Screen Singers

MSN Entertainment
By Jackie Burns, March 5, 2010
Singers with big screen ambitions

10. Madonna – While she was ridiculed for her role in the box-office bomb “Swept Away,” the singer can always reference her Golden Globe win for “Evita” as proof that she’s no amateur actress. Ex-hubby director Guy Richie recently spoke out to the “Daily Beast” in defence of his ex-wife’s acting abilities saying: “If you ask me, I think she’s all right. I think she’s perfectly good. I just don’t think people can get her persona out of the way.”

9. Mark Wahlberg – The rapper’s success on the big screen was so red-hot that he swiftly retired his “Marky Mark” moniker and never looked back. Since then it’s been easy to forget that he was ever anything other than a talented actor, who also moonlights as the successful producer of HBO’s hit show “Entourage,” based on his life story. While Wahlberg has appeared in dozens of films, the pinnacle of his acting career came in 2006 when he was nominated for an Oscar for his role in “The Departed.”

8. Britney Spears – The Princess of Pop may rule the charts but the same can’t be said about the box office. During her big screen debut in 2002’s “Crossroads,” her acting abilities were trashed by the critics and she even earned a Razzie Award for worst actress. Undeterred by all the harsh criticism, the starlet went up against Jessica Simpson for the role of Daisy in 2005’s “Dukes of Hazzard” remake but ended up losing out to her pop rival. Reviews of her small-screen work have been far kinder and the star has even earned a few laughs (the good kind this time) during her guest appearances on “Will & Grace” and “How I Met Your Mother.”

7. Eminem – Would it shock you to learn than the rapper is also an Oscar winner? While Marshall Mathers received critical acclaim for his raw performance in 2002’s “8 Mile,” it was actually the song he wrote for the movie, “Lose Yourself,” that earned him an Academy award. Despite his beginner’s luck on the big screen, Eminem seems content to stick to rap and has yet to become attached to any follow-up film projects.

6. Beyonce – There’s no denying Ms. Knowles’ acting and singing talents pack a one-two punch. She scored a Golden Globe nomination for her dramatic performance in “Dreamgirls” and proved her comedic abilities were just as strong during her big screen debut in “Austin Powers: Goldmember.” But while entertainment’s biggest workaholic has more Grammys than she can count, she won’t be satisfied until an Academy award is added to her trophy collection. “I would love to win an Oscar! Years from now, that’s my goal,” B told “ContactMusic” last year.

5. Barbra Streisand – Beyonce may want to put in a call to Babs for some advice on going from the concert stage to the Oscar podium. Not only is Streisand one of the music industry’s most successful entertainers of all time, but her acting is so strong that she picked up an Acadamy award for her role in 1968’s “Funny Girl,” not to mention having racked up several other trophies for both singing and acting over her decades-long career.

4. Mandy Moore – The down-to-earth star’s success in music and film is perfectly modest, just like her personality. While her Grammy shelf remains empty, she’s had moderate success with her teen-targeted flicks and picked up an “MTV Movie Award” for her breakthrough role in 2002’s “A Walk to Remember.” Her crossover artist award at the “Teen Choice Awards” is perfectly fitting because Moore has reached the point in her career where it’s hard to remember if she was a singer or actress first.

3. Mariah Carey – One would have thought that after her disastrous performance in “Glitter” – for which she earned a Razzie award in 2001 and another nomination for worst actress of the decade – that she would have run crying from the big screen. But our Mimi is nothing if not a fighter and she proved that behind all the glitter, there is a serious actress oozing with potential. Her critically acclaimed, make-up free performance in this year’s Oscar-nominated film “Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire,” earned her a Breakthrough Performance Award at the Palm Springs Film Festival.

2. Will Smith – Long before he was a Hollywood power-player, who could boast having eight consecutive films break the $100-million-mark, Smith was known in smaller circles as “The Fresh Prince” rapper. He got his first taste of acting – and much grander fame – when he appeared in the early nineties on the TV show “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.” While he’s known primarily as an action star whose presence in a film is guaranteed to fill the theatres, Smith proved he also has a flare for the hard-core drama, earning Oscar nods for his roles in “Ali” and “The Pursuit of Happyness.”

1. Bette Midler – The multi-skilled singer, comedian and actress is quite simply the wind beneath our wings. It’s easy to understand how her myriad of talents have been embraced by both the music and acting communities during a forty-year career that Hollywood dreams are made of. Her thespian talents were rewarded with two Oscar nominations over the years and she’s been collecting Grammys, Golden Globes and Emmys since she released her first album in 1972.

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