Here Are 19 Musicians Who Took Up Acting As A Side Hustle And Didn't Fail At It

    Cher slapped Nicholas Cage in the face and won an Oscar. Legendary.

    Not too long ago, we went over a few actors and celebs who took a swing at becoming musicians; well now here's the B-Side (get it?) — here are 19 musicians who decided to also become actors:

    1. Harry Styles' acting career doesn't start where you think it does... (in my opinion).

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    From debuting in the Oscar-winning WWII film Dunkirk, co-starring in the thriller Don't Worry Darling, and leading in the drama My Policeman, it's safe to assume that the film career ahead of Harry Styles will be just as illustrious as his music career.

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    However, I consider his ~true~ acting debut to be in series 6 episode 2 of iCarly (2012); and I refuse to let anyone forget it!

    2. At this point, Lady Gaga is as much a talented actor as she is an iconic musical act.

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    Even before becoming a pop icon, Gaga had always shown interest and promise in acting.

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    At 15, Lady Gaga's true first role ever came as an uncredited background character in a 2001 episode of The Sopranos when she was still known only as Stefani Germanotta.

    3. I've never seen someone excel so well at their side hustle like Janelle Monae has.

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    Janelle's big swings in choosing film roles have definitely cemented her place as a serious actor with a respect for the craft.

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    Although her first character roles included doing voice acting work for the animated show American Dad and the children's film Rio 2; Janelle quickly proved herself as an actress with her award-nominated supporting roles in the 2016 films Hidden Figures and Moonlight (which won the Oscar for Best Picture). She's since also starred in the films Harriet, Antebellum, and most recently Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery.

    4. We all know that Jon Bon Jovi has acted quite a bit, right?

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    He ended up doing 14 films, including a small uncredited role in Young Guns II, and four TV show appearances, including a 10-episode returning character in Ally McBeal.

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    When asked about his retirement from acting, Jon Bon Jovi stated, "Hollywood said to me the reason why you're not getting the big roles is because every time you get a spark you disappear for a year... and I was like, 'I have a day job.'"

    5. Awkwafina may actually only be known as an actor these days, so here's a reminder of where her stage name comes from.

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    In 2012, well before she was a Golden Globe nominee, Nora Lum as Awkwafina went viral on YouTube with the song, "My Vag".

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    Her debut album "Yellow Ranger" was released in 2014, the same year she became a TV personality on the MTV show Girl Code and two years before her first film role in Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising.

    6. From Outkast to acting — Andre 3000 has simply never been part of a bad project.

    andre 3000 and big boy standing next to each other at a funeral

    It seems that these days, acting and his clothing brand are his main gigs.

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    He's gone on to produce and voice the main character of the Emmy-award-winning animated show Class of 3000, produce and star in the Jimi Hendrix biopic All Is By My Side, appear in the films Semi-Pro, Battle in Seattle, and High Life, and hold a recurring role in the crime drama American Crime.

    7. Beyoncé had been ~Beyoncé~ since the beginning of her musical career, so the natural next step for the superstar was to pursue acting as well!

    beyonce angrily holding a phone to her ear

    Beyoncé's even shown voice acting ability with The Lion King (2019) and beyond(cé) acting, she holds a few directorial credits under her belt as well.

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    To round out the extensive talents of the icon, she's also directed and starred in the visual albums Lemonade, Homecoming, and Black Is King which is definitely no small feat.

    8. An absolute legend since her musical debut, Cher's acting career began almost immediately.

    From there Cher has gone on to win an Oscar, an Emmy, three Golden Globes, and, of course, Grammys — making her just a Tony award shy of claiming EGOT status.

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    Of her most praised roles, Cher starred alongside *the* Meryl Streep in Silkwood and again in 2018's Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again. As well as starring in The Witches of Eastwick, Mermaids, Mask, and Moonstruck which won her the Academy Award for Best Actress in 1988.

    9. In the mid-80s, for just a moment, Madonna made the world stop.

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    The real accolades came later though, with Madonna winning a Best Actress Golden Globe in 1997 for her performance in Evita and a Saturn Award nomination for her 1990 role in Dick Tracy.

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    Also memorably, she had a role in A League of Their Own and a cameo in the 2002 Bond film Die Another Day.

    10. Dolly Parton's best job is just being Dolly Parton everyday from 9am-5pm.

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    But aside from cameos, Dolly's ventures into actual character roles have gotten her many accolades.

