10 Actresses Who Stretched Their Music Chops

Photo: REX USA/Julian Makey/Rex.
Mastering the art of transitioning from actor to musician takes a certain image switcheroo, a relatively underground project, and maybe the help of the Disney Channel. (Seriously, the Disney kids seem the most adept at finding their footing in both the music and acting industries.)
Some, like Taylor Momsen, have made that transition look like a cakewalk. Others, like Tyra Banks and Kate Winslet, would most likely prefer their musical forays to remain (ahem) unheard. But, in the Age of the Internet, remaining "unheard" is really out of the question.
That isn't to say the following women failed at their attempts at music careers. Leighton Meester's folk career really should have taken off, and Jena Malone's band is still too under-the-radar to really say. But, these actresses have tried (and/or still are trying), and that's what really counts, eh? If anything, it's a check off on the good ol' bucket list. There ain't nothin' embarrassing about that.
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Photo: BEImages/Carolyn Contino.
Leighton Meester

In 2009, Meester signed a record deal with Universal Republic and recorded an album that was ultimately never released. Two singles managed to creep their way onto the Internet, but nothing ever took off. She dipped her toes in techno-pop, dubstep, recorded a song with Robin Thicke (yes, he of "Blurred Lines" fame), but nothing of note came of it.

Watch "Somebody To Love feat. Robin Thicke" here.
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Scarlett Johansson

ScarJo's voice is so good, she doesn't even have to appear on-screen in a movie, and she still earns rave reviews. Yet, she hasn't successfully made the transition into the music industry. Aside from appearing on a few tracks as a guest (a song of hers once earned her an Oscar nod for "Best Original Song"), her album of Tom Waits covers, Anywhere I Lay My Head, didn't pique many people's interest.

Watch "Falling Down" here.
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Zoë Kravitz

As the offspring of Lenny Kravitz, not trying one's hand at a musical career feels like a sin. And, unsurprisingly, her band Lolawolf is awesome. She and a group of friends started the electro-pop act as a means of helping Kravitz get through a grueling acting gig she had at the time. Though the band's 2013 debut EP earned excellent reviews, she's said on more than one occasion the music is just a hobby.

Watch "What Love Is" here.
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Photo: BEImages/Gregory Pace.
Taylor Momsen

Momsen shed her innocent-girl image from Gossip Girl when she started her rock band The Pretty Reckless. In a 2010 interview with Parade, Momsen said, "Music is where I can be me. I really do it because I love it, honestly. It's what I want to do with my life. I mean, it's my only goal." Nowadays, the grunge-punk star is more known for her hard-rock vibe than acting gigs.

Watch "Heaven Knows" here.
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Photo: REX USA/Julian Makey/Rex.
Kate Winslet

Winslet recorded the song "What If" for Christmas Carol: The Movie in 2001. She also made a music video for it. She hardly ever talks about this brief jaunt as a songstress, and probably would be happier if the video didn't exist, but nothing is sacred in the digital age. Good thing she's got a stronghold on Hollywood to make up for whatever 2001 threw her.

Watch "What If" here.
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Photo: BEImages/Jim Smeal.
Emmy Rossum

Rossum's kept one foot in the musical arena since her lead role in the 2004 movie adaptation of The Phantom Of The Opera, though she's opted for a more contemporary sound. She's released two albums, one of original pop and the other a collection of covers. It seems fans prefer the latter, though the record only peaked at the #92 spot on the U.S. charts.

Watch "Slow Me Down" here.
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Tyra Banks

Despite appearing in a number of music videos, Tyra Banks' own music never made it to the top. Her 2004 Darkchild-produced single, "Shake Ya Body," failed to make waves. She's since gone on record admitting her attempts were a foolish decision. The music industry is, apparently, one thing you can't smize your way in to.

Watch "Shake Ya Body" here.
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Jena Malone

Hey! Did you know The Hunger Games costar Jena Malone has an awesome band called The Shoe? We didn't, either, until a video of the two-person group performing in a bathtub surfaced. Then our love for the actress skyrocketed, and we got the inside scoop from the gal herself. Not to shamelessly plug, but this one interview says it all.

Watch "Dead Rabbits Hope" here.
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Photo: BEImages/Jim Smeal.
Jennifer Love Hewitt

JLH first got her start on the star-making show Kids Incorporated. While she's had much more success as an actress, her records have always received fairly positive accolades. Her biggest hit was 2002's "BareNaked," which peaked at number 25 on the Top 40 charts. Since then, JLH's musical romps have ended, but maybe she's just taking a break as she focuses on other projects.

Watch "BareNaked" here.
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Photo: REX USA/Stewart Cook.
Minnie Driver

Before she made a name for herself in Hollywood, Driver was in a band called Puff, Rocks and Brown. If you're wondering why you've never heard of it, it's because the band never blew up. She did, however, sign to EMI in 2001 and put out Everything I've Got in My Pocket. In 2007 she released Seastories, but her Dido-esque music vibe has never seen critical success.

Watch "Invisible Girl" here.
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