Bold and Beautiful: Former Guest Star Usher Graces Cover of EW; Drops New CD

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With so many pop and R&B stars visiting the soaps these days, I couldn't help but think about one of my favorite visitations to soapdom by a crooner.

In 1998 Usher, then an up-and-coming teen pop star, appeared on The Bold and the Beautiful as Raymond-a play on the singer/actor's real life surname-a friend-with-benefits from Amber Moore's past who turned up in LA in time to a.) perform a duet at Insomnia of Usher and Monica's hit song "Slow Jam" with Amber (Adrienne Frantz) singing Monica's part and b.) have a one night stand with the scrappy blonde that left Amber wondering if the child she was carrying belonged to Raymond or her teen lover Rick Forrester.

The still born baby turned out to be Rick's and when the character of Raymond was brought back for the story's climax, the role had to be recast because of Usher's busy schedule, but nevertheless the plot twist worked better than a lot of recent guest stints from musicians because it was organic and drove story.

Since appearing on B&B Usher has gone on to be one of the biggest musical stars of his generation (his new CD Here I Stand drops tomorrow) and Frantz's Amber, one of daytime's best on-the-make schemers ever- is now corrupting another horny young dude from a rich family on The Young and the Restless, but their fans will always have "Slow Jam".