Arguably, this was a difficult topic to cover just because of the sheer choice out there, but we’ve tried our best. Please enjoy our list of the best biopics about music in history (so far).
Who could portray the outrageous 60s world of sex, drugs, and rock and roll if not the great Oliver Stone? The biopic features an all-star cast as well.
I’m Not There
Yet another star-studded flick, this time about the legendary Bob Dylan. Christian Bale, Richard Gere, Cate Blanchett, Heath Ledger, Marcus Carl Franklin, and Ben Whishaw Rather were recruited by director Todd Haynes to portray Dylan’s various public personas rather than deliver a conventional biographical narrative. It’s mind-blowing and full of great Dylan covers.
La Vie En Rose
Marion Cotillard (who won an Oscar for this) plays famous French singer Édith Piaf, once a poor young street performer who became an international star. A tragic story, but definitely worth watching.
Ritchie Valens, who died in the same plane crash as Buddy Holly, is played by Lou Diamond Phillips in this music biopic, following the typical mold.
The biopic of literally short-lived music star Selena was Jennifer Lopez’s first important film role. The film follows Selena’s rise as a singer who comes to transcend the local music scene and becomes an international pop star before her life comes to a tragic end. She perishes at the hands of her delusional friend and fan club president.
OK, Eminem didn’t win an Oscar for his acting in rap musical 8 Mile, only for the song Lose Yourself, which remains his most-listened to song. The plot doesn’t follow the typical biopic mold in the sense that his rise to world stardom is not depicted. It’s the story of a normal poor white guy in Detroit whose dream comes true – he wins a rap battle at a local club – before going back to work the night shift.
Jamie Foxx joins the ranks of Denzel Washington among other African American men who’ve won the Best Actor Award – for his apt portrayal of R&B legend Ray Charles, one of the greatest American musicians of all time, who was the child of lowly southern sharecroppers and was also blind.
Walk the Line
Finally, Reese Witherspoon and Joaquin Phoenix both won Oscars for their depictions of country musicians June Carter and Johnny Cash, following the latter’s career as a solo artist and June’s eventual romantic and musical partner.