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Posted at 10:43 AM ET, 12/13/2006

Actors Who Think They Can Sing: Halle Berry

By Liz Kelly

Halle Berry. (Reuters)

Warning: Oscar-winning super-hottie Halle Berry is poised to make what could amount to the biggest mistake of her career. In the December issue of Ebony magazine, she confirmed that she'll release an album in February. Said Berry:

"I've always loved to sing and this album will show people that I can do more than act."

No. It. Won't.

There are actors who sing and singers who act, but the former tend to be an exercise in humiliation while the latter (Mos Def, Erykah Badu) tend to make the transition better. Someone like J.Lo -- who arrived on the scene as "multifaceted" performance machine -- is left out of this conversation. Today, we're concentrating on names who rose to fame as actors before arriving at the unfortunate decision to sing.

Apparently, Berry failed to learn this lesson from those who have preceded her into this same blunder-filled territory. Dare I mention Eddie Murphy, whose career detour began sometime around the time he wanted his girl to "Party All the Time" and continued through an ill-advised 1993 duet with Michael Jackson. Or perhaps Patrick Swayze's schmaltzy songs from the "Dirty Dancing" soundtrack are more to your distaste? The list goes on -- Don Johnson, David Hasselhoff (yes, he's big in Germany), Demi Moore -- I could go on.

The net result of the albums released by dabbling actors is a legacy of cringe-worthy YouTube watching.

Halle -- if you're out there -- please reconsider. I don't want to be forced to categorize you -- and Scarlett Johansson -- with William Shatner (though I thank you for the opportunity to link to this yet again).

-- Amazon Listmania: Actors Can Sing Too! (includes releases by Alyssa Milano, Bruce Willis and John Schneider)

By Liz Kelly  | December 13, 2006; 10:43 AM ET
Categories:  Celebrities  
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Two rappers who turned into good actors: Will Smith and Ice T. Well, great in the former and decent in the latter.

Right up there w/Shatner... Richard Harris (MacArthur Park, Jonathan Livingston Seagull).

Posted by: b | December 13, 2006 12:02 PM | Report abuse

I can sing, too. But I'm not worth listening to. These actors need to understand that they really need to bring something unique to the table if anyone is going to buy listen to their records.

Posted by: Another liz | December 13, 2006 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Ludacris was great in Crash, too.

Posted by: Jo | December 13, 2006 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Halle, I love you please don't do this. Please.

Posted by: caroldc | December 13, 2006 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Nice article, except the fact is Eddie Murphy and Don Johnson are pretty good singers, and the Hoff is very good. Tough for cool, edgy people to admit, but true.

Posted by: mart | December 13, 2006 12:12 PM | Report abuse

The other guy from Miami Vice had an album as well, didn't he? Phillip Michael Thomas, I think.

Don Johnson, Patrick Swayze and David Hasselhoff. Could it get any better? Why yes it could. A while back I heard rumblings that Heidi Klum was coming out with an album. If Halle has a duet with JaRule, I'll be in heaven.

Posted by: petal | December 13, 2006 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Wait, I'm jumping the gun. I haven't even heard her hum a tune. I will reserve judgement until the album comes out.

Oh lord, what if it's on par with the Tara Banks last and only(praise be)cd?

Posted by: caroldc | December 13, 2006 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Oh, c'mon--the William Shatner/Ben Folds CD is fun! Admit it--you know you loved the William Shatner/Aimee Mann duet.

And can Halle Berry embarass herself any more than she did in Catwoman?

Posted by: Brian | December 13, 2006 12:35 PM | Report abuse

That Amazon list is scary! I'm off to purge my ears...

Posted by: CMC | December 13, 2006 12:42 PM | Report abuse

She can't possibly be worse than any of the current crop of supposed to be singers?

Lohan, Britney, JoJo, Rihana, Beyonce, Hillary, etc........

Posted by: winx | December 13, 2006 12:45 PM | Report abuse

C'mon people, Richard Harris doing MacArthur Park is comedy gold. And Eddie Murphy is singing in Dreamgirls and is said to be pretty good. Half the people out there who claim to be singers stink, just listen to the radio for about half an hour if you don't believe me.

[And can Halle Berry embarass herself any more than she did in Catwoman?]
Catwoman on a double bill with BAPS? Nothing could be more embarassing than that.

Posted by: Hee | December 13, 2006 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Thank you so much for the William Shatner link. There are no words...

Posted by: Beth | December 13, 2006 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Why is it so wrong that I like "She's like the Wind" from Dirty Dancing?!

Posted by: not bluto | December 13, 2006 1:14 PM | Report abuse

I came across a link to the rolling stone webpage that had a link to Heidi Klum's music video. It is a Christmas song... her voice isn't terrible but it's not great.

