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Steven Tyler attends Steven Tyler's 4th Annual GRAMMY Awards® Viewing Party on April 03, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. Rihanna poses for photos, promoting the upcoming film "The Smurfs Movie", at the Paramount Pictures presentation during CinemaCon 2023 on April 27, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Blake Shelton attends the 2023 CMT Music Awards at Moody Center on April 02, 2023 in Austin, Texas.

Have you ever watched an animated movie and couldn’t figure out who the voice actor was? If the voice sounded familiar to you and you still couldn’t place a face to the voice, it may be because it was by someone you’re used to hearing sing. Over the years, musicians have signed up for voice roles for animated films.

Taylor Swift was in The Lorax, Rihanna was in Home, Katy Perry was in Smurfs, Beyoncé was in Epic, Selena Gomez was in the Hotel Transylvania franchise, and Nicki Minaj and Jennifer Lopez were both in Ice Age. Animation houses DreamWorks, Illumination, Pixar and Disney Animation Studios feature at least one cameo from a star musician.

Premiere Of Universal Pictures And Illumination Entertainment's 3D-CG "Dr. Seuss' The Lorax" Musicians Who Have Been In Animated Films

(Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

In some films, musicians explore how good their voice-acting chops are, while others contribute to the project by working on an animated film’s soundtrack. For example, one of Justin Timberlake‘s best-charting songs, “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” was written for Trolls 2, in which he also starred, and took home the Oscar for Best Original Song in 2017.

Now, *NSYNC is going to be featured in the upcoming Trolls Band Together with their first song in two decades. The song, titled “Better Place,” was *NSYNC’s first new song since 2002. The pop group reunited for a performance at the MTV Video Music Awards in 2013 and, in 2018, got together once again for their Hollywood Walk of Fame star ceremony. But this is their first new song.

Keep scrolling to see which of your favorite musicians have starred in an animated film below:

  • Miley Cyrus

    In 2008, Cyrus expanded her acting chops fresh from her Hannah Montana days when she voiced super-dog Bolt’s owner, Penny. John Travolta voices the super-dog, and though he’s an actor, he famously starred in musicals Grease, Saturday Night Fever, and Hairspray.

  • Snoop Dogg, Madonna, and David Bowie

    In the 2006 fantasy adventure film based on the book of the same name starring Freddie Highmore and Mia Farrow, Snoop Dogg, Madonna, and David Bowie star as elves. Madonna plays Selenia, princess of a race of tiny beings, Snoop portrays Max, leader of the Koolamassai, and Bowie voices the antagonist, Emperor Maltazard.

  • will.i.am

    The Black Eyed Peas frontman stars as the smooth, alpha hippo named Moto Moto in Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa. When he meets Jada Pinkett Smith’s Gloria, he sings, “I like ’em big, I like ’em chunky.” The name is so nice, you say it twice. will.i.am also provided his voice for another animated film series, Rio and Rio 2 as a red canary named Pedro.

  • Blake Shelton, Kelly Clarkson, Nick Jonas, Lizzo, Bebe Rexha, Pitbull, Charlie XCX, Janelle Monáe, and Ice-T

    Uglyville is such an adorable town. And so many musicians have lent their voices in the 2019 animated film. Shelton stars as Ox, a green uglydoll and the Unofficial Mayor of Uglyville, mentor to all of the other Ugly Dolls and former friend of Lou. Clarkson is Moxy, a pink uglydoll with lots of confidence, hope, and curiosity. Jonas is Lou, the preppy leader from the town of Perfection and a bully towards the Ugly Dolls and the other imperfect dolls. Lizzo voices Lydia, a purple-haired perfect doll, Rexha is Tuesday, a blue-haired perfect doll, and Charlie XCX voices Kitty, a pink-haired perfect doll. The three of them make up the Spy Girls. Pitbull fittingly voices Ugly Dog, a one-eyed blue uglydoll, while Ice-T is hilariously Peggy, a small one-eyed flying unicorn. Monáe voices Mandy, a kindhearted perfect doll who wears glasses for eyesight problems and befriends the Ugly Dolls.

