Eddie Murphy’s hits and misses
As R&B star James ”Thunder” Early, Eddie Murphy hits all the right notes in Dreamgirls, making him this year’s leading Oscar contender for Best Supporting Actor. But the sometime singer’s forays into music haven’t always succeeded. With the Academy Awards airing on Sunday, we chart his musical oeuvre.
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE 1983
Wearing little more than a ridiculous wig and gold lamé Speedo trunks, Murphy brilliantly parodies the Godfather of Soul in season 9’s classic ”James Brown’s Celebrity Hot Tub Party” sketch.
”PARTY ALL THE TIME” 1985
The cheesy but catchy Rick James-written single from Murphy’s debut R&B album, 1985’s How Could It Be, reaches No. 2 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart and sells 500,000 copies.
COMING TO AMERICA 1988
Backed by a funk band called Sexual Chocolate, Murphy’s Randy Watson, a Jheri-curled and bloated crooner, steals the movie with his hilarious rendition of ”The Greatest Love of All.”
Four years after he cracked the Top 40 with an icky ditty called ”Put Your Mouth on Me,” Murphy drops this limp duet with Michael Jackson from his ill-advised third R&B album, 1993’s Love’s Alright.
Not only does Murphy’s Early shine in musical numbers like ”Fake Your Way to the Top” and ”I Meant You No Harm/Jimmy’s Rap,” but he rivals breakout star Jennifer Hudson both on screen and on the soundtrack.