Jack City. As an actor, Ice-T is most well known for his portrayal of NYPD Detective Odafin Tutuola on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. He has played the role since 2002, which makes him the longest-running male series actor in history.
Madonna Louise Ciccone, born on 16 August 1958, is widely referred to as the Queen of Pop for her contributions to music. Her ability and willingness to push the boundaries of artistic expression have generated both praise and controversy. In 1978, Madonna moved to New York to pursue a dance career and performed as a drummer, guitarist, and vocalist in the rock for a few years. Her rise to stardom came with her debut album, Madonna in 1983. She made her screen debut in 1985 appearing in three films, including starring as Susan Thomas in Desperately Seeking Susan alongside Rosanna Arquette.
Lady Gaga, born on 28 March 1986 as Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta is no stranger to entertainment. A singer, songwriter, and actress, she began performing as a teenager and is known for her reinventions, eccentricity, and versatility. Her music career began in the mid-2000s, initially working as a songwriter for other artists. Her solo music career took off with her debut album, The Fame, which was released in 2008. As an actress, although she is most well-known for her performance alongside Bradley Cooper in A Star Is Born, she started out at 15 with an uncredited role in an episode of The Sopranos and is now poised to take on the role of Harley Quinn in the upcoming Joker 2.
Harry Edward Styles, born on 1 February 1994 began his career as a musician in 2010 as part of One Direction. The boy band was formed on the British music competition, The X Factor. The band was active from 2010 until they went on an indefinite hiatus in 2016. In 2017 Styles released his debut solo album, Harry Styles. That same year, he made his film debut in Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk. He has also appeared in Eternals, My Policeman, and Don’t Worry, Darling alongside Florence Pugh.
Robyn Rihanna Fenty, born on 20 February 1988, has had a musical career only a select few can boast of matching. Widely considered one of the most prominent singers in the world today, her career started after signing with Def Jam in 2005. Born in Barbados, her first two studio albums, Music of the Sun and A Girl Like Me were influenced by Caribbean music. She made her film debut in 2006 playing herself in Bring It On: All or Nothing. In 2012, she had her first complex acting role in Battleship. She again played a fictional version of herself in 2013’s This Is the End. In 2018, she appeared alongside acting stars such as Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, and Helena Bonham Carter in Ocean’s 8.
Unlike the other musicians on this list, Justin Timberlake, who was born on 31 January 1981, started his career as an entertainer in acting. In 1993 and 1994, he appeared on the children’s television series, The All-New Mickey Mouse Club alongside future stars such as Ryan Gosling, Britney Spears, and Christina Aguilera. Timberlake had his big break in music with the boy band, NSYNC which was formed in 1995. He returned to acting in 2000 with the television film Model Behavior. Timberlake has gone on to appear in several films over the past two decades including The Social Network, Bad Teacher, Reptile, and Friends with Benefits.
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