Add Robert Downey Jr. to the long list of movie stars-turned-pop musicians. The Singing Detective actor will release an album of his piano ballad stylings on Nov. 23, according to an announcement by the label that recently signed him, Sony Classical. Eight of the songs on the yet-untitled disc will be his own compositions; the other two are a cover of Yes' ''Your Move'' and a cover of Charlie Chaplin's ''Smile'' (featuring jazz great Charlie Haden on bass), which Downey sang previously over the closing credits of Chaplin, the movie that earned him an Oscar nod in 1992.
Fans of the 39-year-old actor have heard him perform his own compositions before in such indie films as Two Girls and a Guy and Friends & Lovers; they've also heard him sing during his Golden Globe-winning turn on Ally McBeal. ''Robert is a brilliantly gifted songwriter who writes lyrics that are wise and moving,'' Sony Classical president Peter Gelb said in a statement. ''His burnished, smoky voice is an expressive and touching medium for the songs that he has written.''