Top 20 Athletes Turned Musicians of All Time

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Top 20 Athletes Turned Musicians of All Time

Bernie Williams
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Music and sports have been a natural combination for decades now. At every ballpark, football stadium, and even on the tennis court, you will always find some of the most memorable sports songs to capture the moment. It seems to embody a certain magic to it all that a particular song can act as a time stamp for remembering some of the best memories in your life. Over time, athletes start to get inspired in their sports careers from hearing all these different genres of music until one day, they want to be the ones creating that magic musically. One figures if they have success in their playing days, perhaps that will translate to success in the music industry.

Most athletes who experiment with the music industry tend to be chewed right up and spit back into reality. Only a select few make an impact, and some of these athletes are even talented enough to learn instruments on their own to use in their trade to stand out from the rest. Regardless, there are a ton of athletes who turned in their sports equipment for musical instruments. It's mainly because a part of them knows they can succeed in that realm too while bringing a message to anyone with ears.

Of course, when it comes to athletes turned musicians, success doesn't always necessarily mean dollar signs. A few have turned their sports personalities into making sure to leave their own individual stamp on the music world regardless if they made it big or not financially.

Photographed above, Bernie Williams found incredible musical success with his latin-infused jazz. Williams was even nominated for a Latin Grammy with his highly successful album, "Moving Forward". The album featured many popular musicians to fuel his impact on the music industry. With that being said, take a look at the top 20 athletes turned musicians of all time who truly left their marks on the music world in one way or another!

Luis Tirado Jr. is a New York Jets writer for Follow him on Twitter @LTJ81, "Like" him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google+

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20. Nick Swisher

Nick Swisher
The Star-Ledger-USA TODAY Sports

While Nick Swisher won't be remembered for making millions of dollars in the music industry, he made an incredible children's album back in 2011 which saw major success across the country. Swisher's "Believe" album had all proceeds going to his charity and consisted of him doing covers to popular alternative rock songs.

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19. Shaquille O'Neal

Shaquille O'Neal
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Shaquille O'Neal has recorded five albums, and his first rap album "Shaq Diesel" was certified platinum. How about that for a slam dunk in the music industry?

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18. Oscar De La Hoya

Oscar De La Hoya
Ethan Miller/Staff (Getty Images)

Oscar De La Hoya released a Latin pop album back in 2000 that actually got a Grammy nomination!

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17. Deion Sanders

Deion Sanders
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Deion Sanders was a dual-sport athlete who saw a great opportunity in the rap community. When Sanders wanted to tackle the music industry, he released the album ironically called "Prime Time". Even though it didn't sell so well, Sanders can now say he played football, baseball and was a rapper!

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16. Wayman Tisdale

Wayman Tisdale
Kent Horner/Contributor (NBAE/Getty Images)

Wayman Tisdale will always be known as one of the NBA's greatest big men, but he revealed after retiring that his first love was music. Tisdale contributed eight jazz albums to the music industry!

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15. Bronson Arroyo

Bronson Arroyo
Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

Bronson Arroyo was never one to back down from a challenge. He saw a great opportunity to create some alternative rock songs which at the time, were about his time spent with the Boston Red Sox. He is an established guitarist and released an album with the popular Red Sox victory song, "Dirty Water".

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14. Alexi Lalas

Alexi Lalas
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Alexi Lalas will always be remembered for his soccer playing days, but the minute he hit the music industry, it was his for the taking. He started his own rock band called the Gypsies in which he played lead guitar and sang. They even opened for the ever-popular Hootie and the Blowfish! Lalas also has a very established solo music career.

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13. Darren McCarty

Darren McCarty
Luc Leclerc-USA TODAY Sports

Darren McCarty was always known as a tough guy on the ice and he took that mentality to the heavy metal scene. His band, Grinder, is popular in the metal community and he's the lead singer!

