Your Favorite Female Pop Stars’ Worst Big Screen Debuts

When it comes to music, these girls have it all. They can sing. They can dance. And they can act — err, wait a minute on the last one. Sadly, a powerful voice, a magnetic personality in interviews, or killer dance moves in music videos doesn’t mean a pop star has what it takes to be an actress. With practice, some do get better. But if their big screen debuts are any precursor, some of them better stick to their main gig and leave the acting to the professionals.

Check out the 10 worst big screen debuts from your favorite female pop stars, including Britney Spears, Rihanna, and Taylor Swift. (Oh yeah, the latter is making her return to the big screen in The Giver, co-starring Meryl Streep, in theaters this weekend.)

Given that so many singers make cameos and small, often uncredited appearances in films, we limited the big screen debuts to legitimate roles on screen. For Brandy, that means Arachnophobia doesn’t count and her TV work doesn’t exclude her from the list.

10. Spice Girls in Spice World


Arguably no real acting was committed during the making of the film that plays like a bad parody of The Beatles’ A Hard Day’s Night but there was still a script and some plot, which implies emoting from Baby, Ginger, Posh, Scary and Sport Spice.

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 47 %

What the critics said:

“The question of whether the Spices can act — they can’t, but neither could the Beatles — is largely irrelevant.” — Variety

“’Yeah, but can they act?’ asks one cynical wag, to which Scary Spice responds unforgettably: ‘Blah, blah, blah. Girl Power. Feminism. Ya know what I mean?’ Loud and clear, Scary.” — Rolling Stone

9. Christina Milian in Love Don’t Cost a Thing

After making cameo appearances in films like American Pie, Milian stepped into the leading role of this Can’t Buy Me Love remake. The singer mostly escapes the bruises that landed on co-star Nick Cannon and the film as a whole.

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 13 %

What the critics said:

“But since Cannon and Milian have to squash any frisson to avoid sinking into pure escort-service sleaze, there’s not much rom in the rom-com.” — The Village Voice

8. Brandy in I Still Know What You Did Last Summer

Having acted for a number of years on the small screen, Brandy was finally making her theatrical debut. The singer was largely ignored in the negative feedback thrown at the film. She was just there (and mostly forgotten).

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 7 %

What the critics said:

“Brandy has some good kick- boxing moves.” — SFGate

“The good looking cast, led by Hewitt and Brandy, go through the motions ’til the predictable ending.” — Reeling Reviews

7. Rihanna in Battleship

The real critique against Rihanna was her lack of anything to do. The limited performance saved the singer from too harsh of criticism, thought the cynicism was there. Boom.

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 34 %

What the critics said:

“Rihanna has the face of a tough little streetcat, appealing and self-reliant, but the movie gives her very little to do (other than hold that big gun).” — Movieline

“Also wasted is Rihanna, in her movie debut, as a member of Hopper’s crew. Couldn’t someone have devised a scene where music’s slinkiest star dances for even a moment? She simply makes stern faces as she presses buttons.” — New York Daily News

“Who-cares subplots involve [Taylor] Kitsch’s girlfriend (Brooklyn Decker), her daddy the admiral (Liam Neeson, losing the battle with his Irish brogue), a fidgety scientist (Hamish Linklater) and a courageous Army veteran (double amputee Gregory D. Gadson) who utters the film’s worst lines with the most conviction (although Rihanna, playing a petty officer, comes darn close).” — San Francisco Chronicle

6. Beyonce in Austin Powers in Goldmember

Since Goldmember, Beyonce has proven to be a decent singer-turned-actress. She has been wise to choose roles — not including Obsessed — and kept things relatively straight forward. Point and shoot delivery that lacks charm as noted in her debut.

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 54 %

What the critics said:

“Even token beauty Beyonce Knowles, of Destiny’s Child, registers dimly as Foxxy Cleopatra, a ’70s-style jive-talking FBI agent who gets into the picture via time travel, probably the series’s weakest stroke.” — Washington Post

“There, he hooks up again with a ’70s action queen named Foxxy Cleopatra — a striking presence thanks to Beyoncé Knowles’ outlandish but dynamite makeup and costuming. (She is, however, less of a series force than Elizabeth Hurley and Heather Graham.)” — USA Today

5. Jessica Simpson in The Dukes of Hazzard

This is the definition of stunt casting and critiques held Simpson accountable for her small role (and small booty shorts). And things haven’t gotten better since. Private Valentine anyone? Anyone?

