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Stars who have played music icons on screen

15 November 2016
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Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Lopez, Jamie Foxx and more Hollywood heavyweights have taken turns stepping up to the microphone to play iconic musicians.

Click through to see some of the most memorable biopic performances...


Michelle Williams

After months of speculation, Michelle Williams has been confirmed to star in a biopic on the life and career of Janis Joplin. The film will be directed by Sean Durkin and will draw inspiration from the book Love, Janis, which was written by the singer's sister Laura.

Photo: © Getty Images


Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon

Joaquin and Reese brought the legendary love story of Johnny and June Carter Cash to life in 2005's Walk the Line. Both actors performed their own vocals in the film with Reese scooping up the Oscar for Best Actress in a Leading Role.

Photo: © Tenner/20th Century Fox/REX/Shutterstock


Sissy Spacek

The Badlands actress earned her first career Oscar win for her portrayal of Loretta Lynn in the Coal Miner's Daughter. The 1980 biopic also starred Tommy Lee Jones in the role of Loretta's husband Oliver "Doolittle" Lynn. Prior to filming, Sissy joined Loretta on tour to learn as much as she could about the country star's mannerisms and singing techniques.

Photo: © Universal/REX/Shutterstock


Ethan Hawke

In 2015, Canadian writer-director Robert Budreau enlisted Ethan to dramatise the life of legendary jazz musician Chet Baker in Born to be Blue. Speaking on the challenges of playing Chet, Ethan told Variety: "You have an incredibly mysterious and enigmatic person that’s very difficult to make sense out of. Then you have to try to capture somebody who has a unique relationship to music. And then there’s the music."

Photo: © Lumanity Prod/REX/Shutterstock


Jennifer Lopez

Before she became an international superstar, Jennifer Lopez danced her way into the hearts of Selena fans with her harrowing performance as the singer in the 1997 biopic. Jennifer still considers Selena, who was tragically murdered by her fan club's president Yolanda Saldivar in 1995, a source of inspiration, telling US weekly: "She's just one of those very special types of artists that, with her music and her spirit and her joy and her heart, really touched people."

Photo: © Moviestore/REX/Shutterstock


Kurt Russell

Kurt is one of a few actors to have taken on the role of Elvis Presley. In 1979, the father of four played the King of Rock and Roll in a television movie. Interestingly, the actor's then-wife Season Hubley and father Bing Russell also starred in the movie, portraying Elvis's wife Priscilla and father Vernon, respectively.

Photo: © Moviestore/REX/Shutterstock


Jessica Lange

The American Horror Story star captured the likeness of country singer Patsy Cline in 1985's Sweet Dreams. The biopic explores the singer's days as an aspiring singer living in Maryland to her time in the spotlight and shocking death in a plane crash at the age of 30.

Photo: © ITV/REX/Shutterstock


Jamie Foxx

And the Oscar goes to ... Jamie Foxx! The actor scored Best Actor honours at the 2005 Academy Awards for his spot-on performance as Ray Charles in Ray. The actor lost 30 lbs for the role and agreed to have his eyes glued shut to ensure an authentic representation of the blind artist.

Photo: © Moviestore/REX/Shutterstock


Angela Bassett and Laurence Fishburne

What's Love Got To Do With It is the film adaptation of Tina Turner and Kurt Loder's 1993 bestselling biography I, Tina. With Ike and Tina's blessing, Angela and Laurence stepped into the shoes of the iconic duo, who split in 1976 following their famously turbulent relationship.

Photo: © Touchstone/REX/Shutterstock

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