When Athletes Cross Over To Music

There are many examples of famous people having a case of the “grass is always greener” in their careers. Movie stars want to be musicians, athletes want to be musicians, there must just be something about the fabled lives of rock and pop stars that entices people to try their hand in the field. Athletes especially seem to have an interest in seeing if their talent carries over to music, and we have seen a lot of athletes try over the years. Here are a few examples of athletes breaking out into the music industry.

Oscar De La Hoya

Professional boxer Oscar De La Hoy is known for being a somewhat energetic and eccentric character. Since his retirement from competing in boxing he has moved on to boxing and MMA promoting with his organization Golden Boy Promotions. He’s apparently very entrepreneurial, as he has tried many different avenues, including the music business. In 2001, De La Hoya released a latin pop album, with covers of Bee Gees’ songs as well as original tracks. The album did find some success and he was even nominated for a Grammy in the Best Latin Pop Album category. Regardless of the success, it seems this was a one time experience for De La Hoya, as he hasn’t released anything since.

Shaquille O’Neal

The Lakers are one of the most recognizable NBA teams, and have had some of the most famous players in basketball over the years. Their current lineup with the remarkable LeBron James makes them one of the strongest teams in the NBA and one of the NBA Championship Futures’ frontrunners. However, while they may be remembered for players like Kobe Bryant or Magic Johnson, the towering Shaquille O’Neal may be the most memorable of all. Shaquille O’Neal has worn many hats during his lengthy career. Besides his time as an aggressive center in the NBA, he also branched out to movies, video games, and infamously, a rap career. He actually signed with Jive Records and his debut album, Shaq Diesel, peaked at number 25 on the Billboard 200. Amazingly, the record even went certified platinum, meaning that even though it’s comical to look back on it now, Shaq certainly profited from it at the time. He had several hits during this time and honestly was pretty successful in the music industry. While his days as a rapper may be in the past, he still pops up in the music scene from time to time.

Tyron Woodley

Former UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley seems to have a lot going on these days. Not only is he still a competitor at the highest level in the UFC, he is also pursuing acting, and growing his rap career. So far, it seems like music might be a good fit for him as his projects seem to be getting a lot of attention. His breakout single even featured the massive rap star Wiz Khalifa, which certainly brought a lot of new fans over to his side. Overall, it seems like Woodley is getting a lot of support from both UFC and rap fans, so maybe his side career might actually pan out. That’s good news for Woodley seeing as he is almost 40 years old, so presumably he will be retiring from MMA soon.

Doug Flutie

Flutie has somewhat of a cult following from his days in the NFL and CFL. He was an inspiration for short-statured quarterbacks everywhere, winning a Heisman trophy and making the Pro Bowl in 1998. Apparently, his talents exceeded football, as he was also known as a great drummer. Leveraging his football fame, Flutie started up The Flutie Brothers Band and gathered up a decent following across the northern USA and Canada. Touring in the football offseason, Flutie and his band opened for famous acts like Meredith Brooks, The Barenaked Ladies, and Lynyrd Skynyrd.

The Chicago Bears

In 1985, the Chicago Bears were widely considered the best team in the NFL, with one of the strongest defenses the sport had ever seen. They absolutely dominated the 1985 season, with a record of 15-1 leading into the playoffs. With all the excitement leading up to the playoffs, the Bears’ managers had the excellent idea to get the team together and record a piece of football history that will forever be known as the “Super Bowl Shuffle.” The music video had the entire Bears team performing a choreographed dance over a catchy tune. The song and dance, while hilarious, actually managed to hit number 41 on the Billboard’s Hot 100 chart. The single went on to sell more than half a million copies and even received a Grammy nomination. It may be strange looking back on it now, but it was a fun event for the time and luckily, the Bears went on to win the Super Bowl versus the Patriots.

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There’s a lot of music out there - good music. At Essentially Pop our remit is that we cover music that deserves to be heard, with a particular focus on independent artists. That doesn't mean we won't cover your old favourites - rather we hope to give you some new favourites as well.

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