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Athletes Who Turned Into Musicians

SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO - SEPTEMBER 30: Julio Iglesias performs at Centro de Bellas Artes on September 30, 2016 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. (Photo by GV Cruz/WireImage)

The life of athletes is interesting. One minute, they are ranking high in the sporting leagues and attracting throngs of fans. They have the attention of bookies, and sites like Bet365 are offering great odds on their games. And the next minute, they have been phased out, and another generation of athletes has taken over the scene. When this happens, athletes often turn to their passions to make the best out of the decades left of their lives. And for some athletes, this passion lies in music!

Which Athletes Doubled as Musicians?

We all have something we are passionate about besides our careers. For some people, it is knitting; for others, it’s art; and for some athletes, it’s music! So, which athletes found their calling in music?

NEW YORK – JUNE 29: Former NBA player turned musician Wayman Tisdale performs at FYE Store in Rockefeller Plaza to promote his latest album, “Way Up!” on June 29, 2006 in New York City. (Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images)

1. Wayman Tisdale

Wayman was an exemplary basketball player who made his mark in the NBA world. In his twelve years in the game, he averaged six rebounds and 15 points per game. And, of course, this did not go unnoticed. He earned the First Team AP All-American Honors in his freshman, sophomore, and junior years. Any aspiring college basketball player can only hope to enjoy such success.

When Wayman was not on the basketball court, he played bass guitar. He first started doing so at his father’s church. And soon, this passion turned into a career where he invested his time mastering the bass guitar. He went on to record eight jazz albums, one of which reached number one on the Billboard contemporary jazz charts!

Needless to say, Wayman was a force to reckon with on and off the basketball court.

2. Bernie Williams

Bernie loved baseball and was a switch-hitter for the Yankees. And during the late 90s and early 2000s, the media was crazy about him. By the time he stopped playing, he had garnered several awards, including Gold Glove wins (4 times), World Series Champs (4 times), and All-Stars (5 times). Many hitters thus look up to him as inspiration for such great heights.

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA – MAY 16: Former major leaguer and New York Yankee Bernie Williams preforms the national anthem prior to the start of the game between the Minnesota Twins and Oakland Athletics at RingCentral Coliseum on May 16, 2022 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

When Bernie was not training, he would play guitar. And rather than go with the classic versions, he enjoyed playing jazz that augured with his Latin American roots. He created sounds that were fresh enough to arouse the interest of the American audience. And it was not long before his music started ranking high in the charts. Two of his albums made it to Billboard’s top five US jazz charts.

3. Julio Iglesias

Before Enrique Iglesias swept fans off their feet with his music, there was Julio! Many people know Julio as a sensual singer whose music soothed the soul. It healed parts of people they did not even know ached. And as much as he was a success internationally, not many people knew his backstory.

The two athletes we have covered above got to showcase their prowess in sports and beyond. But such was not the case for Julio who was a budding soccer star on his way to international stardom before an accident got in the way of his career. So, he started writing music to cope with this incident, only for the music to turn into the rest of his career. What an interesting twist!

Should You Turn to Music?

We can learn a few things from athletes who were brave enough to travel a different path when their careers slowed down. Passion breathes new life into any human being. So, if you feel that your career has plateaued and you must find something else to get you up in the morning, try these ideas:

  1. Take time to understand your purpose in this world, as this informs why you do what you do,
  2. Explore your interests and find what you enjoy doing, and
  3. Be brave to pursue your passion.

If athletes can ditch training grounds for studio sessions, you can also take your career on a different path and achieve success!