5 Movie Stars Who Also Had Hit Records In The 1980s - Warped Factor - Words in the Key of Geek.

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5 Movie Stars Who Also Had Hit Records In The 1980s

How many of these do you remember?

Throughout the 1980s movies and music became a match made in heaven, With artists like Michael Jackson blurring the lines between both, thanks to his impressive music videos for tracks like Thriller, and more and more movies of the day incorporating a theme tune performed by some of the biggest artists around, it was hard to separate the two professions. Some people didn't. Trying to master both and not always having the greatest success in doing so.

We've rounded up five big name stars from the 1980s who you know from their films and TV shows but you might not remember that they also scored big on the pop charts.

Who's not included? Well, people like Madonna, pop stars who also made movies, ditto Mick Jagger and David Bowie. They don't make the cut because all the people on the list below are primarily known as actors/actresses. Singing is not their full time career no matter how much they might want it to be. Eh, Mr Willis?...

Bruce Willis - Respect Yourself
1987 was a good year for Bruce Willis. With a starring role in Moonlighting, opposite Cybill Shepherd, his first lead role in a feature film in the Blake Edwards film Blind Date, with Kim Basinger, and being cast toward the end of the year in a little feature called Die Hard, Willis also enjoyed success as a recording artist.

Releasing an album of pop-blues tracks, some original some covers, titled The Return of Bruno, it included the hit single Respect Yourself featuring The Pointer Sisters, making the top 10 in both the UK and US. The LP was promoted by a Spinal Tap–like rockumentary parody featuring scenes of Willis performing at famous events including Woodstock. "Bruno" was also said to be responsible for putting The Beatles together after introducing Ringo to George, and the rest is history!

Bruce Willis also released a version of the Drifters song Under the Boardwalk which peaked at No. 2 in the UK Top 40. He returned to the recording studio several times afterward, including releasing a follow up album in 1989 (If It Don't Kill You, It Just Makes You Stronger, featuring the uncharted single Save The Last Dance For Me)

Bruce Willis still 'performs' with his group The Accelerators, even taking them to Iraq in 2003 to play for the troops who were stationed there as part of the USO tour.

Eddie Murphy - Party All The Time
Written and produced by Rick James, Eddie Murphy's hit single Party All The Time reached No. 2 in 1985 on the Billboard Hot 100. No stranger to singing, Murphy had already provided background vocals to songs released by The Bus Boys (the song "(The Boys Are) Back in Town" was featured in 48 Hrs. and comedy special Eddie Murphy Delirious), plus often sang in character on Saturday Night Live.

It was largely content from his SNL routines that made up his earlier debut album, the self-titled Eddie Murphy arriving in 1982. Although that album was certified as a Gold record and received a Grammy award nomination, it drew ire from the gay community, Asian-American groups and Women's groups for some of the humor. In addition to the comedy tracks, the album contained several actual musical numbers, including the parody hip-hop song Boogie in Your Butt, which became a minor hit on the R&B charts.

Murphy followed Party All The Time with the title song from his second album, How Could It Be, which again gave him another a minor R&B chart hit. In 1989 he released the album So Happy, releasing two singles, Put Your Mouth on Me (which just made the Top 40) and Till the Money's Gone, which only made it to #75 on the R&B chart.

Probably Eddie Murphy's best known music video appearance came in 1992 when he appeared in the promo for Michael Jackson's Remember the Time alongside Magic Johnson and Iman. Jackson returned the favour as the same year Murphy released the album Love's Alright which included the track Whatzupwitu featuring Jackson on vocals. Murphy also recorded a duet in the early 90s with Shabba Ranks called I Was a King, but has largely stuck to acting since.

Patrick Swayze - She's Like The Wind
A worldwide hit from the Dirty Dancing soundtrack that was co-composed and sung by Patrick Swayze, although it was originally going to be sung by someone else, and about an entirely different character from an entirely different film.

Swayze had co-written She's Like The wind with Stacy Widelitz in 1984. Widelitz recorded a demo to be used for the soundtrack for Swayze's 1984 movie Grandview, U.S.A.. The song was meant to be about Swayze's co-star Jamie Lee Curtis' character in the film. However, the song ended up not being used and it sat gathering dust in Swayze's office.

During production of Dirty Dancing in 1987, Swayze played the Widelitz demo of She's Like The Wind for the film's producers. They loved it and passed it on to the soundtrack's executive producers with a proclamation for it to be included. It was re-recorded with Swayze providing the vocals in November 1986, and the rest is history.

She's Like The Wind, like Dirty Dancing itself, was a huge success, reaching number three on the Billboard Hot 100 and number one on the Adult Contemporary chart. Helping the Dirty Dancing soundtrack album to stay at number one for 18 weeks!

Although he'd never set out to be a pop star, Swayze clearly saw this success as some kind of calling and he tried to repeat it with the film Roadhouse. Alas, lightning never tends to strike twice and neither Raising Heaven (in Hell) Tonight or Cliff's Edge saw any commercial appeal. Another shot with the track Brothers, recorded with Larry Gatlin, for the 1989 film Next of Kin, equally disappeared without trace.

Don Johnson - Heartbeat
Don Johnson sorta mastered the 1980s. As well as playing the role of James "Sonny" Crockett in the Miami Vice, winning a Golden Globe for his work in the role, he was in relationships with Barabra Streisand, Uma Thurman and Melanie Griffith at different times through the decade, he was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1986, starred in the films Cease Fire and Dead Bang, was crowned the American Power Boat Association's 1988 World Champion of the Offshore World Cup (which is about the most 80s thing any actor has ever done), and released two albums of pop music.

The first came in 1986 and was titled Heartbeat, which was also the name of the lead single. Reflecting on the album and single in a 1987 interview with the LA Times, Johnson stated,
"I wanted the record to be modern, tough rock and I think I achieved that on some level. I didn't want it to sound like something that other people designed and I just stopped by for a few minutes to do the vocals. And I made it clear that I would walk away from it if I didn't think it was credible. I was prepared every step of the way to throw it away and walk away."
He didn't though, and he was awarded a No. #5 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart.

Heartbeat wasn't actually Don Johnson's first foray into the music industry, he'd previously worked with Gregg Allman and Dickey Betts of the Allman Brothers, co-writing the songs Blind Love and Can't Take It With You, which appeared on their 1979 album Enlightened Rogues.

His second album arrived in 1989, and it was preceded by a duet with then-girlfriend Barbara Streisand called "Till I Love You". After that Don Johnson largely stayed away from music, taking the eponymous lead in Nash Bridges, and sticking to acting roles on stage, screen, and film.

Daryl Hannah - You're A Friend Of Mine
Now here's a bit of a gem for you. Admittedly this 1985 song is actually credited to Clarence Clemons and Jackson Browne, but Splash star Daryl Hannah not only appears in the video but also provides vocals on the track.

Clarence Clemons was the saxophonist in Bruce Sprinsteen's E-Street Band. He also released several solo albums, including 1985s Hero which You're A Friend Of Mine is taken from, plus worked as an actor, appearing in films like New York, New York and Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure.

How Daryl Hannah got involved with the song was via her then boyfriend Jackson Browne (she also appeared in the video for Browne's Tender Is the Night) and although she never followed up with any other pop music releases, Hannah did herself proud here.

You're A Friend Of Mine proved to be a big radio hit, making the top 20 in the US Billboard Chart and top 10 in Australia, and although Clarence Clemons voice is a bit of an acquired taste I personally think it's a top tune and a great, catchy, positive number.

And it's so very 80s too!

So there you go, five movie stars who had hit records in the 1980s. Did you know them all? And can you name any more? Let us know in the comments below.

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