10 Worst Attempts at a Music Career by Famous Actors

Actors. Sure, they could have stuck with their tried-and-true profession as master thespians and just left well enough alone, but what fun is that? We commend those who had the moxie to throw caution to the wind in the interest of art.

These actors ventured into music only to discover that they should have stuck to the silver screen, the small screen, or any screen that would have them. Some of these attempts are hilarious, some are baffling, but none needed to be made. We’ve included review excerpts from critics who didn’t like this stuff one bit.

Bruce Willis

Album cover for "The Return of Bruno" featuring a photograph of a man with short dark hair, wearing a black shirt, smiling slightly at the camera. The text includes "BRUCE WILLIS" in yellow at the top left and "THE RETURN OF BRUNO" in pink at the bottom left.
via Wikimedia commons

“The Return of Bruno” is the 1987 debut studio album by Bruce Willis. Released by Motown Records, it has a strong resume, containing contributions from such artists as Booker T. Jones, the Pointer Sisters, and the Temptations. But alas, Willis did not have much of a singing voice, causing Stephen Thomas Erlewine to write in AllMusic that “‘The Return of Bruno’ isn’t anything more than a kitsch artifact; the album stands more as a testament to the excesses of Reagan-era celebrity and baby-boomer nostalgia than as a piece of music.”

Listen: ‘Down in Hollywood’

Lindsay Lohan

Album cover titled "Speak" featuring a person with long, brown hair posing against a gray background. The name "Lindsay Lohan" is written at the top in pink, and various graphics including stars, lightning bolts, and a guitar decorate the cover.
via amazon.com

LiLo’s 2004 debut album, “Speak,” was the sound of a star on the ascent, and it hit the Billboard Top 10, eventually selling over a million copies. The following year, she was back with “A Little More Personal (Raw),” which contained laments about her rapidly unraveling personal life and undid the bubblegum pop of her debut. Writing in Rolling Stone, Brian Hiatt said of her takes on “I Want You to Want Me” and
“Edge of Seventeen,” “that Lohan sounds “like a high school talent-show winner.”

Listen: ‘Rumors’

Russell Crowe

A close-up image of a CD titled "Other Ways of Speaking" by Russell Crowe & 30 Odd Foot of Grunts. The cover features a black-and-white portrait of Russell Crowe looking directly into the camera with a serious expression. The background is white with text.
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Russell Crowe was the frontman for the band 30 Odd Foot of Grunts. It’s relatively apparent that no one would have given this band the time of day if Crowe hadn’t been involved. His voice is not terrible, but Dan Silver wrote in the NME that their third and final album, 2003’s “Other Ways Of Speaking,” was “a deeply dull record – the ballads are overblown, the uptempo numbers nondescript and the lyrics laughable.” However, he said that the live cover of Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues” that concludes the album wasn’t terrible.

Listen: ‘Other Ways of Speaking’

Steven Seagal

A man with slicked-back hair sternly looks at the camera while holding an electric guitar. The text on the image reads "Steven Seagal: Songs from the Crystal Cave." He is wearing a black shirt and a bracelet, with a light purple background.
Via Amazon.com

“Mojo Priest” is the second album by action movie star Steven Seagal, released after his 2004 debut album “Songs from the Crystal Cave.” Thom Jurek wrote in AllMusic that the album was making some kind of attempt at urban blues without having any of the necessary fire or grit to make it work. “All of this music takes itself so seriously that it borders on delusional excess,” Jurek said. “‘BBQ’ sounds like it’s trying to call forth Son Seals from the grave but the late, great bluesman is probably turning in it instead.”

Listen: ‘Strut’

Paris Hilton

The image shows the cover of Paris Hilton's debut album. She is posing in a glamorous setting wearing a beige dress. The cover features text that reads: "PARIS" and "Paris Hilton Debut Album featuring 'Stars Are Blind,' 'Turn It Up,' and 'Jealousy.'
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“Paris” is the 2006 debut studio album by Paris Hilton, media personality and star of the 2005 “House of Wax” remake.” Nobody needed to be told it was garbage, but the critics reviewed it anyway. In the London-based music publication MusicOMH, Tim Lee wrote, “Having molested the worlds of television, publishing and, uh, ‘home’ movies, the latest outlet to come under attack from the Hilton talent vacuum is music. And her debut album is, appropriately enough, a vacuous hole of a record devoid of anything approaching a personality or a point.”

