Who hasn’t dreamed of being super famous at least once in their life? Of course you have, you’re only human – but there’s always that almighty question: how far would you go to do reach the coveted celebrities status?
Would you join a boyband and have your life dictated by record labels? How about selling-out by singing ridiculous songs for kids TV shows?
Would you cash-in on the fact that you’re a bogan’s ultimate hero and make music vids to suit that kind of demographic? What if you took off half your kit to be a backup dancer? Or there’s the option of staring in a cheesy “save the world” song.
These are just some of music faux pas’ committed by 17 pop culture figures who’ve at one point in their lives played the music card in attempts to reach celebrity status.
Naturally, we can’t let them get away with it – so kick back and half a laugh at these ridiculous embarrassing musical pasts.
Trent Reznor’s new wave phase:
Depending on when you grew up, the name Trent Reznor brings one of two images to mind. Either that of a dark, gothic tortured artist writhing in pain in the infamous Closer video, or an outspoken, muscle-bound alt legend with a budding film scoring career.
The one image that probably doesn’t come to mind is the keyboardist in a peppy ’80s New Wave cover group. But when he was a fresh-faced 18-year-old computer engineering student at Allegheny College in Pennsylvania, Reznor was a member of Option 30, performing covers of Icehouse, the Thompson Twins, and Falco.
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Jason Statham was young and needed the money:
Before Jason Statham was a blockbuster Hollywood action star, dating a Victoria’s Secret model, and appearing on every issue of Men’s Health ever, Jason Statham was a former member of Britain’s National Diving Squad and model trying to make ends meet.
At one point, Statham was even selling “fake perfume and jewellery on street corners” to make a living. Desperate, Statham made some, uh, “questionable” appearances in some music videos. Like this one for The Shamen’s ‘Comin’ On Strong’.
Sia visited summer bay:
Before Sia was an internationally recognised singer-songwriter, scaling the charts and racking up a ridiculous amount of views on YouTube, oh, as well as the go-to songwriter for the likes of Britney Spears and Beyoncé, she was an up and coming singer from Adelaide.
Her search for success and fame took her all the way to Summer Bay. Yes, Sia appeared on an episode of Home & Away as a wedding singer, years before her music would conclude the slightly more critically esteemed show Six Feet Under.
Jake Gyllenhaal has a boyband past, too:
He may now be the pinup boy as a rough, tough action hero, but not even Donnie Darko could hide his poppy boyband past.
A few years back, it was bought to the attention of the masses that Jake Gyllenhaal was once in an all young fella troupe by the name of Hole Shot. Uh-huh, that’s seriously the group’s name.
Warwick Capper, footy/porn/music star:
Can we really call this man a celebrity? Why not, he’s an Aussie legend of sorts.
Anyway, outside of his strong career as a full-forward for the Sydney Swans, as well as disturbing cameo appearances in Neighbours and an adult film (mhmm), the flamboyant blondie also released music.
Watch Capper’s ‘I Only Take What’s Mine’, a horrific personification of everything that was wrong with the ’80s.
“Welcome To The Trollz’ World” sings Haim:
Sometimes selling out is the only way to make your name heard, well, at least that was the prerogative of the two elder sisters of indie group, Haim.
Introducing Valli Girls, a bubblegum five-piece masquerading as “bad-ass rockers” who sang songs like the opening theme to the crappy kids television show, Trollz.
You’ve come a long way, ladies.
Russell Crowe thinks he’s a musician:
Most readers will know Russell Crowe from his career as a critically acclaimed actor, having starred in films such as Gladiator, for which he won an Academy Award, A Beautiful Mind, Cinderella Man, and The Insider.
Pretty much zero people will remember him from his band, 30 Odd Foot Of Grunts (abbreviated to TOFOG), later renamed Russell Crowe & The Ordinary Fear Of God, despite the fact that Crowe started the band after he was famous for acting. Yes, they were that bad.
Before she was a Ghost Whisperer, Jennifer Love Hewitt was a tree hugger.
Released around the time when charity, feel-good, anthem-like songs were all the rage, Jennifer Love Hewitt, who had only just hit double digits in age, poured her heart out through song to please ‘Save Us The World’.
Spreading the word against pollution, caring for the environment and presumably world peace, a very fresh-faced Love Hewitt gave it her all in this hilarious tune.
