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15 Musicians Who Can Actually Act

David Bowie

It is no surprise that the theatricality of David Bowie’s stage performance would translate well to the big screen. He has shined in lead roles in films such as The Man Who Fell to Earth  and Labyrinth, but he also had the ability to stand out in supporting performances, such as in The Prestige. Bowie also found himself on the TV screen with roles in shows like Extras and Dream On, and in 2003 he even won a Daytime Emmy! 

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Not only did Cher take up acting in the 1980s, but she also she picked up an impressive list of accolades along the way. Her performance in Silkwood led to a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress, and a few years later she would take home Oscar gold for her comedic performance in Moonstruck.

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Jennifer Lopez

Whether she is teaching Robin Williams about diversity in Jack  or holding her own next to George Clooney in Out of Sight, Jennifer Lopez packs quite a punch. Though she has appeared in some less-than-incredible films (Gigli, The Boy Next Door) she always reminds us of her acting abilities. Catch her now on the NBS series Shades of Blue.

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Mandy Moore

Mandy Moore’s filmography might even be more impressive than her music career. She made us cry in A Walk to Remember, laugh in Saved!, and sing along in Tangled. With 21 films on her resume, it is safe to say that she has made her mark on Hollywood.

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With one of the most impressive acting careers of any rapper, Ludacris has been praised for his work in films such as Gamer, Crash, and Hustle and Flow. Many audiences will remember Ludacris for his role as Tej Parker in the Fast and Furious  franchise.

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Jennifer Hudson

The emotion Jennifer Hudson brings to her music career is just as moving in her film performances. She is probably best remembered for Dreamgirls, a role that would earn her an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. And who could forget her scrubbing blood off the street in Chi-raq?

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Justin Timberlake

Though we'll always hold The Love Guru  against him, Justin Timberlake brought his comedic charm to movies such as Friends With Benefits and Bad Teacher. Timberlake’s finest role is undoubtedly Napster founder Sean Parker in the critically acclaimed The Social Network.

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LL Cool J

LL Cool J made memorable appearances in several movies in the 1990s, such as Any Given Sunday, Halloween: H20, Toys, and Deep Blue Sea. Since 2009, he has starred alongside Chris O’Donnell in the CBS crime drama NCIS: Los Angeles. LL Cool J has come a long way since “Mama Said Knock You Out.”

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Tom Waits

His beatnik-inspired music isn’t for everyone, but the elusive Tom Waits has taken his love of performance to the big screen for multiple decades, in films such as The Outsiders, The Fisher King, and Shortcuts. He is probably best known for his collaborations with director Jim Jarmusch (Down By Law, Mystery Train, Coffee and Cigarettes).

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Frank Sinatra

Ol’ Blue Eyes is best known for his booming voice, but he also had a string of memorable movie performances. He showed his acting talent in films such as The Man With the Golden Arm, The Manchurian Candidate, and From Here to Eternity, which won him an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.

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Ice-T rose to fame in the 1980s as a rapper, but before long he had found his way to the silver screen as well, with roles in films such as Breakin' and Tank Girl. However, as an actor, he's probably most famously known for potraying detective "Fin" Tutuola on Law and Order: Special Victims Unit

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Dolly Parton

Dolly Parton has made her mark as one of the most influential women in country music, but she's tried her hand at acting once or twice too! Her most famous roles include secretary Doralee Rhodes in 9 to 5 and beautician Truvy Jones in Steel Magnolias

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Let's be honest—there isn't much Beyonce can't do! And that includes acting. While she has more than ten films to her name, her most famous role came in 2006 when she portrayed Deena Jones in the musical film Dreamgirls.

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Lenny Kravitz

Unlike some of the other musicians on this list, Lenny Kravitz has frequently appeared as himself in films—including Zoolander, Zoolander 2, and The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. However, his most famous role was as nurse John in the hit film Precious, which nabbed him several high-profile award nominations. 

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Michael Jackson

The King of Pop doesn't have a very long filmography, but it's the quality of the roles that count. And you can't find much better than his portrayal of the Scarecrow in the classic hit musical The Wiz. 

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