Halle Berry, Warren Buffet are Unexpected Musicians

Better known for her elegant charm and enviable red carpet couture, multi-award-winning actress Halle Berry was recognized for her lesser-known role as a flutist, in a national survey commissioned by the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM).

According to survey results, Berry was hailed as America’s favorite “Unexpected Musician,” a personality not primarily known for playing a musical instrument with a majority of 29 percent.

The world’s third-richest man, Warren Buffet, and his ukulele-playing ability tied with Academy Award-winning actress, Gwyneth Paltrow, and her cello and guitar skills for second place (16 percent).

Last year, in response to a Gallup poll that found 85 percent of Americans who do not play a musical instrument, wish that they did, NAMM created the Unexpected Musicians Database on its Wanna Play? public awareness campaign website to help aspiring musicians find further musical inspiration from celebrities that they already admire.

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The extensive list includes professional athletes, actors, politicians and more. From Chevy Chase’s skills on the saxophone to Bruce Willis’ hidden harmonica talents, 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.

The Unexpected Musicians Database can be found at www.wannaplaymusic.com/look-whos-playing.

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This year, as part of National Wanna Play Music Week (May 2-8, 2011), NAMM commissioned the survey to learn which Unexpected Musicians Americans most favor. Key survey findings include:

  • Women (64 percent) were significantly more excited to learn about Halle Berry, Gwyneth Paltrow and Rob Pattinson’s (guitar, piano) musical talent, while men (28 percent) were more impressed by Warren Buffett and Aaron Rodgers’ (guitar) musical prowess
  • While Halle Berry topped the list across varying age ranges, Gen Xers (40 percent) and younger Baby Boomers (31 percent) showed the most excitement
  • Millenials chose Conan O’Brien (19 percent) over Robert Pattinson (15 percent), both guitar players
  • Older Baby Boomers (27 percent) were most excited to discover Gwyneth Paltrow’s musical talents, while older Americans from the Silent Generation (23 percent) were most interested to learn that Warren Buffet plays the ukulele

The findings are the result of a nationally-representative telephone survey of 1,010 adults ages 19 and over, conducted by KRC Research, April 14-17, 2011, on behalf of NAMM.

The survey results were announced today, May 5.

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The National Association of Music Merchants, commonly called NAMM in reference to the organization’s popular NAMM trade shows, is the not-for-profit association that unifies, leads and strengthens the $17 billion global musical instruments and products industry.

NAMM’s activities and programs are designed to promote music making to people of all ages. It is comprised of more than 9,000 Member companies.

Photo courtesy: NAMM

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Rakesh Raman