Saturday, April 21, 2012

A Comprehensive Guide to 200 Rock and Pop Stars Who Have Acted in Movies




I’ve only included people from the rock era (1954 onwards), so people like Frank Sinatra have been left out, and stars of jazz, blues, and world music have also been excluded, though I have included a few pop stars from non English-speaking countries if they are internationally known and country music stars if they have had cross-over success and are known in the wider ‘pop music world’.

The names included here are all people who first became famous in the music world and then moved to films, not film stars who’ve dabbled in music or models who’ve gone on to work in both music and movies.

Documentaries and concert films are irrelevant to this list. These are all roles in fiction films. For a very few the role just consists of the singer performing a musical number within the story (Jarvis Cocker in Harry Potter and the Goblet in Fire, for example) but the vast majority are ‘proper’ acting roles.

I have included films like Hard Day’s Night and Spice World that consist of a storyline interspersed with songs and where the singers more or less play themselves. These are, after all, fictional stories with scripted lines. However, I’ve just listed them under the band name, not under individual band-member names.


  1. 50 Cent - Get Rich or Die Tryin' (2005)
  2. Aimee Mann - The Big Lebowski (1998) 
  3. Al Green - Putney Swope (1969) Beverly Hills Cop III (1994)
  4. Alanis Morrisette - Dogma (1999) (as God) Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001)
  5. Alice Cooper - Prince Of Darkness (1987) Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991)
  6. Andre 3000 - Hollywood Homicide (2003) Four Brothers (2005) Idlewild (2006)
  7. Annie Lennox -  Revolution (1985)
  8. Anthony Keidis - Point Break (1991) The Chase (1994)
  9. Aretha Franklin - The Blues Brothers (1980) Blues Brothers 2000 (1998)
  10. Arlo Guthrie - Alice’s Restaurant (1969) Renaldo and Clara (1978)
  11. Art Garfunkel - Catch-22 (1970) Carnal Knowledge (1971)  Bad Timing (1980)
  12. Ashley Walters - Bullet Boy (2004) Get Rich or Die Tryin' (2005)
  13. Avril Lavigne - Fast Food Nation (2006)
  14. Axl Rose - The Dead Pool (1988)
  15. Beach Boys - The Girls on the Beach (1965) The Monkey's Uncle (1965)
  16. Beatles - A Hard Day’s Night (1964) Help! (1965) 
  17. Beck - Southlander: Diary of a Desperate Musician (2001) 
  18. Bee Gees - Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1978)
  19. Beth Orton - Southlander: Diary of a Desperate Musician (2001) 
  20. Beyonce Knowles - The Fighting Temptations (2003) Cadillac Records (2008) others
  21. Bill Haley & the Comets - Rock Around the Clock (1956) Don't Knock the Rock (1956)
  22. Billy Preston - Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1978) Blues Brothers 2000 (1998)
  23. Bjork - Dancer in the Dark (2000)
  24. Bob Dylan - Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid (1973) Renaldo and Clara (1978)
  25. Bob Geldof - Pink Floyd The Wall (1982) Number One (1984)
  26. Bob Marley - Third World (1980)
  27. Bobby Darin - Too Late Blues (1961) Captain Newman A.D. (1964) others
  28. Bobby Vinton - Surf Party (1964) Harlow (1965) Big Jake (1971)
  29. Bono - Across the Universe (2007)
  30. Britney Spears - Crossroads (2002)
  31. Bryan Ferry - Breakfast on Pluto (2005)
  32. Carly Simon - Taking Off (1971) Perfect (1985)
  33. Cat Power - My Blueberry Nights (2007)
  34. Cher - Silkwood (1983) Moonstruck (1987) many others
  35. Chris Isaak - Married to the Mob (1988) The Silence Of The Lambs (1991) Little Buddha (1993) many others 
  36. Chris Martin - Bruno (2009)
  37. Chuck Berry - Rock Rock Rock! (1956) Mister Rock and Roll (1957)
  38. Cilla Black - Work Is a 4-Letter Word (1968)  
  39. Clare Grogan - Gregory’s Girl (1981) Comfort and Joy (1984)
