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Oscar Winners On The Hot 100

Lights, camera, no chart action? Fewer Best Original Song Academy Award winners have impacted the Billboard Hot 100 in recent years.

“Crazy Heart” emerged victorious at Sunday’s (March 7) 82nd Annual Academy Awards. While lead character Jeff Bridges was anointed Best Actor, the film’s theme likewise produced a coveted Oscar statue, as Ryan Bingham‘s “The Weary Kind” earned Best Original Song honors.

The track, written by Bingham and T-Bone Burnett, appears on the “Crazy Heart” soundtrack, which has so far peaked at No. 2 on the Soundtracks chart, No. 6 on Country Albums and No. 22 on the Billboard 200. The set features two songs from Bingham, as well as contributions from Robert Duvall, Colin Farrell and Bridges. Bingham and his band, Dead Horses, serve as the film’s backing band for Bridges, who portrays fictitious country music singer Bad Blake.


“The Weary Kind” has yet to reach a Billboard chart, although it is bubbling under the Triple A adult alternative radio airplay tally. While it could reach Digital Songs and/or the Billboard Hot 100, based on increased sales following its victory, the recent trend of Best Original Song winners not registering mass-appeal success continues.

Since 2000, just three Best Original Song recipients have reached the Hot 100. (With a 12-week run at No. 1, however, Eminem‘s “Lose Yourself” became the longest-reigning Best Original Song honoree).

In prior decades, Academy Award-winning movie music was more prevalent on the Hot 100. Five Best Original Song champions topped the Hot 100 in the ’70s, and seven ruled in the ’80s. In the ’90s, two rose to No. 1 and another four cracked the top 10.

Billboard senior editor Ann Donahue notes that a change in the category’s voting process has contributed to a decrease in mainstream hits receiving nominations. “In the past couple years, the music branch has gathered to vote for nominees in a movie theater, where members watch songs in context of the films in which they appear, as opposed to voting for a song for-song’s-sake.

“It’s really changed the category; songs that run over the end credits almost never get nominated now, even if they’re from big-name stars like Bruce Springsteen. The newer thinking is that it’s just not that compelling to hear a song over a bunch of text.”

With the red carpet rolled up until next year, here is a look at the chart performances of the Best Original Song winners dating to the Hot 100’s launch in 1958. (In cases where multiple versions of songs appeared on the Hot 100, the highest-charting version is listed).

Winning Year, Peak Pos., Title, Artist

2008, No. 15, “Jai Ho! (You Are My Destiny),” A R Rahman & the Pussycat Dolls featuring Nicole Scherzinger
2007, No. 61, “Falling Slowly,” the Swell Season (Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova)
2002, No. 1 (12 weeks), “Lose Yourself,” Eminem

1999, No. 21, “You’ll Be in My Heart,” Phil Collins
1998, No. 15, “When You Believe,” Whitney Houston & Mariah Carey
1997, No. 1 (two weeks), “My Heart Will Go On,” Celine Dion
1996, No. 18, “You Must Love Me,” Madonna
1995, No. 4, “Colors of the Wind,” Vanessa Williams
1994, No. 4, “Can You Feel the Love Tonight,” Elton John
1993, No. 9, “Streets of Philadelphia,” Bruce Springsteen
1992, No. 1 (one week), “A Whole New World (Aladdin’s Theme),” Peabo Bryson & Regina Belle
1991, No. 9, “Beauty and the Beast,” Celine Dion and Peabo Bryson

1988, No. 49, “Let the River Run,” Carly Simon
1987, No. 1 (one week), “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life,” Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes
1986, No. 1 (one week), “Take My Breath Away,” Berlin
1985, No. 1 (four weeks), “Say You, Say Me,” Lionel Richie
1984, No. 1 (three weeks), “I Just Called to Say I Love You,” Stevie Wonder
1983, No. 1 (six weeks), “Flashdance…What a Feeling,” Irene Cara
1982, No. 1 (three weeks), “Up Where We Belong,” Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes
1981, No. 1 (three weeks), “Arthur’s Theme (Best That You Can Do),” Christopher Cross
1980, No. 4, “Fame,” Irene Cara

1978, No. 3, “Last Dance,” Donna Summer
1977, No. 1 (10 weeks), “You Light Up My Life,” Debby Boone
1976, No. 1 (three weeks), “Evergreen (Love Theme from “A Star Is Born”),” Barbra Streisand
1975, No. 17, “I’m Easy,” Keith Carradine
1974, No. 83, “We May Never Love Like This Again,” Maureen McGovern
1973, No. 1 (three weeks), “The Way We Were,” Barbra Streisand
1972, No. 1 (two weeks), “The Morning After,” Maureen McGovern
1971, No. 1 (two weeks), “Theme from Shaft,” Isaac Hayes
1970, No. 3, “For All We Know,” Carpenters

1969, No. 1 (four weeks), “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head,” B.J. Thomas
1968, No. 31, “The Windmills of Your Mind,” Dusty Springfield
1966, No. 7, “Born Free,” Roger Williams
1965, No. 93, “The Shadow of Your Smile,” Boots Randolph
1964, No. 81, “Chim, Chim, Cheree,” the New Christy Minstrels
1963, No. 78, “Call Me Irresponsible,” Frank Sinatra
1962, No. 33, “Days of Wine and Roses,” Henry Mancini and His Orchestra
1961, No. 11, “Moon River,” Henry Mancini and His Orchestra
1960, No. 19, “Never on Sunday,” Don Costa and His Orchestra and Chorus

1959, No. 30, “High Hopes,” Frank Sinatra “and a Bunch of Kids”