‘Quantum Leap’: Was That Really Scott Bakula Doing All That Singing?

Quantum Leap was an incredibly unique TV show. Because of its unique premise, style, and themes, it quickly developed a cult following, which still exists today. Among the things that made Quantum Leap unique was that Scott Bakula, the lead actor, would portray people living in the eras that he “quantum leaped” into. Every so often, he would find himself in the body of a musician – including the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll himself, Elvis Presley. Therefore, there was a not-insignificant number of episodes featuring songs. Someone had to be doing the singing, so was it, Scott Bakula, himself? Or did the show hire a vocalist for Bakula to lip-sync to?

Scott Bakula in front of a gray background
Scott Bakula | Christopher Polk/Getty Images

‘Quantum Leap’ is a cult classic science fiction show

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If you’re a science fiction fan, you’ve probably at least heard of Quantum Leap. This show, starring Scott Bakula, centered a character named Sam Beckett, a genius quantum physicist who works out the secret to time travel. But there’s a catch: instead of traveling in time in his own body, he finds himself in the body of someone else in the past and has to correct something in their life to be able to leave. He wants to go back to his own body in the present, but there’s always someone else in the past that Beckett has to help out.

Traveling alongside Beckett is the artificial intelligence in his supercomputer, dubbed Ziggy, who helps Beckett out through his time traveling misadventures, and Al Calavicci, Beckett’s friend from the present day who holographically projects himself alongside Beckett. The show has explored multiple eras of twentieth-century history, from the aftermath of World War II to the beginning of the AIDS epidemic. This combination of historical fiction and science fiction struck at something incredibly compelling, and to this day Quantum Leap is remembered quite fondly.

Scott Bakula’s early acting career was on stage

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Scott Bakula is known today for being on multiple science fiction and crime shows, but he actually started out on Broadway. In the late 1970s, he had a major role on Broadway in the musical Marilyn: An American Fable, as well as other prominent roles in off-Broadway shows. This led to Bakula getting noticed by prominent figures in the entertainment industry, and lead roles in some short-lived sitcoms of the 1980s.

Quantum Leap, from 1989 to 1993, was where Bakula became a household name. He would continue to act in shows and films throughout the ’90s, before being cast as Captain Jonathan Archer in Star Trek: Enterprise. Approximately another decade would pass before he would come to his current major role on NCIS: New Orleans. It’s clear that Bakula is one of the most prominent figures on television!

Scott Bakula had the chops to do his own singing

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With the different singing styles on the show and the difficulty of singing for many, fans have wondered just who sings the songs Beckett sings on Quantum Leap. But Bakula isn’t lip-syncing to some other singer. According to Syfy, Bakula did all of his own singing on the show. This meant that he had to take on a multitude of styles, from softly singing “Imagine” to portraying a glam metal star of the ’80s to crooning as Elvis Presley. The fact that Bakula could not only sing but carry these diverse styles is a testament both to the actor’s talent and hard work.