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No 'Ordinary' Year: Most Oscar Song Nominees Are Hot 100 Hits
As U2's "Ordinary Love" debuts on the Billboard Hot 100 chart this week, the song becomes the third of this year's four Academy Award nominees for best original song to reach the tally.
This is the first time since 1998 where three of the year's song nominees have reached the Hot 100 before the awards ceremony. (This year's Academy Awards will be presented on ABC TV, live, at 7 PM EST on Sunday, March 2.)
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"Ordinary Love," written for the film "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom," debuts at No. 99, joining fellow award nominees "Happy" and "Let It Go" on the chart.
"Happy" (from "Despicable Me 2") was written and performed by Pharrell, and jumps to No. 1 on the Hot 100 this week. "Let It Go" (from "Frozen") is charting at No. 18 (performed by Idina Menzel) and at No. 61 (sung by Demi Lovato).
Of this year's four nominees for original song, only "The Moon Song," from "Her," has yet to reach the Hot 100 chart.
The last time three of a year's best song nominees had all reached the chart before the Oscars was in 1998. That year saw hits from "My Heart Will Go On" (from "Titanic"), "How Do I Live" (from "Con Air") and "Go The Distance" (from "Hercules").
Celine Dion's rendition of "My Heart Will Go On" debuted at No. 1 on the chart dated Feb. 28, 1998. "Go the Distance," sung by Michael Bolton, peaked at No. 24 on July 12, 1997.
"How Do I Live," like "Let It Go," was a hit for two different singers. Trisha Yearwood's version, which was heard in the film "Con Air," reached No. 23 on July 26, 1997. (LeAnn Rimes' rendition, which was not in the movie, became a smash hit at the same time. It peaked at No. 2 on Dec. 13, 1997.)
The two other nominees for original song in 1998 -- "Miss Misery" by Elliott Smith (for "Good Will Hunting") and "Journey to the Past" by Stephen Flaherty (for "Anastacia") -- have not charted.
Between the 1998 and 2014 Oscars, there was one more year where three of the song nominees also became hits -- but one of them did so well after the Awards' ceremony.
The 1999 Oscars housed two Hot 100 hits at the time: "When You Believe" (from "The Prince of Egypt) and "I Don't Want To Miss A Thing" (from "Armageddon"). Then, almost a decade later, a third nominee -- "The Prayer" -- finally debuted on the Hot 100.
"The Prayer," from the movie "Quest for Camelot," was written by Carole Bayer Sager and David Foster. In the movie, it was performed separately, in two different renditions, by Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli. Neither version charted before the Academy Awards in 1999.
However, the song became a fluke hit for Dion in 2008, after she recorded a live version with Josh Groban. Culled from a TV special starring Dion, the song reached No. 70 on March 1, 2008.
In 2012, "The Prayer" became a hit yet again, thanks to a cover by Christina Aguilera and Chris Mann. The pair sang it on NBC TV's "The Voice," and it then hit No. 85 on May 26, 2012.