Star Trek Actors Who Tried To Have Music Careers

"Star Trek" has been an otherworldly phenomenon for over half a century, spawning numerous television shows, movies, books, video games, and just about every form of media. Getting a role on a "Star Trek" show can be a career-defining opportunity, and names like William Shatner and Patrick Stewart have been launched into stardom for their iconic roles. Sometimes, actors use these pop culture boosts to try and start a music career — often without too much success.

According to Cancelled Sci Fi, William Shatner, star of the original series as Captain Kirk, has the most famous, or perhaps infamous, music career out of all the Starfleet officers. Shatner's music consists almost entirely of spoken word covers of popular songs, a bizarre combination of pop culture and acting monologues. This dates back to the original "Star Trek" run and has continued well into the 21st century, releasing a Christmas album back in 2018.

Spock, Data, and Riker have dabbled in music

Kirk wasn't the only officer aboard the Enterprise to put out a record, however. Leonard Nimoy, Shatner's longtime television companion as Spock, also had a short musical career (via Stereogum). Nimoy signed with Dot Records, owned by Paramount, which in turn owned "Star Trek," to produce five albums in the '60s and '70s. The first album was completely within the character of Spock, hoping to cash in on the show's popularity, but later records allowed Nimoy to drop some more personal tracks, including "The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins" for one of the all-time great nerd crossovers.

Cancelled Sci Fi notes that Nichelle Nichols, who played Uhura on the original series, also released two albums, but it wasn't just actors from the first show who would cross over to the music industry. Brent Spiner, who played the android Data on "The Next Generation" put out an album of covers, with backing vocals on some tracks from his fellow crewmates. Jonathan Frakes would emulate his character Riker by playing the trombone on a Phish album. Avery Brooks of "Deep Space 9" fame has a second career as a jazz singer, and Tim Russ from "Voyager" has an extensive discography. Trekkies certainly are spoiled for choice if they want to hear their beloved characters croon, or, uh, dramatically speak lyrics.