It’s always a pleasant surprise to come across an actor or actress who can really sing. It’s a refreshing change from all the wannabe real singers who are riding on the money, the looks, or the fame. The actors on this list could survive a stint on American Idol with their ability to belt a song and they could easily carry a role in Les Miserable, no pretending involved. Take that, Adam Lambert!
Wayne Brady has been making his rounds on the variety show/ improvisation/ TV hosting circuit since 2000 when he became a cast member on the hit ABC show Whose Line is it Anyway? It was also during that time that he showed us that he was not only a master of improv but a master of vocal artistry, weaving words together in runs and rifts. He released a debut album in 2008, and even garnered a Grammy nod for his rendition of the classic song “A Change is gonna come.”
The statuesque red headed actress revealed her lovely soothing voice in the musical Moulin Rouge. She once again showed her vocal chops in the 2009 Oscar nominated film Nine. She also appeared in a music video with Robbie Williams for their duet “Something Stupid.”
Bernie Mac’s onscreen niece proved she could do much more than play a whiny, angry teenager. The young actress also has a voice to boot! She got a chance to sing India Arie’s “Ventura Blvd.” on the Bernie Mac Show, and later, Bob Marley’s “Is this Love” on The Secret Life of an American Teenager.
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Who knew Tamala Jones (Two Can Play That Game, Head of State, The Brothers) had a voice?! Not Tamala Jones, that’s for sure. The actress had to get her Billie Holiday on, playing a lounge singer of the 1940’s on an episode of her show Castle, but she admits it was her first time singing outside of the car or shower! Based on her performance on the episode, we think she could take her show on the road!
Anne has been making headlines lately with her role as Fantine in Les Miserables but this isn’t the first time the former Disney movie star showed the world her vocal chops. She did a musical number in Ella Enchanted, sung during her hosting of Saturday Night Live, and even performed as the beautiful Blue Macaw bird in the animated movie Rio.
Robinson made his acting debut as the Green Ranger on Power Rangers: Lightspeed Rescue but lurking beneath that green jumpsuit was a Motown star ready to break loose. Robinson was once signed to Motown but never released his material. He did, however, get the chance to show his vocal ability as C.C. White (Effie’s Brother) in the Dream Girls film. Keith is currently working on putting out his music.
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Remember when Brittany sung that one like “Rolling with the homies” in Clueless. Well, that wasn’t exactly reflective of her capabilities. The late actress was hiding her sultry voice from the public for the majority of her career. She once said, “My singing voice isn’t like my speaking voice…I’ve just always kept it a secret and never taken credit because I wanted to learn how to work behind the microphone in a recording studio, and some of the singers don’t even know it was me recording on their albums.” Murphy recorded a song and video with Paul Oaken called “Faster Kill Pussycat” from the album A Lively Mind. The song was a club hit, and made number one on Billboard’s Hot Dance Club Play chart. She also got her sing on in Happy Feet singing Queen’s “Somebody to Love.”
This young actress plays on the hit show Gossip Girl but acting is not her only talent. Sumpter was once in a music duo with a female rapper named Precise, the group was called Twise (Tika with Precise). The duo never took off, but Tika finally got a chance to shine starring in Sparkle and singing on the soundtrack.
Gwyneth made her singing debut in the 2000 flick Duets, starring opposite Huey Lewis; so, when she was cast as a country music star in Country Strong it was no surprise. Paltrow recorded several songs for the film and the title track for the soundtrack. Gwyneth also had a recurring role on Glee, performing several popular songs. She even performed with Cee-Lo at the 2011 Grammy’s.
When Malik Yoba played J.C. Williams on New York Undercover back in the 90’s who knew there was a beautiful, soulful voice lurking beneath all that manly cop exterior? Many people were so pleasantly surprised to hear Malik crooning in the Play His Woman, His Wife.
Anika Noni Rose
Anika is no stranger to music, with her career as a Broadway star and her appearance in musical films like Justin to Kelly (in which she made her debut) and the acclaimed Dream Girls.
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Miranda Cosgrove might have been able to spawn a slightly successful music career from her role as the title character of iCarly but it’s Jennette McCurdy, who played the aggressive lazy, devil may care, meat-loving, tomboy best friend, that’s got the real talent. The 20-year old released her own country/pop album and 2 EP’s but with her soulful voice she could very easily transition to a more urban sound.
Photo: Adriana M. Barraza / WENN
Fans of Martin got to see that Gina wasn’t just a pretty face, she could blow, too! The actress got a chance to showcase her ability to belt a song during the series along with her onscreen and off-screen best friend…
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Like her friend Tisha Campbell, Tichina boasts a very strong soulful voice that she got to display on Martin as well. Remember the famous episode when Gina and Pam compete to audition for Biggie Smalls? Classic. Unlike Campbell, Arnold has not released an album, but with her voice she definitely could.
Photo: Jeff Grossman/WENN.com
Gina’s is a face you’ve seen all over film and TV, but did you know the wife of Laurence Fishburne can also sing? Unless you went to Dallas Comic Con Fan Days in 2012, you wouldn’t have. A fan asked her to sing so Torres sung “When Did You Leave Heaven,” premiering her mellow, bluesy voice. And of course, there’s a video.