So it seems that R’n’B lovely Rihanna is a fully-fledged movie star now. Not content with being one of the planet’s biggest pop stars and most lusted after women, the Barbadian beauty has decided to expand her CV and become an actress. Her debut can be seen in ‘Hancock’ director Peter Berg’s new boaty blockbuster ‘Battleship’, which is currently bombing the bejesus out of box offices across the world.
But of course, umbrella fan Rihanna isn’t the first pop star to move into the film biz. In fact, it seems that almost every recording artist ever has dabbled in a bit of acting at some point in their careers. With varying levels of success…
Here are just a few singers-turned actors, with how much cash their efforts made at the box office. You might be surprised.
Lenny Kravitz (£282+ million in total box office receipts)
While it’s true that the 47 year-old Professional Jimi Hendrix Impersonator isn’t exactly known for his refined acting skills, you have to respect the man’s box office credentials. £62m raked in for ‘The Rugrats Movie’, £31m for ‘Precious’ and an incredible £188m for ‘The Hunger Games’ is pretty good going. He even pitched up in ‘The Diving Bell and the Butterfly’, most critics’ film of 2007. A dark cinematic horse, is our Jimi – sorry, Lenny.
Fly away… Lenny Kravitz in The Hunger Games (Credit: REX)
Luke Goss (around £240m)
The name you kind of recognise but you’re not sure where from was formerly a singer in boy band Bros before heading to Hollywood to star in… well, more like take part, in films like ‘Blade 2’, ‘Hellboy 2’, Death Race 2’ and probably some other films ending with 2.
Will Smith (£1.5bn)
Ha ha, ha ha! Whoo! The rapper-turned-TV-star-turned-movie-star-turned-producer-turned-pop-star-Dad Will Smith is about as big a deal as you can get in Hollywood. All his films are absolutely massive. Expect the upcoming ‘Men in Black III’ to be no exception. Uh-uh-uh, yeah! Ha ha!
Snoop Dogg (£125m)
Snoop Dogg, Snoop Doggy Dogg, Calvin Cordozar Broadus Jr., call him what you will – even an actor if you like. Sure, he’s unlikely to be cast in Lars Von Trier’s next film, but the rapper’s carved out a pretty decent movie career (in mostly unwatchable films, admittedly…).
Snoop Doggy Dog… Snoop in Starsky and Hutch (Credit: REX)
Samantha Mumba (£13m)
Remember Samantha Mumba? Of course you do! Remember the song she was famous for? Of course you don’t! You’re much more likely to recall her part in ‘The Time Machine’, an adaptation of H.G Wells’ seminal novel. She starred alongside Guy Pearce and the film tanked. If only they had a time mac… no, that’s too easy.
Jessica Simpson (£87m)
Blonde bombshell… Jessica Simpson in The Dukes Of Hazzard (Credit: REX)No one expected ditzy pop minstrel Jessica Simpson to break into movies, but after a surprisingly good turn as Daisy Duke in the daft comedy ‘The Dukes of Hazzard’, quite a few people changed their minds. Unfortunately, Jess followed it up with total stinker ‘Employee of the Month’ and two of the biggest turkeys seen outside of a Bernard Matthews factory, ‘Blonde Ambition’ and ‘Major Movie Star’.
Prince is one of the finest recording artists ever, that’s a stone cold fact. Another stone cold fact is that his movies are self-indulgent tripe that only die-hard fans (fans of Prince, not the Bruce Willis action film) could bear to watch. ‘Purple Rain’, ‘Under the Cherry Moon’ and ‘Graffiti Bridge’ are his only three acting film credits. Thank God.
Whitney Houston (£147m)
Sometimes, all you need is one massive movie to set you up. The late Whitney Houston’s turn in 1992′s ‘The Bodyguard’ made her box office gold. She followed it up with only two more films (‘Waiting to Exhale’ and ‘The Preacher’s Wife’) until her last role as Emma in ‘Sparkle’, which is due for a posthumous release later this year.
Phil Collins (£106m)
Never the most fashionable or attractive pop star, the hairless former Genesis frontman isn’t an overly obvious choice as a Hollywood pin-up. Most people remember his ’80s crime caper ‘Buster’ (mostly because Sunday newspapers seemed to give the DVD away in a cheap little cardboard sleeve every week for a while). He also popped up in Spielberg’s massive ‘Hook’ and lent his voice to an ugly ol’ vulture called Lucky in ‘The Jungle Book 2′.
Ice ice baby… Vanilla Ice in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 (Credit: REX)Vanilla Ice (around £600k)
Ah, Vanilla Ice… From one of the worst recording careers ever to one of the worst reality TV careers ever via one of the worst movie careers ever – Good work, Vanilla! His only real movie credit was the laughably dreadful 1991 vehicle ‘Cool as Ice’. Ah, we feel bad – it’s easy to laugh as Vanilla Ice though, isn’t it? Especially as his real name is Rob Van Winkle.
Mariah Carey (£47m)
The Queen of Divas’ movie bow came in one of Renée Zellweger’s rom-com misfires, ‘The Bachelor’. Her first proper lead was the universally-panned, semi-autobiographical guff-fest ‘Glitter’, a film that made back just £2.5m of its £13m budget. Throw in the poorly-received ‘WiseGirls’ and things were looking bleak for Movie Mariah. Then she went and put in a truly outstanding performance as Mrs Weiss in ‘Precious’; one of the best, and most successful films of 2009. Unpredictable.
Madge is the number one female pop star of all time with an incredible back catalogue of mega-hits. Her film resume is slightly less credible, though. ‘Shadows of Fog’, ‘Shanghai Surprise’, ‘Body of Evidence’ and ‘Swept Away’ all failed to recoup their production cost in ticket sales. Sure, £209million’s not to be sniffed at, but the Material Girl has pitched up in enough flicks over the years (most of which are terrible…).
Those are just a few of our favourite musical types that have pestered and pleased cinema-goers in equal numbers. Now it’s your turn – who have we missed off? Timberlake? Lopez? Pavarotti? Let us know below…