Having touched on movie stars that become musicians in a previous post, I thought it would be important to steer you toward one who explored a music career, and then became a highly visible actress instead, eschewing all of the possible rewards of the great music that she released on her debut - and only - album.
The artist's name is Milla Jovovich, the high-profile actress who starred in movies like Dazed and Confused, The Fifth Element, and in all of the Resident Evil films thus far. Early in her life, as young as 11 years of age, Milla became a model. In time, she found a foothold in film and TV with significant roles in Two Moon Junction (1988) and Return to the Blue Lagoon (1991). As early as 1988, SBK Records signed the young singer-songwriter on the strength of some demos. For several years, she worked and crafted the album that would eventually be released in April of 1994.
The Divine Comedy was a proud effort by Jovovich, who resolutely guarded and shaped her emergence as a singer. She personally hyped her pre-release album as “a mix between Kate Bush, Sinead O'Connor, This Mortal Coil, and The Cocteau Twins.” To help move the album along, the label released a free sampler disc (I still have mine) which featured the wonderful single “Gentleman Who Fell.”
Largely acoustic and immensely charming, “Gentleman Who Fell” was a minor alternative rock hit. The problem was that it wasn't enough to carry the album as far as the album should have gone. After the simple success of “Gentleman Who Fell”, the album, and its subsequent single attempts (“Bang Your Head,” "It's Your Life”) barely registered despite very positive reviews.
The Divine Comedy, released by an artist who would go on to make very successful films, became another part of an expansive portfolio of work that Milla Jovovich is likely quite proud of. Known as Milla for the album, the singer went on tour as support to Toad The Wet Sprocket and Crash Test Dummies, for a total of 50 shows. During this brief period, Milla Jovovich was serious about The Divine Comedy's chance for success.
Sadly, Milla never re-emerged as the singer-songwriter again. There was a subsequent album recorded but it was never released legally. To this day, I often pull this album out for a replay. The songs on it are well constructed, memorable, and contain a charm far above many musician efforts. I encourage you to visit Last .fm or MySpace in order stream the album. If you're surprised that Milla Jovovich had such a near-perfect musical gem in her portfolio, then do yourself the favor of acquiring a copy of it.