Them Pipes

May 22, 2008 | By Bridget Burns | Entertainment

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What’s cooler than being an A-list actor or supermodel? I don’t know… maybe being a rock star to boot? A number of famous faces have been releasing records or playing in bands this year. Golden girl, Scarlett Johansson’s tribute to Tom Waits; Anywhere I Lay My Head has been met with mixed reviews and a lot of skepticism. British model Agyness Deyn debuted in Five O’Clock Hero’s music video and is said to have written a handful of songs for her new band Gene Jacket. Actress Zooey Deschanel paired up with M. Ward for their project She & Him . Who knew so many actors and pretty faces had pipes to match?

Juliette Lewis has all but made the switch from thumb-sucked actress to sweaty rock goddess. Though we know actress Minnie Driver from the big screen, she actually started her career as a singer, releasing her second album in 2007. Jada Pinkett Smith played the role of the angry tough girl in Wicked Wisdom, performing at Ozzfest in 2006. The thespian to songstress switch is not a new phenomenon. Jane Birken is easily recognized as a singer though she started in acting. Jared Leto, Keanu Reeves, Paris Hilton, Gwyneth Paltrow, Russell Crow and Val Kilmer have also graced our ears with their musical efforts, though with the exception of Leto and Reeves, this dabbling in music feel more like a casual pastime.

Somehow the transition from musician to actor is accepted with greater ease by the public, except perhaps in the case of Madonna. Mark Wahlberg, Will Smith, Bette Midler and Barbara Streisand have successfully turned the corner. Even Bjork. Lyle Lovett and Deborah Harry have done some respectable dramatic work. What do you think? Are these forays into music genuine expressions of the inner songbird or an extension of an actor/model’s inflated ego?

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