Rock stars and musicians have a long history of making the jump from the concert venue to the big screen. From Beyoncé to Adam Levine, here’s our list of modern-day musicians who’ve had star turns on film.
Beyoncé in ‘Dreamgirls’ (2006)
When Beyoncé sang, we couldn’t help but "listen." Critics were wowed by her performance as well as her voice – she was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for her portrayal of Deena Jones, a character inspired by the real-life Diana Ross.
Adam Levine in ‘Begin Again’ (2014)
Maroon 5’s leading man, Adam Levine, showed off his singing and acting chops in this drama starring Keira Knightley. The ballad "Lost Stars," which he performed in the film, was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song.
Ice Cube in ‘Friday’ (2003)
Having a hugely successful rap career starting with N.W.A. wasn’t the be-all and end-all for this singer-songwriter, who went on to more screen success with 'Boyz n the Hood,' ‘Friday,’ ’21 Jump Street’ and ‘Ride Along.’
Will Smith in ‘Men in Black’ (1997)
On the opposite side of the musical coin, Smith won a Grammy for his funny, radio-friendly rap tunes before breaking off to start his acting career first on TV (‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’) and becoming a huge movie star in the 1990s.
Prince in ‘Purple Rain’ (1984)
His Royal Highness reigned over the box office with this smash film and soundtrack, winning an Academy Award for the now-defunct category Best Original Song Score. Made for only $7 million, it raked in $80 million worldwide.
Eminem in ‘8 Mile’ (2002)
Eminem gave a powerful performance as a white rapper trying to break out in Detroit’s predominantly African-American hip-hop scene. His song "Lose Yourself" won the Academy Award for Best Original Song.
Whitney Houston in ‘The Bodyguard’ (1992)
Whitney Houston was already a pop phenomenon when she starred in ‘The Bodyguard’ opposite Kevin Costner. She was luminous in her big-screen debut. Without a doubt, a star was born.
Jennifer Hudson in ‘Dreamgirls’ (2006)
This Grammy winner hasn’t had a smash hit since her Academy Award-winning turn in this musical, but has worked steadily in film and now TV, in shows like the hit ‘Empire.’ She’ll next be seen in 2016 in Spike Lee’s ‘Chiraq’ with Samuel L. Jackson.
Justin Timberlake in ‘Inside Llewyn Davis’ (2013)
This art house indie by the Coen brothers featured Justin Timberlake as a folk musician married to his singing partner, played by Carey Mulligan.
Mariah Carey in ‘Precious’ (2009)
The phenomenally successful pop star is known for her vocal range, chart-topping hits and multiple awards. But her acting? Though 2001’s ‘Glitter’ earned her a Razzie, she redeemed herself as a caring social worker in ‘Precious.’