15 animated characters you didn’t know were voiced by famous musicians

Kacey Musgraves
Kacey Musgraves has been cast in the English dub of the Studio Ghibli film “Earwig and the Witch.” Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images
  • Kacey Musgraves announced on Tuesday that she has been cast in the English dub of “Earwig and the Witch,” a new movie from Studio Ghibli. 

  • She’s not the only musician who has worked as a voice actor. 

  • Fergie voiced the “Peanuts” character Sally, Nicki Minaj voiced the character Sugilite in “Steven Universe.”

  • Gene Simmons has voiced characters in “King of the Hill,” “Scooby-Doo,” and “SpongeBob SquarePants.”

  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Kacey Musgraves announced in a tweet Tuesday that she’s been cast in the English-language version of “Earwig and the Witch,” a new movie from Studio Ghibli set to release in early 2021. 

The Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter will play Earwig’s mother and sing the English version of the film’s theme song “Don’t Disturb Me.” Musgraves added that she is a huge Studio Ghibli fan and that it was a dream come true to work on the film. 

“My dad brought a VHS tape of ‘[My Neighbor] Totoro’ home when I was about 9, and I’ll never ever forget the comfort and the magic that movie (and many other Ghibli films) have given me,” Musgraves wrote. “To say this was a full-circle, bucketlist moment is an understatement,” she added. 

Musgraves isn’t the only musician to lend their vocal talent to voice acting. We’ve rounded up a list of 15 other musicians who have voiced animated characters in movies and TV shows. 

Long before her time with the Black Eyed Peas, Fergie voiced Sally Brown from “Peanuts.”

Fergie and Sally Brown. Amanda Edwards/WireImage/Getty Images; Peanuts Online

Fergie is one of more than two-dozen actresses who have voiced Charlie Brown’s little sister since the character made her first appearance in “A Charlie Brown Christmas” in 1965.

She voiced the character for two TV specials — “It’s Flashbeagle, Charlie Brown” and “Snoopy’s Getting Married, Charlie Brown” — and four episodes of the 1985 season of “The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show.” In one of the TV episodes, Fergie also voiced Peppermint Patty. 

Miley Cyrus starred in “Bolt” as Penny, the on-screen companion to Bolt the super dog.

Miley Cyrus
Miley Cyrus voiced Penny in the 2008 animated film “Bolt.” Kevin Mazur/Getty Images; Walt Disney Studios

In a 2009 interview with Movieweb, Cyrus explained that owning six dogs made it easier for her to talk to the imaginary Bolt as if it were really her own pup. She also talked about hearing her voice on screen and how it differed from her role in”Hannah Montana.” 

“Ever since I was little, people would always make jokes about my low voice. But they also complimented me on it-‘it’s so different, it’s so low,'” Cyrus told Movieweb. “But still, in school, people would make fun of it. But now, I think it’s so cool that you don’t have to have the picture-perfect, girly voice to do an animated film. I think it’s great for kids with different voices to know that they could do something like this.”

Selena Gomez voiced Dracula’s 118-year-old “teenage” daughter Mavis in the “Hotel Transylvania” movies.

Selena Gomez
Selena Gomez as Mavis Dracula in the 2012 film “Hotel Transylvania.” Tibrina Hobson/Getty Images; Sony Pictures Animation

Gomez told Collider in 2012 that voicing Mavis was a fun way for her to stay connected to her family-friendly acting roots while taking on more mature acting roles. 

“To be honest, I’m actually not that great with animation because I feel like sometimes it’s harder to act with your voice than to act with your actual self,” Gomez told Collider. “But, this was such a great experience and [everyone was] wonderful to work with. It was a good thing for me to do, in that area, because I was doing a couple movies that were out of my comfort zone. I felt this was a nice way to go back to that.”

Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea voiced the wild child Donnie on “The Wild Thornberrys.”

Bassist Flea as Donnie in “The Wild Thornberrys.” Alexandre Schneider/Getty Images; Nickelodeon

If you’ve ever seen the way Flea jumps around on stage while performing with the Chili Peppers, it may come as no surprise that he voiced the feral child Donnie. 

A 2003 NME article quotes Flea telling Entertainment Weekly, “There’s definitely a part of me that is completely him. It’s also the most bizarre, strangest job I’ve ever had.”

Ozzy Osbourne has starred in two animated movies.

Ozzy Osbourne
Ozzy Osbourne played Fawn in “Gnomeo and Juliet.” Steve Granitz/Getty Images; Touchstone Pictures

The Prince of Darkness has starred as two rather adorable deer characters: Fawn in “Gnomeo and Juliet” in 2011 and Vicar in “Robbie the Reindeer in Close Encounters of the Herd Kind” in 2007. 

Nicki Minaj is as good a voice actor as she is a rapper.

Nicki Minaj
Nicki Minaj as Sugilite in “Steven Universe.” Karwai Tang/Getty Images; Cartoon Network

In a 2014 episode of “Steven Universe,” Minaj stars as Sugilite, a combination of two of his Crystal Gems — Garnet (who is voiced by the British singer Estelle) and Amethyst — merged together. Minaj was unapologetically herself and didn’t change her voice much for the role. 

This wasn’t Minaj’s first time getting animated. She voiced the mammoth Steffie, a member of The Brat Pack in “Ice Age: Continental Drift” in 2012, and starred as herself in an episode of “The Cleveland Show” the same year. 

Speaking of “Ice Age: Continental Drift,” Drake also starred in the flick.

Drake played Ethan in “Ice Age: Continental Drift.” Isaiah Trickey/Getty Images; Blue Sky Studios

Drizzy played Ethan, another teen mammoth who is the love interest of Peaches, Manny’s daughter. 

