Earlier this week, we learned that Gisele Bundchen had recorded a very-not-great cover of a perfect song, “All Day & All of the Night” by The Kinks–we then promptly learned it was a charity single, each download of which benefitted UNICEF and we felt really bad about hating it (just not enough to stop). And two weeks before that? Ubiquitous Brit Cara Delevingne revealed that she can sing, in addition to model and make funny faces.
However, listening to Bundchen’s cover got us thinking: while there have been several high profile attempts by models to become singers (and actresses), how many would we characterize as successful? The answer: not a lot.
Heidi Klum recorded a Christmas song for German retailer Douglas, so she didn’t really try to change careers. But she did manage to sing the chorus–“Wonderland, Wonderland / Shining Stars / Jingle Bells”–with a straight face. That’s some good modeling.
Similarly, dancer-turned-supermodel (and the always charming) Coco Rocha tried her hand at singing exactly once, for Roberto Cavalli and Hunger mag.
Most of our career at The Gloss has centered around hunting for excuses to embed this video, by Karl Lagerfeld‘s manboy muse/daemon familiar, Baptiste Giabconi. Treat yourself by watching all of it.
Australian tough girl/swimsuit model Nicole Trunfio has transitioned out of mentoring on Make Me A Supermodel and into one half of leather-appreciating duo Henry Blak. We know they are fashionable by their limited “about” page on Facebook and their strategic use of capital letters. The video for their single, “Kill Me,” features lots of Billy Idol lip.
Wonderfully, here is Tyrese‘s sexiest slowjam, “Signs of Love Making,” which is a bunch of puns about the Zodiac and also doing it.
One of the best (/most ridiculous) examples of a model turned singer is Samantha Fox, who began her career as a hugely popular Page 3 girl in the UK. Keeping with that, she recorded her first single at 20, the delightfully unsubtle 80s come-on “Touch Me.”
While Naomi Campbell is easily one of the best models ever, her short-lived music career involved a record called Baby Woman. The album flopped in the UK and was never released in the US. She does, however, look predictably extraordinary in the music video for lead-off single, “Love and Tears.”
One of Campbell’s ’90s super contemporaries was Dutch model Karen Mulder, who tried her hand at a comeback by singing in the mid-’00s.
While we miss the days of seeing Agyness Deyn‘s peroxide pixie cut on every other page of fashion magazines, her first (and frankly, inevitable) foray into music was widely panned–a duet with Brit New Wave throwback band Five O’Clock Heroes.
After her ’60s heyday as The Face, Twiggy tried her hand at being a popstar in the ’70s–even producing a Top 20 hit.
There was a time, not too long ago, when a runway wasn’t relevant unless Irina Lazareanu walked it. Her singing career has never achieved the heights of her seasons as a top model, but she has collaborated with Pete Doherty and Sean Lennon.
In the interest of getting more dudes on the list, The Servant‘s lead singer Dan Black apparently did some modeling before the band achieved success in 2004.
Though we know nothing of an intended career change, currently major Australian face Julia Nobis can carry a tune!
’00s supermodel (and best redhead) Karen Elson has had some luck with her debut album, The Ghost Who Walks–reviewed favorably by places like Spin and produced ably by her then-husband Jack White.
Another well-received entry on the list is former French first lady and ’90s supermodel Carla Bruni, who records hushed folk songs in French over her acoustic guitar strummings.
Easily one of the most prolific models turned singers (and actresses) is Milla Jovovich, who released her first album The Divine Comedy in 1994 (as simply “Milla”). She’s since contributed to a bunch of soundtracks and collaborated with the Crystal Method, though she’s never recorded a full-length followup.
Alternatively, one great way to transition from supermodel to singer is Kate Moss‘ toe in the water approach: by providing backing vocals for her buddy Bobby Gillespie‘s band, Primal Scream.
One of the most remarkable faces on the list (/on any list) belongs to Grace Jones, who’s recorded more than a few classics, be it her early forays into disco or her development of reggae-New Wave or her unexpected Tom Petty covers.
Our money for the best example of a supermodel-turned-singer goes to Nico, of course–the best on this list, and certainly not on account of her voice.