Sometimes, creative people leave their comfort zones to tackle artistic endeavors outside their established trades. Over the years, athletes, actors and celebrities of all stripes have pursued careers as professional musicians. And although many have been scorned for their musical efforts, some celebrities have struck gold.
Click through to see which celebs found fame and fortune through music — and which ones should’ve stuck to their day jobs.
Oscar nominee Danny Aiello boasts over 100 acting credits and has appeared in iconic films like “Do the Right Thing” and “Once Upon a Time in America.” His career in Hollywood is the source of most of his $3 million net worth, but he has also found success as a musician.
Growing up in the Bronx, Aiello sang on street corners before showcasing his vocal talents in the movie “Once Around” with Holly Hunter. One of the more successful crossover celebrities, this author and actor has released several albums and toured the country to perform his music.
Kevin Bacon has been a Hollywood mainstay for so long there’s even a parlor game about him called Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, in which players strive to connect Bacon to other actors based on films they’ve been in together. His more than 80 acting credits have earned him a net worth of $30 million. He’s also a Golden Globe winner.
As if that weren’t enough, Bacon and his brother Michael make up the musical duo The Bacon Brothers, which has achieved degrees of both critical and commercial success. The act continues to tour and release albums.
Known for playing Chachi Arcola on both “Happy Days” and its spinoff show, “Joanie Loves Chachi,” Scott Baio tried to launch a second career as a musician with middling success.
In 1982, his self-titled album cracked the Billboard 200 for four weeks, peaking at No. 181. Baio has a net worth of $6 million.
Tyra Banks went from iconic supermodel to media mogul when she created the hit series “America’s Next Top Model,” which accounts for much of her $90 million net worth. Her music career, however, was not nearly as successful, a fact that Banks readily admits.
She spent $30,000 to create the music video for “Shake Ya Body,” which was so poorly received that she never followed through with her plans for an album.
Danny Bonaduce struck child celebrity gold when he won the role of Danny Partridge in “The Partridge Family.” He went on to rack up more than 50 acting credits, earning an estimated net worth of $3 million.
Although the personal issues that haunted him in adulthood, including drug abuse and a period of homelessness, played out in the tabloids, the star managed to release an album. “Danny Bonaduce” came out in 1973.
Kobe Bryant is one of the richest athletes of all time, no thanks to his work in the recording studio. The athlete released one single, “K.O.B.E.,” featuring none other than Tyra Banks. The poor reception suggests the musical effort added little to his $350 million net worth.
According to Forbes, Bryant raked in $680 million over the course of his 20-year career. The business magazine also named him No. 33 on its list of America’s Richest Entrepreneurs Under 40.
Actress and supermodel Naomi Campbell has appeared in some of history’s biggest music videos, including “This Is Love” by Bob Marley and the Wailers and “Erotica” by Madonna.
Her own foray into music, however, began and ended with her widely panned 1994 album, “Baby Woman.” It sold just 175 copies in the first two weeks. Despite the musical bomb, she boasts a net worth of $60 million.
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The successful tween star of “Shake it Up!” and “K.C. Undercover,” Zendaya Coleman — known simply as Zendaya — showcased her musical talent during her tenure at Disney.
In 2013, she released the album “Zendaya.” Her single “Replay” earned platinum status on Jan. 30, 2014. Her net worth is $5 million.
Academy Award-winning actor Russell Crowe is known for his iconic roles in “Gladiator,” “Cinderella Man,” “A Beautiful Mind” and “L.A. Confidential.” He’s a commercial success, boasting a net worth of $95 million.
In 2006, the multitalented star tried to show off his musical capabilities when he released an album titled, “My Hand My Heart” to little acclaim.
Kevin Hart is known for being a crossover star. In fact, his run as a stand-up comedian helped him become a highly sought-after actor who has racked up over 80 credits since his onscreen debut in the early 2000s. He piled up a net worth of $120 million along the way.
Hart’s talents don’t end there, though. Taking on the persona of Chocolate Droppa, Hart released his first hip-hop album, “What Now?” in 2016. It spent one week on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop chart, peaking at No. 49.
David Hasselhoff starred in two television series that are iconic in American pop culture: “Knight Rider” and “Baywatch.” He has also enjoyed a successful musical career.
Although his tunes never caught on in the U.S., he maintains a European fan base. The international superstar put out the album “Night Rocker” in 1984 and continued releasing albums through 2004. In 2015, his single “True Survivor,” peaked at No. 94 on the Billboard Canadian Hot 100, and in April 2018, he released the single “Heroes.”