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 13 %

What the critics said:

“[Jessica Simpson] literally couldn’t act if her life depended on it — she appears to only be there to provide eye candy and, frankly, she’s not all that attractive in the first place.” — ViewLondon

“[Simpson] and her attire make equally brief appearances. More of her actual performance might turn up on DVD, but the bits that make it into the theatrical version play like outtakes from her more entertaining ’These Boots Are Made for Walkin” video.” — The Hollywood Reporter

“Come to think of it, that may be the reason for this thoroughly pointless big-screen adaptation, which features the enigmatic Jessica Simpson as Daisy Duke, the sight of whose body will apparently turn any man in the state of Georgia into a drooling moron.” — The New York Times

4. Christina Aguilera in Burlesque

Nothing about why this movie made any sense. Aguilera was well past her ’50s camp singing phase, Cher was well past her emoting phase, and Stanley Tucci was well past his needing-a-paycheck phase.

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 37 %

What the critics said:

“Even if [fans] admire Aguilera’s powerful voice, this ain’t the way professional singers are discovered. But there it is: try to make ‘Showgirls’ for 12 year olds and you please no one. What a tease.” — Time Out

“There’s no denying Aguilera’s roof-raising voice (her acting is another matter), and she is already a kind of modern-day burlesquer as a touring act, accustomed to elaborate routines and costume changes. But that also explains why her numbers seem so familiar, so unsurprising. Aguilera is an obvious choice – the only kind this film ever makes.” — News Day

3. Taylor Swift in Valentine’s Day

If there’s one singer that was unfairly railed against for her debut it was Swift. The part was shoe-horned into a cramped film and she overdid it with such glee that it was repulsive. She deserves a second shot… Right?

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 18 %

What the critics said:

“In what reeks of final-draft add-on, country star Taylor Swift and Taylor Lautner from ‘The Twilight Saga’ pair up as school sweethearts: no actual storyline here, but they tick the pre-teen box big time.” — Time Out

“Some teen viewers may be drawn by the lure of the two Taylors, but their time onscreen together arguably reps the film’s low point; Swift, especially, seems entirely undirected, as she jumps around, makes faces and jabbers on inanely.” — Variety

“The movie isn’t awful, and nor is it an award winner unless you count Swift’s frontrunner status to add a worst supporting actress Razzie to her shelf full of Grammys.” — OK!

2. Britney Spears in Crossroads

Many wondered if this was Glitter Part 2 or another disaster of its own. It was a mixture of both as critics found Spears’ acting not quite up to par.

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 14 %

What the critics said:

“She’s not yet an actress, not quite a singer…” — Ebert & Roeper

“You spend a lot of time wondering, ‘Better or worse than Glitter?’” — The Village Voice

“Spears’s technique indicates she’s a graduate of the Brady Bunch Acting Academy…” — Film Quips Online

“Unfortunately, this young female-awakening dilapidated drama demands everything of Britney Spears as she juggles the rigors of being a sugar-coated lamb one moment than a rampaging rogue in a slinky bra the next.” — Movie Eye

1. Mariah Carey in Glitter

If there’s one thing to say about Carey, it’s that she’s only gone up from her disastrous debut that puts her squarely as the worst debut made by anyone. Ever. It just was bad.

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 7 %

What the critics said:

“As Carey’s alter-ego Billie Frank rises to the top, her makeup is never out of place, but that is about the only thing that’s visibly correct about Carey’s uncomfortable debut performance.” — Variety

“We don’t have much space to tell you about Glitter, so we’ll be blunt. This star vehicle for singer Mariah Carey is primarily a showcase for her breasts.” — Washington Post

“The best parts of this dud are the ones in which she’s singing. This is what she does best. This is what she should stick to. Save your money and watch her videos for free on cable music-television networks.” — AP