  • P!nk

    After Brittany Murphy’s death in 2009, Pink took over the role of Gloria in the sequel to 2006’s Happy Feet. In the jukebox musical, she sings “Bridge of Light” and “Under Pressure/Rhythm Nation.” Robin Williams starred in the sequel as Ramón and Lovelace, Mumble’s two friends and is also this film’s narrator, like the first film. This was Williams’ last animated feature before his death in 2014.

  • Kacey Musgraves

    The “Butterflies” singer made her venture into voice acting when she played Earwig’s mother in the English dub of Earwig and the Witch by Studio Ghibli. She puts on an English accent for the English dub, and we even got the chance to hear Musgraves sing the movie’s big song, “Don’t Disturb Me.”

  • Katy Perry

    In the first and second installments of The Smurfs films, Perry starred as Smurfette. She once described her character’s voice as being “like my voice and a bag of rocks, with a pinch of sugar.” When she was growing up, her conservative parents didn’t allow her to watch the television show. “My mom thought that Smurfette was a little bit slutty, being the only female in the village,” she explained to MTV in 2010. She was replaced by Demi Lovato in the third Smurfs feature film, Smurfs: The Lost Village.

  • Jennifer Lopez, Nicki Minaj, Queen Latifah, and Drake

    Queen Latifah reprised her role as the wooly mammoth Ellie, while newcomers to the Ice Age franchise Nicki Minaj and Drake starred as teenage mammoths Steffie and Ethan, respectively. Lopez starred as Shira, an ex-pirate saber-toothed tiger.

  • Taylor Swift

    Before Taylor Swift starred in the Cats live-action film, one of her earliest film roles was voicing Audrey in the Dr. Seuss animated adaptation of The Lorax. High School Musical alum Zac Efron joins her as Ted, who is in search of a real tree in a town where they are all extinct.

  • Beyoncé, Pitbull, and Steven Tyler

    In the 2013 animated film taking place in an enchanted woodland run by leaf people and talking slugs, Bey voices Queen Tara, while Mr. Worldwide plays an entrepreneurial toad named Bufo. Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler voices a glow-worm named Nim Galuu.

  • Selena Gomez

    Selena Gomez first began voicing vampire heroine Mavis Dracula in 2012, when the first of four Hotel Transylvania films came out. She wrapped up the franchise ten years later, releasing the final chapter, Hotel Transylvania: Transformania, in 2022.

  • Rihanna and Jennifer Lopez

    Rih Rih stars as Gratuity “Tip” Tucci and also created the soundtrack for DreamWorks’ 2015 animated film Home. Jennifer Lopez voices Tip’s mom, Lucy, her first collaboration with director Tim Johnson since her previous role as Azteca in the 1998 DreamWorks film, Antz.

  • Dolly Parton

    Dolly Parton’s first experience voice acting was when she played herself in a 1983 episode of Alvin and the Chipmunks. She then played herself once more in a 1999 episode of The Simpsons. Her first voice acting role was in 2011’s Gnomeo & Juliet as Dolly Gnome, the announcer for the lawn mower race.

  • Justin Timberlake and Gwen Stefani

    Timberlake stars in the Trolls film franchise as the overly cautious, friendly troll Branch. He also helped produce the film’s soundtrack. Stefani voices DJ Suki, a Troll who uses DJ equipment made of insects.

  • Shakira

    Shakira voiced, Gazelle, a famous singer in the Zootopia world. So, not a huge stretch! The “Hips Don’t Lie” singer also contributed an original song called “Try Everything” to the film.

  • Halsey and Bono

    In the second installment of the Sing franchise, Halsey joined Tori Kelly, providing her voice acting for a wolf named Porsha Crystal. Bono also made a cameo in the film. He plays an ex-rockstar lion named Clay Calloway.

  • Shawn Mendes

    Shawn Mendes stars as the title character in Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile. His character overcomes his fears through the power of friendship and embraces his gifts as a talented reptilian rockstar.

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