His efforts on the screen and stage have earned him a $10 million net worth.
Jennifer Love Hewitt
A Golden Globe-nominated star, Jennifer Love Hewitt was known for big- and small-screen successes like “I Know What You Did Last Summer” and “Party of Five” before she launched her music career.
She released four albums between 1995 and 2002: “Let’s Go Bang,” “Love Songs,” “BareNaked” and a self-titled album. But her $18 million net worth comes more from her acting efforts than her ventures in music — only one of her singles made the Billboard charts: “How Do I Deal” peaked at No. 59 in 1999.
Hilton Hotel chain heiress Paris Hilton was known in socialite circles before a sex tape made her a household name in 2003. The attention helped her land a reality show called “The Simple Life” and eventually launch a music career.
Hilton released one album, “Paris,” in 2006. The single “Stars Are Blind” spent eight weeks on the Billboard charts. The star has a net worth of $300 million.
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Nominated for four Golden Globes, Scarlett Johansson is a Hollywood A-lister with more than 60 acting credits since 1994.
She released “Anywhere I Lay My Head” in 2008 from Rhino Records and “Break Up” the following year. Although her music career never caught fire like her big-screen endeavors, the latter were successful enough to earn her a $100 million net worth.
With 30 years of experience in show business, Milla Jovovich has acting credits dating back to 1988. Her prowess as a musician shined through in 1993’s “Dazed and Confused,” when she strummed and sang “The Alien Song (For Those Who Listen).”
In 1994, she released her first album, “The Divine Comedy.” She has also appeared on several soundtracks for her movies, including “The Leading Man” and “Rules of Attraction.” Her two successful entertainment careers have resulted in a net worth of $40 million.
Kim Kardashian West
Kim Kardashian West is married to rapper Kanye West. But West isn’t the only one dropping beats. Kardashian West pursued her music career before she was even with her musical husband.
In 2011, she released “Jam (Turn It Up),” and one video of the song has received more than 9 million YouTube views to date. Although it’s unclear how much she earned from the single, Kardashian West has racked up a net worth of $175 million due to her work as a model, reality TV star and entrepreneur.
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Childhood roles in “Silver Spoons” and “Diff’rent Strokes” spawned a career that would lead Joey Lawrence to a part on “Blossom,” the role for which he is best known. He played characters named Joey on all three shows.
After the success of “Blossom,” he moved on to the music industry, eventually striking seductive poses for the album covers of both 1993’s “Joey Lawrence” and 1997’s “Soulmates.” Despite his solid runs on television and in music, he and his wife filed for bankruptcy in July 2017, People magazine reported.
Hollywood bad girl Lindsay Lohan has dabbled in music since the early 2000s, releasing “Speak” in 2004 and “A Little More Personal (Raw)” the following year. The former eventually went platinum, and the latter earned gold status. Among her most lauded musical achievements are the single “Rumors” and her performance of “Jingle Bell Rock” in “Mean Girls.”
Despite successful careers in both music and film, Lohan claims a net worth of just $500,000 and is one of the celebs who went from riches to rags.
Legendary comedian and actor Steve Martin launched an acclaimed second career as a banjo-toting bluegrass musician. He picked and strummed his way through four albums, starting with “The Crow” in 2009. And since 2010, Martin has awarded a lucky musician the Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass.
Martin said that banjo music, which he sometimes incorporated into his stand-up comedy routine, has been a lifelong passion. His multiple talents have earned him a net worth of $130 million.
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Alyssa Milano, whose career launched with roles in “Who’s the Boss?” and “Commando,” has been a star of the small screen since childhood. She also doubled as a teen pop star, racking up multi-platinum songs and albums in Japan.
Thanks to success in the studio as well as on the big and small screens, Milano has a net worth of $10 million.
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In 2010, fashion designer, actress and reality TV star Heidi Montag joined the long list of celebrities who found it difficult to cross over into music. Her album “Superficial” was widely lambasted by critics and failed to achieve commercial success. In 2011, she told Radar Online that her foray into music actually cost her $2 million.
Additionally, Forbes reported that Montag and Spencer Pratt flirted with bankruptcy after their reality TV heyday, when the couple lost it all thanks to ridiculous splurges. She has a net worth of $20,000.
In 2013, Eddie Murphy had Snoop Dogg join him on a reggae track called “Red Light.” This was not the star’s first foray into music, however. One of the most famous actors and comedians of his era, Murphy released “How Could It Be” in 1985.
Some of his efforts, like 1993’s “Love’s Alright,” were shredded by critics. He is probably best known for “Party All the Time,” the 1985 pop classic produced by Rick James. Murphy has a net worth of $85 million.
