The List: 10 actors turned musicians ranked from worst to best

By
From the June 19, 2014 edition

With former “Friday Night Lights” actor Alejandro Rose-Garcia bringing his musical talents to town under the name Shakey Graves, we’re ranking some notable examples of actors turned musicians, from worst to best.

10. Lindsay Lohan

The talented young actress made the leap to mediocre dance-pop artist with her debut album, Speak, which one review likened to Avril Lavigne. And that was one of the good reviews.

9. Eddie Murphy

The comedian’s vanity music project did produce one solid single in “Party All the Time,” but it definitely owed more to co-writer/producer Rick James than Murphy’s vocals.

8. William Shatner

Captain Kirk’s earnest spoken-word readings of songs like “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” are legendary, but is the humor intentional?

7. David Hasselhoff

Sorry, Germany. We don’t get it.

6. Jared Leto

The former Jordan Catalano actor has seen a lot of success fronting his mediocre modern rock band 30 Seconds to Mars, and his Oscar win for “Dallas Buyers Club” hasn’t changed that.

5. Scarlett Johansson

Scar-Jo released an album of Tom Waits covers that, despite sounding like a terrible idea, did not suck.

4. Ryan Gosling

Gosling’s brooding acting style and swoonworthy status make the leap to rock star a short one, but his dark and folky musical project Dead Man’s Bones released an album featuring a children’s choir that was way better than it had any right to be.

3. Zooey Deschanel

The quirky “New Girl” actress is a polarizing figure, but whether you love her or hate her, you have to admit she’s the perfect fit for her ongoing musical collaboration with M. Ward, She & Him.

2. Taylor Momsen

The child actress (she played Cindy Lou Who in 2000’s “The Grinch”) who became a star of “Gossip Girl” now fronts the hard-rock band The Pretty Reckless. And she’s surprisingly awesome at it.

1. Steve Martin

Martin famously incorporated his banjo into his stand-up act in the ’70s, and he never put the instrument down. He now tours as a bluegrass musician and has played both the Grand Ole Opry and Bonnaroo.