Celebrities, for better or worse, have a tendency to try their hand in the music industry. However, when a celebrity is associated with a certain industry, it can sometimes be hard to place them within the world of music, and sometime it is better not to. But then again there are a few pleasant surprises, though not necessarily for the best of reasons.
See Also: 10 Spectacular Meltdowns That Cost Celebrities Credibility
Whether they started out in music before finding their true calling, or reached a degree of fame and with it gained a sometimes misguided faith in their musical talent, here are ten celebrities who have, surprisingly, released songs.
10 Brie Larson—She Said
Before her now successful career in film, Brie Larson had a short stint at making music. Following minor roles as a child actor, Larson embarked on a career in music, and released one album in 2005 Finally Out Of P. E.
The title of the album is a perfect summary of Larson’s music — bubblegum teen pop, though quite appropriate, because Larson was only sixteen at the time. She Said was the single to come out of the album though commercially it did very little.
Larson came to dislike the music industry due to her own self-written songs being dismissed for songs her record label wanted her to play. Essentially, Larson did not want to be molded into what her label wanted her to be, and left it all behind.
9 Macaulay Culkin (The Pizza Underground)—Pizza Gal
The premise of Macaulay Culkin’s band “The Pizza Underground” is a strange parody of the Velvet Underground, and Pizza Gal is just one of the bizarre songs Culkin has released.
The Pizza Underground parody many of the Velvet Undergrounds songs interlaced with various pizza-based jokes — yes really. Pizza Gal is a parody of Femme Fatale by the Velvet Underground, and musically is close to the original, but substitutes the original lyrics for pizza related themes.
Culkin called it “one of those good ideas you have when you’re drunk and you wake up and forget about it… but we’re taking it to the end of the joke.” There is a reason those ideas only happen when you are drunk, because they are terrible.
8 Andy Murray—Autograph
Andy Murray and fellow tennis player Novak Djokovic teamed up with Bryan Bros Band to provide a shining example of why celebrities should sometimes stick to what they are good at, whatever that may be.
In 2009, the collaboration gave us the song Autograph. The song details the inconveniences Andy Murray has to suffer when signing autographs for his eager fans. Autograph is as bad as it sounds.
Murray tries to rap on the song providing us with the lyrics “during Wimbledon it really gets crazy. My hand cramps up and my mind gets hazy” and “I sign and sign, but the line doesn’t end. Wake me up tomorrow, let’s do it again.”
We can all objectively say that Autograph is woeful, and is it really so bad that fans want an autograph? Stick to tennis please.
7Naomi Campbell—Love and Tears
Somewhat infamous model Naomi Campbell tried her luck in the music industry in an effort to branch out from the world of modeling. In 1994, Campbell released the appropriately named album Baby Woman, and Love and Tears was the single from the album.
Surprisingly Love and Tears is not as bad as would be expected from a model turned singer, but still proved that Campbell did not have much prospect in making music, as it was her first and last single and album.
Baby Woman was poorly received by critics and was commercially unsuccessful except in Japan.
6Frankie Muniz (Kingsfoil)—What Your Mother Taught You
Star of Malcolm in the Middle, Frankie Muniz had a brief run with indie pop band Kingsfoil from 2012 to 2014, in which he featured on the single What Your Mother Taught You.
As a longtime fan of the band, Muniz auditioned for Kingsfoil, and they duly accepted him into the group. Kingsfoil sported Muniz on drums for their 2012 album A Beating Heart is a Bleeding Heart, from which, What Your Mother Taught You came. Kingsfoil are not the first band to feature Muniz in their lineup as he also played in the group You Hang Up before joining Kingsfoil.
The song is your typical indie pop song, and the band is not too dissimilar to Coldplay. However, Muniz left the group in 2014 due to scheduling conflicts with filming of Hot Bath an’ a Stiff Drink 2.
