Failed/Cringeworthy Celebrity Music Crossovers

When a celebrity gives up something that he or she gets paid millions to do, in order to pursue what they feel could be their “true” calling, music, most of the population cringes. Digging through these videos was like sitting through a horror movie that I couldn’t keep my eyes off of. Guaranteed to drop jaws, these are just some of the celebrities-gone-musicians that are awkwardly amazing in their own right.

Joe Pesci

In 1998, Joe Pesci announced his retirement from acting to pursue a musical career. This song is off the album Vincent Laguardia Gambini: Sings Just For You. Forgive me if I don’t oblige.

Steven Seagal

In addition to “acting” and aikido, Seagal also plays the guitar (picking with his thumb) and has a rather honey-sweet voice. Not only that, his songs have been featured in several of his movies…

Billy Bob Thorton

Unlike many people on this list, Billy Bob has taken music very seriously. So seriously, in fact, that in a recent interview in Canada, Billy Bob became beligerant when an interviewer brought up his former acting career. In this interview he went on to insult Canadian fans resulting in Billy Bob & The Boxmasters having to cancel the rest of their Canadian tour when venue owners heard of his on air tirade.

Mr. T

Be Somebody… or Be Somebody’s Fool! was a 1984 motivational video hosted by Mr. T (from The A-Team) and distributed by MCA Home Video. Encouraging children to respect elders, avoid peer pressure, and build self-confidence- this was Mr. T’s Second album after Mr T’s Commandments.

Kevin Costner

In 2007, Kevin Costner filed an $8.5 million lawsuit against Mahee Worldwide Ventures Inc. (a music promotion company) for failing to help him kick-start a hit singing career.  It’s okay Kevin Costner. You make wolves dance, and that’s what counts.

Band: Modern West

Ron Jeremy

When he got tired of inserting his “Hedgehog” into the flowerbeds of porn stars, Ron Jeremy released rap single, Freak Of The Week featuring DJ Polo. It stayed on the Billboard charts for twenty-seven weeks, in 2007.


An Entertainment Weekly review on Shaq’s 1994 album said “If this b-ball superstar brought half the attitude to the mic that he brings to his movies and product plugs, his second album, Shaq Fu-Da Return, might have some zip”.

Macho Man Randy Savage

Some of you will thank me for making you aware that the Macho King Savage attempted a rapping career in 2003. Some of you will hate me, forever.

Kobe Bryant

Another one who should have kept his balls in the court, this Kobe/Tyra duet was the title track for his album single K.O.B.E. in 2000.

Tyra Banks

Banks has appeared in several music videos, including Michael Jackson’s Black or White. In 2004, she recorded Shake Ya Body, a music video featuring the six final contestants on America’s Next Top Model, Cycle 2. It was as successful as it sounds.

Brian Austin Green

“Brian Green” began his rapping career in 1996, releasing one album, entitled One Stop Carnival. called it the “quintessential misguided celebrity record – […]pallid, uninspired, and insufferably arrogant, with no acknowledgment that its very existence rests solely on Green’s limited success as a secondary actor on a fading prime-time drama.” Ouch…

Eddie Murphy

Party All the Time was produced by none other than Rick James, who also appears in the video.  (Just in case anyone else was wondering if this was a Dave Chappelle sketch.)

Paris Hilton

Though album sales for her self-titled album Paris were low, there are many other things I hate more than this song.  Quite catchy actually.  Looked for it in my online karaoke library. In regards to the album as a whole a Guardian UK review says, “She sounds both distracted and bored stiff, as if making an album is keeping her from the more serious business of standing around a nightclub in a pair of really enormous sunglasses.”

Bruce Willis

Back in the 80’s, Bruce released an album called The Return of Bruno, promoted with a Spinal Tap-esque mockumentary. The hit song Respect Yourself was a team up with The Pointer Sisters.

Kevin Bacon

Perhaps not an entirely failed music crossover, Bacon and his brother Michael have released six albums with their band, The Bacon Brothers.

Keanu Reeves

Would this band really get any recognition if Keanu wasn’t the bassist?

Band: Dogstar

David Hasselhoff


Six of his albums have gone Platinum in Europe so, perhaps the Knight Rider bad boy/Baywatch hunk isn’t much of a failure at all. He also succeeds in epitomizing camp, so cringey he certainly is.

Jared Leto

Though some take grim pleasure remembering scenes of Jared Leto getting his faced pulverized in Fight Club–  Leto received an award for Breakthrough Crossover Artist at the 6th Annual Hollywood Life Awards, held in December 2006.

Band: 30 Seconds to Mars

Joaquin Phoenix

Reports say that Casey Affleck has been tracking Joaquin Phoenix for a documentary (or perhaps mockumentary) he is directing about Phoenix’s emerging hip hop career. The first album is reportedly being produced by Sean “Diddy” Combs, though no release date has yet been revealed.

Lindsay Lohan

Lindsay’s first album Speak was pretty well regarded as a cash-in pap. Her second album, A Little More Personal (Raw) did manage to throw some daggers at Dad. She pulled out the “troubled child” card, but few bought into it.