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    From the $95 million grossing film Steel Magnolias to the multiple Golden Globe nominations for her role in 9 to 5 — Dolly's film roles are magical to watch. The waterpark owner has also lead voice roles in the animations Gnomeo & Juliet and Alvin and the Chipmunks. Most recently, she co-starred with Queen Latifah in the musical film Joyful Noise.

    11. It may seem like a lifetime ago, but Queen Latifa started out as a rapper.

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    From a supporting role in House Party 2 to starring in the beloved sitcom Living Single to leading films like Set It Off, Last Holiday, and Girls Trip — Queen Latifah's been a loved actor since the early '90s and her career is iconic.

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    So iconic that not only has she won an Emmy, Golden Globe, three Screen Actors Guild Awards, and garnered an Academy Award nomination; but the "First Lady of Hip-Hop" also became the first hip-hop artist ever to receive a star on the "Hollywood Walk of Fame" back in 2006. 

    12. It's not the first thought that comes to mind when thinking of Frank Sinatra, but it's true... he was also a very successful actor from time to time!

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    After winning a Golden Globe and the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his role in From Here to Eternity, he lead a well-awarded acting career until 1995.

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    He appeared in films and musicals, with his most impressive roster existing mainly during the '50s and '60s. He's won a Best Actor Golden Globe for his role in Pal Joey, and Academy Award, Golden Globe, and British Academy Film Award nominations for The Man with the Golden Arm. He also appeared in The House I Live In and The Manchurian Candidate, which have been added to the American Library of Congress's National Film Registry along with From Here to Eternity.

    13. Going from being a dancer to an actor to a singer to an actor again, Jennifer Lopez will always be "Jenny from the block".

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    Though never having any major gaps in her acting career timeline, J.Lo wouldn't see a major hit with one of her roles until 2019's Hustlers, which she also produced.

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    14. A children's TV star turned to a simultaneous film and music star — here's Justin Timberlake.

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    Moreover, he's well-awarded for his onscreen pursuits while also maintaining his award-winning music career.

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    Justin's won an impressive four Emmys from his guest appearances on Saturday Night Live, a Screen Actor's Guild Award for The Social Network, and of course 10 Grammys and 9 Billboard Music Awards.

    15. After four consecutive Grammys, it makes sense that Lenny Kravitz wanted to expand his talents to acting.

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    He went on to steal the show as Cinna in The Hunger Games and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, and has since held a recurring role in the series Star.

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    Also fun fact! Kravitz also lent his voice to an uncredited crying baby role in The Rugrats Movie, though despite not being credited, he still received a Kids Choice Award nomination for the brief cameo.

    16. Known for her many lucrative endeavours, Rihanna's acting career always deserves a shout!

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    Most recently, Rihanna was a co-lead in the heist comedy Ocean's Eight and the musical movie Guava Island alongside other musician/actors Awkwafina and Donald Glover, respectively.

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    You can also find her in Annie (2014), series 5 episode 6 of the show Bates Motel, Battleship, and of course lending her vocal talents in all ways in the animated film, Home.

    17. In this household, we call Mark Wahlberg Marky Mark and only Marky Mark.

    Although his first album "Music for the People" went platinum, Marky Mark was better known for his tendency to be shirtless, which landed him a Calvin Klein denim campaign with Kate Moss that helped to break him into the acting world.

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    He went on to debut as an actor in The Basketball Diaries alongside Leonardo DiCaprio in 1995. But what truly cemented the on-screen future success of Marky Mark was the starring role in Boogie Nights which featured a certain *full-frontal nude* scene. Marky Mark (as Mark Wahlberg, of course) has gone on to star in films like Planet of the Apes, The Departed, The Italian Job, Transformers: Age of Extinction, Ted and the popular drama series Entourage. 

    18. Idris Elba is a true man of duality in acting and music.

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    Idris has maintained huge success on both career paths, including a Golden Globe win and multiple Emmy nominations for his role in the series Luther.

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    From showing off his versatility through films like BeastHobbs & Shaw, Zootopia, Obsessed (alongside Beyoncé), and the Thor franchise to performing a two-hour DJ set at Coachella — I kinda hope he never retires.

    19. And last but definitely not least, Barbra Streisand. Legend. That's it.

    An EGOT achiever, Barbra Streisand has won two Academy Awards, 10 Grammys, five Emmys, a Tony Award, and nine Golden Globes.

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    Her other iconic films include The Way We Were, What's Up, Doc?, Hello, Dolly!, and of course, A Star Is Born (1976). Once again, Barbra Streisand is a legend.

    Who's your favourite musician turned actor? Let us know in the comments!