In honor of the Oscars, we've ranked the biggest film songs to ever hit the Hot 100.
Movies and music have been a natural combination ever since sound was first added to moving images. Whether a film is a tear-jerking drama, an action-packed thriller or a side-splitting comedy, the right song at the right moment will always elevate the impact of a scene. Not only that, many songs written for films have stood on their own, with the popularity of some eclipsing the movies that inspired them. With the 86th Academy Awards approaching, here's a look back at the 50 biggest Hot 100 hits that arose from being featured on the silver screen.
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This ranking is based on actual performance on the weekly Billboard Hot 100 chart. Songs are ranked based on an inverse point system, with weeks at No. 1 earning the greatest value and weeks at No. 100 earning the least. To ensure equitable representation of the biggest hits from each era, certain time frames were weighted to account for the difference between turnover rates from those years.
"Check On It" - Beyoncé
Hot 100 Peak Position: 1 (five weeks), Peak Date 2/4/2006
Beyonce's song was supposed to be on the 2006 soundtrack to "The Pink Panther" remake in which she co-starred with Steve Martin. But instead the track played during the movie's closing credits and gained lots of popularity with a Hype Williams-directed music video.
"Wind Beneath My Wings" - Bette Midler
Hot 100 Peak Position: 1, Peak Date: 6/10/1989
Written by Jeff Silbar and Larry Henley in 1982, "Wings" was recorded by a number of artists, including Sheena Easton and Gladys Knight. But the song's biggest success came in 1989 when Midler's rendition played over the tear-jerking scene in "Beaches," and won both Song and Record of the Year Grammys.
"Two Hearts" - Phil Collins
Hot 100 Peak Position: 1 (two weeks), Peak Date: 1/21/1989
Collins starred in the gangster film "Buster," which was based on the real-life Great Train Robbery in the U.K. and he also contributed two no. 1 singles to the soundtrack, "A Groovy Kind of Love" and "Two Hearts." But "Two Hearts" was the tune that went on to grab both an Oscar nomination and a Grammy win.
"Cradle of Love" - Billy Idol
Hot 100 Peak Position: 2, Peak Date: 8/4/1990
One of Idol's most successful single came thanks, in part, to David Fincher, who directed its music video. It also came in spite of this forgettable Andrew Dice Clay flick.
"Shakedown" - Bob Seger
Hot 100 Peak Position: 1, Peak Date: 8/1/1987
Seger's "Beverly Hills Cop II" song became his only Hot 100 no. 1 single, and was performed by Little Richard at the Oscars, where it was nominated for Best Original Song.
"Maniac" - Michael Sembello
Hot 100 Peak Position: 1 (two weeks), Peak Date: 9/10/1983
Michael Sembello's driving tune was the perfect choice for Jennifer Beals' training montage in "Flashdance" as she works on her dance moves, and it would later be spoofed in "Tommy Boy" when Chris Farley gets mud hosed off of him at a gas station.
"Kiss" - Prince And The Revolution
Hot 100 Peak Position: 1 (two weeks), Peak Date: 4/19/1986
Two years after the success of "Purple Rain," Prince directed and starred in "Under the Cherry Moon." "Kiss" was the top single off the Purple One's soundtrack album for the film, "Parade: Music from the Motion Picture Under the Cherry Moon," and earned him his fourth Grammy, this one for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal.
"St. Elmo's Fire (Man In Motion)" - John Parr
Hot 100 Peak Position: 1 (two weeks), Peak Date: 9/7/1985
Parr and David Foster originally wrote this anthem about getting older and facing hardship for paralyzed athlete Rick Hansen, who circled the world in a wheelchair on what was called the "Man in Motion Tour." The single spent two weeks at no. 1 following the success of the Brat Pack film.
"Don't You (Forget About Me)" - Simple Minds
Hot 100 Peak Position: 1, Peak Date: 5/18/1985
Billy Idol, Bryan Ferry, and the Fixx's Cy Cumin all passed on recording this song before it went to Scottish rock band Simple Minds, who also initially declined to record it. John Hughes then used it at the end of "The Breakfast Club" to create one of the most lasting images for any teenager who's seen the film.