By now, most soap fans know that music plays an integral part in our favorite soap operas. In the "golden days" of soaps, popular couples had their own theme songs. And who can deny the chilling impact when "Nadia's Theme" plays during a gut-wrenching scene on The Young and the Restless.
What soap fans may forget is that quite a few of our favorite soap stars have had pop hits in their own right. Billboard, the music industry's gold standard for ranking popular music in a variety of genres, ranked 60 actors who also charted on the Hot 100 chart. Several soap stars made the cut.
The Young and the Restless alum Michael Damian (ex-Danny Romalotti) was the highest-ranking soap star on the chart, coming in at #13. Damian wrote many of the songs he performed as his alter ego on Y&R, but in 1989, he topped the Hot 100 with a remake of David Essex's 1974 hit "Rock On." The song ranked as the 45th most popular song of the entire year. Damian had two additional top 40 hits in 1989.
Long before her real-life son Robin Thicke was topping the Hot 100 with "Blurred Lines," Gloria Loring scored a number two hit with "Friends and Lovers" in 1986. The song, a duet with Carl Anderson, helped place Loring at #36 on Billboard's list of actors-turned-singers. The song became the theme music for supercouple Shane Donovan and Kimberly Brady - but the song almost didn't see the light of day.
"Every major record company turned it down," Loring tells Soap Central. "It took a year to finally get it released, and by the time it did - because we had ten million viewers [on Days of our Lives] back then - it went to number one in every major market in North America."
"Friends and Lovers" was held out of the top spot by Huey Lewis and the News' "Stuck with You."
Setting up shop at #59 is General Hospital and The Bold and the Beautiful alum Jack Wagner. A year after joining General Hospital as Frisco Jones, Wagner signed a recording contract with Quincy Jones's Qwest label. The actor's first single "All I Need" was initially slow to take off. When the song started getting heavy airplay at a Miami radio station, it eventually gained popularity nationwide. The song soared to number two on the Hot 100, but was kept out of the top spot by a little ditty called "Like A Virgin," the first number one single for Madonna.
For some unknown reason, Rick Springfield (ex-Noah Drake, General Hospital) did not make the list. It is believed he was disqualified by Billboard because most people think of him as a singer, rather than an actor. In 1981, Springfield topped the Hot 100 for two weeks with "Jessie's Girl." He also had seven other top twenty hits and four platinum-selling albums.
What is your favorite song by a soap star? Are you surprised by the rankings? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.