Famous Musicians You Didn’t Realized Changed Career Already

Famous Musicians You Didn’t Realized Changed Career Already | I Love Classic Rock Videos

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Have you ever dreamt of screaming crowds chanting your name, sold-out stadiums, and a life of luxury funded by your musical genius?

For many, being a musician is the ultimate career aspiration. Yet, for some who’ve achieved this very dream, the reality of fame can be less glamorous than imagined.

This begs the question: what happens when the rockstar lifestyle loses its luster? Believe it or not, some chart-topping musicians have chosen to ditch the microphone and trade in groupies for a whole new career path.

Keep reading to discover famous musicians you might not have realized hung up their instruments for a completely different kind of gig.

MC Hammer

MC Hammer’s energetic performances and infectious hits like “U Can’t Touch This” dominated the early 90s. His album, Please Hammer, Don’t Hurt ‘Em, cemented his place in hip-hop history as one of the genre’s best-selling records. However, in a surprising turn, Hammer left music behind in 1997.

He embarked on a new path, becoming an ordained minister and launching a television ministry called M.C. Hammer and Friends. He also found a platform for his faith on Praise the Lord, publicly sharing his devotion to God.


Cindy Birdsong

Cindy Birdsong’s journey took her from soulful beginnings with Patti LaBelle & the Bluebelles to the global phenomenon of The Supremes. Joining the legendary group in 1967, she became a household name alongside Diana Ross and Mary Wilson.

Despite the glitz and glam, Birdsong’s heart held a different dream. After leaving The Supremes, she traded the stage for scrubs, finally pursuing her original passion for nursing at UCLA Medical Center.

Vanilla Ice

Vanilla Ice, or Rob Van Winkle as he was born, took the music world by storm in 1990. His megahit “Ice Ice Baby”, with its iconic Queen sample, propelled him to rap superstardom.  However, Ice always possessed a keen eye for business. 

He started investing in real estate in his early twenties, and this passion has become his primary focus today. Vanilla Ice has traded in the microphone for a hammer, finding success as a home renovator on his popular DIY Network show, The Vanilla Ice Project, which ran for nine seasons.

Terminator X

Terminator X, the stage name synonymous with the iconic turntable skills behind Public Enemy, was a legend in the hip hop scene. Norman Rogers, the man behind the music, chose a unique path after leaving the group in 2003.

He traded the fast-paced world of music for the wide-open spaces of North Carolina, taking on the unexpected challenge of running an ostrich stud farm.

Jim Martin

Jim Martin, the guitarist whose look was as unforgettable as his riffs with Faith No More, left an undeniable mark on rock music during his decade with the band. After departing Faith No More in the late 1990s, Martin embarked on a surprising new career path that has garnered him renewed recognition.

He has become a champion pumpkin farmer, cultivating award-winning giant gourds that have turned him into a legend in a whole new field.

Mark Wahlberg

Before gracing the silver screen in major Hollywood productions, Mark Wahlberg was known by a different stage persona: Marky Mark. In the early 90s, he rose to fame as the frontman of Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch, scoring hits like “Good Vibrations”.

However, Wahlberg eventually set his sights on a different kind of stardom. He left the music industry behind to pursue acting, a decision that proved incredibly successful. Wahlberg has become a revered actor, starring in a wide range of films from comedies to action thrillers.


Coolio’s smooth rhymes and iconic tracks like “Gangsta’s Paradise” dominated the mid-90s rap scene. His albums, It Takes a Thief and Gangsta’s Paradise, cemented him as a household name. However, Coolio’s talents extended far beyond the microphone.

In a surprising career shift, Coolio traded in his rap persona for a chef’s hat. He launched the popular web series Cookin’ with Coolio, showcasing his culinary skills, and even released a cookbook to share his recipes with fans.

Clay Aiken

Clay Aiken rose to fame in the early 2000s, captivating audiences with his powerful vocals on American Idol‘s second season. He quickly became a household name, finishing as the runner-up. However, Aiken’s ambitions extended beyond the music industry.

In 2004, he leveraged his platform for a humanitarian cause, becoming a UNICEF ambassador.  He held this position for nearly a decade before taking another surprising turn. Aiken entered the political arena, running for Congress in 2013. Though he secured the Democratic nomination, he ultimately fell short in the general election.

