Throughout the years, a tsunami of successful songsters like David Bowie, Mariah Carey and Dolly Parton have gotten ready for their proverbial close-ups on-screen. And sometimes, crooners do hit high notes in Hollywood, as evidenced by Outkast frontman André Benjamin’s stellar turn as purple hazer Jimi Hendrix in Jimi: All Is By My Side, due out on DVD later this year, and the pixie-ish Taylor Swift’s brooding revelation opposite Jeff Bridges and Meryl Streep in this month’s The Giver, a dramatic fantasy based on Lois Lowry’s beloved 1993 novel. Here are four other chart-toppers who successfully traded acetate for celluloid.
Bing Crosby: One of the best-selling recording artists of the 20th century, the crooning baritone was also one of the first musicians to leap to the silver screen, hitting his stride in White Christmas, The Bells of St. Mary’s, multiple big-screen pairings with Bob Hope and Going My Way in 1944, which won him an Oscar. According to a Quigley Publishing poll, Crosby sold more than 1 billion tickets at the box office.
Jennifer Hudson: The 32-year-old mezzo-soprano honed her chops singing in church choirs and on the third season of American Idol before releasing her 2008 debut album, which sold more than 1 million copies and won a Grammy. But it was with her stunning turn in Dreamgirls, for which she won an Academy Award, that Hudson resolutely announced to Hollywood, “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going.”
Barbra Streisand: The velvet-voiced Babs has sold more than 140 million albums worldwide and won eight Grammys, but she’s also emerged as one of the most powerful female filmmakers in Hollywood after starring in big-screen hits like Funny Girl, What’s Up, Doc? and The Way We Were. And furthermore, she’s won two Academy Awards.