Top 50 Movie Songs Of All Time
"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.
"9 To 5" - Dolly Parton Hot 100 Peak Position: 1, Peak Date: 2/21/1981
Dolly Parton made her film acting debut in the female-empowerment workplace comedy "9 to 5" alongside Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin. The title track won two Grammys.
"Don't Let Go (Love)" - En Vogue Hot 100 Peak Position: 2, Peak Date: 1/18/1997
The ladies of En Vogue had one of their biggest singles on the soundtrack of the crime film "Set It Off," which starred Jada Pinkett, Queen Latifah, and Vivica A. Fox. The track rose to No. 2, rivaling their previous Hot 100 No. 2's, "My Lovin' (You're Never Gonna Get It)" in 1992 and "Hold on" in 1990.
"Stay (I Missed You)" - Lisa Loeb & Nine Stories Hot 100 Peak Position: 1 (three weeks), Peak Date: 8/6/1994
Loeb's big break came through her across-the-street neighbor, Ethan Hawke, who starred opposite Winona Ryder in the famous Generation X film "Reality Bites." Hawk brought in her song "Stay," which played over the movie's closing credits, and directed its one-take music video.
"Blaze Of Glory" - Jon Bon Jovi Hot 100 Peak Position: 1, Peak Date: 9/8/1990
Even though "Wanted Dead or Alive" was the original request for the western "Young Guns II," JBJ apparently wanted to record a song that was literally about gunslingers. The resulting single became Jon's biggest solo single away from his Bon Jovi mates.
"Kiss From A Rose" - Seal Hot 100 Peak Position: 1, Peak Date: 8/26/1995
Joel Schumacher's use of Seal's "Kiss From A Rose" over the end credits of his Val Kilmer-led "Batman Forever" flick propelled the song to the top of the Hot 100 in the summer of 1995.
"Ghostbusters" - Ray Parker Jr. Hot 100 Peak Position: 1 (three weeks), Peak Date: 8/11/1984
Parker originally wrote the tune as a play on the Ghostbuster's cheap-looking commercial in the film, and the music video featured cameos by stars Chevy Chase, John Candy, Danny DeVito, and many more comedic actors. Parker and others were sued over similarities to Huey Lewis' "I Want a New Drug," and they settled out of court. But the Oscar-nominated Ray Parker Jr. song forever told everyone, "who you gonna call" when "there's something strange in your neighborhood."
"Magic" - Olivia Newton-John Hot 100 Peak Position: 1 (four weeks), Peak Date: 8/2/1980
The 1980 film "Xanadu," starring Newton-John as a muse who helps an artist open a nightclub, features this pop hit, which was also Olivia's biggest hit until the following year's smash "Physical."
"La Bamba" - Los Lobos Hot 100 Peak Position: 1 (three weeks), Peak Date: 8/29/1987
With musical direction by Carlos Santana, Lou Diamond Phillips' performances of young star Ritchie Valens were backed by Los Lobos. For the soundtrack, the group updated Valens' 1958 single, which itself was based on a Mexican folk song, and took "La Bamba" to the top of the Hot 100.
"I Just Called To Say I Love You" - Stevie Wonder Hot 100 Peak Position: 1 (three weeks), Peak Date: 10/13/1984
Wonder's hit won Best Original Song at the Oscars and Golden Globes after appearing on the soundtrack for the comedy "The Woman In Red."
"The Power Of Love" - Huey Lewis & The News Hot 100 Peak Position: 1 (two weeks), Peak Date: 8/24/1985
In "Back To The Future," Michael J. Fox's Marty McFly and his band "perform" this song at the high school talent show auditions, only to have Marty bungle the rendition with his ostentatious guitar soloing. Huey plays the judge that shoots them down, saying they're "just too darn loud." But in real life, the track (actually performed by Lewis and the News) totally rocked the charts: It was the group's first No. 1.
"Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now" - Starship Hot 100 Peak Position: 1 (two weeks), Peak Date: 4/4/1987
Songwriter Albert Hammond wrote this Starship track with Diane Warren, inspired by his upcoming marriage, for the '87 comedy "Mannequin," starring Andrew McCarthy and Kim Cattrall. Proving that even hockey players are suckers for '80s power-pop, the Montreal Canadiens used this as a inspiration during their eventually victorious 1993 Stanley Cup run.
"Can't Help Falling In Love" - UB40 Hot 100 Peak Position: 1 (seven weeks), Peak Date: 7/24/1993
Elvis' original version of this song, which was featured in his movie "Blue Hawaii," hit No. 2 on the Hot 100 in 1962. Thirty-one years later, British reggae group UB40's version was featured on the soundtrack to the Sharon Stone thriller "Sliver." The remake bested Elvis by topping the Hot 100 for seven weeks.
"Against All Odds (Take A Look At Me Now)" - Phil Collins Hot 100 Peak Position: 1 (three weeks), Peak Date: 4/21/1984
When asked to provide a song for the Jeff Bridges flick "Against All Odds,"
Collins revisited this song, which he'd worked on during sessions for his 1981 solo debut, "Face Value." The finished track, which appeared on the film's 1984 soundtrack, and won the Grammy for Best Pop Vocal, and earned an Oscar nomination.
"Footloose" - Kenny Loggins Hot 100 Peak Position: 1 (three weeks), Peak Date: 3/31/1984
The soundtrack to this well-loved Kevin Bacon flick featured a number of hits, including Bonnie Tyler's "Holding Out for a Hero" and Deniece Williams' "Let's Hear It for the Boy," but the biggest was Kenny Loggins' title track.
"Separate Lives" - Phil Collins & Marilyn Martin Hot 100 Peak Position: 1, Peak Date: 11/30/1985
the film "White Nights," which starred Mikhail Baryshnikov and Gregory Hines as dancers attempting to flee the Soviet Union. "Separate Lives" was nominated for an Oscar, but lost to another White Nights song, Lionel Richie's "Say You, Say Me."
"Crazy For You" - Madonna Hot 100 Peak Position: 1, Peak Date: 5/11/1985
This "Vision Quest" hit came about when producers were looking for an appropriate song to use during a scene in which stars Matthew Modine and Linda Fiorentino meet at a club. Madonna's ballad "Crazy for You" was her second no. 1 single and her first song nominated for a Grammy.
"Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do)" - Christopher Cross Hot 100 Peak Position: 1 (three weeks), Peak Date: 10/17/1981
Despite having a star in Liza Minnelli, Christopher Cross got the honors to perform the theme song for the Dudley Moore comedy "Arthur." Co-written by Burt Bacharach, the track – which literally rehashes the plot – won an Oscar and Golden Globe in 1981.
"I Wanna Sex You Up" - Color Me Badd Hot 100 Peak Position: 2, Peak Date: 6/8/1991
It seems odd that this Oklahoma R&B group would have a hit featured gritty big city crack drama starring Wesley Snipes and Ice T, but strange things happen in "New Jack City." This mid-tempo jam rose to just shy of the top of the chart.
"To Sir With Love" - Lulu Hot 100 Peak Position: 1 (five weeks), Peak Date: 10/21/1967
The sentimental school drama "To Sir With Love," starring Sidney Poitier, utilized this song at a turning point in the film, with Lulu performing it at a class dance.
"It Must Have Been Love" - Roxette Hot 100 Peak Position: 1 (two weeks), Peak Date: 6/16/1990
After the Swedish Duo topped the Hot 100 with "The Look" and "Listen to Your Heart," they were asked to contribute a song to the hit Julia Roberts flick "Pretty Woman," and went with this bittersweet break-up track.
"Evergreen" - Barbra Streisand Hot 100 Peak Position: 1 (three weeks), Peak Date: 3/5/1977
In the film "A Star Is Born," Streisand plays an up-and-coming singer who meets a successful musician played by Kris Kristofferson. In a case of life imitating art, Streisand's character wins a Grammy in the film, and in real life, "Evergreen" later won the Song of the Year Grammy as well as an Oscar.
