Actresses Who Take Stabs at (and Usually End Up Stabbing) Music Careers

Some of the most respected actresses of the past 15 years have made attempts to launch music careers. The lucky ones never got off the ground, so people don't remember their mishaps. I'm here to correct our collective amnesia. Please, please, please listen to these songs. And then, for your own sake, forget them immediately afterwards. This article seemed like a good idea, but there is one very significant downside: I had to actually LISTEN to these damn songs.

Ok, we all know she can sing. But did you know she had two top 40 hits in the UK before she ever became a successful movie star? The voice is there, but the songs are not. Youtube For All Time for a far more hilarious video, where she's apparently dancing with Spartacus. I posted this one mainly because it's 'slightly' less embarrassing.

Godawful. Maybe the worst of the lot. I'm trying to imagine what was going through her head: "Uh, hey guys, I've had four unsuccessful Oscar nominations, so maybe I can win a Grammy instead?" This particular act of musical violence reached #6 six on the UK charts (I am starting to think that absolutely anything can make it onto the UK charts!)

She had two minor hits, Everything in My Pocket and Invisible Girl. The former is very much of its time but not offensive. It has the shoegazy quality of Ivy or early Dido. I am embarrassed to say though, I really like Invisible Girl. She sounds a bit like PJ Harvey singing a song by the Corrs. Which really is much more successful than Winslet and Zeta-Jones embarrassing Mariah Carey impersonations. (Really Driver's songs still aren't great, but in comparison they are masterpieces.)

Unfortunately EMI will not allow me to embed the video (sucks for you!) but here's the link should you still be intrigued:

Invisible Girl

Do you remember the duet she did with Huey Lewis, "Cruisin?" It was from some movie that no one actually wanted to see, but this song was EVERYWHERE. No offense to Gwyneth, she actually has a singing voice I wouldn't mind hearing more of, but the SONG IS DULL AS PAINT! She did also butcher "Bette Davis Eyes," rom the soundtrack to the same movie. More recently, she  performed on stage with Jay-Z for some reason. Street cred? God knows. Gwyneth is less forgivable because unlike the other actresses mentioned so far, she hasn't actually been in a decent movie in like ten years. Too busy writing about crazy diets.

Nicole Kidman wins the contest hands down. She had no pretensions to a music career, but still managed to guest on a fantastic song that was a pretty sizeable international hit. Back in high school, I knew many people who tried to copy the delicate harmonies between Kidman and Robbie Williams on in the hallways. Come What May, from Moulin Rouge, was also a pretty big hit as I recall (it counts because it's not actually in the movie in full!) Here's Something Stupid, for a lovely song and a sexy video. (that's the other thing about the previous contenders, they took beautiful actresses and stripped them of any sexiness!) In fact, I seem to remember this video being censored in the US.

Rule #1: If you are a successful actress and you want to parlay that success into a music career, DON'T!
Rule #2: If you ignore Rule #1 and go through with it anyway, release your singles in the UK, where most of the moviegoing public won't find out about it anyway.
Rule #3: If you simply must have international recognition of your talents, try and tag along with a more famous singer, all the better to cover up your 'talents.'
Rule #4: Really, you should only do it if an already famous singer invites you to join him.
Rule #5: Nowadays, please only try this with smaller indie bands. (A separate post will follow about Marion Cotillard, Carey Mulligan and Scarlett Johansson, and other young superstars making quiet, quiet music instead of pop.)

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