Top of the flops
Skysports.com's Jamie Casey looks back on sportsmen in the music industry following F1 driver Jaime Alguersuari's album success.
By Jamie Casey. Last Updated: 05/10/11 12:07pm
Last week, Toro Rosso Formula One driver Jaime Alguersuari took a trend set by previous sportsman, tore it up, and showed them how it's supposed to be done. The talented Spaniard is currently celebrating the success of his debut album, "Jaime Alguersuari Presents Squire, Organic Life," which currently tops the iTunes dance chart in his homeland and is sitting pretty in the top ten of the UK and Japanese equivalent.
Taking a break between races in Singapore and Suzuka, the modest 21-year-old, who has performed his music in some of Ibiza's biggest nightclubs under the stage name Squire, says he needs to "keep on working on a couple of things" before he can consider himself a professional musician. But for now, the youngest driver ever to have lined up on the F1 grid is raising a bar recently dropped suspiciously low by the release of boxer Manny Pacquiao's cover of Dan Hill's "Sometimes When We Touch".
Below, skysports.com takes a look at some of the best, and the worst, of fellow sports stars to have dabbled with a career in music.
Never letting anyone get away with a past demeanour is what YouTube was made for, and if ever a sportsman was made to pay for the website's invention it's track and field legend Carl Lewis. The nine-time Olympic gold medallist is nearing one million views on the comically bad music video for his 1987 single, "Break it Up", with his band Carl Lewis and the Electric Storm. In support of the dreadful tune and cringe-worthy video are equally bad lyrics - "So link for another hand in the human chain/And never break it up; break it up; break it up". Thankfully, something did eventually break up Carl Lewis and the Electric Storm, and the American went on to win two of those gold medals in Seoul the following year.
The artist formerly known as Andy, Cole was renowned for needing a hatful of chances in building his admittedly prolific goal-scoring tally, but in the music business you often only get one opportunity - and his 1999 single, "Outstanding", was far from aptly titled. Now only likely to be found on the shelves of Oxfam, the release was actually a cover but Cole alternated the lyrics to fit around his career at Manchester United - "United forever/Whatever the weather/Less than a hundred per cent? Never!" Inevitably, his lame chart effort has become a figure of fun among football fans particularly since the player's retirement 2008.
Roy Jones Jr.
Not content with being named 'Fighter of the Decade' for the 1990s by the Boxing Writers Association of America, Roy Jones Jr. launched his hip-hop career shortly after the turn of the century. The former four-division champion released two singles from his lethargically titled debut album, Round One: The Album, but, needless to say, the record hit the canvas harder than Anthony Hanshaw did during Junior's comeback trail in 2007. However, Jones, who has also starred in films such as The Matrix Reloaded, did have marginal success in the singles chart with "Y'all Must've Forgot," in which the man nicknamed Captain Hook reminded his critics of his 1993 IBF middleweight championship win over Bernard Hopkins.
Prince Naseem Hamed
With the aforementioned Jones Jr. and Pacquiao, there's been no shortage of boxers trying their hand in the music industry, and former WBO, WBC and IBF featherweight champion Prince Naseem Hamed is another to have had a stint in the charts with his 1996 effort, "Walk like a Champion." Providing vocals for Kaliphz, the Sheffield southpaw even made an appearance on Top of The Pops with the hip hop group, although the performance was a far cry from any of Prince's renowned extravagant ring entrances. The song, somehow, reached a reasonable number 23 in the UK Singles Chart.
Surprisingly still only 39 years old, former basketball heavyweight Shaquille O'Neal only retired from the NBA earlier this year after announcing his decision on Twitter, and is rumoured to be resurrecting his career in music having thrown his last three-pointer. After shooting to stardom with Orlando Magic in the early 90s, Shaq released his successful hip hop debut album in 1993, titled Shaq Diesel. Remarkably, the release went platinum in O'Neal's homeland after selling over one million copies. Whether the sales were generated by his ability on the court rather than in the studio remains up for debate, but the success paved the way for a further three albums and a 'Best of Shaquille O'Neal', each released throughout the course of the same decade.
Of course, the likes of Kevin Keegan and Paul Gascoigne deserve an honorary mention, but if you feel we've missed some major ones out, have your say in the comments box below.
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