Robert Downey Jr. to Record Album

Robert Downey Jr. (search) is moving from the big screen to the music scene. The "Gothika" and "Chaplin" star has signed an exclusive recording contract with the Sony Classical label.

"Robert is a brilliantly gifted songwriter who writes lyrics that are wise and moving," Sony Classical President Peter Gelb said Wednesday in a statement. "His burnished, smoky voice is an expressive and touching medium for the songs that he has written."

Downey's debut CD, not yet titled, will include two covers — "Smile" by Charlie Chaplin (search) and "Your Move" by Yes — and eight pop ballads written, sung and played on the piano by the actor.

Downey, 39, has written songs for three of his films ("Too Much Sun," "Two Girls and a Guy" and "Friends & Lovers") and sang during his 2000 stint on the TV show "Ally McBeal."

The debut CD is set for a Nov. 23 release.