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Not Just A One Trick Pony

David Beckham has recently joined forces with H&M to release a range of men’s underwear. This venture arises the recurring idea, that for a celebrity to be a true success, they need to be as multidimensional as possible. In saying that, I’m sure the vast majority would consider Golden Balls’ wage to be a success.  This article has a look at a select few celebs who have crossed over from one platform to another.

There will be those of a certain age who won’t remember Vinnie Jones’ days as a footballer, racking up 200+ appearances for Wimbledon, a victory in the 1988 FA Cup final and captaining his national side of Wales. He was known as one of footballs hard men and in 1998 he cashed in on this persona with his first cinematic appearance in Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. It may be ironic to talk about being multidimensional and in the next breath mention Vinnie Jones acting career, but despite his versatility, or lack thereof, Vinnie has appeared consistently throughout the years. He even found himself amongst such greats as Sir Patrick Stewart and Sir Ian Mckellen in 2006, playing Juggernaut in X-men. However those who remember his footballing exploits, none more so than Paul Gascoigne, are still waiting for his appearance in the Nut cracker.

To many, Liam Gallagher will always be the Paparazzi fighting, binge drinking lout from that band. But further to his eight UK number-one albums, fifteen NME awards and seven Brits, some may know Liam for being the founder and designer of the Jam-inspired clothing line, Pretty Green. Fans of the range, including myself, love the brand for its intrinsically British feel.  It is no surprise that the label is popular amongst Oasis fans, or even the handful of Beady Eye followers. However the label has also received critical acclaim, and Gallagher has carried his award success with him, picking up the Breakthrough Brand / Retailer award at the WGSN Awards 2011, a great achievement considering the brand is only in its second year. Despite the success I think you’d be waiting a while to see the other Gallagher, Noel, sporting a Pretty Green tee.

50 cent, or Curtis Jackson as his grandmother may call him, made his name in the gangsta rap genre. He is responsible for such delights as “I’m supposed to die tonight” and “Bitch get in my car”. Yet underneath his bulletproof vests and hordes of “bitches”, it seems that 50 likes to make sure he gets his vitamins. In 2007 thanks to posing in a Reebok ad, another side venture, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson bought a stake in Glacéau, the Vitamin Water producers, and is responsible for their grape-flavoured product. With Curtis as their poster boy and advert star, one seeing 50 take charge of a classical orchestra and conduct them in playing his hit “In Da Club”, the vitamin water proved very successful. It could be argued that without 50 cent, beverage giants Coca-Cola may not have launched their $4.1 billion takeover of the company, but don’t think it’s affected 50’s song writing, as he poetically describes this deal “I take quarter water, sold it in bottles for 2 bucks, Coca-Cola came and bought it for billions, what the fuck?”.

Perhaps the most distinct contrast in careers comes in the form of Brian Cox, once musician, now particle physicist. D:Ream enjoyed eight Top 40 UK singles and a No.1, but Cox played a rather sideline role, playing the keyboard. However he must’ve listened to his 1994 UK No.1 “Things Can Only Get Better”, as for him, they did. After D:Ream disbanded in 1997 he received a PhD in high energy particle physics. He has since gone on to be the BBC’s go-to physicist, presenting the BAFTA and Emmy award winning Horizon series, and was commissioned by the BBC to co-present Stargazing live with Physicist-turned-comedian Dara O Briain. So all those unappreciated keyboard superstars, keep the faith, maybe one day you’ll be a neurosurgeon.

By Elliot Fox

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