Sometimes it seems like the magical talent dispenser which gives the appropriate dose to everybody right before they’re born gets stuck in the max setting for certain individuals, because during their life they turn out as multi-laterally developed persons that are a pleasure to be around as well as a constant source of amazement.
It’s about a certain type of people in this category that this article will talk about, namely 9 actors and actresses also singers. If you thought doing either one of these things well is difficult and requires long-term investment and effort, it is. And these people seem to effortlessly manage to fit in both artistic domains like a fish in water.
1. Robert Downey Jr.
Not only has he had an interesting up and downs career, peppered with off-the-set scandals and is currently enjoying a long-lasting comeback, Robert Downey Jr. also has a killer voice. An interesting combination of ruggedness or rasp (vocal compression if you wanna get fancy), twang and treble a country singer would appreciate, a decent range and just the right amount of vibrato usage. All of these rounded up by great execution. What’s not to like? Oh, and he also plays piano. Check out his song “Man Like Me”, or his duet with Sting “Driven To Tears” if you don’t believe me.
2. Hugh Laurie
Hell yeah. The man who brought Dr. House to life also has a voice just as cool as this character. In fact, you can almost feel the same tongue-in-cheek, world-weary cynicism and wit in the drawled vocal lines that Hugh Laurie masterfully made and performed for his now two full-length studio albums that have been released (“Let Them Talk” and “Didn’t It Rain”), the second one also prompting a world tour. If you need a dose of well made Roaring Twenties style blues, listen to his stuff. He usually plays piano and vocals at the same time. And can also play guitar.
3. Scarlett Johansson
A big league actress loved by throngs of fans, it appears Scarlett Johansson could also easily be an iconic singer if she wasn’t busy, you know, starring in huge cinema hits. Her voice on “Yesterday Is Here”, the Tom Waits cover she made in 2007 as part of an album of such covers is proof that she has the strength, volume, breath-support and general technique required of a great singer. Not to mention the intriguing timbre of her voice and her easy oscillations between a Tom Waits-ish roughness and a Florence And The Machine-like vibe.
4. Zachary Levi
Ok, he might not be a superstar like his colleagues above (depending on who you ask, because I’m sure the many people who liked the TV series “Chuck” would disagree), but boy does he pack a surprise when it comes to his voice. Because this relatively young actor can sing as if he’s channeling Sinatra! His live performance of Sinatra’s “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” is testament to that. And he did the voice of Chuck in “Tangled” as well.
5. Emily Blunt
This one should be self-evident, as she recently starred in the 2014 musical “Into The Woods” where she sang as the Baker’s Wife. A beautiful example of her performance in it is the song “It Takes Two” where you can hear her clear beautiful voice in action, including some difficult changes through different registers.
6. Anna Kendrick
Another actress who starred in “Into The Woods”, the beginning of her fame is actually the perfect example of her combining acting and singing, as this beginning involved the role of Dinah Lord in the 1998 Broadway musical “High Society” for which she was nominated for a Tony Award. She also performed on The Late Show With David Letterman a remarkable rendition of the viral “Cup Song” based on the 1931 Carter Family Song “When I’m Gone”. So, take your pick as to what to listen to first.
7. Kate Winslet
Continuing this streak of strong, clear female voices, you probably didn’t know that Kate Winslet, the star of “Titanic” (among other big titles) also has vocal chops to envy. Gawk as you hear her perfect control and transitions, including some emotional whispery falsetto on the song “What If” she released on the internet in 2001.
8. Gwyneth Paltrow
Not only an iconic Oscar-winning actress, Gwyneth is also a great singer. And she took things to the next level when she combined her popularity with that of Pharell Williams’ hit “Happy”. That’s right, she recorded a cover version of it for her appearance in the TV series “Glee”. No comments necessary. Just listen to it.
9. Stephen Colbert
Possibly the most surprising entry on this list. The incisive, intelligent and just overall awesome talk show host was cast as Harry in the musical “Company” set up by the New York Philharmonic in 2011. Obviously, you don’t get to perform at that lofty level if you don’t have what it takes. And Mr. Colbert did.