Top 10 Movie Cameos by Famous Musicians

Top 10 Movie Cameos by Famous Musicians
Image credit: Disney, Legion-Media, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures, Universal Pictures, Warner Bros.

Pretty much every singer is now an actor, too (or at least The Weeknd thinks so), but these cameos were a whole other level.

1. David Bowie in "Zoolander" (2001)

Top 10 Movie Cameos by Famous Musicians - image 1

Ben Stiller's cult classic "Zoolander" might be a lampoon of the fashion industry, but it also gifts us an unforgettable cameo from none other than glam rock icon, David Bowie. Bowie plays himself, stepping in to judge the "walk-off" between rival male models Derek Zoolander (Stiller) and Hansel (Owen Wilson). His rock star gravitas provides the perfect backdrop for this hilarious sequence.

Critics applauded Bowie's self-aware performance, adding another layer of hilarity to an already riotous film. "Zoolander" scored a modest 64% on Rotten Tomatoes but was a commercial success, raking in $60.8 million at the box office.

2. Billy Idol in "The Wedding Singer" (1998)

Top 10 Movie Cameos by Famous Musicians - image 2

"The Wedding Singer" is a warm-hearted romantic comedy that offers a slice of the '80s, including an entertaining cameo from punk rock legend Billy Idol. As himself, Idol helps our heartbroken hero Robbie (Adam Sandler) win back the woman he loves mid-flight, delivering his lines with a wink to the audience. "The Wedding Singer" holds a rating of 68% on Rotten Tomatoes and grossed a whopping $123.3 million worldwide, solidifying its status as a rom-com favorite.

3. Keith Richards in "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End" (2007)

Top 10 Movie Cameos by Famous Musicians - image 3

The Rolling Stones' Keith Richards makes a surprise appearance in the third installment of Disney's swashbuckling "Pirates of the Caribbean" franchise as Captain Teague, Jack Sparrow's father. Richards's pirate persona (which Johnny Depp has admitted was an inspiration for Sparrow, actually) fits perfectly into the wacky world of "Pirates". While the film received mixed reviews (45% on Rotten Tomatoes), Richards's performance was a highlight. The film was a massive box office success, earning $963.4 million globally.

4. Tom Jones in "Mars Attacks!" (1996)

Top 10 Movie Cameos by Famous Musicians - image 4

Tom Jones, the Welsh singer known for his powerful voice and charismatic performances, shines in a hilarious cameo in Tim Burton's satirical sci-fi film "Mars Attacks!" Playing himself, Jones ends up leading a group of survivors in the Nevada desert, even helping to rescue a dog. His straight-faced delivery amidst the zany chaos earned praise from critics. Despite its low Rotten Tomatoes score of 54%, the film has gained cult status over the years, and Jones's performance is a significant part of its quirky charm.

5. Alice Cooper in "Wayne's World" (1992)

Top 10 Movie Cameos by Famous Musicians - image 5

"Wayne's World", a comedy about rock-and-roll fans Wayne (Mike Myers) and Garth (Dana Carvey), offers a memorable cameo by shock rocker Alice Cooper. Playing himself, Cooper gives Wayne and Garth an impromptu history lesson in Milwaukee, uttering the now-iconic line "We're not worthy!" The film was a critical and commercial success, scoring an 84% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and raking in over $183 million at the box office.

6. Elton John in "Kingsman: The Golden Circle" (2017)

Top 10 Movie Cameos by Famous Musicians - image 6

In the sequel to the action-packed "Kingsman: The Secret Service", legendary musician Sir Elton John pops up in an extended cameo that's as flamboyant as the singer himself. Playing a heightened version of himself, John ends up being a hostage in the film's villain's secret lair, providing ample comic relief and even participating in the film's climax. "Kingsman: The Golden Circle" holds a rating of 52% on Rotten Tomatoes and managed to gross $410.9 million worldwide, in part thanks to the allure of its star-studded cast.

7. Flea in "Back to the Future Part II" and "Part III" (1989/1990)

Top 10 Movie Cameos by Famous Musicians - image 7

Red Hot Chili Peppers' bassist Flea made a surprising appearance in the "Back to the Future" franchise as Marty McFly's nemesis, Douglas J. Needles. His punk-like, antagonistic character provided a sharp contrast to Michael J. Fox's wholesome hero, and Flea's performances were praised for their energy and charm.

The films performed exceptionally well at the box office, with Part II grossing $331.9 million and Part III grossing $244.5 million. Despite mixed reviews for the sequels (63% and 80% on Rotten Tomatoes respectively), Flea's contribution to the series is fondly remembered by fans.

8. Eminem in "The Interview" (2014)

Top 10 Movie Cameos by Famous Musicians - image 8

Rapper Eminem made a hilarious cameo as himself in the controversial comedy "The Interview". The film, which sees James Franco and Seth Rogen's characters attempting to assassinate Kim Jong-un, opens with Eminem casually admitting to being gay during a faux interview.

The moment is shocking and hysterical, and critics lauded Eminem's deadpan delivery and willingness to poke fun at his own public image. "The Interview" holds a 52% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and earned $40 million in digital rentals, bolstered by the publicity surrounding its very contentious plot.

9. Michael Jackson in "Men in Black II" (2002)

Top 10 Movie Cameos by Famous Musicians - image 9

The late King of Pop, Michael Jackson, graced "Men in Black II" with a cameo, playing Agent M, an alien believer begging for a chance to join the Men in Black. His appearance, while brief, is memorable for his playful performance and the surreal sight of Michael Jackson as a wannabe MIB agent. The film received mixed reviews, with a Rotten Tomatoes score of 39%, but Jackson's cameo was a stand-out moment for fans. At the box office, "Men in Black II" was a success, grossing over $441.8 million worldwide.

10. Bruce Springsteen in "High Fidelity" (2000)

Top 10 Movie Cameos by Famous Musicians - image 10

"High Fidelity" is a film about music and relationships, making Bruce Springsteen's cameo particularly fitting. The Boss appears in a fantasy sequence, giving relationship advice to John Cusack's character while casually strumming a guitar.

Critics applauded Springsteen's cameo, which was both a fun surprise and a subtle commentary on the film's themes of idol worship and romantic dissatisfaction. "High Fidelity" has an 88% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and was modestly successful at the box office, grossing $47.1 million worldwide. However, it's since been hailed as a classic.