Actors You Didn’t Know Scored Hit Songs: Eddie Murphy’s “Party All the Time”

In 1985, R&B/pop icon Rick James was going through a bit of a transition in his career. A couple of years removed from the smash hit “Super Freak” (1981) and its accompanying album, Street Songs, both nominated for awards at the 1982 Grammys, James was chasing his next big-time radio single.

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At the same time, Eddie Murphy was approaching his prime as an entertainer. He was coming off a fruitful first season of the series Beverly Hills Cop in 1984, for which he was nominated for a Golden Globe and People’s Choice Award. Additionally, his comedy projects were wildly successful. Along with being the main attraction of the Saturday Night Live cast, his comedy album Eddie Murphy: Comedian took home the Grammy for Best Comedy Album in 1984.

Looking to take over every form of entertainment and establish himself as a bonafide superstar, Murphy figured he would try his hand at making actual music. He also got a boost of motivation from fellow comedian Richard Pryor, who bet Murphy $100,00 that he couldn’t make a hit song. So, with the help of James, hungry for another chance at the spotlight, the two got to work.

“Party All the Time” by Eddie Murphy was eventually released in Sept. 1985. With writing and production credits, Rick James also provided background vocals on the track. An incredibly infectious hook, She likes to party all the time, carried the song to unimaginable heights, peaking at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100. Epitomizing the popular funk/synth-pop sound of the era, “Party All the Time” is an easy song to revisit for those missing the euphoria of the 1980s.

The music video for “Party All the Time” brought to life the idea that every listener envisioned about the creation of the song. While James mixes and oversees the song in the studio, Murphy lays down the vocals in the booth. Rushing in with guitar in hand at the end, James shares the mic with Murphy for the song’s final outro.

As the lead single for his eventual debut studio album, How Could It Be, Murphy truly stumbled upon a formidable music career. Also collaborating with Stevie Wonder on the LP, How Could It Be reached No. 26 on the Billboard 200 chart. And with the cherry on top, Murphy included in the album’s notes a not-so-subtle diss to Pryor.

“To Richard Pryor, my idol, with whom I have a $100,000 bet. No, motherfucker, I didn’t forget,” he wrote.

.Photo by Gary Gershoff/Getty Images

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