  40. Cliff Richard - Expresso Bongo (1959) Summer Holiday (1963)
  41. Courtney Love - Sid and Nancy (1986) Straight To Hell (1987) The People vs. Larry Flynt (1996)
  42. Curtis Mayfield - Short Eyes (1977) Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1978)
  43. Damon Alban - Face (1997)
  44. Darlene Love - Lethal Weapon (1987) and its 3 sequels
  45. Dave Stewart - Hackers (1995)
  46. David Bowie - The Man Who Fell To Earth (1975) Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence (1983) The Prestige (2006) many others
  47. David Byrne - True Stories (1986) 
  48. David Essex - That’ll Be the Day (1973) Stardust (1974) Silver Dream Racer (1980) 
  49. Debbie Harry - Union City (1980) Videodrome (1983) Copland (1997) many others
  50. Dennis Wilson - Two Lane Blacktop (1971)
  51. Diana Ross - Lady Sings the Blues (1972) Mahogany (1975) The Wiz (1978)
  52. Dolly Parton - 9 to 5 (1980) The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (1982) Steel Magnolias (1989)
  53. Donnie Wahlberg - Sixth Sense (1999) Dreamcathcher (2003) many others
  54. Dwight Yoakim - Sling Blade (1996) Wedding Crashers (2005) The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada (2005) many others
  55. Eddie Cochran - Untamed Youth (1957) 
  56. Elliott Smith - Southlander: Diary of a Desperate Musician (2001) 
  57. Elvis Costello - No Surrender (1985) 
  58. Elvis Presley - Jailhouse Rock (1957) King Creole (1958) many others
  59. Eminem - 8 Mile (2002)
  60. Enrique Iglesias - Desperado (1995) Once Upon a Time in Mexico (2003)
  61. Eric Clapton - Tommy (1975) Blues Brothers 2000 (1998)
  62. Erykah Badu - Blues Brothers 2000 (1998) The Cider House Rules (1999) 
  63. Fabian - North to Alaska (1960) The Longest Day (1962) many others
  64. Fats Domino - The Girl Can't Help It (1956) Shake, Rattle & Rock! (1956)
  65. Flea - Psycho (1998) The Big Lebowski (1998) others
  66. Frankie Avalon - The Alamo (1960) Grease (1978) many others
  67. Fred Durst - Zoolander (2001) Be Cool (2005) 
  68. Gary Kemp - The Krays (1990)
  69. Gene Simmons - Be Cool (2005)
  70. George Harrison - Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1978) Life of Brian (1979) Shanghai Surprise (1986)
  71. Glen Campbell - True Grit (1969)
  72. Glen Hansard - The Commitments (1991) Once (2006)
  73. Gloria Estafan - Music of the Heart (1999) 
  74. Grace Jones - Conan the Destroyer (1984) A View To A Kill (1985) many others
  75. Gwen Stefani - The Aviator (2004)
  76. Hazel O’Connor - Breaking Glass (1980) 
  77. Henry Rollins - Johnny Mnemonic (1995) Heat (1995) many others
  78. Hugh Cornwell - Eat the Rich (1988)
  79. Ian Dury - The Cook The Thief His Wife & Her Lover (1989) Judge Dredd (1995) many others
  80. Ice Cube - Boys N The Hood (1991) xXx: State of the Union (2005) 21 Jump Street (2012) many others
  81. Ice T - New Jack City (1991) Tank Girl (1995) many others
  82. Iggy Pop - The Color of Money (1986)  Dead Man (1995) Coffee And Cigarettes (2003) many others
  83. Isaac Hayes - Escape from New York (1981) Blues Brothers 2000 (1998) Hustle & Flow (2005) many others
  84. Jack White  - Coffee and Cigarettes (2003) Cold Mountain (2003) Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story (2007)
  85. Jackie DeShannon - Surf Party (1964)
  86. James Brown - The Blues Brothers (1980) Rocky IV (1985) Blues Brothers 2000 (1998)
  87. James Taylor - Two Lane Blacktop (1971) Funny People (2009)
  88. Janet Jackson - Poetic Justice (1993)
  89. Jarvis Cocker - Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)
  90. Jay-Z - State Property (2002) 
  91. Jennifer Lopez - U-Turn (1997) Out Of Sight (1998) Monster-in-Law (2005) many others
  92. Jerry Lee Lewis - High School Confidential! (1958)
  93. Jimi Hendrix - Pysch-Out (1968)
  94. Jimmy Cliff - The Harder They Come (1972) Club Paradise (1996)
