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May 06, 2011

Namm: Halle Berry, Conan O'Brien, Robert Pattinson top America's Favorite Unexpected Musicians List

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.

Warren Buffet, and his ukulele-playing ability tied with 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.

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

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 margin of error for this study is +3.1 percent at the 95 percent confidence level. The data was weighted by demographic variables to ensure the sample accurately reflects the U.S. adult population.

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