Or is it, singers who model? Who knows. Either way, we’re either these double threats who continue bringing us the talent & beauty combo.

Blame it on the Internet, just like everything else, but it’s the age of the multi-hyphenate. Now that people can connect with other industries and market themselves across the globe in a click, they want to try everything. They want to indulge every whim. Of course, “they” are those who have enough money and resources behind them: agents, PR firms, photographers, coaches, etc. Models, singers and actors seem to get antsy and want to try new fields, kind of like when you’re little and go from wanting to be a firefighter to a mailman to the president and then maybe a garbage collector. The problem is a lot of these yessed-to-death famous people aren’t always good at other things. Just because you can sing doesn’t mean you can act and vice versa. Not everyone can be a model slash DJ.

As the public, we’ve been subjected to pretty unbearable efforts from some of our favorite stars. But guess what. Some people really are multi-talented. They will restore your faith — well, what little you had of it — in multi-hyphenates. They’ll convince you that every effort is worth a look or a listen, and that some people really do earn respect in different fields. Here are some drop dead gorgeous models who have dominated the fashion scene and who’ve turned their attention to music with some pretty impressive results. — COURTNEY ISEMAN

Karen Elson


[photo via Vogue UK]

Perhaps the best known of current models-cum-singers is Karen Elson. The timeless beauty has all the trappings of a bona fide music star — she lives in Nashville, she is the ex-wife of Jack White — but, uniquely, she can actually rely on her own talent to establish her claim to fame. She’s basically worked with every photographer and designer who matters, and has covered every magazine you can think of. She helped found and performs with The Citizens Band, a cabaret troupe with which she covers acts like The Velvet Underground, Leonard Cohen, Neil Young and Marlene Dietrich. She’s done back-up vocals for Robert Plant and sang a duet with Cat Power, a cover of the Serge Gainsbourg song “I Love You (Me Either).” Her full-length album, The Ghost Who Walks, was released in 2010, and she’s released multiple singles since then, often impossibly cool covers. Critics’ reactions to Elson’s music have been quite positive across the board, calling her voice dreamy, beautiful and sweet. And many admit to judging her on even harsher standards because of who she is. It might be fair to say Elson is actually a singer who models.

Cat Power + Karen Elson “I Love You (Me Either)”

Irina Lazareanu


Like Karen Elson, Irina Lazareanu’s music career rivals her modeling career. A former ballerina who, at the height of her fashion days, broke the record for most shows walked in one season, she became just as famous for her personal Rock and Roll style. She’s been linked to Pete Doherty and Sean Lennon, and has collaborated musically with both. She toured with Doherty’s band, Babyshambles in 2004 and recorded a folk album, Some Place Along the Way with Lennon. She performs with both from time to time and has recorded the odd single and cover song. Her wedding last summer took place at John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s house, which admittedly has nothing to do with her singing, but cements her place in the music crowd pretty firmly, no? If you want more proof of her recent musical talent, she finished an LP with Echo and the Bunnymen called Madeleine in 2012. You can listen to some of her tracks here.

Irina Lazareanu “Strange Places”

Lissy Trullie


One-time downtown model darling Lissy Trullie has actually officially crossed over from fashion to music. Her career started out with her appearing in some of the coolest of too-cool magazines, she posed for Ryan McGinley and she was the face of Chloë Sevigny’s clothing line. She transitioned from being the face of Hervé Léger in 2009 to fronting her eponymous rock band. They made multiple television appearances and toured the UK. The same year, she released her debut EP, Self-Taught Learner, and she followed up with an album titled Lissy Trullie in 2010. Since then, she’s recorded covers and singles for movie soundtracks and individual releases. It doesn’t seem like she’s that into modeling anymore.

Lissie Trullie “It’s Only You, Isn’t It?”

Abbey Lee Kershaw


[image via gonerogue.com]

Abbey Lee Kershaw’s band Our Mountain made waves with its breakout in 2011. The “swagger blues” band has toured and released a single, “Wooden Hearts” and a debut album since. Kershaw joined the band in time for their UK tour, providing vocals and playing the tambourine and keyboard. The band got attention for their NSFW video for “IV Horses,” which got censored on YouTube, but it’s worth noting that critics were surprised and impressed by Abbey Lee Kershaw’s musical talent. She ain’t just a pretty face. The model has told magazines she’s much more comfortable on stage, so we might be seeing her there more than we will on future runways.

and finally… Carla Bruni, Milla Jovovich and Vanessa Paradis

Carla Bruni - image via CultureTheque org uk

[image via CultureThequee.org]

Carla Bruni, Milla Jovovich and Vanessa Paradis are sort of the founding members of this model/singer pack and will probably always remain among the most acclaimed. Carla parlayed a successful fashion career into four albums and countless duets, covers, collaborations and performances — all before becoming First Lady of France. Milla Jovovich’s star rose during the glory days of the supermodel, working with greats like Richard Avedon during the 1990s. She worked on her music almost entirely throughout her modeling career, and her debut album, The Divine Comedy, was incredibly well received. She’s been compared to Kate Bush, Sinead O’Connor and Tori Amos, although her experimental band Plastic Has Memory is a bit, well, different: it has Ukranian folk elements and is similar to “Grunge and trip hop Portishead,” according to Wikipedia. Of her many collaborations, singles and covers, her work with Maynard James Keenan of Tool stands out, her work with his side project Puscifer also getting solid reviews. Chanel muse, and Johnny Depp baby mama, Vanessa Paradis started as a singer and already had quite the enviable career by the time she began modeling. She worked with the likes of Serge Gainsbourg, has released six studio albums and is respected the world over for her enchanting, sophisticated sound. Her career has been peppered with awards and chart-toppers — if you haven’t checked her music out, she’s one to try.

Mila Jovovich The Divine Comedy Full Album

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