  95. Joan Baez - Renaldo and Clara (1978)
  96. Joe Strummer - Rude Boy (1980) Straight To Hell (1987) Mystery Train (1989) 
  97. Joey Ramone - Hard Core Logo (1996)
  98. John Bonham - Son of Dracula (1974)
  99. John Cale - Rhinoceros Hunting in Budapest (1997)
  100. John Lennon - How I Won The War (1967)
  101. John Paul Jones - Give My Regards to Broad Street (1984)
  102. John Sebastien - Messengers (2004)
  103. Johnny Hallyday - Detective (1985) Man on the Train (2002) The Pink Panther 2 (2009)
  104. Jon Bon Jovi - U-571 (2000) New Year's Eve (2011) others
  105. Jonny Greenwood - Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)
  106. Julian Cope - The Wall (1998)
  107. Julie Covington - Ascendancy (1983)
  108. Justin Timberlake - Black Snake Moan (2006) The Social Network (2010) In Time (2011) many others
  109. Kanye West - The Love Guru (2008) 
  110. KD Lang - Salmonberries (1991) The Black Dahlia (2006)
  111. Keith Moon - 200 Motels (1971) Stardust (1975) Tommy (1975)
  112. Kris Kristofferson - Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (1974) Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore (1974) Heaven's Gate (1980) many others
  113. Kylie Minogue - Street Fighter (1994) Moulin Rouge (2001) others
  114. L’il Kim - She’s All That (1999) Zoolander (2001)
  115. Laurie Anderson - Hotel Deutschland (1992)
  116. Lauryn Hill -  King of the Hill (1993)
  117. Lenny Kravitz - Precious (2009) The Hunger Games (2012)
  118. Leonard Cohen - The Ernie Game (1967)
  119. Levon Helm - Coal Miner’s Daughter (1980) The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada (2005) Shooter (2007) many others
  120. Lou Reed - One Trick Pony (1980) Blue in the Face (1995) Prozac Nation (2001)
  121. Lovin Spoonful - What’s Up Tiger Lily (1966)
  122. Lulu - To Sir, with Love (1967)
  123. Lyle Lovett - The Player (1992) Short Cuts (1993) The Opposite of Sex (1998)
  124. Macy Gray - Training Day (2001) Around The World In 80 Days (2004) Domino (2005) others
  125. Madonna - Desperately Seeking Susan (1985) Dick Tracy (1990) Evita (1996) many others
  126. Malcolm McLaren - The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle (1980) 
  127. Mama Cass Elliot - Pufnstuf (1970)
  128. Mandy Moore - The Princess Diaries (2001) A Walk to Remember (2002)
  129. Mariah Carey - Glitter (2001) Precious (2009)
  130. Marianne Faithful - made in USA (1966) Girl On A Motorcycle (1968) Marie Antoinette (2006) many others
  131. Marilyn Manson - Lost Highway (1997) The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things (2004)
  132. Mark Wahlberg - The Departed (2006) The Fighter (2010) many others 
  133. Martin Kemp - The Krays (1990)
  134. Meatloaf - Fight Club (1999) Wayne’s World (1992) Spice World (1997) many others
  135. Michael Hutchence - Dogs in Space (1986) Frankenstein Unbound (1990)
  136. Michael Jackson - The Wiz (1978) Men in Black 11 (2002)
  137. Michael Stipe - Color of a Brisk and Leaping Day (1996) 
  138. Mick Jagger - Ned Kelly (1970) Performance (1970) Bent (1997) 
  139. Moby - Suck (2009)
  140. Monkees - Head (1968) 
  141. Mos Def - The Woodsman (2004) 16 Blocks (2006) Be Kind Rewind (2008) many others
  142. Nancy Sinatra - The Oscar (1966) The Wild Angels (1966) Speedway (1968)
  143. Neil Diamond - The Jazz Singer (1980)
  144. Neil Young - Made in Heaven (1987) Greendale (2003)
  145. Nick Cave - Wings of Desire (1987) Johnny Suede (1991) The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007) 
  146. Norah Jones- My Blueberry Nights (2007)
  147. Ozzy Osbourne -  Little Nicky (2000)
  148. Paul McCartney - Give My Regards to Broad Street (1984)
  149. Paul Simon - Annie Hall (1977) One Trick Pony (1980)
  150. Pete Townsend - White City (1985)
  151. Peter Frampton - Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1978) Almost Famous (2000) 
