There is this pattern where musicians and actors will switch careers within entertainment- you know how recording artists will move to the big screen and Hollywood will move to the music studios. For one reason or another, many of these artists have a hard time transitioning themselves from what they have been recognized for and into the new job he or she embarks on (ahem, Beyonce!) But I would like to give kudos to the Top 8 artists who have gracefully accomplished shifting multiple careers at a time. I present to you the best singers turned actors and vice versa nominated by moi. This is based on the best transition within careers and not in any particular order.
Before this man was saving the world one blockbuster at a time, he was the first rapper to win a Grammy for his and DJ Jazzy Jeff’s “Parents Just Don’t Understand”. He then got his acting career jump-started with ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ and has been a hit ever since. Movies like Men In Black, Independence Day, I Am Legend, Ali and Hancock have credited Will Smith as a serious actor, not just a rapper playing himself. As of today, Will Smith has won over the hearts of many people through his films and continues to set positives examples, one being the support of family.
He has the capability to make you laugh, cry, dance, or fantasize. In the early 90’s Jamie Foxx, built up his popularity by making people laugh in the comedy clubs. His most famed works were for Def Comedy Jam produced by Russell Simmons. After his comedy success, he hit the television screen on the comedy show ‘In Livin Color’ (who can forget the infamous Wanda?) and was later given his own sitcom ‘The Jamie Foxx Show.’ Jamie’s movie career is also a remarkable accomplishment- a few of his early works being Booty Call, Any Given Sunday, Miami Vice, and The Kingdom. Ray and Collateral were two films that won Jamie Foxx Oscar nominations in the same year, a feat that has only been accomplished once before him by actor Al Pacino. Today he has the radio on lock with his latest single “Blame It” featuring T-Pain off his third album “Intuition” that went platinum and continues to be heard by the people on his Sirius station Foxxhole.
From the studio to the big screen, Justin Timberlake illustrates what he knows best and that is performance. Starting off as an actor on the Mickey Mouse Club then moving to the music group *Nsync, Justin Timberlake became noticed for being more than a cute boy from the south. His debut album Justified was the beginning of a successful solo career and he kept the music in motion with the release of his sophomore album “FutureSex/LoveSounds.” Movies such as Alpha Dog and Black Snake Moan show off Justin’s dramatic side, but he can also make you laugh with his frequented SNL parody cameos.
A pioneering woman in Hip-Hop, and asking for nothing less than “U.N.I.T.Y” the Queen gained her acting break on movies like “Juice” which eventually landed her on the T.V. series ‘Living Single’. She has starred in movies such as Set It Off, Bringing Down The House, and Chicago, and has been awarded a Golden Globe for her role in Life Support. Besides the movies and Hip-Hop, Queen Latifah has also shifted herself into jazz releasing the album Trav’lin Light which was nominated for a Grammy.
Jenny from the Bronx started her career dancing her ass off on Yo! MTV Raps then later as a Fly Girl dancer for In Living Color. As an example of life imitating art, Lopez’s breakout role was playing the slain Tejano star Selena, and she started working on her own singing career alongside her budding movie roles. Anaconda, The Cell, and Out Of Sight are just a few of J. Lo’s movie roles that exposed her capability to play diverse characters. I remember seeing her breakout into dance on her debut single’s video “If You Had My Love” and was hooked ever since. “Waiting For Tonight”, “Love Don’t Cost A Thing” and “Get Right” are just a few of the hits that illustrate the diva in J.LO, alongside her clothing and perfume lines.
There are a lot of music lovers in the States who definitely have no problem with tuning into this man hailing from Toronto. He is mainly notable for his character Jimmy on The-N’s T.V. series Degrassi and now popular because of his lyrical content and projects with Trey Songz as Lil Wayne’s newest protege on his “Young Money Record” imprint. His mixtape “So Far So Gone” has been a hit on the streets and is adding plenty of cool points to his budding music career. Newly-certified as the “Next Big Thing” in the music industry, Drake has successfully transitioned between various forms of entertainment, not to mention, has become quite the lady-killer along the way. Watch out now!
- M.I.S.S. In The Mix: Black Dynamite Score
- Reminisce With M.I.S.S.: Heavy D.
- BEATS, RHYMES & LIFE: THE TRAVELS OF A TRIBE CALLED QUEST
- R.I.P Arthur Penn: 1922- 2010
- On Theatre And Its Worth