Corey Feldman


Here are some reviews for Corey Feldman’s album Former Child Actor:

– A potent diatribe in the manacle of life

– The best metaphor to describe Mr. Feldmans work is cheese, this is the worst thing that has ever been committed to any recorded media. Please somebody rip my ears off so that I don’t have to suffer anymore…

– Help me I think i need a shower, I have been soiled! Where’s my mommy, I need a hug, the bad man won’t stop wailing!

Phillip Michael Thomas (Ricardo Tubbs)

Thomas appeared in numerous made-for-TV movies and advertisements for telephone psychic services, so naturally he went on to pursue a music career. His 1985 album entitled Living the Book of My Life, failed to produce a hit single and records sold poorly. Co-star Don Johnson’s album Heartbeat managed to pump out a top 5 single, but both albums are considered prime examples of the hubris of successful performers.

Don Johnson

His role as Detective Sonny Crockett may have made him a star on Miami Vice– but his jump from TV star to recording artist was received quite poorly. Even despite some talented help on album Heartbeat, including Ron Wood, Willie Nelson, Barbara Streisand, Bonnie Raitt and Stevie Ray Vaughn.

Leonard Nimoy

The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins received an especially large amount of airplay when Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings films were released. Nimoy released five albums of vocal recordings during his music career, his first album titled Mr. Spock’s Music From Outer Space, including Trek-related songs such as Highly Illogical.


Posted by svong 24. September 2009 at 1:06 pm :

ahahahahahah always like that mister T wonder hit!


Posted by Wee Willie 24. September 2009 at 4:31 pm :

Billy Bob is an ass and is no longer welcome in Canada. He’s like mashed potatoes – without the gravy.

Posted by gagrin 24. September 2009 at 11:21 pm :

hey put a twitter button so we want to tweet it, its just a click away….amazing blog…:))

Posted by svong 25. September 2009 at 9:48 am :

And what about Juliette Lewis’ JULIETTE & THE LICKS?


for a “joke” band, they are pretty good!

Posted by Ron Moses 25. September 2009 at 12:20 pm :

Good of you to mention all those talented helpers in the Don Johnson paragraph, but since he’s standing right there in the screen shot would it have hurt to throw Dweezil Zappa a little lovin’?

Posted by Bryan 25. September 2009 at 2:07 pm :

The Mr. T one and the Joe Pesci one are fantastic.

Here are two other great ones that weren’t on this list:

Carl Lewis – “Break It Up”

Joey Lawrence – “Nothin’ My Love Can’t Fix”

Posted by Jack Isidore 25. September 2009 at 4:00 pm :

WAIT! How could you forget Dr. Jack Kevorkian’s jazz album? No joke– the American pioneer of assisted suicide released “The Kevorkian Suite” in 1997. Dr. Death plays the flute. This jazz atrocity sounds like Kenny G on downers.

Posted by CreamKreator 26. September 2009 at 1:48 am :

WHen you say that “The Hoff” has sold Platinum in Europe don’t mess the whole continent in on that. He sold platinum in Germany….and we all know how great their music taste is…

Posted by Elcorin 27. September 2009 at 1:56 am : to GoogleReader!

Posted by Mitch 27. September 2009 at 2:41 am :

Well, it takes a lot of heat, but back in 1985, I don’t know anyone who didn’t have at least the 12-inch single of that Eddie Murphy song, including me. It was a dance classic at the time, and only over time has it kind of become a joke. It’s too bad, because it really was a great club song.

The rest,… pitiful.

Posted by Elzombino 27. September 2009 at 3:12 am :

WTF…Kevin Kostner never ONCE strummed that guitar he had strapped around his neck. there’s a difference between a music career and singing karaoke…

Posted by Derek 27. September 2009 at 6:04 pm :

30 Seconds to Mars – I dont think you can consider them failed. I didnt even know the lead singer was an actor but the band has done all right and has quite a large fan base

Posted by Zerosober 29. September 2009 at 7:58 pm :

I was amazed AMAZED!!! that STEPHEN SEGAL could actually sing!?!?!

Posted by Zoroaster 1. October 2009 at 1:38 pm :

You forgot about Vinnie Chase!!! Adrian Grenier is in a band called The Honey Brothers. He normally drums, but sometimes he “sings”

Posted by Nikki 6. October 2009 at 2:05 pm :

Hehe… Bilbo Baggins

Posted by Eremeeff 8. October 2009 at 1:52 am :

Super post, Need to mark it on Digg

Posted by Skuespillere som synger… « Link-helvete 9. October 2009 at 3:04 pm :

[…] Karaoke Lounge» Failed/Cringeworthy Celebrity Music Crossovers […]

Posted by Just Jennifer 19. October 2009 at 7:25 am :

OMG LOL they’re kinda terrible but a couple of them are pretty good.

Posted by Dirnov 22. October 2009 at 3:27 am : – da best. Keep it going!

Posted by Scizzle 24. October 2009 at 5:37 pm :

So is no one going to comment on the fact that Bruce WIliis was a drummer before he started acting?

Come on…

Posted by dan 30. October 2009 at 9:57 am :

This is one of the best things ive seen in ages

Posted by jen 12. January 2011 at 3:16 pm :

OMFG!! Corey Feldman’s dancing is so effing funny!!! What a loser!!

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