It’s can be difficult for artists to have successful solo careers once they’ve left the groups they initially made their names with. Nowhere is this more true than in pop music. Pop is a world where you’re hot one day and cold the next, and it can be incredibly difficult, especially for younger stars, to transition gracefully into the second acts of their careers. Still, it can be done. There are plenty of artists who have gone on to great success following their first flirtations with fame. Here are a few of the artists who did the best job at making the adjustment, and are still incredibly successful today.
Our first entry goes far beyond just his musical output. Wahlberg began his career as the bad boy of the New Kids On the Block during the ’80s before leaving to have his own successful solo career as a rapper with his group, Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch. During the late ’90s, Wahlberg decided to make the transition to acting and the rest is history. Today, we know him as one of the most successful actors in Hollywood. Wahlberg barely addresses his time as a pop star, but can still be seen in a variety of roles within summer blockbusters, Oscar-nominated dramas, and everything in between. Fans can find Wahlberg in this summer’s upcoming ‘Transformers: The Last Knight,’ which looks more epic than ever before. The movie will be out June 23.
Tomlinson made his name as part of One Direction, but is now blazing his own trail through his solo work. The group went on hiatus in January 2016, leaving many to speculate on the future of the act. Zayn Malick already struck out on his own, and Tomlinson was the next to release his own successful single. “Just Hold On,” the song Tomlinson cut with celebrity DJ Steve Aoki, entered the charts at number two, and was in the running to be the UK’s Christmas number one. Given the success of the song, it’s clear that Tomlinson has the draw to make it as a solo artist. It’s likely that we’ll see a solo album from him soon enough.
You can’t talk about famous solo careers without mentioning Justin Timberlake, who set the standard for all budding stars looking to leave their boy band roots behind. Once the main face of incredibly popular *NSYNC, Timberlake made the transition as a solo artist perhaps better than anyone else. His first solo record, ‘Justified,’ was a hit, but his reinvention on his second album, ‘FutureSex/LoveSounds,’ certified him as an icon. Timberlake has really done it all through his acclaimed solo albums, well-received acting roles, and several highly successful restaurants. Now there are rumors that Timberlake may reunite with former flame Britney Spears in the studio to make some new music together in what would be a great move for Spears’ career and the icing on the cake for JT.
You didn’t honestly think we’d forget about Queen Bey did you? Beyoncé’s path to super-stardom began with Destiny’s Child in the late ’90s. Even back then she established herself as a cut above the rest of her peers, and anyone could see she was destined to be a star. When Destiny’s Child officially broke up in 2006, Bey was already on her second solo album. But it wasn’t until her third record, ‘I Am…Sasha Fierce,’ was released in 2008 that she became the incredible superstar she is today. She married Jay Z that same year to become one-half of the world’s most powerful couple. She’s still at the top of her game as both an artist and a mother, and is currently expecting twins. Her pregnancy announcement was the most-liked Instagram post ever, and there are no signs that Bey (or her popularity) will be slowing down any time soon.