This article originally appeared on eightieskids.com
Usually when we describe a musician is a genius, we mean that their musical skills are beyond compare. Some musicians, however, are geniuses in the more traditional sense: holders of advanced degrees, members of MENSA, people with remarkable skill sets and qualifications.
Take the following music stars, all of whom are way smarter than you might have realised.
20. Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine, Audioslave, Prophets of Rage)
There are some bands you don’t expect to harbour genius, but there are some cases where it kind of makes sense. Rage Against the Machine are one of the most famously politically engaged musical acts out there, so it shouldn’t surprise anyone that their lead singer is politically plugged in.
Morello has a Master’s degree in political science from Harvard University, which is kind of as legitimate as you can get. He uses his degree to protest censorship and fascism wherever he finds it, in between touring and writing of course.
Out of all of the pop stars that you would expect to be secretly a genius, Ke$ha probably wouldn’t be at the top of the list. However, despite her being famous mostly for vapid songs about alcohol and partying, she’s actually one of the most intelligent people in the pop world.
As well as getting a near-perfect score on her SATs, she was offered full scholarships to a bunch of super prestigious colleges, including Barnard College. She was all set for an incredible academic career, but decided to drop out and become a pop star instead.