Top 4 actors turned musicians

6. June 2014 10:47 by Julie Merar in Music   //  Tags:   //   Comments ()

The past couple of years have seen a great influx in crossover stars who have been able to successfully transition from an acting career to a music career. While musicians are often known to try their hand at acting, it is less common to see actors who not only make their own music, but are actually successful at it. In honor of this rare accomplishment, here is a look at the top four actors who have wowed us with their interdisciplinary talents.

1. Donald Glover aka Childish Gambino

Writer, stand-up comedian, rapper, producer, musician, Donald Glover - who goes by the stage name Childish Gambino - is a man of many pursuits. He started out in television by scoring a spot on the writing staff of the hugely popular Tina Fey creation 30 Rock before landing an ensemble role on the cast of cult-hit Community. During this time, Glover began releasing mixtapes of his rap music under the pseudonym Childish Gambino that picked up steam for their subject matter that dealt with his youth growing up black and nerdy. His was a voice that was largely under-represented in the rap community, and it didn't take long for his music to get noticed.

2. Aubrey Drake Graham aka Drake
Rap superstar Drake actually made his debut as a child actor on the hit teen drama Degrassi. The Toronto native played the role of Jimmy, the basketball star who ends up wheelchair-bound after becoming the victim of a shooting by a classmate. The Canadian series ended up launching Drake's career, though it resulted in him dropping out from actual high school in order to appear as his character in the fictional Degrassi High. He has come a long way since his child acting days, with a rap career that took off with the release of "Best I Ever Had" in 2009.

3. Jack Black aka Tenacious D
Finding success with a string of popular comedy flicks, Jack Black quickly fell into a certain 'type' on screen. The effect is often very polarizing, leading him to become a love-him-or-hate-him kind of actor. Still, his collaboration with Kyle Gass as Tenacious D is almost universally adored. The rock-and-roll lampoon band makes hysterical music that is noted not only for its lyrics, but also its high-quality musicianship.

4. Steve Martin aka Steve Martin
The actor best known for his successful Saturday Night Live and film career also happens to be an outstanding musician. One of the few actors-turned-musicians with legitimate instrument-playing ability, Martin is a banjo virtuoso. The former actor has even won a Grammy for his country folk song "Love Has Come For You" - a collaboration with Edie Brickell. Suffice it to say, the comic's music has come a long way since "King Tut."

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