meta-script12 Actors Who Have Bands: Ryan Gosling, Keanu Reeves, Zoë Kravitz & More |
Dogstar feat. Keanu Reeves

Photo: Brian Bowen Smith


12 Actors Who Have Bands: Ryan Gosling, Keanu Reeves, Zoë Kravitz & More

The stage, screen and soundfield have always been intertwined. Just look at the music made by acclaimed actors from Ryan Gosling to Zoë Kravitz and Keanu Reeves.

GRAMMYs/Oct 2, 2023 - 07:31 pm

Singers in movies? It’s the most natural thing in the world. Elvis Presley did it, time and time again. More than six decades after Love Me Tender, Harry Styles and Jason Isbell have made the move from stage to screen. In between, you have 8 Mile, Crossroads, Crazy Heart… the list rolls on and on.

How about the reverse, though — actors who have bands, as a separate outlet from their work on the silver screen? There’s a rich history there. Ryan Gosling, currently in the spotlight for his witty Barbie performance, has played in the duo Dead Man’s Bones for some 15 years.

Again, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Jack Black’s film legacy runs in parallel to Tenacious D, the comedy-rock duo rocking our worlds since 1994. After taking the 2000s and 2010s off, Keanu Reeves’ Dogstar returns with Somewhere Between the Power Lines and the Palm Trees on Oct. 6.

Granted, this list doesn’t include actors who simply play music, like Jeff Bridges and Jeff Goldblum. Nor would it include Fred Armisen, the bandleader for “Late Night With Seth Meyers.” And if an actor was in a band but no longer is, like Jason Schwartzman in Phantom Planet, that would fall outside this metric.

In honor of this cross-media convergence, let’s take a non-chronological, by-no-means-exhaustive trip through the world of actors who have bands.

Keanu Reeves

Since 1991 — the year Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey was released — Reeves has rocked out in Dogstar.

They released their debut album, Our Little Visionary, in 1996; four years later, they rang in the new millennium with Happy Ending. Twenty -three years later, Dogstar released the uplifting single “Everything Turns Around,” with the full album on its way.

Jared Leto

Like fellow rockers Dogstar, Thirty Seconds to Mars — featuring Jared Leto and his brother Shannon Leto — have a new album in 2023: It’s the End of the World but It’s a Beautiful Day.

Though they’ve taken long breaks since their 1998 formation, they never fell out of the industry; since their 2002 self-titled debut, they’ve managed a couple of albums per decade.

Michael Cera

Lighthearted indie rockers  the Long Goodbye have not one, but two Hollywood actors in it — Michael Cera of Juno, Superbad and more, as well as Clark Duke, who you may remember from Hot Tub Time Machine. (He was also in bands Mister Heavenly with Honus Honus of Man Man, Nicholas Thorburn of Islands and the Unicorns, and Joe Plummer of Modest Mouse and the Shins.)

Zooey Deschanel

The rootsy, twee indie poppers She & Him seemed to typify the mid-2000s upon arrival, and maintained that charm as that milieu gave way to others. These days, the duo of M. Ward and Zooey Deschanel is content to cover classic Christmas songs and Brian Wilson.

Zoë Kravitz

The actress, singer and model — who’s recently been in blockbusters like Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and The Batman — sings in the band Lolawolf, along with drummer and producer Jimmy Gianopoulos. (They’ve worked with eight-time GRAMMY winner Jack Antonoff.)

Michael Imperioli

The "Sopranos" star plays in the three-piece New York indie rock band ZOPA; as per Imperioli’s interest in Eastern-inspired transcendence, the band name means “patience” in Tibetan.

Steve Martin

While he may not have a regular band, the Father of the Bride star and banjo picker has made acclaimed work with the Steep Canyon Rangers, including in contexts like the much-missed radio show “A Prairie Home Companion.”

Michael C. Hall

Princess Goes to the Butterfly Museum: that’s a mouthful! It’s also the name of “Dexter” and “Six Feet Under” star Michael C. Hall’s band with Blondie’s Matt Katz-Bohen and the Wallflowers’ Pedro Yanowitz.

Penn Badgley

The "Gossip Girl" and "You" star is the lead singer of Mothxr — which also includes the aforementioned Gianopoulos. While they haven’t released an album since their 2016 debut, “We'll all be making music for the rest of our lives,” Badgley has said.

