VOICE OVER: Phoebe de Jeu
WRITTEN BY: Nathan Sharp
These celebs are talented behind a microphone as well as in front of a camera! For this list, we're looking at celebrities we bet you didn't know were musicians. Our countdown includes Ricky Gervais, Russell Crowe, Scarlett Johansson, Ryan Gosling and more!
Script Written by Nathan Sharp
Top 10 Celebrities You Forgot Were in Bands
These celebs are talented behind a microphone as well as in front of a camera! Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Celebrities You Forgot Were in Bands.
For this list, we’ll be looking at popular celebrities who are, or who were once, in bands.
#10: Ricky Gervais
Gervais is one of the most popular comedians of our time, but his heart always seemed to be in music. Long before working at XFM, managing Suede, and gushing over David Bowie on “Extras,” Gervais was in a new wave band called Seona Dancing. And yes, he had silly 80s hair. The band was formed in 1983 and was comprised of a very Bowie-sounding Gervais and his college buddy Bill Macrae. Gervais served as the vocalist and lyricist while Macrae composed the music and played keys. They released two singles under London Records called “More to Lose” and “Bitter Heart,” with the former actually managing to find a devoted audience in the Philippines!
#9: Zoë Kravitz
Kravitz was born to a musician father and actress mother. Rather than choosing one art form over the other and causing fights at the Christmas table, Zoë decided – why not both? Zoë is an actress first and foremost, starring in the likes of “Mad Max: Fury Road,” “X-Men: First Class,” and the “Fantastic Beasts” movies. But she’s also followed in her father’s footsteps and taken up music as a hobby. In 2009 she formed and fronted a band called Elevator Fight, which performed at SXSW. She is perhaps better known as the vocalist of Lolawolf, an R&B duo that has released two EPs and a studio album titled Calm Down.
#8: Toni Collette
Collette is a highly decorated actress, having been nominated for dozens of awards over the years, including Emmy, Golden Globe, and SAG wins. You know her from movies like “The Sixth Sense,” “About A Boy,” and “Hereditary.” But did you know that she also has a band? They’re called Toni Collette & the Finish, and Toni serves as the vocalist and primary songwriter. Also included in the band is Toni’s drummer husband, Dave Galafassi. Their only studio album, titled Beautiful Awkward Pictures, was released in 2006 and reached #12 on Australia’s Independent albums chart.
#7: Maya Rudolph
Most of us know Maya Rudolph as one of the funniest people in showbiz. Aside from her brilliant run on “Saturday Night Live,” Maya has also earned acclaim for her roles in “Bridesmaids” and “The Good Place.” But in the mid 90s, she wasn’t yet known as the funniest woman in showbiz. Some did know her, however, as a member of The Rentals, a rock band fronted by Weezer’s bass player, Matt Sharp. For a time in the late 90s she played the keyboards and provided backing vocals for the band and can even be seen in the music videos for “Waiting” and “Please Let That Be You.” She joined the cast of “SNL” in 2000, and the rest is history.
#6: Joe Keery
Keery and his glorious hair were the surprise breakout stars of “Stranger Things.” Just months prior to the show’s debut in July 2016, Keery’s psychedelic rock band Post Animal released their debut album, titled Post Animal Perform the Most Curious Water Activities. He and his guitar were also present for their second album, When I Think of You in a Castle, which was released in April 2018. Unfortunately, Keery has since left Post Animal due to a combination of scheduling conflicts and not wanting the band to be associated with him and “Stranger Things.” However, he hasn’t left music behind. In September 2019, he released an album titled Twenty Twenty under the stage name Djo.
#5: Jason Schwartzman
Jason was born into movie royalty, being the son of Talia Shire, nephew of Francis Ford Coppola, and cousin to both Nicolas Cage and Sofia Coppola. He hoisted the proverbial torch by frequently collaborating with acclaimed visionary Wes Anderson and starring in blockbusters like “Scott Pilgrim.” However, Schwartzman is also a devout music lover. Jason was the drummer and primary songwriter of the rock band Phantom Planet and is credited on three of the band’s four studio albums. He left the band midway through the recording of their third album to focus on his acting career. Or, as bandmate and friend Alex Greenwald put it, “He finally made the adult decision between the two sides of him.”
#4: Russell Crowe
Crowe is one of the most celebrated actors of our time. The man has been nominated for three Academy Awards, three BAFTAs, SIX Golden Globes, and three MTV Movie Awards. But Crowe has also been involved in the music business since the 80s. He and his friend Billy Dean Cochran formed a band called 30 Odd Foot of Grunts, which released several albums throughout the late 90s and early 2000s. In the mid 2000s he began another group with Great Big Sea’s Alan Doyle called The Ordinary Fear of God, and in 2017 they created yet another act called Indoor Garden Party! All these bands, yet he still struggled in “Les Mis”?!
#3: Scarlett Johansson
Johansson is a versatile actress who can jump between the high octane MCU to intimate movies like “Marriage Story. But despite one of the biggest actresses on the planet, Scarlett still finds time for music. She’s done some solo work, having released studio albums in 2008 and 2009 and four EPs between 2008 and 2018. The latest, a collaboration with Pete Yorn titled Apart, was released in June of 2018. She also formed a band in 2015 called The Singles, which is also comprised of HAIM’s Este Haim. However, the band faced a cease and desist letter the following year from a Los Angeles-based rock group of the same name.
#2: Ryan Gosling
Ryan Gosling can do it all, it seems. Back in 2007, Gosling and his friend Zach Shields formed a gothic rock band called Dead Man’s Bones. In 2009, they released their first, and so far, only album. It was recorded in collaboration with Silverlake Conservatory’s Children’s Choir, and a song titled “In the Room Where You Sleep” was even included on “The Conjuring” soundtrack. And, just to prove that he is indeed the coolest man in the world, Ryan contributed vocals, keys, guitar, AND cello!
Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.
Mary Elizabeth Winstead
Jada Pinkett Smith
#1: Keanu Reeves
If Ryan Gosling isn’t the coolest dude on the planet, then it’s probably Keanu Reeves. Not to lean too heavily into the “Keanu Reeves is literally God incarnate” meme, but he DOES play music, too. Well, DID play music, but still! Throughout the 90s and early 2000s, Keanu played bass in the alt rock band Dogstar. The band released an EP and two studio albums, and they also had the distinction of opening for the likes of Bon Jovi and David Bowie. Another fun fact – Weezer’s first public gig was closing for Dogstar on March 19, 1992! Keanu Reeves has led quite a life.