Friday, May 11, 2012

Obama, Meryl Streep, Robert Downey Jr. Top List of America's Favorite Unexpected Musicians

He may be leader of the free world, but little did anyone know President Obama was also a natural vocalist.

This year, Obama claimed the No. 1 spot in National Association of Music Merchants's annual survey on America's favorite "Unexpected Musician," a personality not primarily known for playing a musical instrument, with a majority of 29 percent. Since crooning a few lines of Al Green's "Let's Stay Together" at a New York fundraising event in January, the president has captured America's heart with his surprising talent.

In an interview with Barbara Walters one month prior, he revealed that he deeply regrets not having learned a musical instrument in school.

Academy Award-winning actress Meryl Streep (violin) tied with actor Robert Downey Jr. (piano, vocals) for second place, both securing 24 percent of votes, while funnyman Steve Carell came in fourth place (10 percent) for his flute-playing skills, over "The Hunger Games" star Jennifer Lawrence (5 percent), who plays the guitar.

NAMM created the Unexpected Musicians Database in 2010 in response to a Gallup Poll that found 85 percent of Americans who do not play a musical instrument wish they did, in an effort to encourage aspiring musicians by helping them find further musical inspiration from celebrities they already admire.

The extensive list includes professional athletes, actors, politicians and more. From Julia Roberts' skills on the clarinet to Clint Eastwood's hidden piano talent, the detailed database offers fans the opportunity to find out just how talented their favorite celebrities really are, demonstrating that anyone can become a musician despite age, experience or profession.

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