9 Singers and Rappers Who Became Movie Stars
From Beyoncé to Rihanna, only the best can do it all...
As you may have heard, reviews from the world premiere of Lady Gaga's movie star debut in A Star Is Born are outrageously good, with critics hailing her performance as "mesmerising" and predicting an Oscar win.
The film is the third remake of the 1937 original, with the last adaptation being the 1976 musical starring Barbara Streisand as the leading lady. This time Gaga is the star that will be born while Bradley Cooper - who directed and co-wrote the movie! - plays a country musician who falls in love with her.
The Guardian has given their reimagined story five stars, the audience at the Venice Film Festival premiere gave an eight minute standing ovation (!!) when it ended and basically it sounds like Lady Gaga might be one of the best success stories of a singer moving into film. Although, she's certainly not the first one to do it.
Pop queens, pop princesses, legends, rappers - so many have made the move before, and we want to take a look back at some classic breakout moments...
In 2002, ultimate pop princess Britney Spears was three albums deep into her career and known for releasing epic, mini-blockbuster music videos for every new single. So it was hardly a surprise that she would've been into acting but many were when she starred in Crossroads, a coming-of-age tale about three childhood best friends finishing school and trying to figure out what the hell life is all about. It got some undeservingly harsh reviews at the time but why would you send 45-year-old dads to review a rom-com aimed at teens? It's a classic and Britney is genuinely great in it - and that is that!
In the same year that Britney played a high school leaver, Eminem starred in the gritty semi-autobiographical drama 8 Mile. Loosely based upon his own upbringing in Detroit, it saw him battle with being poor, toxic family relationships, lust and love with Britanny Murphy, and trying to be taken seriously as the only white rapper in the room. Yes, it's as good as it sounds.
Madonna, the Queen of Pop, starred in films from the very beginning of her career, making herself known as both a singer and actress simultaneously. From Desperately Seeking Susan to Dick Tracy, she had several box office successes between 1985 and 1992, however her signature movie is undoubtedly Evita. The superstar won the 1997 Golden Globe for Best Actress for her performance, which was critically acclaimed worldwide and responsible for transforming her reputation at the time. The success lead to the second imperial phase of her music career - Ray of Light, Music - in a way we think Gaga could see from A Star Is Born.
Beyoncé made her film debut in 2002 with Austin Powers In Goldmember as the hilarious and oh-so-fabulous Foxxy Cleopatra, although her big movie star moment happened five years later when she starred in the film adaptation of Dreamgirls. Alongside Jennifer Hudson, the superstar delivered an absolutely incredible performance and it still stands as one of her best, if not the best, so far.
With a voice like that, we always knew that Christina Aguilera would give us a spectacularly campy and brilliant musical one day, and she certainly didn't let us down. The pop icon made her film debut in 2010 when she starred opposite Cher (!!) in Burlesque, an original movie about a small town girl who finds her calling as the leader of a burlesque troupe. It's a classic rom-com with a ton of bangers, gorgeous looks and vocals for days. A must-see!
At this point, Rihanna has starred in quite a few films but none of the roles were necessarily that big, despite her often being pushed as the face of them in the promotional campaigns ($$$). That is until this year when we were blessed with the magical movie that is Ocean's 8 - the all-female sequel to the original trilogy. With a star-studded cast featuring Sandra Bullock and Sarah Paulson, Rihanna more than holds her own as she steals just about every single scene she's in with her wicked humour, expressions and general delivery, never mind her unbelievably cool style. We need more of this!
Rap queen Nicki Minaj made her movie debut in 2014's The Other Woman, a hilarious rom-com starring Cameron Diaz. Nicki played Diaz's funny-as-hell assistant and she was a total natural on camera, which is hardly surprising with such a dynamic personality that has constantly evolved, shocked and surprised us over the years. A harmless, fun watch! We'd like to see Nicki in something a bit deeper next time round, which is hopefully soon.
Queen. Arguably one of the best pop star-turned-movie star stories ever is Whitney Houston. She made her acting debut in The Bodyguard, the second highest-grossing film worldwide of 1992 with the best-selling soundtrack ever (as in all time!), opposite Kevin Costner. She plays a superstar diva in distress as her life descends into chaos when a stalker begins harrassing her, and it's just such a brilliant movie. Dramatic, romantic, musical, funny, sweet, scary, sad - it really has it all. Miss Whitney did that!
Words: Ross McNeilage