Listen: ‘Stars Are Blind’

Joe Pesci

Album cover titled "Little Joe Sure Can Sing!" featuring a man in a black turtleneck photographed in dim lighting against a black background. The text is in bold, blue and white letters. Arranger and conductor credit appears at the bottom left.
Via Wikimedia Commons

Joe Pesci worked as a lounge singer early in his career, so there’s reason to believe a record featuring his velvet pipes might be worth checking out. Instead, we got “Vincent LaGuardia Gambini Sings Just for You,” sung by his character in “My Cousin Vinny.” Michael Gallucci of AllMusic was not amused, characterizing the record as an excuse for Pesci to make jokes that didn’t land. “His nasally New York tones translate directly onto record about as subtly as a mob hit,” he wrote.

Listen: ‘Yo Cousin Vinny’

Minnie Driver

The cover of the album "Everything I’ve Got in My Pocket" by Minnie Driver features a close-up, partially visible image of the artist's face with a soft, light-toned background. The artist's name and album title are written in a simple, elegant font.
Via amazon.com

In 2004, actor Minnie Driver released the folk-ish album “Everything I’ve Got in My Pocket.” It did alright on the charts, and some of it isn’t half bad. However, Thom Jurek of AllMusic gave her a review that suggested no one would care about this album if a famous actor hadn’t made it. “Records come out like this every single day – she shouldn’t quit her day job.”

Listen: ‘Everything I’ve Got In My Pocket’

Jeremy Renner

A person with short hair, wearing a black leather jacket, faces away from the camera and sits at a piano in a dimly lit room. The text "THE MEDICINE" is at the top and "JEREMY RENNER" is at the bottom of the image.

Jeremy Renner is an acclaimed actor who’s been nominated for an Oscar, but the universe being what it is, he’s most famous for playing Hawkeye in Marvel movies. He’s released music before, and according to Eugenia Agobe of Southwestern University’s Megaphone, “He isn’t a singer, but undaunted by the constraints of reality, he’s released an album anyway.” Ultimately, she had to conclude that his album “The Medicine” qualified as “technically music in the same way that Soylent is technically food: it’s definitely trying, but it’ll never be able to pass for the real thing.”

Listen: ‘The Medicine’

Corey Feldman

Album cover of "Angelic 2 The Core" by Corey Feldman. It shows Corey in a black outfit kneeling with a guitar while two women dressed as angels stand beside him. The background features lava and a sky with clouds and a golden ribbon displaying the album title.
via amazon.com

Corey Feldman is an actor best known for starring in such movies as “Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter,” “The Goonies,” and “Stand by Me” as a lad. He had difficulty transitioning into adult roles and the fact that he used to hang out with Michael Jackson caused him all kinds of side-eye. Still, he harbored dreams of being a musician and released several albums between 1992 and 2016. When promoting “Angelic 2 the Core” in 2016, he performed on the “Today Show.” The performance went viral for all the wrong reasons, with Rolling Stone saying he was “delivering spasmodic dance moves.”

Listen: ‘Go 4 it’

Brie Larson

A young woman with long blonde hair, wearing a white sleeveless top and red pants, sits on a school desk with one leg resting on the seat. Behind her, colorful graffiti spells out "Brie Larson" and "Finally Out of P.E." on a chalkboard.
via amazon.com

Brie Larson has been in the public eye since she was a teenager, and as an actor, she’s really distinguished herself. But before starring in the title role in “Captain Marvel” and appearing in “Fast X,” she was in teen comedies and trying to build a music career off of that. “Finally Out of P.E.” was her only album. No one trashed it or called it a crime against humanity, but it was considered highly forgettable. She’s had much success as an actor, so here’s to the cosmos for pushing her in that direction.

Listen: ‘She Said’