25 Athletes Turned Musicians
It’s one thing to be a star on the sporting field – it’s quite another to then showcase your musical talents. It doesn’t always garner the same adulation that they received for their physical prowess, but most of the 25 athletes turned musicians on this list aren’t actually too bad – and some are damn good!
1. Bernie Williams (Baseball)
Williams is probably the best example of a famous sportsman carving out a genuine musical career. The former Yankee is a classically trained guitarist and reknown jazz guitarist.
2. Wayman Tisdale (Basketball)
Former NBA power forward Tisdale became a very solid jazz bassist after retiring and his 2001 album Face To Face topped the Billboard contemporary jazz chart.
3. John Daly (Golf)
Who knew? Daly is quite a performer!
4. Mike Reid (NFL)
Reid is very much a serious muso. After four years with the Cincinnati Bengals as an offensive lineman, he wrote several country hits, earning a Grammy Award and a 2005 induction into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. Not bad!
5. John McEnroe (Tennis)
McEnroe had a band called The Johnny Smyth Band that would play gigs in places where he was playing on the senior tour. He’s also often seen up on stage with “proper” bands as a guest celebrity.
6. Six And Out (Cricket)
New South Wales cricket team members Richard Chee Quee (vocals), Brett Lee (bass), Shane Lee and Brad McNamara (guitar), Gavin Robertson (drums) released two albums as Six And Out. Fun, but not as good as their cricket skills.
7. Denny McLain (Baseball)
He won a couple of AL Cy Young awards – and played keyboards. Pretty cheesy though!
8. 1985 Chicago Bears (NFL)
Surely one of the greatest team collaborations – after whipping the Patriots 46-10 in Super Bowl XX in 1986 the cocky Bears heading into the recording studio, with interesting results!
9. Mike Piazza (Baseball)
Legendary catcher Piazza is apparently a pretty good rock drummer!
10. Mark ‘Jacko’ Jackson (AFL)
Jacko was a hard man in Aussie Rules and after retiring released this little ditty. Amazingly it hit #15 on the Australian charts.
11. Darren McCarty (Ice Hockey)
He played hard for the Detroit Red Wings and now rock’s hard as the lead singer with a hard rock band, Grinder.
12. Russell Robertson (AFL)
Robertson was a great forward for Melbourne’s Aussie Rules team, and went on to appear in a celebrity singing show called It Takes Two. The results were pretty decent and he now plays in bands around Melbourne.
13. Bob and Matt Bryan (Tennis)
They won 13 Grand Slam doubles titles and spent over 300 weeks ranked #1 in the world. Off the court they were still together and have played in several bands.
14. Kyle Turley (NFL)
This former NFL lineman moved to Nashville, founded a record label, put out his own album called Anger Management. He describes the sound as “power country” – a unique blend of heavy metal, rock and country.
15. Bronson Arroyo (Baseball)
Current Red pitcher Arroyo was always a muso, even back in his Red Sox days, including a guest appearance on a Dropkick Murphys track.
16. Lional Rose (Boxing)
Rose was a superstar of boxing (world bantamweight title holder) back in the ‘60s and early ‘70s and his first single I Thank You got him a gold record.
17. Alexi Lalas (Soccer)
Alexi Lalas always looked like a rock star when he was playing for the US. Now he’s retired from the game but still making music.
18. Oscar De La Hoya (Boxing)
De La Hoya released a self-titled album of Latin Pop back in 2000… and it got a Grammy nomination!
19. Guy Lafleur (Ice Hockey)
He was a hockey legend and in 1979, with disco peaking, he released his own disco album! Staying true to his Canadian heritage, the album is also in a French version.
20. Henrik Lundqvist (Ice Hockey)
Ludqvist was one of the best hockey goalies ever and is also an accomplished musician.
21. Aubrey Huff (Baseball)
In 2005, Huff sang on a compilation CD of current and former MLB players. His version of John Michael Montgomery’s Letters From Home is actually pretty good!
22. Chris Kluwe (NFL)
Vikings punter Kluwe formed the group Tripping Icarus where he played bass. They have released a debut EP The Sideshow Sessions and an album called Perfect Citizen.
23. Jake Peavy (Baseball)
Peavy was behind a charity event featuring musically inclined ballplayers called Woodjock 2010. Nice work from the Red Sox hurler!
24. Manny Pacquiao (Boxing)
Not sure about whether Pacquiao’s musical career is based on talent rather than fame… although his 2006 album Lagan Nating Nahat Ito went quadruple platinum!
25. Trevor Pryce (NFL)
Trevor Pryce won two Super Bowls with the Broncos, but taught himself to play bass and piano in his spare time. Now he’s writing screenplays and has pitched several TV shows. A true renaissance man! This track – Private Dancer – was written by Trevor Pryce and Che Smith.
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