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10 Actors Who Attempted Music Careers

Johnny Depp Lindsay Lohan Robert Pattinson
Frazer Harrison / Rob Kim / Carlos Alvarez, Getty Images

Lots of stars are multitalented, and lots more stars, well, just think they’re multitalented. These movie and TV stars took the plunge into music with varying degrees of success. Some went platinum, some went nowhere. Some built empires, some made your eardrums bleed. Check out 10 stars who attempted music careers below — and tune in to their tunes.

Anna Kendrick

After starring roles in ‘Twilight’ and an Oscar nod for ‘Up in the Air,’ Anna Kendrick accepted a role in ‘Pitch Perfect’ that led to a hit single. You can’t turn on a radio anywhere without hearing ‘Cups (When I’m Gone)’!

Scarlett Johansson

Scarlett Johansson was a marquee movie star name before she attempted to sing, and there’s a good reason for that: Her smoky voice isn’t for everyone. In 2008, she released ‘Anywhere I Lay My Head,’ a collection of Tom Waits covers. The lead single, ‘Falling Down,’ was widely panned, but audibly salvaged by none other than David Bowie, who provided background vocals. Johansson followed up with a collection of Pete Yorn duets, titled ‘Break Up,’ in 2009.

Jack Black

Most of us know Jack Black as the voice of ‘Kung Fu Panda’ or the lead in ‘School of Rock,’ ‘Shallow Hal’ and a number of “frat pack” flicks. But he’s actually an accomplished frontman as well, leading Tenacious D to stardom since 1994.

Lindsay Lohan

Before her numerous trips to rehab, her Oprah sitdowns, her TV movies or her flings with DJs and boy bands, Lindsay Lohan recorded her debut album, ‘Speak,’ in 2004. The record was flanked by ‘Rumors,’ which served as a personal battle cry against the paparazzi, and eventually went platinum. She followed up in 2005 with the gold-certified ‘A Little More Personal (Raw),’ which featured ‘Confessions of a Broken Heart (Daughter to Father),’ a song that essentially was a cry for help for her daddy issues.

Robert Pattinson

Aside from playing brooding vampires and pleasuring himself in order to better channel Salvador Dali onscreen, Robert Pattinson is also a pretty prolific singer-songwriter. He plays guitar and piano, and has even had two songs featured on the ‘Twilight’ soundtrack, one of which — ‘Never Think’ — he co-wrote. In the same year, Pattinson contributed three songs to the film ‘How to Be,’ in which he also starred. He explained to the Los Angeles Times, “Music is my backup plan if acting fails.” Based on his box office clout, we’d say not to hold your breath for an album anytime soon.

Ashlee Simpson

Though she’s predominantly known for her music career (and for her subsequent “acid reflux” fiasco), Ashlee Simpson was actually a dancer on big sis Jessica’s tour and an actress on a bunch of commercials, then ‘Malcolm in the Middle’ and ’7th Heaven,’ before dyeing her hair black and declaring herself “punk” with ‘Pieces of Me.’ After some commercial setbacks with her most recent album, ‘Bittersweet World,’ Simpson got back into acting, starring on ‘Melrose Place’ and in the comedy ‘Pawnshop Chronicles.’

Hayden Panettiere

When she was at the height of her ‘Heroes’ fame, Hayden Panettiere had her own Candie’s ad campaign. The clothing brand acted essentially as a sponsor for her reggae-tinged debut single, ‘Wake Up Call,’ in 2008. Though the pop tune failed to make a mark, Panettiere’s vocal talent didn’t go unnoticed, and she soon landed her role in ‘Nashville,’ singing country.

Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp released two albums of pirate songs, inspired by his iconic role of Captain Jack Sparrow in ‘Pirates of the Caribbean.’ On the first, ‘Rogues Gallery,’ he solely performed under the moniker “Jack S—”; on the second, ‘Son of Rogues Gallery,’ he also uses his real name. Depp also rocked out at Petty Fest, paying tribute to rock legend Tom Petty, and has been spotted hitting the studio with One Direction.

Jennifer Lopez

The rare success story, Jennifer Lopez took her movie stardom in films like ‘Out of Sight’ and her dance experience as a fly girl on ‘In Living Color’ to a career in pop superstardom. She topped the charts with her debut single, ‘If You Had My Love,’ being the first artist since Britney Spears to do so, in 1999. She went on to release a total of seven albums and 37 singles — so far — with several going platinum. Her musical success also lends itself to a lucrative deal judging ‘American Idol.’ J-to-the-L-O, hello!

Eddie Murphy

Eddie Murphy belted out ‘Party All the Time,’ penned by none other than Rick James, in 1985. The song shot to No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100, then earned some other rankings: No. 80 on VH1′s 100 Greatest One-Hit Wonders of the ’80s and No. 36 on the 100 Worst Songs Ever (ouch!).

Next: 10 Pop Stars Who Attempted Movie Careers

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