A look at the best music biopic portrayals

Posted on Feb 3 2016 - 10:01pm by
Don Cheadle will play jazz icon Miles Davis in "Miles Ahead."SonyPicturesClassics/YouTube

Don Cheadle will play jazz icon Miles Davis in “Miles Ahead.”

Hollywood loves the sound of music.

Actors and actresses transform into famous musicians on the big screen frequently, and sometimes it even results in Oscars glory.

The latest hyped music biopic is “Miles Ahead,” a Don Cheadle-directed passion project in which he also stars as jazz legend Miles Davis.

It has screened at a handful of film festivals, but won’t hit theaters until April 1.

To get ready for the film, here’s a look at the best performances by actors who made us believe they were the real musician.

Val Kilmer as Jim Morrison in “The Doors”

The Lizard King was a peculiar frontman, to say the least, and Val Kilmer portrayed him perfectly in Oliver Stone’s 1991 film,

Like most of Stone’s work, “The Doors” is over the top, best Kilmer shines throughout, even if he harps on Morrison’s less likeable side.

It didn’t hurt that Kilmer bore a striking resemblance to Morrison, as well.

Joaquin Phoenix as Johnny Cash and Reese Witherspoon as June Carter Cash in “Walk The Line”

For usage credit please use; �20thCentFox/Courtesy Everett Collection

“Walk The Line” was nominated for five awards at the 2006 Oscars.

Country rock legend Johnny Cash’s life hit the big screen in 2005, carried by two Hollywood superstars, Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon.

Phoenix, as the man in black, is as strong as ever, and Witherspoon won an Oscar for he take as June Carter Cash.

Cate Blanchett as Bob Dylan in “I’m Not There”

Further proving how special of an actress she is, Cate Blanchett play arguably America’s greatest songwriter in 2007.

The Todd Haynes-directed movie is unique in that different characters manifest different part of Bob Dylan.

Blanchett and Haynes reunited in 2015’s Oscar-nominated film “Carol.

Jamie Foxx as Ray Charles in “Ray”

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Jamie Foxx wowed audiences with the performance of the year in 2004’s “Ray.”

Funnyman Jamie Foxx wowed audiences with the performance of the year in 2004.

His portrayal of Ray Charles earned him an Oscar for best actor.

Kevin Spacey as Bobby Darin in “Beyond The Sea”

Kevin Spacey is known as an outstanding impressionist, so it’s no wonder he cast himself in this Bobby Darin biopic that he also wrote and directed.

The film about the “Mack the Knife” singer garnered both a Golden Globe and Grammy nomination.

Dennis Quaid as Jerry Lee Lewis in “Great Balls of Fire!”

Like Morrison, Jerry Lee Lewis didn’t lead the most normal life.

Dennis Quaid plays the singer from before his stardom, all the way to his downfall, which was led by the singer marrying his 13-year old cousin.

Gary Oldman as Sid Vicious and Chloe Webb as Nancy Spungen in “Sid and Nancy”

In only his fourth feature film, Gary Oldman took on the tall task of being Sid Vicious.©Samuel Goldwyn Films/courtesy

In only his fourth feature film, Gary Oldman took on the tall task of being Sid Vicious.

In only his fourth feature film, Gary Oldman took on the tall task of being Sid Vicious.

Alongside Chloe Webb, the two masterfully showed audiences the visceral lifestyles of the Sex Pistols bassist and Nancy Spungen.

Sam Riley as Ian Curtis in “Control”

Joy Division were ahead of their time, which may explain why it took nearly three decades for a biopic on lead singer Ian Curtis to take form.

“Control” follows the short life of the band’s frontman Ian Curtis — played by Sam Riley — and the struggles that caused him to commit suicide at 23.

Angela Bassett as Tina Turner and Laurence Fishburne as Ike Turner in “What’s Love Got to Do with It?”

Superstar couple Tina and Ike Turner had a very rocky romantic history.

Angela Bassett’s portrayal of Tina, along with Laurence Fishburne’s take on the abusive Ike, felt as real as can be, in part because Tina wrote the film herself.

Sissy Spacek as Loretta Lynn in “Coal Miner’s Daughter”

The rags to riches story of Loretta Lynn was a bonafide Hollywood hit.

Sissy Spacek won best actress at the Oscars for her role as country star Loretta Lynch, and was nominated for six other at the 1981 Academy Awards.

nparco@nydailynews.com

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don cheadle ,
val kilmer ,
joaquin phoenix ,
cate blanchett ,
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kevin spacey ,
dennis quaid ,
gary oldman ,
angela bassett ,
laurence fishburne ,
sissy spacek

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