Posted by: dupont | December 13, 2006 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Please, please check out Amazon's reader reviews about David Hasslehof's albums - pure comedic genius. He must have reviewed his own album with comments like, "voice of an angel"!

I lived in Germany in the late 80s and heard "the Hof's" music first-hand. I listened to a German radio station so I didn't know that he was the singer behind that horrible song, "Freedom". I thought the lyrics were terribly cheesy. One day I heard the announcer say his name and I stood there staring dumfounded at the radio, "KNIGHT RIDER sang that song?" I was lucky, I didn't have a tv so I didn't see the Baywatch craze sweep Germany.

Posted by: AJ | December 13, 2006 1:22 PM | Report abuse

"Why is it so wrong that I like "She's like the Wind" from Dirty Dancing?!"

Because the first line of the song is, "She's like the wind...through my treeeeee..."

Posted by: Arlingotn, VA | December 13, 2006 2:01 PM | Report abuse

wait. you mean the songs in dirty dancing weren't sung by real musicians? i am so disillusioned.

Posted by: b | December 13, 2006 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Okay, can't take the Patrick Swayze song seriously. A friend of mine used to sing that song with a variation on the lyrics . . .

"She passes wind, smells like cheese"

(And yes, I just threw up a little bit in my mouth.)

Posted by: LOL | December 13, 2006 2:18 PM | Report abuse

that's sad about peter boyle....i loved him on raymond and his performance in "Young Frankenstein" is one of the classics of comedy.

Posted by: off topic | December 13, 2006 2:32 PM | Report abuse

I am getting the William Shatner/Leonard Nimoy album for sure. I can't pass up the chance to hear Bill singing "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds". Also wasn't there a track with Mr. Spock singing "Proud Mary" somewhere?
As for MacArthur Park, all I can think of is Dave Thomas re-enacting that song on SCTV....that still is one of the funniest things I have ever seen. I have no idea why he decided to pick Richard Harris to impersonate, but he played him better than Richard Harris played himself!!

Posted by: Barb | December 13, 2006 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Do your thing Halle. I don't think the problem is that the actors can't sing, the lyrics to their songs are just cheesy. Tisha Campbell also tried it in the early to mid 90s. She has a beautiful voice...Little Shop of Horrors...but the lyrics weren't right.

Good luck Halle.

Posted by: redhotmamagirl | December 13, 2006 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Okay, I have to pull out the ipod for this:
"she's like the wind, through my tree
she rides night next to me
she leads me to moonlight only to burn me with the sun.
she's taken my heart - she doesn't know what she's done!"

hahaha it does say: She's like the wind through my tree!

but, now "i'm just a fool to believe i am anything she needs" is classic!

aw. you know i'm wearing leg warmers right now.

Posted by: not bluto | December 13, 2006 2:38 PM | Report abuse

haven't you all seen heidi klum's victoria's secret commercial where she sings a few lines from "santa baby"? it's indeed cringe-inducing!!

courtney love once said something to the effect that all actors secretly want to be rockers (keanu reeves, anyone?), but most rockers have no ambition to be actors. once you are a rockstar, what's the point of doing anything else? ah, that courtney, so full of wisdom...

Posted by: wats | December 13, 2006 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Kevin Bacon -
Russell "I have Anger Management Issues" Crowe
Minnie Driver (her song wasn't bad I have to admit)

Ya'll forgot LL Yummalicious Cool J. He's awesome at both.

Let's just call it the Michael Jordan principle - just wasn't good at pro-baseball...

Posted by: more | December 13, 2006 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Okay, so the lyrics for 'She's Like The Wind' are breathtakingly stupid - not an unusual state of affairs in popular music. But what does that have to do with Patrick Swayze's abilities as a singer?

Posted by: aem | December 13, 2006 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Ok, I just finished the reviews for David "don't hassle the hoff" Hasselhoff and I must admit I am now a convert. The album is after all "an 11 on the scale of manliness" For so long I have wanted to "Get Ready to ROCK your body and ROLL your heart!!!!!,". My sides hurt, there is no way those are objective reviews. I've heard the man ummm.. sing, they just can't be real.

And I completely forgot the soulful stylings of one Brian Austin Green. Sweet!

Posted by: petal | December 13, 2006 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Someone mentioned it above, but it deserves repeating:

Phillip Michael Thomas, Tubbs from 'Miami Vice'

My nominee for worst star album EVER!

Posted by: Glover Park | December 13, 2006 3:13 PM | Report abuse

So now the song is RUINED. Hear me? Ruined! I keep imagining Sam from the movie Ghost singing she's like the wind. Song's better when the singer is faceless.

On another note, speaking of David Hasselhoff, ever see that interview where he's convinced the Berlin Wall fell because he sang that song while the wall crumbles?!

