All the Times Austin Butler Proved He Has the Singing Chops to Play Elvis Presley
Austin Butler is ready to play Elvis Presley!
Shortly after Warner Bros. Pictures announced on Monday that the Once Upon a Time in Hollywood star will be portraying the King of Rock 'n' Roll in the upcoming Baz Luhrmann biopic, fans took to social media to offer their thoughts and reactions. While many were excited for the 27-year-old actor, others who were not as familiar with his work questioned whether he can sing.
Their concerns are valid, of course, as we're anticipating Butler will be tasked with recreating some of Presley's most famous hits for the role, like "Hound Dog," "Blue Suede Shoes," "Love Me Tender" and "Jailhouse Rock."
Here at ET, we scoured the internet to track down videos and clips of Butler singing over the years, which we hope will get you feeling "all shook up" over this casting. Take a listen to Butler's vocals below, and then share your thoughts with us on Twitter!
Over a decade ago, Butler appeared on Nickelodeon's iCarly in "iLike Jake" as Jake Krandle, a hot guy at Ridgeway who Carly (Miranda Cosgrove) invites over to her apartment. When he tells her he can play guitar and sing, she tells him he can perform on her next webcast. Carly and her friends quickly learn, however, that Jake is actually a horrible singer when he belts out a tune called "Whatever My Love." After tossing around ideas, they convince Freddie (Nathan Kress) to edit Jake's voice to make it sound flawless and save him from embarrassment. Butler is the real singing voice behind the "bad" version, but even though he's clearly trying to be off-tune, you can still get a gist of his voice at the OK parts, along with his guitar skills.
2009: Ruby & the Rockits
Butler appeared on the popular but short-lived ABC Family series Ruby & The Rockits, portraying Jordan Gallagher, opposite David Cassidy, Patrick Cassidy and Alexa Vega. During the show's seventh episode, Butler showed off his singing skills in a scene with Vega and Kurt Doss. "Is it wrong to have these feelings for you," he sings while strumming on the guitar. "'Cause this love that we have is completely forbidden." Fast forward to the 1:13 mark to watch their sweet (and funny) duet.
2012: Are You There, Chelsea?
In an episode titled "Believe," Butler appeared as a dreamy, pop singer-guitarist named Luke, who steals the show (and the hearts of all the ladies!) at a church chastity party for bachelors. "A million things I could've said, a thousand lives I could have led," he croons on camera. "But my heart beats faster 'cause I know what I'm after. I don't need a Cadillac car, ridin' around like a movie star. Oh no, no, no, I'm not greedy."
We think it's safe to say that, out of all the examples we've discovered, this video is probably the best representation of Butler's singing chops! (See another clip of Butler singing as Luke at the 5:16 mark here.)
2018: Piano master
Although Butler isn't singing in this video, it's a true testament to his undeniable talents as a musician. His longtime girlfriend, Vanessa Hudgens, shared these clips of Butler playing the piano via her Instagram Stories. "I play violin, that was the first instrument I learned to play. I was a kid, like 9 or something," Butler revealed in an interview with Clevver News in 2016. "And then I transferred that over and started playing the guitar a lot, and I would play so much that my fingers would bleed. I would super-glue them closed."
"I play a lot of piano. So, a lot of music, I think is, something I don't really show to the world much," he continued, adding at the time that he wasn't sure if he'd ever be down for a movie musical. "That's always something that I've just thought I would never do because I don't really sing in public ... [but] music has a way of touching your soul. And you add that with beautiful visuals and acting that's honest, and that's incredible. So, I'd love to be a part of something like that."
For those who want to see Butler on the big screen before the Presley biopic drops, you can catch him star alongside Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, in theaters July 26.
ET exclusively spoke with Butler about the film last month, where he revealed the acting advice he received from Pitt.
"It was truly a dream come true," he said of working with the actor. "One thing Brad said was, 'To play the long game.' I love that, just the idea of really choosing quality over quantity."
Hear more in the video below.
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