You regularly hear of singers who can also play the guitar, songwriters who can smash it on the drums, or even solo artists who can act. It’s not too often, however, that you find potential sports stars make their way into the music industry.
Both sport and music offer a tremendous amount of money at the highest level, and it’s a rough road of competition and practice to get to the top. Musicians and athletes require talent and a relentless drive to achieve success, so it makes sense that there are some high-profile musicians cut from the cast of a potential sports star.
These are the top-three musicians who may have found fame as an athlete had they not pursued a life in the recording booth.
Known as the most successful singer to hail from the European continent, Julio Iglesias has recorded songs in 14 different languages, sold over 100 million of those records, and performed in front of millions of people. The Spaniard first came to light in 1968, winning a song festival in Benidorm to earn a record deal, going on to win music awards around the world, including Latin Grammys, Grammys, and Billboard Music Awards.
Eight years before his breakout performance, Iglesias was playing in the Segunda División for Real Madrid’s reserve team, Castilla. It’s an impressive feat, especially as Real Madrid were as dominant back then as they are now, with NordicBet betting setting them at 1.72 to win La Liga and 17.00 to win the Champions League. Playing in goal for the prestigious club, a car accident left him unable to walk for two years. Still, it was in the hospital that he discovered his musical talent, learning to play a guitar to help regain dexterity.
Chelcee Grimes has spent much of her music career behind the scenes, writing songs for some of the biggest names in English-language music. BBC details that she’s written songs for the likes of Dua Lipa, The Saturdays, Kylie Minogue, and Kesha, and in 2018, she signed with RCA Records as a performer. Her first song, ‘Just Like That’ has pulled in over 235,000 views since hitting YouTube in June 2018.
The Liverpudlian singer-songwriter is one of the rare cases where an athletically-gifted musician was able to also reach a high level of their preferred sport. She started playing for the Liverpool Ladies youth team long before she was writing music, continuing her career with Tottenham Hotspur, Fulham, Everton, and currently Tranmere Rovers.
One of the most iconic heavy metal bands of all-time, and a defining act of the 1980s, Bruce Dickinson was the lead singer of Iron Maiden from 1981. In 1982, the band released the now-iconic ‘The Number of the Beast’ album, with Dickinson’s vocals helping it to achieve the band’s first number-one in their native UK, per Official Charts. He went to on leave in 1993 but returned for another stint as the frontman in 1999.
As it turns out, the heavy metal superstar was also quite the talent in the classy and methodical sport of fencing. In the late 80s, when the band was being toured into the ground by management, Dickinson would spend his breaks back on the piste. His continued commitment to the sport led to him ranking 7th in the country and even taking on Olympian fencers in more recent years, such as Bartosz Piasecki and Peter Vanky.
Along with the achievements of Grimes and Dickinson, it’s quite incredible to think that one of the most successful European singers of all-time could have played in goal for one of the greatest clubs in world football.