The Hoff is a really big deal, if you speak German:
Outside of his own daughter embarrassing him for being a little too tanked as he tries to gorge on a burger, David Hasselhoff also has an embarrassing music career – that is, if you’re not a resident of Dutschland.
The Hoff, the quintessential cringeworthy dad you wish would just stay inside at your house parties, is a music superstar in Germany, having released a staggering 17 studio LPs.
Sadly, this adoration doesn’t really translate to US or Aussie audiences, we mean… have you seen ‘Hooked On A Feeling’?
Shaq was a rapper:
Does anyone remember when Shaquille O’Neal pretty much ran the world? It was a wonderful time we call the ’90s, a period that produced some of the finest sounding music, including the Golden Age of hiphop – which sadly wasn’t championed by the iconic basket-baller.
Believe it or not, Shaq has released four studio LPs, all in the 1990s, his debut Shaq Diesel actually reaching platinum status.
To be fair, ‘I’m Outstanding’ isn’t really that bad of a song, especially when comparing it against some of the tripe in this list, and also what somehow is passed for music these days.
Iggy Azalea’s alleged music video for her alleged pop past:
People just can’t seem to get past Iggy Azalea’s integrity, or lack thereof, depending on who you speak to. Everything from her lyrics, to her posterior have faced accusations of being fake and people just can’t seem to stop digging into the rapper’s past.
It’s that digging that revealed a rather curious music video that apparently features Azalea as a pop princess in the vein of Britney Spears. It’s not clear what the video is from or whether that’s even her spiderweb thin singing voice on the track, but the video is undeniably bad.
Why Mark Wahlberg will always be Marky Mark to us:
He’s an incredibly successful actor and producer who has worked with the likes of Martin Scorsese and Paul Thomas Anderson. He’s been nominated for an Academy Award and was one of the minds behind the wildly successful TV show Entourage.
We don’t care, Mark Wahlberg will always be Marky Mark from Mark Mark & The Funky Bunch to us. Yes, ladies and gents, before Mark Wahlberg was a Hollywood tough guy, he was looking far less tough as the backwards baseball-cap wearing leader of his own, utterly cheesy rap crew.
Of course, Kris Jenner tried to be a musician, and sucked at it:
Yeah, we’re not shocked either, the ultimate MOMager has tried her hand at absolutely everything, so it makes sense that’s she recorded a song, too.
Entitled ‘I Love My Friends’, this woeful release sees Jenner cruising around early ’80s Hollywood in a convertible, basically just singing about how much she loves all her mates, running out of words to say, she then goes to name drop a handful of the special ones.
There’s not much else we can say about this but give it a looksee, be warned, it’s barf-worthy.
Bruce Willis is Bruno Radolini:
If Bruce Willis fancies himself a bit of a singer and feels like belting out a few tunes, we reckon he should go for it. It just so happens that Willis doesn’t have a half-bad voice and his albums were even released by the legendary Motown label.
The only problem we have with Willis’ singing career is that it’s not Willis singing, it’s Bruno Radolini, the character the Willis made up for his singing career, who then became the star of an HBO documentary covering the “legendary” singer’s life, as well as Willis’ excuse to act like a jackass during live performances.
Billy Joel was in an organ-and-drums heavy metal band:
Billy Joel is about as adult contemporary as it gets. While we’ll admit he’s penned some of the most timeless songs in modern music, we’ll also admit that the only time we’ve heard them is when we forgot our iPod so we have to listen to Gold FM in the car.
But before he was your mum and dad’s favourite piano man, Billy Joel was in an organ-and-drums heavy metal band called Attila, even appearing on the cover of their album in full Hun regalia. Joel later described this period in is career as “psychedelic bullshit”.
Penélope Cruz made a steamy music video as a 15-year-old:
Before Penélope Cruz was a critically acclaimed actress, she starred in a cringeworthy and oddly steamy music video for Spanish pop band Mecano’s song ‘La Fuerza del Destino’. The 1989 music video tells a story of love, loss of innocence, and, uh, underage drinking.
Yes, Penélope Cruz was just 15 years old when she starred in this awkwardly adult music video. The clip itself is pretty much everything you’d expect from a narrative music video from a 1980s Spanish boy band.