Hi! Welcome to the first of what will hopefully be many “Playlist of the Week”!
Every Monday I’ll come up with a theme and make a playlist for you to listen to to hopefully help your week go a little better 🙂
The first Playlist of the Week theme is: Songs By Actors
Now, this isn’t a playlist of songs by people like J.Lo., Selena Gomez, or Demi Lovato, people who are known equally for both acting and singing. This is also not a playlist of songs from TV or movie musicals (except one, which we’ll get to).
This is a playlist of songs by people who are very known for roles they’ve played on TV or in movies, but would maybe not want people to remember they also at one time tried to give singing a chance. Or maybe they do! That’s fine!
Here’s the playlist, and as always the link to listen on Spotify is posted below!
- Paris Hylton, “Stars Are Blind”
This song is the reason I made this playlist. Is Paris Hylton an “actor”? Depends I guess on your definition of the word. But she starred on “The Simple Life,” so I’m counting it.
This is, and I’m not exaggerating, an incredible pop song. I make quite a lot of these themed playlist and I’ve found a way to incorporate this song into at least 60 percent of them. I’m genuinely shocked she didn’t try to release more music after this, it’s that good.
Of course, Ms. Hylton is now a world renowned DJ so it’s not a surprise she has some musical talent (although, after a quick Google search the jury is still out on whether she’s actually good at DJing). Regardless, She released a perfect pop song in 2006 and it was her best contribution to pop culture, as far as I’m concerned.
- Kim Kardashian, “Jam (Turn It Up)”
Paris Hylton’s reality TV counterpart and former BFF Kim Kardashian also tried her hand at pop music when she released “Jam” in 2011. And the results were terrible. This is not a good song. The attempt at a club hit was there, and you know, I commend her for trying. Kim Kardashian in 2011 was trying to become Kim Kardashian of 2021, and thought getting into music was the way to that.
It was not, but that’s okay! You tried, Kim! Good job! Good effort!
- Mandy Moore, “Candy”
Mandy Moore was one of the original Hilary Duffs and Selena Gomezes of the world. Someone who was a teen celeb and did both music and movies. Though she’s most famous now for This Is Us, at the time she was probably much more into music, and released some very good mid-90s Disney Channel hits, of which “Candy” is my favorite.
Ms. Moore also released a version of “Stupid Cupid” for “The Princess Diaries” soundtrack which is an absolute delight. I don’t know if her appearing in that movie was the highlight of her career in her mind, but it was definitely the highlight of her career in mine!
- Leighton Meester, “Good Girls Go Bad”
Leighton Meester was only featured on this song by Cobra Starship, but I’m counting it because Leighton was at the time deep in “Gossip Girl” mania and I’m sure she desperately wanted to prove to people she was NOT Blair Waldorf.
I loved this song in college (it was released in 2009) but listening now, it was pretty cheesy. Good on Leighton though who seems very cool in real life, way better than Blair Serena Van Der Woodsen.
(Side note: Leighton most recently starred in the ABC sitcom “Single Parents” which was very good but was canceled after just two seasons which was very bad but you should watch it anyway.)
- Jennifer Love Hewitt, “Barenaked”
I can’t hear the name Jennifer Love Hewitt and not think of the episode of “Boy Meets World” she guest starred on where there was a serial killer in the high school and they called her Jennifer Love Fefferman and (spoiler alert) Shawn finds the killer but he takes the mask off to reveal he was the killer the whole time! It was nuts.
JLH actually released FOUR albums between 1992-2002. None of them had any success in the U.S. though, so she’ll always be known for her “Party of Five” and “I Know What You Did Last Summer” fame.
- Lindsay Lohan, “Ultimate”
Yes, Lindsay Lohan was also one of those Disney stars who tried to do everything, but my guess is she was legitimately such a great actress she realized taking time away to release music was a waste of time.
Okay, yes she also had some issues that hurt her career, but we’re not talking about that! She was an incredible young actress and “The Parent Trap” proves that!
I know I said this is not a playlist for songs from movies (“Ultimate” was the main theme from the movie “Freaky Friday,” also starring Lindsay), but her biggest other non-movie hit was “Rumors” and I like this song better! And this is my playlist!
- Chad Michael Murray, “Baby One More Time”
This is not a song CMM released but it’s also from “Freaky Friday”. It’s not a song so much as it’s just a 30-second clip of CMM singing Britney Spears’s first hit terribly, which makes me happy because hot guys like CMM were supposed to be able to do everything and this proves he cannot.