"Lose Yourself" - Eminem Hot 100 Peak Position: 1 (12 weeks), Peak Date: 11/9/2002
For a bit of meta theater, Eminem wrote and performed this song about the his "8 Mile" character B-Rabbit, a fictional take on the struggles of the real-life Marshall Mathers. The track, written on the movie set, won the Best Original Song Oscar and two Grammys.
"When Doves Cry" - Prince And The Revolution Hot 100 Peak Position: 1 (five weeks), Peak Date: 7/7/1984
The last song penned for the film, Prince wrote this "Purple Rain" track overnight to match a scene in the movie. On top of that, he played played every instrument on the recording, which became the first single and biggest from an incredible soundtrack.
"Because You Loved Me" - Celine Dion Hot 100 Peak Position: 1 (six weeks), Peak Date: 3/23/1996
Songwriter Diane Warren wrote this song about her father's support, though its link to its cooresponding film, 'Up Close & Personal,' is meant to evoke the Robert Redford character's love for an aspiring news anchor played by Michelle Pfeiffer. Dion's recording of the track went on to win a Grammy.
"Independent Women Part I" - Destiny's Child Hot 100 Peak Position: 1 (11 weeks), Peak Date: 11/18/2000
Destiny's Child were the perfect choice to perform an anthem for the powerful trio of ladies in the "Charlie's Angels" remake. And carrying on the theme of threes, the song was the group's third Hot 100 No. 1.
"The Way We Were" - Barbra Streisand Hot 100 Peak Position: 1 (three weeks), Peak Date: 2/2/1974
Written by Alan and Marilyn Bergman with Marvin Hamlisch, Barbra Streisand recorded this enduring ballad for the romantic movie of the same name, in which she starred opposite Robert Redford.
"Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head" - B.J. Thomas Hot 100 Peak Position: 1 (four weeks), Peak Date: 1/3/1970
Penned by Hal David and Burt Bacharach, B.J. Thomas' recording of "Raindrops" was featured in "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," playing while star Paul Newman performed stunts on a bicycle. It went on to win the Oscar for Best Original Song.
"Say You, Say Me" - Lionel Richie Hot 100 Peak Position: 1 (four weeks), Peak Date: 12/21/1985
This Richie no. 1 was the breakout song from the Mikhail Baryshnikov and Gregory Hines film "White Nights." The Oscar-winning track was oddly not released on the soundtrack, but later, in 1986, it served as the closing track on Lionel's "Dancing on the Ceiling" album.
"Gangsta's Paradise" - Coolio feat. L.V. Hot 100 Peak Position: 1 (three weeks), Peak Date: 9/9/95
Coolio's theme song for the inner-city drama "Dangerous Minds" takes its musical cues from Stevie Wonder's 1976 song "Pastime Paradise." Wonder later joined the rapper and singer L.V. for a performance at the Grammys, where the track won Best Rap Solo Performance, among other awards.
"Stayin' Alive" - Bee Gees Hot 100 Peak Position: 1 (four weeks), Peak Date: 2/4/1978
With its driving beat, funky guitar riff and falsetto, the Bee Gees created a disco classic about urban living that's difficult to hear without picturing John Travolta, suited in all white, doing his thing on the dance floor in the movie "Saturday Night Fever." Coincidentally, the rhythm of the song matches almost perfectly with the recommended number of chest compressions during CPR, and paramedics are encouraged to think of the song while performing the procedure.
"Call Me" - Blondie Hot 100 Peak Position: 1 (six weeks), Peak Date: 4/19/1980
Giorgio Moroder originally wanted to collaborate on the "American Gigolo" theme song with Stevie Nicks, but she had to decline. He then enlisted Debbie Harry, who wrote the song in a few hours based on the film's opening scene of Richard Gere cruising around California in a convertible.
