At first, it may seem that musicians and athletes have absolutely nothing in common: they take completely different paths in life, one of training and the other of musical practice.
However, very often famous athletes are emotionally closer to famous musicians than one might think: they, too, suffer pressure from self-expectations that arise due to fame and performances in front of a demanding audience.
This article talks about some athletes who go further and do both sports and music.
Damian Lillard, basketball player
The 31-year-old guard of the Portland Trail Blazers has been the main player of his team since 2012 and has become one of Oregon’s favourites.
The point guard has been picket six times to the All-Stars NBA match, but has not yet played in the final of the world’s main basketball league.
This season Portland might not even get to the knockout competition: the team is beyond the top-10, and it is unclear whether they will find the resources needed for the leap. If you believe that Lillard, against all odds, will reach the playoff, you can choose a suitable bookmaker at https://www.telecomasia.net/ng/ and bet on it.
The athlete doesn’t seem to be upset by setbacks on the basketball court and devotes his free time to promoting Dame D.O.L.L.A., his alter ego. Under this pseudonym, the athlete records rap songs about life and basketball. His discography includes collabs with rap stars Snoop Dogg, Lil Wayne, and G-Eazy.
Shaquille O’Neal, basketball player
Since we brought up Dame D.O.L.L.A., we can as well remember Shaq Fu, one of his main rap adversaries. Yes, this is the stage name of Shaquille O’Neal, legendary center player and currently a TV expert.
Shaquille has been rapping since the 1990s, but in 2019 Damian Lillard decided to show Big Shaq that it was time for his retirement both in sports and music.
After the Big D.O.L.L.A. album release Dame came to the podcast and dissed Shaqille, criticizing his sports career and claiming he was better than Shaq Fu at rapping.
Shaq dissed Lillard back, Lillard dissed Shaq twice, O’Neal recorded another track… anyway, it was a hot month. However, in late October, O’Neal recounted his beef with Lillard with a smile, saying it was “just for fun”.
Manny Pacquiao, boxer
Manny Pacquiao from the Philippines is the only eight-division world champion in boxing history. He earned 12 major world titles and has also become a five-time lineal champion in five weight classes.
Manny was so popular in the Philippines that even if he had recorded the sound of his breath, people would still have made it a number one hit.
But Pacquiao recorded several soulful ballads which were well accepted by the public.
Videos with Pacquiao’s singing have millions of views on YouTube, but the ex-athlete has not been singing for a while. Now he uses his voice in the Senate of the Philippines.
Roy Jones Jr., boxer
Roy’s brutal rap style is very different from Manny Pacquiao’s. Roy released several solo albums and records as part of the Body Head Bangerz.
Roy Jones Jr. was the first boxer in history to become world champion in middleweight, and then earn titles in the super middleweight, light-heavy, and heavyweights.
The fighter’s music career is almost as successful as his sports one: the athlete’s hit Can’t Be Touched could be heard everywhere for some time, and an unofficial video to a 14-year-old track got over 200 million views on YouTube.
Mike Reid, American Football
Mike Reid’s football career was short but outstanding. He spent four years (1970-1974) in the Cincinnati Bengals and got to the Pro Bowl twice. He entered the first All-Pro team once and the second twice.
However, what made him famous was his musical career. In the 1980s and 1990s, Reid wrote 12 country music singles for several popular artists which reached number one, and even received a Grammy Award for the best country song of 1984, Stranger In My House, performed by Ronnie Milsap.
In 2005 Mike was inducted into The Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.