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Friday, June 14, 2024

Top 40 All- Time Black Music Artists in the Film Industry


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Ice Cube Three Kings

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It is such a joy when we get to see our favorite musicians expand their artistry onto the big screen. The emotions we feel through song is only heightened when their is a visual component to cherish.
RELATED: Black Music Month: Celebrating These Artists Turned Actors!

Black music artists have played a significant role in the world of cinema, lending their immense talents to both the soundtracks and on-screen performances of countless films over the decades.
RELATED: Black Music Month: These Black Artists Produced Classic Movie Soundtracks [Gallery]

From the soulful, emotive vocals of Aretha Franklin in The Blues Brothers to the dynamic dance moves and infectious rhythms of Michael Jackson in The Wiz, these remarkable artists have brought an unparalleled energy and authenticity to their cinematic appearances. Legends like Mahalia Jackson have graced the silver screen, offering spellbinding gospel performances that stirred the hearts of audiences in the 1959 film Imitation of Life. While contemporary stars like Beyoncé, and Jennifer Hudson have delivered show-stopping musical numbers that have become iconic moments in modern movie musicals.

Who is the First Black Music Artist Turned Actor?

Bill Robinson was documented as the first Black musician to become an actor. Robinson quit school at age seven and began work as a professional dancer the following year. Robinson starred in vaudeville, musical stage and movies. According to imdb.com, He worked in fifteen movies, but his movie fame came primarily from the films he made with Shirley Temple — The Little Colonel (1935). In 1989 the US Congress named his birth date as National Tap Dancing Day.

Who is the Best Black Music Artist Turned Actor?

Will Smith is undoubtedly the most talented musician to crossover into the film industry. In 1990, his popularity increased dramatically when he starred in the popular television series The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. This show opened up a number of opportunities for Smith to expand on his acting career.

Will Smith’s Oscar-winning turn in Ali, for instance, stands as a testament to the depth and range of talent within the black musical community. Smith has appeared in over 30 films and a solidified himself as a staple in Hollywood.

The influence of black music artists extends far beyond just musical contributions, as many have taken on acting roles that have showcased their versatility and dramatic ability.

Special Red Carpet Screening For New Line Cinema's "House Party"

Source: Matt Winkelmeyer / Getty

Whether commanding the stage, anchoring a film’s soundtrack, or captivating viewers with their acting chops, Black music artists have consistently proven themselves to be invaluable assets to the movie industry, complementing each project they appear in with an unmatched cultural significance that has left an indelible impact on cinema history.
RELATED: Not Starring: 15 Famous Movie Roles That Almost Went To A Different Actor

Check out the Top 40 Black Artists Turned Actors

19. Donald Glover (Childish Gambino)

30. Lincoln Perry (Stepin Fetchit)

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