James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich of Metallica cameoed in an episode of the animated series “Dave the Barbarian.”

James Hetfield (top left) and Lars Ulrich starred as dragons in the 2004 episode “Here There Be Dragons.” Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images; Walt Disney Television

During the episode, the duo offered some pretty rock ‘n roll advice to Faffy, Dave’s pet dragon: “So there are some humans out there and you’re their pet?” one of them asks. “You can’t be no pet man, you’re a dragon … a dragon don’t work for the man, dig?”

Guest-starring on an episode of “SpongeBob SquarePants” was a dream come true for David Bowie.

David Bowie
David Bowie starred as Lord Royal Highness in the 2007 special “Atlantis SquarePantis.” Stuart Mostyn/Redferns/Getty Images; Nickelodeon

The rock legend voiced Lord Royal Highness, the king of the lost city of Atlantis in the “SpongeBob SquarePants” TV special “Atlantis SquarePantis.”

“SpongeBob” supervising producer and co-executive producer Paul Tibbitt told Animation World Network in 2016 that after getting the job, David Bowie revealed that he and his daughter were huge SpongeBob fans. Bowie reportedly wrote on his website that he “landed the Holy Grail of animation jobs.”

Tom Petty voiced a character that looked just like him in the cartoon “King of the Hill.”

Tom Petty
Tom Petty played Lucky in “King of the Hill.” Icon and Image/Getty Images; Hulu

Tom Petty voiced Elroy “Lucky” Kleinschmidt (and occasionally Lucky’s friend Mud Dobber) on 28 episodes of “King of the Hill” between 2004 and 2009. His character earned the nickname Lucky after slipping on urine in a Costco bathroom and getting a large settlement from the company. 

In a 2017 tribute to Petty shared with Rolling Stone, “King of the Hill” creator Mike Judge described the rock star as “the nicest, most humble and unassuming rock star you could ever hope to meet.” He added that Petty “was always a pleasure to work with – such a funny guy. He will be greatly missed.”

Police frontman Sting had a hilarious cameo in “Bee Movie” that saw him argue with a bee in court.

Sting played himself in the 2007 animated film “Bee Movie.” SC Pool – Corbis/Getty Images; Netflix

Sting was called to the stand by Barry the Bee who accused him of appropriating bee culture and revealed, to the courtroom’s shock, that his real name is in fact Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner.  

The Police front man also voiced Zarm for the first two seasons of “Captain Planet and the Planeteers” from 1990 to 1992. 

Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker starred as the banjo-strumming Petey in “The Fantastic Mr. Fox.”

Jarvis Cocker
Jarvis Cocker as Petey in “The Fantastic Mr. Fox.” Dave J Hogan/Getty Images; 20th Century Fox

Cocker sang the song “Petey’s Song” in the 2009 Wes Anderson stop-motion animated film. In a Q&A with The Quietus, Cocker said he was a fan of Roald Dahl’s children’s book “Fantastic Mr. Fox” and that he loved Anderson’s adaptation.

“The thing with kids’ books is that if they’re written well they can appeal to adults as well. They’re not sentimental, those stories,” Cocker told The Quietus. “That’s something that’s nice about Wes’ adaptation; usually kids wouldn’t see a fox kill a chicken in a film, it’d be implied or glossed over. There you see it.”

Snoop Dogg voiced a snail in the movie “Turbo” fittingly named Smoove Move, and It in “The Addams Family.”

Snoop Dogg
Snoop Dogg and his character Smoove Move from the 2013 animated film “Turbo.” Gary Miller/Getty Images; DreamWorks Animation

Snoop Dogg oozed his classic swagger as Turbo and also had a lead song on the movie’s soundtrack. 

In a 2013 interview with the Los Angeles Times, he said, “I wanted a song with a lot of energy, that was high-paced, that could attract the kids, make them feel good about hearing it, and want to dance to it.”

“I like the way my character looks, sounds…. I think I’m a great snail,” he added.  

Snoop also voiced It in 2019’s “The Addams Family,” and he’s currently recording his voice for the second film. He has also voiced-acted in a number of cartoons including “F Is for Family,” “King Of The Hill,” and “American Dad!” 

Gene Simmons has had cameos in “Scooby-Doo,” “SpongeBob,” and “King of the Hill,” but he’s not always played himself in animated roles.

Gene Simmons
Gene Simmons as himself in the 2015 special “Scooby-Doo! and Kiss: Rock and Roll Mystery.” Kevin Winter/Getty Images; Warner Bros. Animation

Simmons has taken on quite a few voice acting jobs throughout the years. He and the rest of Kiss performed a killer version of “Detroit Rock City” while Scoob and the gang battled a giant monster in the 2015 film “Scooby-Doo! and Kiss: Rock and Roll Mystery.” 

Simmons also played a sea monster in the “SpongeBob” episode “20,000 Patties Under the Sea,” and a biker in the “King of the Hill episode “Reborn to Be Wild.” He also had a brief cut scene in “Family Guy.”

Speaking of his role on “SpongeBob” Simmons said, “I was born for this part. I’ve been waiting all my life to be a Sea Monster. It’s in my blood. It’s what I do. It’s my job. SpongeBob is jealous, as well he should be. I was brilliant.”

Will.i.am starred as the rapping red-crested cardinal Pedro in “Rio.”

Will.i.am in “Rio.” Charley Gallay/Getty Images; 20th Century Fox

In addition to voicing Pedro, will.i.am also recorded four songs — “Hot Wings (I Wanna Party),” “Drop It Low,” “Real In Rio,” and “Advice For The Young At Heart” — for the movie. 

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