When you think of Trekkies-turned-musicians, William Shatner is probably the first actor who comes to mind. But Spock himself, Leonard Nimoy, also dabbled in music.
Oddly enough, the late actor released five albums in the 1960s, some of which were received fairly well by critics. When Nimoy passed away in 2015, he was worth $45 million.
Shaq obviously isn’t the only baller to try his luck at the rap game, but he might just be the NBA’s greatest crossover artist. Shaquille O’Neal’s first album, “Shaq Diesel,” went platinum. The following year, “Shaq Fu: Da Return” went gold.
Throughout his musical career, O’Neal collaborated with some of the biggest names in hip-hop. He has a net worth of $400 million, and Forbes said a deal he made with Authentic Brands Group was worth more than $200 million.
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Manny Pacquiao is not only one of the greatest boxers in history, but he’s also a successful actor, a congressman in the Philippines and a musician. He has entered the ring to his own music and even sang on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” and “Fox Sports.”
Pacquiao also recorded a cover of Dan Hill’s “Sometimes When We Touch.” The punchy Pacquiao is worth $190 million.
In the early 1990s, Joe Pesci had one of the greatest, genre-spanning runs in movie history when he starred in “Goodfellas,” “Home Alone,” “My Cousin Vinny” and “JFK” — all of which contributed to his $50 million net worth. Long before his acting career took off, however, he was an aspiring musician.
As a teenager, he performed under the stage name Joe Ritchie. And in 1998, he released an album that he performed as his character from “My Cousin Vinny,” titled “Vincent Laguardia Gambini Sings Just For You.”
Joaquin Phoenix shocked the show business world when he grew a bushy beard and announced plans to become a rapper.
Among his many bizarre appearances was a spot on “The Late Show With David Letterman,” during which he appeared intoxicated and incoherent. He later revealed that it was all a hoax he cooked up with then-brother-in-law and friend Casey Affleck to stir public opinion and form the basis of an Affleck documentary.
One thing that is not a hoax, however, is Phoenix’s $30 million net worth.
During his 14-year career in the NFL, “Neon” Deion Sanders earned a reputation as one of the best — and flashiest — defenders ever to play the game.
In 1994, he released the album “Prime Time,” which was subject to generally unfavorable reviews from critics. His underwhelming run in the studio, however, did not prevent Sanders from acquiring a net worth of $40 million.
One of the highest-grossing actors in Hollywood, Adam Sandler has more than 70 acting credits, which have helped him pile up a net worth of $400 million. In total, his movies have earned nearly $4.63 billion worldwide.
The “Saturday Night Live” alum did some of his best comedy while strumming a guitar and singing. Among his biggest hits are “Red Hooded Sweatshirt,” “Lunch Lady Land” and “Chanukah Song,” which earned gold status.
'Macho Man' Randy Savage
The late Randy Savage is one of pro wrestling’s biggest icons. Known as “Macho Man,” Savage is a WWE Hall of Famer who was once most recognizable as a long-time pitchman for Slim Jim.
Then in 2003, he became a rapper, releasing the album “Be a Man.” It even included a diss track aimed at Hulk Hogan. The Macho Man died with a net worth of $8 million.
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Legendary onscreen tough guy Steven Seagal is known for his run of hard-boiled martial arts flicks, starting with “Above the Law” in 1988. Along with being a well-known action star, he’s been a musician since age 12 and has performed with some of the biggest names in music history, according to his website.
Seagal put out two studio albums, “Songs from the Crystal Cave” and “Mojo Priest,” in 2004 and 2006 respectively. His efforts in both industries have earned him an estimated net worth of $16 million.
Beloved “Star Trek” actor William Shatner has had one of the most interesting crossover careers in history. Not only has he recorded unexpected covers, dating back to “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds” in 1968, but he continues to release music. “Ponder the Mystery” came out in 2013.
The “Star Trek” legend and Priceline’s famous pitchman has a net worth of $100 million, making him one of the richest “Star Trek” cast members of all time.
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In 2001, Jamie-Lynn Sigler was one of the most recognizable actresses in the world, thanks to her role as Meadow Soprano on “The Sopranos.” She realized, however, that her talents did not necessarily translate to music when she released her first and only album, “Here to Heaven,” in 2001.
The LP was widely panned — even by Sigler herself. The star had the last laugh, however, thanks to her $25 million net worth.
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Net worth figures are indicative of assets versus liabilities. All net worth figures are according to Celebrity Net Worth unless otherwise noted.