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iPOP Insight: Singers Who Act

Who said you can't be a jack of all trades? When it comes to multi-talented performers Hollywood holds the crown. Directors and producers view singers who act as first-call talent. Let's look at some of the most well-known singers who act.

Lady Gaga

Known initially for her 2007 breakout album "The Fame" with top-of-the-charts singles "Just Dance" and "Poker Face," Gaga is a dominant presence on the Billboard 200. After getting the acting bug, Gaga appeared in American Horror Story miniseries in 2015 and more recently starred in the popular remake feature-length movie A Star Is Born. What many may not know is that Lady Gaga attended the Tisch School of Arts at NYU long before she became the pop icon we know today.

Ariana Grande

Unlike Lady Gaga, Grande started as an actress who then found success singing. Her first break came as a cast member of the musical 13, and she then played the character of Cat Valentine on the television series Victorious and Sam & Cat. Eventually Grande won two Grammy awards and much recording success, beginning with her album "Yours Truly" and its hit single "The Way."

Jamie Foxx

The actor known for hit TV shows and films like Annie and Soul has also received critical acclaim for his vocal chops. Along with being a Grammy winner and having a number of hit singles on the Billboard charts, Jamie Foxx has put his talent to work in film. The actor received numerous accolades for his role as Ray Charles in the biopic Ray, including an Oscar and Golden Globe. In the film Jamie, not only sang as Ray Charles but also played piano.

Jennifer Lopez

Is she a singer or is she an actress? She's both! J. Lo. began as a dancer on the television show In Living Color and then landed the leading role in the movies Selena, Anaconda, and Out of Sight. In 1993 she released her debut album "On The 6," soon to be followed by "J.Lo," and continued success.

Dolly Parton

Starting as a successful songwriter, Dolly released her first album "Hello, I'm Dolly' in 1967 and had 25 songs reach #1 on the Billboard Country Charts including "Jolene." Dolly also appeared in 12 films including starring roles in 9 to 5, and Steel Magnolias and continues as an entertainment icon.

Justin Timberlake

One of the most successful performers in the industry, Timberlake, appeared as an actor in The New Mickey Mouse Club and then NSYNC as a singer. As a solo, he released "Justified" with its hit singles "Cry Me A River' and "Rock Your Body," appeared as a lead actor in multiple films including The Social Network, and Friends With Benefits, and received ten Grammy Awards and four Emmys.


No list of singers who act is complete without Elvis. The "King of Rock-and-Roll" broke out with the hit single "Heart Break Hotel" in 1956 and became the best-selling solo music artist of all time. Elvis also starred in 31 featured films, including Love Me Tender, Jailhouse Rock, Blue Hawaii, and many others.

Singers who act have fun careers, give it a try.


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