"End Of The Road" - Boyz II Men Hot 100 Peak Position: 1 (13 weeks), Peak Date: 8/15/1992
Written by Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds, L.A. Reid and Daryl Simmons for the Eddie Murphy movie "Boomerang," the Boyz II Men hit spent 13 weeks at No. 1. Three weeks after it left the top spot, Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You" (from "The Bodyguard" soundtrack) took over.
"I Will Always Love You" - Whitney Houston Hot 100 Peak Position: 1 (14 weeks), Peak Date: 11/28/1992
Dolly Parton wrote "I Will Always Love You" in 1973 but it found its way onto 1992's soundtrack for "The Bodyguard" after star Kevin Costner played Linda Ronstadt's 1975 version for Whitney Houston. Houston's smash-hit cover reigned on the Hot 100 for 14 weeks and became her signature song.
"Night Fever" - Bee Gees Hot 100 Peak Position: 1 (eight weeks), Peak Date: 3/18/1978
Producer Robert Stigwood engaged the Bee Gees to provide songs for the film, originally to be called "Saturday Night." When he asked them to change the song's name to match the movie, the group declined, saying there were already too many songs with 'Saturday' in the title. Eventually, Stigwood relented and made the brilliant decision to mix this song's title with his original film title and rename the film, "Saturday Night Fever."
"Flashdance. . . What A Feeling" - Irene Cara Hot 100 Peak Position: 1 (six weeks), Peak Date: 5/28/1983
Co-written by Giorgio Moroder, the "Flashdance" title track plays as Jennifer Beals' character Alex auditions for a stodgy dance conservatory board, only to wow them when the song turns from ballad into uptempo pop. It would later win an Oscar and a Golden Globe.
"Eye Of The Tiger" - Survivor Hot 100 Peak Position: 1 (six weeks), Peak Date: 7/24/1982
Sylvester Stallone originally wanted to use Queen's "Another One Bites the Dust" for the Rocky III training montage, but Freddie Mercury and co. wouldn't grant them the license. So Sly turned to Survivor's Jim Peterik and Frankie Sullivan, who wrote the cut "Eye Of The Tiger" in part by timing the guitar and drum hits to coincide with Rocky's punches.
"How Deep Is Your Love" - Bee Gees Hot 100 Peak Position: 1 (three weeks), Peak Date: 12/24/1977
The Bee Gees' ballad became one of their biggest hits from "Saturday Night Fever," reflecting the brotherly trio's ability to pen non-disco smashes like this alongside dancefloor favorites.
"The Theme From 'A Summer Place'" - Percy Faith And His Orchestra Hot 100 Peak Position: 1 (nine weeks), Peak Date: 2/27/1960
The instrumental hit from the 1959 drama soundtracked the romance between stars Sandra Dee and Troy Donahue and spent nine weeks atop the Hot 100.
"(Everything I Do) I Do It For You" - Bryan Adams Hot 100 Peak Position: 1 (seven weeks), Peak Date: 7/27/1991
The classic English story "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves" found simultaneous box office and musical success with an accent-less American actor and a power ballad by a Canadian rock star. The track became Adams' biggest hit, spending seven weeks at No. 1.
"Endless Love" - Diana Ross & Lionel Richie Hot 100 Peak Position: 1 (nine weeks), Peak Date: 8/15/1981
The Brooke Shields-led movie "Endless Love" led to what Billboard previously revealed was the biggest duet hit of all time, Diana Ross and Lionel Richie's inspired pairing on the title track. It was also the biggest hit of each of the legendary singer's careers, spending 27 weeks on the chart, nine of them at no. 1.
"You Light Up My Life" - Debby Boone Hot 100 Peak Position: 1 (10 weeks), Peak Date: 10/15/1977
The "You Light Up My Life" film's title song – originally recorded by classically trained singer Kasey Cisyk for use in the movie – was remade for the soundtrack album by Pat Boone's daughter Debby. The track spent 10 weeks atop the Hot 100, won an Oscar, and shared the Best Song Grammy in a tie with Barbra Streisand's "Evergreen (Love Theme from A Star Is Born)."
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