Sports and music have always been intrinsically linked. However, very few sports stars manage to make the career switch successfully. Whereas actors who venture into the world of music tend to have developed creative skills, many sports stars struggle to find a unique proposition for their output. Though that doesn’t stop them from trying.
Several athletes have decided to take on the charts as they retired. Below, we highlight three favorite sports stars who became musicians.
Kobe Bryant made his name in the Nineties as an integral part of the LA Lakers team. Joining the NBA straight out of high school, he won five NBA championships along with a host of other awards. So prolific was he in his pursuits on and off the field, he even won an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film when he created a movie named Dear Basketball. All in all, he was an extremely prominent presence in the decade.
For his entire career, he stuck with the Lakers and was loyal to them. The Lakers could do with some magic from a player of Bryant’s caliber right now. This season they are lacking a win on the road even at the time of writing. While you may not want to bet on them winning the season, there are plenty of Ohio sports sites to place your wagers on if you can see their fortunes turning. Many offer attractive welcome bonuses to get you started without spending all of your bankroll.
After his career ended, Bryant took up a career in music. He tried his hand at rapping and signed a deal with Sony. However, Bryant wanted to go in a direction that was natural, raw, and, essentially, commercially risky. His label Sony wanted a polished, pop-shine to his output, and the collaboration ground to a halt. He was later dropped from the label.
Manny Pacquiáo is best known as a formidable boxer, possibly one of the best in the world. He won titles in various lower-weight categories and was named boxer of the year by several boards and publications. However, after his sports career ended Pacquiáo did not rest, but instead went back to his home in the Philippines to become a musician and politician.
Between 2006 and 2013, Pacquiáo released several albums and singles. These range from love-themed cover songs to oddly titled EDM tracks, such as “Pac Man Punch.” However, his music career has taken a back seat since then as he has concentrated on his political aspirations.
Shaquille O’Neal is an athlete who seems to be able to turn his hand to anything. In the Nineties, he started his 19-year career and arguably became the greatest player in NBA history when. He played for six teams and also built a glittering celebrity profile outside the court. This included even having his own video games and, of course, rap albums.
The difference with Shaquille O’Neal was that his rap career was successful. His first album, Shaq Diesel, went Platinum. He would go on to create four other albums and collaborate with some of hip hop’s greatest: Biggie Smalls, Jay-Z, and Warren G. Part of this may have been down to his love of music production, as opposed to someone who had little creative control over their output.
The basketball star-turned-rapper has recently been headlining some of the biggest festivals and night clubs around the world as DJ Diesel. He’s also among the entertainers at his own The Event charity fundraising gala and public concert put on by his own The Shaquille O’Neal Foundation.