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Top 10 Singers Who Sucked At Acting

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Script written by Shannon Stovall A music video is basically a really short movie, right? Join as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Singers Who Sucked at Acting. For this list, we're focusing on singers who decided to expand into acting and bombed in a big way, so we are excluding brief cameos or televisions appearances. Special thanks to our user karaokeguy for submitting the idea using the Interactive Suggestion Tool at WatchMojo.comsuggest

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Script written by Shannon Stovall

Top 10 Singers Who Sucked At Acting

A music video is basically a really short movie, right? Join as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Singers Who Sucked at Acting.

For this list, we’re focusing on singers who decided to expand into acting and bombed in a big way, so we are excluding brief cameos or televisions appearances. Additionally, we’re keeping the list to individuals who are well known for an established singing career, so celebs who happened to dabble in both singing and acting, such as Paris Hilton, won’t be found on this list. Get ready to cringe as these singers prove they shouldn’t quit their day jobs just yet.

#10: Usher

This R&B singer may have a smooth voice and charisma when he’s belting out tunes, but the same cannot be said for his screen presence – especially as a leading man. His small parts in some ‘90s teen flicks were passable. But, despite his dimpled grin and boyish good looks, his line delivery often falls flat, lacks timing or is just monotone, making scenes that should be intense, emotional or action packed, seem mundane. While fans may rush to buy or download his tunes, they are much less enthusiastic about racing to the theaters.

#9: Mariah Carey

Casting a talented and world famous singer to play a singer trying to make it big seems like a great idea. Well, that was not the case when Mariah was cast as the lead actress in “Glitter.” Overall, her performance lacked believability, even when Carey was lip syncing to her own soundtrack recordings. Her small role as a social worker in “Precious” was equally bland. Mariah won a Razzie for worst actress in 2002 and was nominated for another in 2010 for the worst actress of the decade. ‘Nuff said.

#8: Toby Keith

Now to switch genres a bit and head into the honky-tonk side of the list. While Toby Keith has very few movies to his credit, his acting skills, or lack thereof, never fail to not make an impression. On screen he shows about as much interest in flirting as he does heading to a restroom. He even wrote, produced and starred in “Beer for My Horses,” and still managed to fail. Whether tackling comedy or action the results read flat. By contrast, Willie Nelson act circles around poor Toby despite being ancient. And stoned!

#7: Kelly Clarkson

After winning the first season of “American Idol,” Kelly hit the music charts at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. Then she starred in a little movie called “From Justin to Kelly” with fellow “Idol” contestant Justin Guarini, which bombed. Hard. Clarkson’s performance appears robotic at times, with awkward pauses between lines and flat delivery, while her face remains expressionless face and she projects seriously unnatural body language. It’s possible that as a former extra, Clarkson wasn’t used to, you know, actually having lines, or maybe she was just as bored as the audience watching the movie.

#6: Taylor Swift

When IMDb lists an artist’s music videos as shorts, this should be a sign that the singer has acting chops; unfortunately for Taylor, this doesn’t apply. The girl who can do no wrong in the music world can do no right when it comes to acting, whether it’s in a big screen role or a brief TV cameo. In “Valentine’s Day,” she played one of the more forgettable characters in the movie, which is probably a good thing, given how unconvincingly she delivered her lines. In many scenes it seemed she didn’t even know how to carry on a normal conversation. Her acting may’ve improved slightly in “The Giver,” but that might be because she had a smaller role.

#5: Gene Simmons

One would think a guy who gets onstage wearing make-up and rocking out in front of a huge audience should have no problem with acting. Well, Mr. Simmons decided to prove that theory wrong. Although, he might fall into the “so bad, it’s amusing” category of acting when he’s a character like Nuke in “Trick or Treat.” When he tries to pull off a more everyday role, such as Mary’s father in “Expecting Mary” or the boss in “Extract,” it’s a case of: you wanted the best, you got Gene Simmons.

#4: Jessica Simpson

This southern girl is best known for her killer pipes and the dumb blonde persona, which also seems to be the limit of her acting range. To her credit, she plays the dumb but bubbly blonde character perfectly – unfortunately it can grow to be perfectly tiring. When her characters are supposed to have a deep moment, a romantic connection, or flirty fun, she plays them all the same. All of this makes it hard to take Simpson seriously or to see past just how good she looks in those cutoffs.

#3: Vanilla Ice

Robert Van Winkle might be a lyrical poet, and he might rock the mic like a vandal but he’s definitely not a silver screen king. Riding the wave of his success with ‘Ice Ice Baby,’ Van Winkle starred in “Cool As Ice” and gave a performance that left audiences… not warm. He had no chemistry with the lead actress or anyone else, and in most scenes he seemed hopelessly lost. More rebellious nerd than tough guy, Ice’s acting left us wondering if he should stick to rapping, which is saying something.

#2: Madonna

It should come as no surprise that the Queen of Pop made our list, as her unsuccessful attempts at acting are legendary. Although it’s clear that she has had some successful acting turns in front of the camera, Madonna has starred in several box-office bombs – and it’s not hard to understand why they tanked. Often cast as the annoying and outlandish lead, Madge typically just manages to irritate and confuse audiences with her performances. The only things saving her from being our number one pick are the few times she wasn’t totally awful: “A League of Their Own” and her crowning moment as Breathless Mahoney in “Dick Tracy.”

Before we reveal our top pick, here are a few honorable, or in this case, dishonorable mentions:
- Rihanna
- Bob Dylan
- Lance Bass
- 50 Cent

#1: Britney Spears

Given the controversy surrounding this pop princess’s career, calling her acting ventures a low point is really saying something. In the earliest part of her career, Britney joined a soon-to-be-famous cast of young singers on “The All-New Mickey Mouse Club,” which did include a few skits here and there. But it wasn’t until “Crossroads” that she truly showed her lack of acting skills. It’s hard to narrow down exactly what was worst: her fake accent, horrible line timing, or her awkward attempts at singing karaoke. Let’s just say watching Britney act might just be toxic.

Do you agree with our list? Which singer do you think sucked it up at acting? For more Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to

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