Hugh Laurie

Dr. House himself hasmade blues music for years, and plays in the all-actor group Band From TV for charity. (Among its ranks: Greg Gunberg of “Alias” fame and James Denton from “Desperate Housewives.”)

Johnny Depp

Back in the 1970s, Alice Cooper formed the “Hollywood Vampires” drinking club, which included two Beatles and Harry Nilsson. He picked up the mantle once again with his band of the same name, which features Aerosmith’s Joe Perry and Johnny Depp.

Kevin Bacon

The Apollo 13 and Footloose star — as in “six degrees of…” — plays in the Bacon Brothers with his brother Michael; their latest album, The Way We Love, arrived in 2020.

Clearly, the conceit of a music-making screen star remains fresh — whether you’re a Bacon, Laurie or Depp enjoyer, or any other kind of pop culture disciple under the sun.

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Issa Rae

Issa Rae

Photo: Amanda Edwards/Getty Images


Poll: From "Insecure" To "Euphoria," What On-Air TV Show Has Your Favorite Soundtrack?

There's also "Atlanta," "Empire," "GLOW," "POSE," "High Fidelity," "Stranger Things," and "Westworld"—let us know which show has your favorite tunes!

GRAMMYs/Apr 17, 2020 - 02:38 am

With quarantine meaning more time to catch up on shows and movies for many of us, we want to know: What current TV show do you think has been serving up the best tunes? Vote in our poll below and read on for more info on the music behind some of the biggest series.

The Emmy-winning dramedy "Atlanta," whose third and fourth seasons are slated for a 2021 release, sees its creator Donald Glover, a.k.a. Childish Gambino, co-starring as the manager and cousin of a rising ATL rapper. Glover also serves as an executive producer, writer, director and the executive music producer of the acclaimed series, which has featured an eclectic soundtrack including Flying Lotus, 2 Chainz, Yo Gotti, Curtis Mayfield, King Krule and Nas.

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Season one of "Dave" just launched last month. A comedy starring goofy rapper Lil Dicky a.k.a. Dave Burd, the show is based on his own rise to fame. The new show features hip-hop tracks from A$AP Rocky, Tyler, The Creator, O.T. Genasis and more. Burd and Jeff Schaffer are the show's co-creators and also serve as executive producers along with Saladin Patterson, Kevin Hart, Greg Mottola, Scooter Braun and a few others.

"Empire," the musical drama depicting the fictional Empire Entertainment hip-hop dynasty has not been without its own off-camera drama, but its sixth season will wrap up the critically acclaimed series this year. The talented cast, including Taraji P. Henson, Terrence Howard and Bryshere Y. Gray add great original music to an already fire playlist. GRAMMY-winning producer/songwriter Rodney Jerkins, a.k.a. Darkchild, has served as Supervising Music Producer since season three, taking over for fellow GRAMMY-winning production powerhouse Timbaland. This season has included music from Chaka Khan, Khalid, Gladys Knight & The Pips and Ciara.

"Euphoria" is a visually stunning, jarring teen melodrama that unflinchingly looks at addiction, sex, identity, toxic masculinity, social media and more, with a powerful soundtrack and score crafted by musical mastermind Labrinth, executive produced by Drake. With original music from series star Zendaya ("All Of Us"), along with perfectly timed bops from Lizzo, Doja Cat, Billie Eilish, Jamie XX, the emotions are high in this new HBO show, whose second season is set to resume filming following the coronavirus shutdown.

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Set in Los Angeles in the '80s, the Emmy-winning Netflix series "GLOW," or "Gorgeous Women Of Wrestling," features a synth-heavy, period-appropriate soundtrack featuring hits from Roxette, Billy Joel, The Bangles, Daryl Hall & John Oates and more. The fourth and final season of the show starring Alison Brie, Betty Gilpin and Marc Maron is set to resume production after COVID-19 restrictions lift.

