It's not uncommon to see singers on the big screen. Most of music's biggest superstars make their way into Hollywood blockbusters: in fact Madonna, Beyonce, Justin Timberlake, Rihanna, Taylor Swift and Nicki Minaj have all appeared in films that topped the box office. It's much more rare for an A-list actor to appear on the Hot 100 chart. Stars like Scarlett Johansson, Jeff Bridges and Johnny Depp (as one third of The Hollywood Vampires) have all released albums without a hit song. But it can be done! Here are 17 actors who've beaten the odds and basked in Hot 100 glory.
The star of the 2012 a cappella comedy 'Pitch Perfect' managed to crack the top ten with “Cups (Pitch Perfect’s When I’m Gone).” After releasing a lengthened radio edit with added instrumentation, the song peaked at No. 6 on the Hot 100 and clocked in a total of 44 weeks on the chart. Not bad for a song that features plastic cups as the primary percussion source!
The Rock can thank Disney for his appearance on the Hot 100. He voices Maui in the animated adventure Moana and his character’s song “You’re Welcome” peaked at No. 65 in 2017.
The Oscar-winner debuted at an impressive No. 12 on the Hot 100 with her contribution to the 'Hunger Games,' “The Hanging Tree.” The lyrics were written by 'Hunger Games' author Suzanne Collins and the music was composed by Jeremiah Fraites and Wesley Schultz of The Lumineers. It’s the highest charting song from any of the 'Hunger Games' film soundtracks, besting releases by Taylor Swift, Sia, Lorde and Coldplay.
The actress saw three of her songs from the Disney juggernaut 'Frozen' land among the Hot 100: “Love Is An Open Door” (No. 49 peak), “Do You Want To Build a Snowman” (No. 51) and “For The First Time In Forever” (No. 57).
Is there anything she can’t do? Streep’s cover of the ABBA classic “Mamma Mia” from the 2008 movie-musical of the same name just made the cut, charting at No. 99 for one week.
Adams’ extravagant solo “That’s How You Know” from 'Enchanted' crashed into the Hot 100 at No. 53. The song, like the movie itself, was an homage to page Disney movies, specifically big production numbers like 'The Little Mermaid’s “Under The Sea” and 'Beauty and The Beast’s “Be Our Guest.”
The actor-turned-late-night-star made a brief Hot 100 appearance with will.i.am with “EW!” in 2014. Inspired by a recurring sketch where Fallon and his show’s guests impersonated teenage girls who talk about things that disgust them, the rapper and host created a song and accompanying video. Fallon encouraged his viewers to push the song onto the Hot 100 and succeeded: the song debuted at No. 26.
Here’s a shocker! Paltrow’s cover of “Cruisin’” with Huey Lewis never hit the Hot 100 (it stalled at No. 9 on the Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles.) Don’t worry though; she made up for it. Not only did she chart “Country Strong” from the 'Country Strong' soundtrack at No. 81, but she also saw six of her 'Glee' recordings in the Hot 100. In fact, her 'Glee' cover of Cee-Lo’s “Forget You” peaked at No. 11 and landed her a cameo during his 2011 Grammy performance of the tune. Other high-profile actors, including Kate Hudson, John Stamos and Sarah Jessica Parker, have contributed to songs on the show without seeing Hot 100 chart success.
Hathaway’s take on the iconic 'Les Misérables' ballad “I Dreamed A Dream” peaked at No. 69 after the 2012 film adaption was released.
Funny man Sandler’s holiday staple “The Chanukah Song” peaked at No. 80 in 1999.
The 'Mean Girls' starlet has only had one entry on the Hot 100: “Confessions of a Broken Heart (Daughter to Father),” from her 2005 album 'A Little More Personal (Raw),' which peaked at No. 57. She did, however, top the Dance Club Songs chart with “Bossy,” and both “Rumors” and “Over” made appearances on the Pop Songs chart (peaking at No. 23 and No. 39 respectively).
While Willis’ became a household name with 1988’s 'Die Hard,' a year before the film's release he dropped his debut album 'The Return of Bruno'. The album featured R&B covers and featured Booker T. Jones and The Temptations as backing musicians. It also spawned three entries on the Hot 100 chart, including his rendition of “Respect Yourself,” which zoomed to No. 5.
As one third of the comedy trio The Lonely Island (along with Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone), Samberg has notched six entries on the Hot 100, with featured acts including Nicki Minaj, Adam Levine, T-Pain and Kendrick Lamar. “I Just Had Sex,” which featured Akon, is their highest-charting track, at No. 30.
The child actress’ 1993 mainstream debut, “What Little Girls Are Made Of” peaked at No. 58 and featured Missy Elliott (then credited as Melissa Elliott). Elliott revealed to 'Behind The Music' that when the music video was released, she was replaced with a thinner, light-skinned actress lip-syncing her verse because she didn’t fit the image they wanted. As a rebuttal, she wore an oversized garbage-bag costume in her 1997 music video for “The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly).”
The 'Dirty Dancing' star’s power ballad from the movie, “She’s Like The Wind,” managed to peak at an impressive No. 3 on the Hot 100. The film’s original soundtrack was a massive hit and spent a 18 weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard 200.
Jennifer Love Hewitt
Though the actress released three albums on her own, it was her track on the 'I Still Don’t Know What You Did Last Summer' soundtrack, “How Do I Deal,” that saw Hot 100 chart success. The song peaked at No. 59.
The 'Miami Vice' star released his debut album, 'Heartbeat,' in 1986. It saw two singles hit the Hot 100, including the album’s titular track which peaked at No. 5. Neither of his follow-up albums saw tracks hit the Hot 100.