Plenty of models think their true calling is different than just looking gorgeous while getting their picture taken, but few of them actually make it in another field. There are many examples of models turned actors, but a lot less when it comes to models who became singers, especially successful ones.
Find out which models tried to get into music, with varying degrees of commercial and critical success, and learn more about their hits and flops.
Even though her first and only album managed to sell 1 million copies around the world, Naomi Campbell’s musical debut was widely panned by critics. Released in 1994, “babywoman” was a hit in Japan and featured a single Top 40 UK Hit, “Love & Tears”.
The album wasn’t even released in the US, and Campbell went back to her day job, as one of the biggest supermodels in the world.
There are few models who became singers and enjoyed success in their new field, and even fewer who ended up as a First Lady. After signing her first modeling contract at the age of 19, Bruni became one of the 20 highest-paid fashion models in the ‘90s, before quitting to follow her real passion. Three out of her four albums went to no. 1 in the French charts, one of them just months after she had married French president Nicolas Sarkozy.
After modeling and acting from and early age, Milla Jovovich also decided to focus on music and released her first and only solo album “The Divine Comedy” in 1994. Another record featuring her voice was released in 1998, “The People Tree Sessions”, even though it wasn’t authorized by Milla.
Probably the biggest success story when it comes to models who became singers, Grace Jones started modeling at the age of 18, and her first album was released 11 years later. Jones released 8 albums, had 15 top 20 hits in the US dance charts, and inspired countless musicians, from Lady Gaga and Rihanna to Basement Jaxx and Grimes.
The Dutch supermodel had only one his, “I Am What I Am” in 2002, and released an eponymous album in 2004 sung entirely in French, but her success in music didn’t match her modeling career. After retiring from modeling in 2000, Mulder also suffered from depression and survived a suicide attempt and a public breakdown.
Even though he modeled for Tommy Hilfiger and Guess and made the cover of many fashion magazines, Tyrese Gibson was always focused on his music career. He’s one of the most successful models who became singers. His discography includes 5 solo albums and many collaborations and guest features. Tyrese sold over 3 million albums in the US, since her first solo effort in 1998.
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The Romanian Canadian model was actually dreaming of becoming a ballerina before she suffered a knee injury. Her modeling career started at the age of 17, in London, where she also met Pete Doherty, frontman of The Libertines and Babyshambles. Irina worked with Doherty and Sean Lennon, and debuted songs during Fashion Week runway shows, but she never really became a recording artist.
One of the most influential supermodels in the world, Twiggy also became a fashion icon in the ‘60s. A few years later, she was one of the first models who became singers. She released 9 albums, but only had one top 20 hit in the UK, so her musical legacy doesn’t come close to her achievement as “The Face of 1966”.
One of the few models who got discovered while she was actively pursuing a music career, Rebecca Romijn later found success in acting. Her most notable releases include a cover of the Prince song “Darling Nikki” and “Color Me Love”, featured on RuPaul’s 2015 album “The Realness”.
After a very successful modeling career, including appearances in music videos like Michael Jackson’s “Black or White” and George Michael’s “Too Funky”, Tyra also joined the list of models who became singers, even if she never recorded a full album. Her debut single “Shake Yo Body” was followed up by another song with Kobe Bryant.