Kevin Jonas

The Jonas Brothers were a pop phenomenon at the beginning of the 2000s, thanks in part to their exposure on the Disney Channel. Together, they sold a staggering 20 million records.  However, when the Jonas Brothers went on hiatus in 2013, Kevin Jonas decided to explore new ventures beyond music.

He embarked on a successful career in business, co-founding a real estate development and construction company. His entrepreneurial spirit didn’t stop there – Kevin also became the co-CEO of a social media marketing company, proving his savvy extends far beyond the stage.


JB Gill

JB Gill rose to fame as part of the successful boy band JLS. Their music captivated audiences worldwide, launching them into the spotlight. However, JB craved a different kind of life beyond the stage.

In a surprising turn, he and his wife decided to trade in the pop life for a quieter pace. They purchased a pig and turkey farm in the countryside, where JB now spends his days managing his agricultural venture.

Bill Berry

R.E.M., the iconic indie rock band, wouldn’t have been the same without drummer Bill Berry.  Co-founding the group in 1980 alongside Michael Stipe while attending the University of Georgia, Berry’s drumming helped propel them to international fame.

Tragically, a brain aneurysm forced him to collapse onstage. This life-altering event led Berry to make a tough choice. In 1997, he left the music industry behind, choosing a quieter life as a hay farmer in Farmington, Georgia.

James Williamson

James Williamson’s searing guitar work helped define the sound of The Stooges, a pioneering proto-punk band alongside Iggy Pop in the 1960s. But after his time with the band ended, Williamson took a surprising turn. He traded in his guitar for textbooks, returning to college.  

This academic pursuit eventually led him down a whole new career path. Williamson’s talents extended beyond music – he became a skilled microchip designer, eventually rising to the position of vice president at the cutting-edge tech company Sony.

Ronnie DeVoe

Ronnie DeVoe’s smooth vocals helped propel Boston’s R&B group New Edition to superstardom. Their 1983 hit “Candy Girl” solidified their place on the charts. However, DeVoe wasn’t content with just singing about sweet treats – he craved a different kind of success.

In a surprising move, DeVoe transitioned from the stage to the world of real estate shortly after reaching the peak of his music career. Today, he’s the co-owner of DeVoe Broker Associates in Atlanta, proving his talent extends far beyond the microphone.

Terry Chimes

Though best known as the original drummer for The Clash, a seminal English punk band, Terry Chimes’ career path took a unique turn. After leaving the band shortly after recording their debut album, Chimes pursued a different kind of rhythm.

In 1994, he qualified as a chiropractor, dedicating himself to helping others achieve physical well-being. His dedication to service extended beyond the clinic. In 2008, Chimes was even nominated as an ambassador for Greater London’s Scout Association, demonstrating his commitment to making a positive impact.

Joey Fatone

Joey Fatone rose to fame in the 1990s as part of the mega-successful boy band NSYNC, where he delivered smooth baritone vocals. However, when the group disbanded to pave the way for Justin Timberlake’s solo career, Fatone didn’t miss a beat. He cleverly pivoted careers, transitioning from the stage to the screen.

Fatone found success as a talk show host, taking the helm of programs like Common Knowledge and Impractical Jokers: After Party, proving his charisma extends far beyond the microphone.

Brian Cox

Believe it or not, science presenter Brian Cox once had a brief foray into pop music! In the 1990s, he joined English one-hit wonders D:Ream as their keyboardist. But music wasn’t his true calling. Cox went on to earn a PhD in high-energy particle physics from Manchester University.

This academic achievement paved the way for a far more enduring claim to fame – becoming a beloved science communicator on British television. Today, he’s a household name, inspiring audiences with his passion for the wonders of the universe.

Russell Senior

The 1990s saw Russell Senior riding the wave of Britpop success as a guitarist for the iconic indie band Pulp. Their music captivated audiences, launching Senior into the world of rock stardom. However, unlike many who crave the spotlight, Senior had a different passion burning bright.

In a surprising move, he decided to walk away from the screaming fans and sold-out shows to pursue a new career as an antiques dealer. This unexpected turn of events showcased Senior’s willingness to follow his own path, even at the height of the band’s fame.