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12. Barry Zito

Barry Zito
Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

Barry Zito will always be known for striking out batters with ease, but what about playing guitar? Zito plays at numerous charity events and is known to rock out with some pretty impressive guitar solos!

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11. John McEnroe

John McEnroe
John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

John McEnroe will forever be known for his hot temper on the tennis court, and he was able to transition that style into the rock scene. He started a band called the Johnny Smyth Band which played to much success at concerts across the country. McEnroe also does a lot of guest guitar work with other soft rock bands that tour!

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10. Henrik Lundqvist

Henrik Lundqvist
Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Henrik Lundqvist will always be known for being an amazing goaltender in hockey, and has also been making some noise with his guitar work. Despite not having any records out just yet, he's appeared on numerous "talent shows" on late-night comedy shows to prove his talent to the masses!

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9. John Daly

John Daly

John Daly was an amazing professional golfer who always attracted attention with his uniquely-colored pants. When he decided to do some covers on acoustic guitar at various charity events, he wanted to give the music industry a shot. He started to write some great country songs that saw him gain even more success well after his golf playing days were over.

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8. Pele

Ronald Martinez/Staff (Getty Images)

Pele is considered by many to be the greatest soccer player to have ever played the game. When he decided to take his talents to music back in 1969, he successfully showed he could handle everything in stride. He made just one album in his life called "Tabelinha" in which he sings and plays guitar!

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7. Manny Pacquaio

Manny Pacquaio
Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

Manny Pacquiao is a legend in the boxing ring and when he decided to set his sights on the music world, it was a knockout! He made an album back in 2006 called "Lagan Nating Nahat Ito" which went quadruple platinum.

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6. Kyle Turley

Kyle Turley
Doug Pensinger/Staff (Getty Images)

Kyle Turley was an incredible offensive tackle in the NFL for over a decade. When he put that same determination into the music industry, he created an extremely unique sound. Fusing heavy metal with rock and country, his first album "Anger Management" was a commercial success. He also donates all proceeds of his tours into a special charity to raise awareness for post-NFL injuries to retired players.

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5. Chris Kluwe

Chris Kluwe
Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Chris Kluwe has always been known for being a great punter and in his music career, but he is also a pretty good bass player. He formed his own group called Tripping Icarus and continues to make quite the buzz in the alternative rock scene.

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4. The 1985 Chicago Bears

Walter Payton
Jonathan Daniel/Stringer (Getty Images)

The 1985 Chicago Bears will go down as history as one of the greatest football teams of all-time, but what about their singing skills? Even Walter Payton put down some lyrics in their huge contribution to the music world, the song "The Super Bowl Shuffle". When it came out, it went to No. 41 on the Billboard charts and went platinum. On top of that, it made the Bears the first sports team to be nominated for a Grammy ever! All proceeds went to charity.

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3. Coco Crisp

Coco Crisp
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Besides having an incredible nickname, Coco Crisp is a pretty talented rapper. He has appeared as a guest rapper on numerous albums to the point where he even said once his playing days are over, he will hit the rap music world as a solo artist!

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2. Roy Jones Jr.

Roy Jones Jr.
Ethan Miller/Staff (Getty Images)

Roy Jones Jr. is an amazing boxer and when he took his talents to the rap industry, he was extremely successful. Debuting with "Round One: The Album" in 2001, it was a critically acclaimed hit to the point where he made his own rap group called the Body Head Bangerz based off of his success. He released a second album through his group, which was another huge success since it featured many popular rap artists.

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1. Julio Iglesias

Julio Iglesias
Miguel Benitez/Stringer (Getty Images)

Julio Iglesias is an international superstar in the music world. Most people probably aren't aware that music technically isn't his first love. Iglesias was a promising soccer star way before his singing days, but a car accident had him hospitalized for a long period of time and ended his soccer career. It was at the hospital where he was so depressed about the possibility of not being able to play soccer for quite some time that he turned to music to help pass the time. The rest is music history!