Starring Zoë Kravitz as an obsessive yet effortlessly cool Brooklyn record shop owner Rob, "High Fidelity" has an appropriately edgy, eclectic soundtrack. The new Hulu series is a modern take on the 2000 film of the same name starring John Cusack and Lisa Bonet, Kravitz's mom, both of which are adapted from Nick Hornby's 1995 novel. GRAMMY-winning multi-hyphenate Questlove helps curate the vibes as Executive Music Supervisor, with season one featuring music from David Bowie, Frank Zappa, Fleetwood Mac, OutKast and many more. Episode three even features a perfect cameo from Blondie's Debbie Harry as they listen to "Heart of Glass."

Created by and starring everyone's favorite "Awkward Black Girl" Issa Rae, the flyness of "Insecure"'s soundtrack rivals that of its stars, which also include Yvonne Orji, Jay Ellis and Natasha Rothwell. Led by Music Supervisor Kier Lehman, along with an original score from GRAMMY winner Raphael Saadiq, the series features a dope mix of hip-hop and R&B that soundtracks the wave of moods in their L.A. lives, with a strong emphasis on female artists, including Saweetie, Khia, Amber Mark, Kali Uchis and H.E.R. Season four is currently running on HBO.

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If the music, costumes and fierce dance moves on "POSE" don't make you want to strike a—well, you know—maybe you don't have the volume turned up loud enough. Starring iconic GRAMMY winner Billy Porter, alongside powerhouse rising trans actors Indya Moore, Dominique Jackson and Mj Rodriquez, the Emmy-winning FX show explores the glamour and inequality of late-'80s/early-'90s New York City through the lens of the LGBTQ+ ball scene. Shimmering with disco realness, the series features funky jams from KC & The Sunshine Band, The Gap Band, Chaka Khan, En Vogue and more with Amanda Krieg Thomas serving up the tunes as Music Supervisor. The show was renewed for a third season last year, set to launch after the COVID-19 shutdowns.

Netflix favorite "Stranger Things" is a fantastical, surreal journey set in a small town in the early '80s, in a nod to the golden age of sci-fi/fantasy films like "E.T." and "Labyrinth." Starring Winona Ryder and actors Millie Bobby Brown, Finn Wolfhard and Noah Schnapp, longtime film and TV music supervisor Nora Felder ("Romy and Michele's High School Reunion," "Californication") bringing the dark, neon-lit '80s mood front and center. The stellar soundtrack includes '70s and '80s hits and deep cuts from Corey Hart, Don McLean, TOTO, The Clash and more.

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Aerosmith & H.E.R. perform at POTY

Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Recording Academy


H.E.R., Alice Cooper, Gary Clark Jr., Yola & More Rock Out With Aerosmith At MusiCares 2020 Person Of The Year

The electric, energizing performance at the 30th annual star-studded event proved that rock and roll is definitely still alive and well

GRAMMYs/Jan 26, 2020 - 11:10 am

"The Dionysian spirit of rock is alive tonight!" actor/comedian Russell Brand announced from the stage of the glitzed-up, guitar-filled Los Angeles Convention Center last night. In true rock fashion he, as the evening's host, wore a black silk kimono and kept his voice loud and presence commanding. The order of the night was honoring four-time GRAMMY-winning rock and roll icons Aerosmith as MusiCares 2020 Person Of The Year, for both their indelible contributions to music and culture, but also in their activism—as artists in recovery and with efforts like Janie's Fund.

The exclusive gala, being held in the band's honor for this 30th-anniversary event, helped raise a lot of money for the philanthropic work of MusiCares and was filled with killer renditions of Aerosmith's endless classics by Alice Cooper, Gary Clark Jr., Yola, Melissa Etheridge, H.E.R., John Legend, Cheap Trick, the Jonas Brothers, Kesha and more. After the stellar concert, which was interspersed with footage of Aerosmith over the years and past POTY performances, the whole band was presented with their awards. Finally, the very special honorees were ready to "let the music do the talking," as Steven Tyler put it, with an epic four-song performance featuring some special guests.

While the rockin' essence of the band was felt in every powerhouse performance, everyone, especially Brand (his excitement over Tyler's signature scarf-tied mic stand was real and relatable), the anticipation for Aerosmith's set was felt by all. Read—and dream—on to find out exactly who played what. Our behind-the-scenes videos above (inside the event) and below (on the red carpet) may also get you "Cryin'."

