We’re not delusional: Most music from reality television stars is complete garbage. (Even for guilty pleasure pop standards, it sucks.) However, once in a blue moon, some real bops rise from the ashes and slay harder than any Lady Gaga or Kesha tune. OK, that’s an exaggeration. But they’re effing awesome!
Even though most of these celebs can’t, erm, sing or dance, it doesn’t negate the catchiness of their tunes. From Heidi Montag to K.Michelle, check out 13 small-screen stars who quasi-crush the music game. Check out more from VH1’s month-long Keepin’ It Real reality TV package.
Tyra Banks, “Shake Ya Body”
This Darkchild-produced track is a sleek, thumping dance/R&B hybrid. Tyra is not the greatest vocalist, but her cat-like purrs—set to a hand-clapping beat, of course—are pretty delicious. A highlight from America’s Next Top Model, to be honest.
All of Heidi Montag’s tracks
Don’t roll your eyes yet. Hear us out. Yes, this Hills alumna is annoying AF, but her flop album Superficial has some genuine electro treats, like “Turn Ya Head,” “Fanatic,” and “I’ll Do It” (above). Mrs. Spencer Pratt excels in the naughty-girl pop space by letting producers treat her like their play-thing. Her voice is Auto-Tuned an inch out of its life, the synths are heavy, and dance breaks aplenty. The perfect soundtrack for copious vodka shots.
Karlie Redd (feat. Young Dro), “Heartbreaker”
This Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta goddess successfully delivered a silky-smooth slow-jam with a crazy addictive beat. Yaaas, K!
Kelli, “Gave Up On Love”
A gritty European club is playing “Gave Up On Love” as we speak. The NYC Prep star’s song is pure electro-pop bliss, with a bombastic, bellowing chorus and surprisingly strong vocals. It’s a stomping, swinging highlight in reality television music.
Countess LuAnn, “Money Can’t Buy You Class”
We give honorable mentions to “Chic C’est La Vie” and “Girl Code (Don’t Be So Uncool),” but nothing beats the Real Housewives of New York City icon’s original 2010 single. LuAnn takes a cue from the Cher handbook and smartly buries her voice in a vocoder fog. When she comes up for air, she’s rapping—yes, rapping. It’s a harmless, punchy, and funky little tune—dripping with elegaaaaaance, obvs.
Paris Hilton’s entire discography
Like Heidi, Paris doesn’t take her music that seriously, which makes it fun as hell. Whether it’s the bubblegum calls of “Nothing In This World” (above), the breezy “Stars Are Blind,” or decadent “Come Alive,” there’s no denying Paris knows good pop. Sorry ’bout it. (Started from The Simple Life, now she’s here.)
K.Michelle, “Maybe I Should Call”—and her entire second LP, tbh
Here’s the tea: This Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta veteran is talented, and she makes excellent R&B music. (Have you heard her voice?!)
Melissa Gorga, “On Display”
Sure, the verses are a little clunky, but the techno-tinged chorus is well worth the wait. A subtle Real Housewives of New Jersey treat, which we didn’t think was possible.
Brooke Hogan, “About Us” (feat. Paul Wall)
She starred alongside her famous papa in Hogan Knows Best, but Brooke’s shining moment is this song. If it doesn’t give you distinct 2007 club vibes, then nothing will.
Flavor of Love spawned several amazing people, including Deelishis. Her peak? “Rumpshaker,” a sweaty, sweltering hip-hop jam that will make you mimic its title in 30 seconds or less.
Danity Kane’s full collection
They make our list because of Making the Band 3 , so STFU. Annnnnnd if you think their discography is anything but fire, then you’re damn incorrect. (Please see “Damaged.”)
Adore Delano, “Party”
Several RuPaul’s Drag Race queens have songs, but Adore’s goodies are definitely the strongest. Adore has Adam Lambert’s vocal chops and Britney Spears’ stage presence. The result? GETTING MY LIFE.
Heather B., “All Glocks Down”
She turned her gig on The Real World: New York into a full-fledged rap career, and we live for it.
Ashlee Simpson’s first album Autobiography (2004)—yes, she counts!
The soundtrack to your teenage angst, bbs. Don’t act like you hate it—or that The Ashlee Simpson Show was fake. It was real. We all were there.