Ready for Their Closeup

Aimee Mann’s involvement in TV and film runs deep. Known for playing herself on “Portlandia” and creating the soundtrack for “Magnolia,” her acting breakthrough came while portraying a toe-sacrificing, lingonberry-pancake-eating nihilist in “The Big Lebowski.” Here’s a look at 20 other famous musicians with movie cameos — and the films themselves.

Aretha Franklin, “The Blues Brothers” (1980):

In her iconic turn as a diner waitress, Aretha demands respect from her character’s husband, Matt “Guitar” Murphy, and performs “Think” with the fiery passion of a woman scorned. The high-profile cameo jump-started the singer’s career resurgence.

Bob Gendron has been obsessing over music, albums and audio ever since he landed a job at an indie record store at age 13. A longtime contributor to the Chicago Tribune and the first Associate Editorial Director at The Coda Collection, he was also the longtime Music Editor at The Absolute Sound and performed the same role at TONEAudio. Gendron is the author of “Gentlemen” (Bloomsbury) and a coauthor of “Nirvana: The Complete Illustrated History” (Voyageur). His writing has also appeared in DownBeat, Rolling Stone, Revolver and other outlets.

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