He made us laugh as Charlie Chaplin. He mystified us as Sherlock Holmes. He thrilled us as Iron Man. But on October 2, 2011, Robert Downey Jr. did something that left us completely (and pleasantly) shocked. He rocked a duet with Sting.
In honor of his 60th birthday, the former Police frontman celebrated by playing a concert in New York City. Taking the Beacon Theater by storm, Sting ran through many of his hits including “If You Love Somebody Set Them Free”, “Wrapped Around Your Finger”, and “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic”. Joining Sting on stage throughout the night were several big name guest singers including Lady Gaga, Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen, and Stevie Wonder.
When it came time for Sting to perform “Driven to Tears”, a track from The Police’s 1980 album Zenyatta Mondatta, he called up none other than Robert Downey Jr. to help him out on vocals. Downey Jr. took the stage, reverently kissed Sting’s hand, and settled into the mellow groove, hands in pockets. From the moment he opened his mouth and sang the very first lines of the song in his sultry, raspy voice, the audience enthusiastically cheered him on. Entirely enigmatic and completely comfortable on stage, Robert Downey Jr. belied his admitted nervousness of singing with his long-time music idol by owning the stage as though he had been a singer all his life and belonged up there.
For those who have followed Robert Downey Jr.’s long and successful career, his musical talent may have come as no surprise at all. As it turns out, he has been singing and playing piano ever since he was a little boy. He has even showcased these talents in some of his onscreen work including on Ally McBeal, The Oprah Winfrey Show, and in the movie The Singing Detective, to name a few. In 2004, Robert Downey Jr. released his first and only studio album entitled The Futurist, a collection of pop ballads written by Downey Jr. himself.
While there is a long list of things that Robert Downey Jr. has done throughout the years that have completely floored us (some good and, admittedly, some bad) one thing cannot be denied. Robert Downey Jr. is a man of many talents and “incredible singer” belongs on that list.