(He hurt Sophia Bush, I do not like him)
- Eddie Murphy, “Party All the Time”
The original actor-turned-musician, I think. He probably wasn’t, but the fact this song exists is hilarious to me.
- Brie Larson, “She Said”
I never knew Brie Larson released music until I did research for this playlist. Her first album came out when she was 15 and clearly a big fan of Avril Lavigne. The album was called “Finally Out of P.E.,” which is an incredible title for a record by a 15-year-old.
“She Said” was apparently the biggest hit from the album, but it has a very generic early 2000s sound and… well, let’s just say it’s a good thing Ms. Larson stuck with acting.
Also, fun fact I learned tonight! Brie Larson used to date the lead singer of Phantom Planet, the band that same “The O.C.” theme song! I would pay SO much money to be a fly on the wall watching famous people meet each other.
- Kelly Osbourne, “Papa Don’t Preach”
Another reality star, Kelly Osbourne released an album in 2002, a time when, like Paris Hylton and Kim Kardashian, famous people didn’t have Twitter or Instagram and felt like they had to release music to stay famous.
Kelly’s first single was a cover of Madonna’s “Papa Don’t Preach” and, like, get it? Because her dad is Ozzy Osbourne? There was an attempt.
Thankfully we don’t have to worry about influencers trying to make money off of releasing songs anymore. They have sponcon for that!
- Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino, “The Situation”
Listen, I’m going to come right out and say there will be no Situation Slander on my blog! I’ve been watching the new Jersey Shore show about everyone’s favorite shore residents and what they’re doing today, and Sitch has become a completely different person. He’s married now. He has a kid on the way. He’s a great friend to the rest of his Shore family. I implore you, if you liked “The Jersey Shore” in college, watch one episode of the new show. It’s boring and nothing ever happens, but it’s a delight to see people who 10 years ago became famous for fist pumping and smashing their heads into walls get their adult fun from eating funfetti cakes and just spending time with one another.
I don’t know if Mike actually recorded anything for this song or if the DJs just took a bunch of clips he said on the show and put them in the song and made him the lead name on the single as a way to sell it more. It’s very weird but there’s some incredible nostalgia hearing “We got a situation” again.
- Gwyneth Paltrow, “Cruisin”
I’ve heard this song at least 500 times in my life. I feel like it was always on the adult contemporary station in town when I was growing up. But it wasn’t until a few months ago I learned Gwyneth Paltrow is the one singing it with Huey Lewis. If you would have given me 1,000 guesses I wouldn’t have guessed that.
This Smokey Robinson remake is from some movie from 2000 called “Duets,” and I know I said this wasn’t a playlist for songs from movies, and I’ve now broken that rule twice, but listen. You remember in 2010 when Gwyneth was in the movie “Country Strong” and was also on “Glee” and was like “I did a lot of singing in movies, I should release an album” and everyone laughed at her? That was good times.
But I could listen to this song a million more times. It’s very, very good.
- Miranda Cosgrove, “About You Now”, and “Dancing Crazy”
Miranda Cosgrove is probably on the Mount Rushmore of Nickelodeon stars, and will forever be known as Carly Shay from “iCarly”, but I can’t allow it to be overlooked that she released some absolute bops!
She release just one album in 2010, probably as a way to capitalize off of her Nickelodeon fame, but it was really good! Like, I’m way too old to listen to it and I love it and listen to it all the time!
- Lucy Hale, “Lie a Little Better”
Little known fact about the actor best known as Aria on “Pretty Little Liars,” Lucy Hale got her first start in showbiz at 13 when she appeared on “American Juniors,” an “American Idol” spinoff show on which she finished in fourth place.
Despite her mega fame from one of the biggest teen shows of the 2000s, Lucy has said music was her first love, and she released an album in 2012 that didn’t sell great and was a bit critically panned. But good for her for trying! This is a good song!
- Victoria Justice and Ariana Grande, “L.A. Boyz”
Did you know former Nickelodeon Star Ariana Grande is also a singer?? Little known fact!
I kid. But her “Victorious” co-star, Victoria Justice, was a very well-known Nickelodeon star who tried her hand in music too. She was… a bit less successful than Grande. But that’s okay! There was a lot of good pop songs that came out of Victorious.
Also, I’m adding “Begging on Your Knees” by Justice to the playlist, which is also from “Victorious,” because it’s great and I love it.
PS – If you have a theme you’ like to see for a future Playlist of the Week, tweet me @caramariecooper 🙂