  152. Phil Collins -  A Hard Day's Night (1964) Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968) (both very minor, uncredited roles when he was a teenager) Buster (1988)
  153. PJ Harvey - The Book of Life (1998)
  154. Pointer Sisters - Car Wash (1976)
  155. Prince - Purple Rain (1984) Under the Cherry Moon (1986)
  156. Queen Latifah - Set It Off (1996) The Dilemma (2011) many others
  157. Rachel Stevens - Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo (2005)
  158. Randy Newman - Leatherheads (2008)
  159. Ray Charles - The Blues Brothers (1980) Spy Hard (1996)
  160. Ray Davies - Absolute Beginners (1986)
  161. Ricky Nelson - The Story of Three Loves (1953) Rio Bravo (1959)
  162. Ringo Starr - Candy (1968) The Magic Christian (1969) Lisztomania (1975) many others
  163. Robbie Robertson - Carny (1980) The Crossing Guard (1995)
  164. Roger Daltry - Tommy (1975) Lisztomania (1975) McVicar (1980)
  165. Roland Gift - Tin Men (1987) Sammy And Rosie Get Laid (1987) Scandal (1989)
  166. Ronnie Hawkins - Renaldo and Clara (1978) Heaven’s Gate (1980)
  167. Roy Orbison - The Fastest Guitar Alive (1967) 
  168. Rufus Thomas - Mystery Train (1989) Great Balls of Fire! (1989) Cookie's Fortune (1999) 
  169. S Club 7 - Seeing Double (2003)
  170. Sacha Distel - Zazie Dans Le Métro (1960) La Bonne Soupe (1964) 
  171. Sade - Absolute Beginners (1986)
  172. Sandie Shaw - Absolute Beginners (1986) Eat the Rich (1988)
  173. Sean Combs (AKA Puff Daddy, P Diddy) - Made (2001) Monster's Ball (2001)
  174. Sex Pistols - The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle (1980)
  175. Shane MacGowan - Straight To Hell (1987) Eat the Rich (1988)
  176. Shaznay Lewis - Bend It Like Beckham (2002)
  177. Sinead O’Connor - Wuthering Heights (1992) The Butcher Boy (1997)
  178. Smokey Robinson - Hollywood Homicide (2003)
  179. Snoop Dogg - Training Day (2001) Starsky & Hutch (2004) many others
  180. Sonny Bono - Airplane II: The Sequel (1982) Hairspray (1988) others
  181. Spice Girls -  Spice World (1997)
  182. Steve Cropper - The Blues Brothers (1980) Blues Brothers 2000 (1998) 
  183. Sting - Quadrophenia (1979) Dune (1984) Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998) many others
  184. Strawberry Alarm Clock - Psych-Out (1968) Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (1970)
  185. Taylor Swift - Valentine's Day (2010)
  186. Ted Nugent - Tapeheads (1988) A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child (1989)
  187. Thomas Dolby - Howard the Duck (1986)
  188. Tina Turner - Tommy (1975) Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985) Last Action Hero (1993)
  189. Tom Waits - Down By Law (1986) Short Cuts (1993) The Book of Eli (2010) many others
  190. Tone Loc - Heat (1995) Spy Hard (1996) many others
  191. Toni Basil - Easy Rider (1969)
  192. Tori Amos - Mona Lisa Smile (2003)
  193. Toyah Wilcox - Jubilee (1978) The Tempest (1979) The Power of Three (2011) 
  194. Tricky - The Fifth Element (1997)
  195. Tupac Shakur - Juice (1992) Poetic Justice (1993) Gridlock’d (1997) others
  196. Usher - The Faculty (1998) She's All That (1999) 
  197. Vanessa Paradis - The Girl on the Bridge (1999) many others
  198. Vanilla Ice - Cool as Ice (1991) 
  199. Whitney Houston - The Bodyguard (1992) Waiting to Exhale (1995) The Preacher's Wife (1996)
  200. Yardbirds - Blow-Up (1966)

Honourable Mention 1: Phil Spector, not a pop star as such, but still one of the most famous names in pop music as a producer. He appeared in Easy Rider (1969)


Honourable Mention 2: Brian Eno, not in a movie but a TV series, Father Ted, in 1998. He plays ‘Father Brian Eno’!

2 comments:

  1. Hello,
    I enjoy reading a lot and your stories are worth reading, nice blog, keep it up.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for the comment, Electronic Anemometer. Much appreciated.

    ReplyDelete