Friday, June 15, 2012
Do You Think Who've Attempted to Launch Music Careers
Many actors are unable to distance themselves from the characters they've portrayed on television, while others lack the talent or production to make their albums sound like anything other than risky vanity projects. It seems that unless the character you portray lends itself well to mass licensing (see Miley Cyrus, Demi Lovato, Selena Gomez, Hilary Duff, et. al), it's a rough road for the television star transitioning to pop artist. Here's a look at those who've tried.
Jennifer Love Hewitt
Long before she landed a role on Party of Five, Jennifer Love Hewitt was a pop star in Japan. The former Kids Incorporated star recorded and released her first album, Love Songs, at the age of 12, although it wasn't made available in the United States until her late '90s heyday. Hewitt's last release, 2002's BareNaked, reached No. 37 on the Billboard 200, and its single of the same title got regular play on soft rock stations.
On 90210, Jessica Lowndes plays the oft-conniving, occasionally heartless pop starlet Adrianna Tate-Duncan, whose chances at pop stardom are ruined when it comes out that she's a song-stealing liar. In real life Lowndes is trying to make a play at pop superstardom minus the drama, releasing a string of over-produced pop-rock singles in 2011 and 2012.
Brian Austin Green
In 1996, the man who would eventually become Megan Fox's husband dropped his middle name and released One Stop Carnival, a rap album which, despite production from The Pharcyde's SlimKid3, was not great enough to make people look past Green's primetime soap origins. Though Green continues to make music, he has not released anything publicly in over fifteen years.
Former Star Search contestant Tatyana Ali had the vocal chops to achieve pop superstardom, but her 1998 debut album Kiss the Sky fared poorly on the charts and on the shelves despite exective production from her Fresh Prince of Bel-Air co-star Will Smith. Ali took a break from the business to attend Harvard University, but she recently announced that she's at work on a sophomore album.
Who's The Boss star Alyssa Milano was such a big deal in the late '80s, she was offered a five-album record deal despite barely being able to carry a tune. Milano produce four studio albums between 1989 and 1992, although they were only available commercially in Japan. If you think this is dated, you should see her workout video, Teen Steam.
Expect to see Leighton Meester slip into her saucy pop star garb again the very minute production wraps on Gossip Girl. The Florida-born performer has promised to release a collection of songs that reveal a lot about her: "Lyrically, since I've written everything, people can see a window into me and how I feel about certain things."
Danny Bonaduce wasn't musically talented enough to know that one does not strum a bass guitar, but The Partridge Family proved so popular that in 1973, the child actor released an eponymous album. Nevermind that he barely contributed vocals to the project, as most of the songs were actually performed by a guy named Bruce Roberts.
Diff'rent Strokes star Gary Coleman was once very good friends with a Michael Jackson impersonator named Dion Mial, who convinced him to make his rap debut on a pseudo-funk single called "The Outlaw and the Indian." What resulted was one of the oddest moments in television history. Mial and Coleman remained close friends until Coleman's death in 2010.
Sometimes people who hang in the presence of musical genius mistakenly believe that they're super talented by association. That might be why Michael Jackson's longtime pal Corey Feldman tried his hand at New Jack Swing in an assortment of hilariously oversized suits in the early '90s. In 2002, the reality television regular released Former Child Actor, which included a bizarre boner jam cover of John Lennon's "Imagine."
Jamie Lynn Sigler
Don't blame Sopranos star Jamie-Lynn Sigler for the Britney-lite production on her single "Cry Baby." The year was 2001, and Jamie-Lynn was just angling for her pop star paycheck. In 2007, she admitted that she was embarrassed by her "very packaged" album Here to Heaven: "I take responsibility—I was part of it—but I hated every moment of it. I was faking it the whole time."
A few years after the cancellation of The Wayne Brady Show, comedian Brady branched into the music biz with A Long Time Coming, an R&B album that peaked at No. 183 on the Billboard 200. Brady now showcases his Broadway-tested chops via children's music, waxing poetic about the importance of a healthy diet in his 2011 release Radio Wayne. This is one of the smartest songs on this list.
Performer Tisha Campbell released her album, Tisha, in 1993, a year after she made her debut as Gina Waters in the FOX television series Martin. Despite the awesome fashion choices presented in her music video for "Push," including the baggiest, bluest pair of trousers we've seen in a long while, the album cracked no charts. Damn, Gina!
Baywatch star David Hasselhoff never managed to replicate the pop success he experienced in Germany in the United States, but he has proved impressively prolific, if nothing else. Hasselhoff has released 15 albums since 1985's Night Rocker, most of them filled with kitschy, cheese-stuffed covers like this take on "Hooked on a Feeling." His drunk hamburger video has better production.
Chances are one of your maternal figures once had a crush on Miami Vice's Don Johnson. The blazer-wearing hunk made the jump to music in 1986 with the overwrought hit single "Heartbeat," which hit the Top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100. Unfortunately, Johnson's 1989 follow-up album went nowhere, and the actor is officially a one-hit wonder along with Patrick Swayze.
Hoping to capitalize on his teen idol status, Blossom star Joey Lawrence released his eponymous album at the tender age of 16. It included the hit single "Nothin' My Love Can't Fix," which hit No. 19 on the Hot 100 in 1993 and was the end-title theme to the seriously underrated Cop and a Half. Lawrence is still writing and releasing music independently, although he hasn't released an album since 1997.
The actor who played Buffy the Vampire's sexiest antihero, Spike, was a minor rock star in Europe in the early aughts. As the frontman of Ghost of the Robot, Marsters toured Europe twice before quitting to focus on his solo career. The band has since reformed, and released a new album, Murphy's Law, via iTunes and Amazon in 2011. Marsters was, of course, excellent on the Buffy musical episode.