These days, it always seems that any Nickelodeon or Disney show has an actress who also sings. But it wasn’t always that way. Many of the actresses from before the early 2000s were actresses but not singers, not branching out into music. Not so anymore. All of these actresses have releases at least one music album, some two or more. This ability to sing as well as act has resulted in a rise of programs with actresses (and actors) who can also sing. Here are nine of them (by no means a complete list) who got there musical start from songs made directly for the TV show or movie they were working on at the time.
Hilary Duff was the star of the TV show Lizzie McGuire, a teen girl with two best friends and an animated alter ego who made commentary on the events in the episode. Her first song was the cover, “I Can’t Wait,” (recorded originally by Brook McClymont), and was featured on the soundtrack album for the TV show.
Lindsay Lohan’s second remake movie, Freaky Friday, was about a teen girl who switches bodies with her mother, played by Jamie Lee Curtis. The closing credits featured Lohan singing the promotional single, “Ultimate,” which was featured on the movie’s soundtrack.
Emma Roberts starred in Unfabulous, about a teen girl with two best friends who writes songs about her life (interesting…). Her first song from the soundtrack album that was released as a single was “I Wanna Be.”
Demi Lovato starred in Sonny with a Chance, a TV show about a girl who is the newest cast member on a variety show, and Camp Rock, a TV movie about a camp for musicians. Demi’s first song was “This is Me,” for Camp Rock’s soundtrack album.
Miley Cyrus starred in Hannah Montana, a girl, Miley, who lives a double life as an ordinary girl with two best friends and a singer superstar called Hannah Montana. The first song recorded for the show was the theme song, “The Best of Both Worlds.”
These two next actresses were in the same production, and went on to release their own separate music. The movie in question is the TV movie High School Musical. High School Musical was about two young teens who audition for their first musical against the more established brother and sister. Vanessa Hudgens played the female lead and sang several songs, the highest carting of which was “Breaking Free.” Ashley Tidsale played the female antagonist, and released, “What I’ve Been Looking For.”
Selena Gomez is best known for being the star of Wizards of Waverly Place. But right before she started on the show, she made the movie, Another Cinderella Story. On the soundtrack for the album she sang, “Tell Me Something I Don’t Know.”
Miranda Cosgrove starred in Icarly, which was about a teen who produces her own webshow with (you guessed it) her two best friends. Miranda sang the opening theme song, “Leave it All To Me.,” which, not surprisingly, appears on the TV show soundtrack.
These actresses had a great “testing ground” of sorts, where they released songs directly related to the movie or TV production they were working on. This enabled them to test the waters, and if there was enough interest, release a whole album.