Posted by: not bluto | December 13, 2006 3:16 PM | Report abuse

And on my WHOA Joey Lawrence kick: Remember how his video debut was played after an episode of Blossom?! It was a bad version of Fresh Prince of Bel Air - with neon graffiti and high top sneakers.

Posted by: not bluto | December 13, 2006 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, I have a great singing voice, but I have no album, because (among many, many other reasons) I have nothing to say through music that I can't say in plenty of other ways. Fortunately, I am not a celebrity, so no one around me is telling me it would be a good idea for me to put out an album. I'd just embarrass myself.

Posted by: h3 | December 13, 2006 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Did someone say Brian Austin Green?

Posted by: Liz | December 13, 2006 3:24 PM | Report abuse

But Halle's singing in "The Dorothy Dandridge Story" was dubbed. If she could sing, why didn't she do her own singing?

(Then again, Dorothy Dandridge herself was dubbed in "Carmen Jones" - nevermind!)

Posted by: Alexandria, VA Guy | December 13, 2006 3:30 PM | Report abuse

What was Halle's talent in the Miss USA contest? Wait, does Miss USA even have a talent a la Miss America?

Heidi Klum's singing talent is on a VS commericial. She's good.

Posted by: Christine | December 13, 2006 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Wait, wait, wait. "She's Like the Wind" is a bad song?

Posted by: Eric | December 13, 2006 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Liz, now if I can find the Joey Lawrence video that not bluto mentioned. Hopefully it's on youtube as well.

Posted by: petal | December 13, 2006 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Petal: Remember Joey wore those bleachy jeans with a "wife-beater" and a red-n-black flannel tied around his waist?! Hahaha the early-90s were too good to us.

Posted by: not bluto | December 13, 2006 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Someone find the Hasselhoff thing on youtube. He seriously thinks communism fell because of his universal musical appeal. Seriously.

Posted by: not bluto | December 13, 2006 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Milla Jojovich. Woooow.

Posted by: Jeb | December 13, 2006 3:48 PM | Report abuse

You haven't truly experienced Hasselhoff until you've seen the video for "Hooked on a Feeling." They used to show clips from it regularly on The Soup, so maybe it will make their year-end episode.

As for Heidi Klum, she is bad in that VS commercial. Just because you're sleeping with a singer doesn't mean you can sing, too.

Posted by: i'm just sayin' | December 13, 2006 4:16 PM | Report abuse

To not bluto: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHA!!!!! I forgot about that. The flannel is key to the outfit. That video has got to be on youtube. I'll have to step up the search.

I think the Hasselhoff thing is on VH1 somewhere. That's how I found out about it. On their "I love the" series.

Posted by: petal | December 13, 2006 4:22 PM | Report abuse

How about the Rosie O'Donnell Christmas album? Where she sings with stars...I'm sorry to say I have it. It was a gift, and I listened to it maybe twice.

Posted by: Ugh... | December 13, 2006 4:50 PM | Report abuse

There are way too many critics in the world who tell us to not. Stuff it. We will.

Posted by: Gary Masters | December 13, 2006 4:55 PM | Report abuse

J. Lo should not be left out of this article. She is a mediocre actor and an even worse singer & songwriter. Her contributions to pop music are unoriginal & trite lyrics sang with a painfully limited vocal range. The beats she uses are hack jobs lifted from previous hits, a boring & overdone recipe for crappy hit singles. At least Halle can act. J. Lo (worst nickname ever) has no oscar/grammy in her future.

But man, she's got a great booty!

Posted by: rob g in annapolis | December 13, 2006 5:46 PM | Report abuse

william shatner reciting "rocket man"? superlatives cannot do it justice. a beyond the pale performance. i'd forgotten its stunning brilliance until seeing it again today. screams of hilarity filled our home. thank you, thank you.

Posted by: frieda | December 13, 2006 8:47 PM | Report abuse

tree? TREE? you have GOT to be kidding! my whole life, I thought the lyric was "dreams" - I will never be able to listen to that song again ...

Posted by: W | December 14, 2006 11:37 AM | Report abuse

You know who CAN sing, surprisingly enough? Minnie Driver! A couple of years ago, I saw her CD, Everything I've Got in My Pocket, in the store. I was curious, so I bought it on impulse. I'm not a Minnie Driver fan or anything, but the CD turned out to be great.

(OK, I confess that, somewhere in my storage, lies Don Johnson's LP. But don't hold that against me. I knew it was bad, but I bought it anyway because I had such a huge crush on him in Miami Vice. I suffer from no such impairment in my assessment of Minnie Driver.)

Posted by: sen | December 18, 2006 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Why not give Halle Berry's New CD a chance? She was AMAZING in Introducing Dorothy Dandridge. Stop hating and using your God-given talent for writing to harm...

Posted by: Paula Mooney | December 19, 2006 10:27 AM | Report abuse

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