Also, on hand for the occasion were Recording Academy Chair Emeritus Christine Albert and Vice Chair Tammy Hurt spoke to the heart of MusiCares.

In total, there were 13 performances leading up to the very special headline moment. To kick things off, fellow classic rockers Cheap Trick performed "Rats In The Cellar," from 1976's Rocks. The black-and-white suit-wearing Jonas Brothers followed up with a performance of the GRAMMY-winning classic "Crazy." After that came current GRAMMY nominees Emily King and Luis Fonsi, who gave a powerful duet of "Angel."

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For the fourth number, GRAMMY-nominated country queen Ashley McBryde rocked a killer take of "Dude (Looks Like A Lady)" wearing a scarf-fringed leather jacket as a nod to Tyler. Before, on the red carpet, McBryde revealed she'd "been nervous all week…knowing it's for them." On stage, she oozed rock star confidence.

Fifth up was Gavin DeGraw, who started out singing 1989's "What It Takes" at the piano, but revved it up at the end as he strutted his way off the stage, offering high fives as he made his way through the audience. In a perfectly executed surprise collab moment, DeGraw found his way to Tyler's table, who offered an epic dose of "YEAHS!" to the song.

Kesha followed up that powerful performance with one of her own, singing "Janie's Got A Gun" accompanied by a string section from a second stage in the middle of the room. The 1989 song was the band's first to earn them a GRAMMY win and, as it discussed abuse, was their first socially charged anthem. Wearing a fierce black patent leather trench coat and dark locks, Kesha's power rippled through the room.

Next, first-time GRAMMY nominee Yola, accompanied by fellow 2020 nominee Gary Clark Jr. on epic electric guitar duties, belted a rendition of "Cryin'" that almost had Tyler in tears. His look of joy and amazement during the performance was definitely reflected in the rest of the audience. For the eighth act, LeeAnn Rimes, like Yola, brought gorgeously sequined, powerhouse female energy to Aerosmith's music, in the form of "Livin' On The Edge."

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Always a treat to witness live, soulful GRAMMY winner John Legend held the audience captive as he sang "I Don't Wanna Miss A Thing" at the piano. "It's a lot of pressure going after John Legend, seriously," Jessie J laughed, midway through her gorgeous rendition of "Home Tonight." She slayed her performance, though, and turned heads in a liquid-silver starlet dress. Following the two power-ballads, GRAMMY winner Melissa Etheridge and past nominee Nuno Bettencourt brought the rock meter back up high with "Walk This Way."

The 12th act was led by Sammy Hagar with Orianthi on guitar, who performed 1976's "Back In The Saddle." Last but not least of the epic performances were Foo Fighters, who rocked us hard with two songs, "Let The Music Do The Talking" and "Toys In The Attic," complete with Dave Grohl offering some epic screeches. "I don't know how Steven screams like that for more than one song," Grohl mused.

After a kind word from entertainment lawyer Dina LaPolt (who is Tyler's longtime attorney and helped pass the Music Modernization Act), the men of the hour finally took the stage to accept their awards. After brief thank yous and big smiles, it was finally time for Aerosmith to sing their music. They opened with "Big Ten Inch Record," their cover of Bull Moose Jackson from Toys In The Attic. In epic rock star fashion, Tyler asked for a piano and, in a few seconds, out came a grand piano as the band began to play those emotive chords of "Dream On." Shortly after the piano appeared, 2019 GRAMMY-winning guitar hero H.E.R. emerged for a truly epic duet with Tyler.

While that would've been an amazing place to end, the rock gods had a few more surprises left in store for the lucky audience. Tyler requested the audience—everyone had been seated at assigned tables—to move to the front. As the crowd got up close, he took off his long white jacket and let his dance moves free for "Sweet Emotion." For the very final song of the evening, "Same Old Song And Dance," the band was joined by fellow longtime rock icon Alice Cooper along with Hollywood Vampires bandmate Johnny Depp.

Don't forget to tune into the very big finale of the 2020 GRAMMY Week—the 62nd GRAMMY Awards tomorrow, Sun. Jan. 26 at 5 p.m. PT/ 8 p.m. ET on CBS. Stay backstage with us here at, where you can learn more about all the winners, watch acceptance speeches and select performances and tune into the Red Carpet and Premiere Ceremony live streams prior to the show.

