Admit it: Scarlett Johansson is one of the most dynamic, exciting and empowering women working in Hollywood today. Whether it’s saving the world as Black Widow or getting animated (sometimes literally, as she did in The Jungle Book), Johansson’s body of work in film is one of the main reasons she’s remained a beloved performer since she broke into the biz more than 20 years ago.
The recent release of her solo song “Set It Free” from the upcoming film Sing is now reminding audiences that Johansson actually leads a double life. She’s not only an amazing actor, but she sings too, and she’s legitimately amazing.
In 2008, she released Anywhere I Lay My Head, an album of Tom Waits covers that showcased her impressively broody pipes. Then, she collaborated with Pete Yorn in 2009 to make Break Up, a complex, intriguing pop-rock project that showcased Johansson’s harmonizing capabilities.
Since Break Up‘s release, Johansson has kept a low profile when it comes to churning out new music or even performing some of her older work. Instead, she’s been able to put her singing chops to good use in her films, which is definitely a good thing because Johansson’s voice is utter perfection.
Don’t believe me? Here’s a roundup of some of her essential musical performances.
1. “Trust In Me” from The Jungle Book
As Kaa, the dangerously enticing snake from The Jungle Book, you can practically hear Johansson’s voice soulfully slithering it’s way into your head. It’s jazzy, it’s entrancing, it’s amazing.
2. “The Moon Song” from Her
This adorable duet with Joaquin Phoenix was the perfect addition to a film all about longing and youthful romance.
3. “Falling Down” from Anywhere I Lay My Head
Johansson’s performance of “Falling Down” makes the otherwise very gruff Tom Waits original feel accessible, while still preserving some of his trademark melancholy.
4. “Relator” from Break Up
The lead single off her collaborative album with Yorn is the textbook definition of “fun.” Try not to bop along when you play this one.
5. “Summertime” from Unexpected Dreams
Because Johansson’s is a chameleon, she not only sings pop, rock and folk, but she’s taken a crack at slowing the tempo down a good deal. That’s what happened when she covered Billie Holiday’s “Summertime” for a children’s album full of lullabies. Crazy, right?
6. “Anywhere I Lay My Head” from Anywhere I Lay My Head
This live performance of the title track off her first album shows just how perfectly Johansson nails the soul of Tom Waits’ music while delivering nothing but power from her own soul.
7. “Boys Don’t Cry” by The Cure
This cover of one of The Cure’s most famous singles is just about the best darn thing Johansson has ever sung, if you ask me. Go on — try not to fall in love with her voice. I dare you.
8. “Brass In Pocket” from Lost In Translation
Finally, because nothing would be complete without seeing Johansson in a clip from a career-defining role, here she is taking on the ’80s classic “Brass In Pocket.” It may be a short clip, but it is proof positive we need more music from Johansson ASAP.
Now, the only thing I’m left wondering is when Johansson is actually going to put out a new album because I think we can all agree it’s time.
What’s your favorite song by Scarlett Johansson? Let us know in the comments below!
Before you go, check out our slideshow below.