11 musicians who have launched weird products

From diamonds and wine to vibrators and bottled tears, these are the side hustles you won't expect to see on the merch stand

Artists are an unpredictable bunch. The same creativity that births platinum-selling, mega-hit records can also give way to some rather out-of-the-box business ventures. Sometimes these products make a strange kind of sense (of course Take That’s Gary Barlow was eventually going to release his own wine collection) and sometimes we could never have predicted them even in our wildest fever dreams. Regardless, they all very much existed at one point or another, and many of them are still for sale. Treat yourself?

Here are eleven of the most left-field business ventures by musicians.

Tenacious D – fiber bars

Tenacious D - Fiber d'Lish

The comedy rock duo have taken it upon themselves to cure humanity’s constipation – a problem which they are very concerned about, as their statement makes clear. “Never fear. Tenacious D to the rescue!” the duo wrote. “Our new fiber bar is so Delicious and chock full of colon cleansing fiber…you will be dropping perfectly tapered Deuces in no time!” Charming. Their chocolate peanut butter bars are available to buy online under the name Tenacious D Fiber D’lish.

Wu-Tang Clan – crocs

Because if the American hip-hop group were a shoe… they’d be a croc? Apparently so, as they’ve teamed up with the polarising brand to create black and yellow versions of the footwear, decked out in Wu-Tang Clan logos. There’s also a pair of yellow slides available and even a kid’s version. You know, because they know their audience.

Akon – diamonds

The details of this are a little unclear, which is surprising since you’d expect a rapper buying a diamond mine in South Africa to be an above-board process. “It’s real complicated,” said the rapper when questioned on how he came to be in possession of his own mine. “You can just know that I own it.” For many years Akon was said to only wear diamonds that came from his mine, so it’s doubtful that he had any left over to sell to anyone else.

Kiss – coffins

Ever expressed a wish to be buried in your favourite band t-shirt? Kiss are listening. The Kiss Kasket dropped in 2001, emblazoned with the band’s faces and a giant Kiss logo. “I love living, but this makes the alternative look pretty damn good,” said Gene Simmons of the product. Metal musicians Dimebag Darrell and Vinnie Paul evidently agreed, both opting to be buried in Kiss Kaskets in 2004 and 2018 respectively.

One Direction – Monopoly

Oh, to be a fly on the wall during this pitch meeting. Everyone’s most tensely tolerated boardgame gets a 1D makeover, with properties including achievements such as ‘auditioning for the X Factor’ as well as the names of some of their biggest hits. Stations have been replaced by tour locations, and instead of taxes players must purchase concert tickets, which are obviously a financial necessity. One Direction put their name on everything from pencil cases to toothpaste back in the day, but this one has to top it all.

Bill Wyman – metal detectors

It turns out that the Rolling Stones bassist has a keen interest in archaeology. The Bill Wyman Signature Detector is a lightweight, easy-to-use model aimed at getting kids interested in learning about the history of their surroundings, with features carefully selected by Wyman himself. Random as it seems, this product is apparently a passion project for Wyman, who believes that metal detecting is “the best and most enjoyable way of learning about our history”.

Find Rolling Stones tickets here.

Katy Perry – Popchips

You best believe that the brand had a field day with hiring a ‘popstar’ as the face of their new range. Katy’s Kettle Corn was meant to be the singer’s “dream snack realised”, a sweet and salty fusion with natural flavours and low-fat benefits. There’s not much more to say about this one other than they don’t seem to exist anymore, and the 2012 ad campaign was unsurprisingly suggestive.

Lily Allen – vibrators

The ‘It’s Not Fair’ singer partnered with Womanizer to create the Liberty, a discreet, neutrally shaped vibrator with a pretty pink and orange design and a giant image of Allen’s face on the box. Allen was also given the title of ‘chief liberation officer’ by the brand and headed up their #IMasturbate campaign.

Real Estate and Gary Barlow – wine

Take That Gary Barlow Wines Promo 2021.10.08

Plenty of musicians have turned their focus to the alcoholic beverage industry at some point or another, with wine being one of the most popular products. Real Estate’s version is a malbec, petit Verdot and cabernet sauvignon blend (for anyone non-wine folk: red) that the winery says is “hand crafted to reflect Real Estate’s love of intense and nuanced flavours while complementing the sanguine feel of their music”. Reality Estates wine combines notes of blackberries, dark cherries, black pepper, Satsuma plum and dark chocolate.

Meanwhile, Barlow’s wine is 100% organic, promises the singer, who says that “sustainability is important to me”. Gary Barlow Organic sells a trio of red, white and rosé wines, created by Barlow in Spain and gifted to mums all across the UK for Christmas.

Find Gary Barlow tickets here.

Eminem – bricks

Superfans can now own a little piece of Eminem’s past in the form of bricks from his childhood home. After his parents’ house was demolished, the rapper repurposed the rubble as merch, selling off a total of 700 bricks for between £216-£242, with a signed certificate of authenticity included in the price. Fans could also opt for a dog tag made of wood from the house priced at just £19, so there was truly something for everyone.

Noah Cyrus – her own tears

Whether she was motivated by deep grief or an excellent sense of humour, we’ll never know, but Noah Cyrus really did sell members of the public vials of her own tears. Following her public split with rapper Lil Xan, Cyrus collected her tears as part of her new merch collection, packaging them in bottles helpfully labelled ‘Noah Cyrus Tears’. Each bottle contained 12 tears and retailed at $12,000. A steal.

Find Noah Cyrus tickets here.