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Jared Leto

Jared Leto

Photo: Lorenzo Agius | Design: F Inomata


Jared Leto On 'America,' Working With Halsey, "Rescue Me" & More

We go behind the scenes with the Thirty Seconds To Mars frontman to chat about the band’s latest album, creativity, collaboration and more

GRAMMYs/Dec 31, 2018 - 10:52 pm

Actor and musician Jared Leto may have made his name in Hollywood with major roles in films like Requiem For A Dream and Dallas Buyer Club, for which he won an Academy Award, but music has always been his main passion.

Leto formed alternative-rock group Thirty Seconds To Mars with his brother Shannon back in 1998, releasing their cult-classic, self-titled debut album in 2002. Since then, they have toured the world several times, filmed music video epics and recorded four more studio albums. Their latest LP, America, released on April 6, features tons of collaborations (Halsey, Zedd and ASAP Rocky all make appearances) and experimentation with new sounds, including a greater emphasis on pop and dance influences.

Leto recently visited the GRAMMY Museum in his hometown of Los Angeles to go in-depth on new music and more in a conversation at the Clive Davis Theater. Before the event, we caught up with the singer and actor, who revealed his favorite track on America, what it was like recording his first-ever duet (with GRAMMY nominee Halsey), his approach to making music, and more.

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John Legend

John Legend

Photo: Jerod Harris/Getty Images


John Legend, Bruno Mars, GRAMMY Shows Earn 2018 Emmy Nominations

Celebrating the best in TV, the annual Emmy Awards have announced this year's round of awards candidates

GRAMMYs/Jul 13, 2018 - 12:42 am

Emmy nominations for 2018 — the 70th year of celebrating the best in TV over the course of the previous year — are out and here's how the music world stacked up.

The Recording Academy earned five nominations this year for our musical TV centerpieces. The 60th GRAMMY Awards telecast live from New York earned nods for Outstanding Production Design For A Variety Special, Outstanding Lighting Design/Lighting Direction For A Variety Special, Outstanding Variety Special (Live), and Outstanding Sound Mixing For A Variety Series Or Special.

Meanwhile, the Academy's TV tribute to the indelible music of an icon, "Elton John: I'm Still Standing — A Grammy Salute," earned a nomination for Outstanding Music Direction for the special's music director Davey Johnstone.

Bruno Mars also earned a nod for Outstanding Music Direction for his Bruno "Mars: 24K Magic Live At The Apollo" while Super Bowl music director Adam Wayne Blackstone earned recognition in the same category for this year's halftime show featuring Justin Timberlake

For his role in the breakout hit live TV musical "Jesus Christ Superstar Live In Concert," John Legend received an Emmy nod for Outstanding Lead Actor In A Limited Series Or Movie. Already a GRAMMY, Oscar and Tony winner, if Legend wins his Emmy this year, he would join the elite EGOT-winning crew alongside entertainers such as Rita Moreno and Whoopi Goldberg.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr"> thank you!! <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; John Legend (@johnlegend) <a href="">July 12, 2018</a></blockquote><script async src="" charset="utf-8"></script>

"Jesus Christ Superstar Live In Concert" also earned several additional nominations, including Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Limited Series Or Movie for Brandon Victor Dixon as Judas, Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Limited Series Or Movie for Sara Bareilles as Mary Magdalene and Outstanding Variety Special (Live).

Other familiar musical faces made the Emmy nominations list for their acting work. Donald Glover — aka Childish Gambino — earned several nods for his work on the hit comedy series "Atlanta," including Outstanding Lead Actor In A Comedy Series and Outstanding Directing For A Comedy Series. One-time "Glee" actor/singer Darren Criss is up for Outstanding Lead Actor In A Limited Series Or Movie for his role as Andrew Cunanan in "The Assassination Of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story."

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In the musical categories, a number of composers earned nominations for their music works. This includes the GRAMMY-winning composers behind the score to La La Land Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, who earned a Emmy nod for Outstanding Original Music And Lyrics  "In The Market For A Miracle" from "A Christmas Story Live!" Steve Martin earned a nomination in the same category for "The Buddy Song" from "Steve Martin & Martin Short: An Evening You Will Forget For The Rest Of Your Life."

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