16 Actors Who Wowed Us with Their Singing Chops
by Jennifer Lafferty
Not every singer can act, and not every actor can sing, but when an entertainer possesses the ability to do both—watch out world. Sometimes we don’t realize that a popular actor can sing at all, until they deliver an impressive musical performance like Nicole Kidman’s stellar vocals in Moulin Rouge! Check out these actors who wowed us with their singing chops.
We got a sampling of what Anne Hathaway was capable of when she sang while co-hosting the Oscars in 2011, but fans were amazed by her performance the following year as Fantine in epic musical Les Miserables.
Gwyneth Paltrow showed off her singing voice in the 2000 film Duets. After playing a country music star in Country Strong, Paltrow hinted at a singing career, saying she had: “an opportunity to discover this whole new side to myself.”
After singing in several projects over the years, including a production of Guys and Dolls, we’re well aware of Ewan McGregor’s musical talent. But fans were shocked when he first demonstrated his vocal prowess in 2001’s Moulin Rouge!.
Listening to her sultry speaking voice, it makes sense that Scarlett Johansson would be a good singer. In 2012 she was featured on the Oscar-nominated song Before My Time for the documentary Chasing Ice.
The amazing actors who starred in the hit Broadway musical Chicago set the bar high for singing. Renee Zellweger more than met the challenge in the film adaptation, belting out popular numbers like Roxie and Nowadays.
Another Chicago cast member who wowed audiences with her dynamic singing voice was Catherine Zeta-Jones, who won an Oscar for her performance. In addition to duets with co-stars, she dazzled us with her solo version of All That Jazz.
After 25 years in showbiz, Hugh Grant finally showed off his singing ability in the 2007 romantic comedy Music & Lyrics. Grant’s range may have been limited, but he was convincing as a former boy band crooner.
Nicole Kidman’s country music star husband, Keith Urban, isn’t the only singer in the family. Kidman dosen’t sing often but when she does, it’s a special treat, like her performance in the 2001 musical Moulin Rouge!.
With her incredible acting talent, you wouldn’t think Meryl Streep would also be able to sing, and it was a little known skill until her role in 2008’s Mamma Mia! She followed up with more musicals like Into the Woods and Ricki and the Flash.
Kevin Bacon’s dance ability is well known, but that’s not where his affinity for music ends. The actor is a talented singer, performing with older brother Michael as country folk duo The Bacon Brothers.
Amy Adams’ lovely singing voice was well-suited for the fairy tale-themed Enchanted. Although comfortable with musicals, Adams is aware of her limitations, saying: “I’m realistic about where my voice sits, and it doesn’t sit in the pop world.”
Carey Mulligan is adding some impressive music credits to her resume. The actress, who’s married to musician Marcus Mumford, sang with Justin Timberlake for Inside Llewyn Davis and was featured on Belle & Sebastian’s album Write About Love.
Although Ryan Gosling has been singing since The Mickey Mouse Club, the actor didn’t start his serious music career until he became lead singer for the indie folk band Dead Man’s Bones in 2007.
Jonathan Rhys Meyers
Jonathan Rhys Meyers memorably portrayed rock music legend Elvis Presley in the popular 2005 TV movie Elvis, but not everyone knows he’s an accomplished singer himself, recording songs for the films August Rush and Velvet Goldmine.
Zooey Deschanel first became famous as an actress, but music was always one of her biggest passions. The star has had real success as a singer, especially performing with her She & Him collaborator M. Ward.