5 Steven Seagal—My God
Martial artist and renowned tough guy actor Steven Seagal delved into the world of music with his debut album Songs from the Crystal Cave in 2004, from which My God was born.
Although Steven Seagal is a relatively accomplished guitarist, My God proves that if you have a certain degree of fame and fortune, and have the ability to roundhouse kick people in the face, nobody can stop you from releasing music.
My God is a strange dancehall-esque track that upbraids the concept of religion in the most infantile of ways. Seagal makes an attempt at irony in his lyrics like “Why do you force your will with a gun, let’s start another holy war” topped off with the chorus line “My God is better than your God, My God is bigger than yours.” The lyrics just come off as laughable rather than in any way spiritual especially coming from Steven Seagal.
Unbelievably, Seagal actually managed to get Stevie Wonder to play harmonica on the song, though even Stevie Wonder could not save the song.
4 Clint Eastwood—Bar Room Buddies
Bar Room Buddies was recorded by Merle Haggard and Clint Eastwood for the 1980 film Bronco Billy. (LINK 11). However, the song was released as a single in the same year, and was incredibly successful in the world of country music, reaching number one in the Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart.
Country music legend Merle Haggard carries the enchantingly strange duo whilst Eastwood tries to sing, but mostly fails to break away from his inimitable gravelly voice. The song details the two “Old chug-a-lug-a-lugging” bar room buddies’ drunken exploits.
Bar Room Buddies is a little slice of lighthearted nonsense but still quite fun, and the song actually stayed in the country charts for thirteen weeks.
3Val Kilmer—Frontier Justice
Having convincingly sang as Jim Morrison in the 1991 biopic The Doors, and having learned to play guitar for the film Top Secret, Kilmer took his musical credentials one-step further when he released the album Val Kilmer: Sessions With Mick in 2007.
He teamed up with friend Mick Rossi to write a series of songs for the album. The song Frontier Justice is a bluesy number in which the protagonist accounts his gunning down of his lover’s lover. It is eerie but well produced, and Kilmer actually has a decent singing voice.
Frontier Justice was released on Kilmer’s MySpace music blog before the full Val Kilmer: Sessions with Mick was self released on his website.
2 Ricky Gervais (Seona Dancing)—More To Lose
Seona Dancing were a short-lived ’80s new wave duo fronted by none other than comedian and actor Ricky Gervais. The duo was stereotypically ’80s new wave — big hair, makeup and no small amount of androgyny.
Sounding like a low-rent ’80s David Bowie, More to Lose proved that music was not Ricky Gervais’ calling. The song fails to rise above the dreary clichés ’80s new wave churned out; it is forgettable yet unforgettable to see Gervais fully clad in his new wave attire, which raises the question: what happened?
Seona Dancing released two mostly unsuccessful singles in the 1980s and disbanded in 1984. More to Lose went on to be quite popular in the Philippines, receiving substantial radio play through the 1980s. Fellow band member Bill Macrae did not reach the fame of Gervais, fading into obscurity after Seona Dancing’s disbandment.
1 Bruce Willis—Under The Boardwalk
Before John McClane there was Bruno Randolini — Bruce Willis’ soul and R&B singing alter ego, who actually had notable success through the late 1980s.
In 1987, Bruce Willis released his debut album The Return of Bruno complete with a fake documentary about Willis’ musical alter ego. Willis, or Bruno, covered Under the Boardwalk by the Drifters on the album, which was also released as a single. Carried by the Temptations who sang backing vocals, the song struggled commercially in the US, but somehow reached number two in the UK charts.
It is clear from the song that Willis is better suited to playing the rugged cop with a heart of gold on the silver screen than he is to singing because Under the Boardwalk is inescapably cringe-worthy. Willis cannot quite reach those high notes, and for the most part is propped up by his stellar cast of musicians.
Willis went on to record another album If It Don’t Kill You, It Just Makes You Stronger in 1989 before finally submitting to the on-screen Bruce Willis we know and love today.