Music is not solely reserved for musicians. From actors to sports icons, some of today’s beloved celebrities have been known to dabble in music whether it involves fiddling with a guitar, singing a tune here and there, or trying their hand on the ones and twos.
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Some even make it a part-time gig, performing to adoring crowds who love them on and off the stage, field, or big screen. Here are six celebrities you may not know who also moonlight as DJs.
1. Elijah Wood
Frodo seems to disappear when actor Elijah Wood steps behind the DJ booth. The Lord of the Rings star, alongside his friend Zach Cowie, is one-half of the electronic duo Wooden Wisdom. The pair have toured around the world, spinning for crowds a long way from The Shire.
2. Idris Elba
Idris Elba is another actor skilled behind the turntables. Performing under the name DJ Big Driis, or simply Idris, the star began DJing in the 1980s before he ever donned the silver screen. As his acting career took off, he continued to spin and has since performed at star-studded events including the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
3. Erykah Badu
Even musicians need to step away from their well-known sound and explore the different avenues of what they can accomplish. Renowned neo-soul star Erykah Badu has been known to trade the spotlight for a booth from time to time, taking on the persona DJ Lo Down Loretta Brown. Watch her precision and unbreakable focus on the ones and twos below.
4. Alicia Keys
Alicia Keys is another artist who has caught the DJ fever. When out from behind the piano, the powerhouse singer/songwriter has a lot more talent to share behind the turntables. Using the moniker DJ AK-47, Keys has been known to scratch out a bop or two.
5. Paris Hilton
Hotel heiress and media personality Paris Hilton made her debut as a DJ in 2012 and has held various residencies and performed at a number of festivals since. “I love blowing people away, just changing people’s minds and showing them that I’m more talent than name,” she told Billboard in a 2017 interview.
6. Shaquille O’Neal
It’s no secret pro basketball player Shaquille O’Neal has a deep love for music. In the 1990s, he released a string of hip-hop albums, but the love affair began well before then. He began DJing in his youth. Merely a hobby at the time, it became a constant throughout his career in the NBA and something he would pursue after retirement. Today, he produces electronic music, performing around the world under the name DJ DIESEL.
(Photo credit: Ramon Rivas via RCA Records)