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The Best-Ever Oscar Winners for Best Original Song

Updated April 26, 2021 3.3k votes 242 voters 3.0k views

Music and movies go together like peanut butter and jelly. Sometimes, just a simple lyric can capture the whole essence of what a feature length motion picture is trying to convey. Of course, Best Picture, Best Actress, and Best Actor are typically the most celebrated awards at the Oscars. However, we can’t overlook that there have been some absolutely incredible songs written specifically for the silver screen. Here are all of the original songs that won Oscars over the last 50 years.

The Best Original Song category was added to the Academy Awards in 1934. It’s important to note that the award is given to the songwriter(s) who compose the original song that is written explicitly for a movie. It’s not awarded to the person who performs the song. So, of course, when we think of "Let It Go" from the animated movie Frozen, we think of Idina Menzel. However, when "Let It Go" won the Oscar in 2014, Kristen Anderson-Lopez and her husband Robert Lopez, took home the award because they wrote the music and lyrics.

Some of the biggest names in music history have penned Oscar-winning songs. Adele has never appeared in a movie, but she has more Oscars than Alfred Hitchcock, after she nabbed the award in 2013 for "Skyfall." Eminem won an Oscar for "Lose Yourself" in 2003, a song that completely captured the themes and tone of his semi-autobiographical film debut 8 Mile. Melissa Etheridge, Bob Dylan, Elton John, and Bruce Springsteen have all written songs that won Oscars.

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  • 1
    103
    30

    Can You Feel the Love Tonight

    Movie: The Lion King
  • 2
    91
    23

    Beauty and the Beast

    Movie: Beauty and the Beast
  • 3
    68
    24

    Streets of Philadelphia

    Movie: Philadelphia
  • 4
    Movie: The Way We Were
  • 5
    43
    19

    When You Believe

    Movie: The Prince of Egypt
  • 6
    63
    42

    Take My Breath Away

    Movie: Top Gun
  • 7
    Movie: Flashdance
  • 8
    Movie: Titanic

    More My Heart Will Go On 

    #8 of 86 The Best Oscar-Winning Songs#4 of 32 Every Song That Debuted At No. 1 On Billboard, Ranked

  • 9
    51
    45

    Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head

    Movie: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
  • 10
    49
    42

    Let It Go

    Movie: Frozen
  • 11
    Movie: The Woman in Red

    More I Just Called to Say I Love You 

    #49 of 193 The Worst Freakin' Songs of the '80s, Ranked#63 of 73 The Best Classic Rock Songs For A First Dance

  • 12
    41
    36

    Into the West

    Movie: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
  • 13
    40
    37

    Evergreen (Love Theme from A Star Is Born)

    Movie: A Star Is Born
  • 14
    40
    40

    Colors of the Wind

    Movie: Pocahontas
  • 15
    Movie: Arthur

    More Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do) 

    #84 of 113 The Best Songs with You in the Title#24 of 100 The Best Songs with Can in the Title

  • 16
    28
    32

    You Light Up My Life

    Movie: You Light Up My Life
  • 17
    22
    26

    Born Free

    Movie: Born Free
  • 18
    22
    27

    Let the River Run

    Movie: Working Girl
  • 19
    31
    41

    Falling Slowly

    Movie: Once
  • 20
    Movie: White Nights
  • 21
    Movie: Wonder Boys
  • 22
    23
    32

    Last Dance

    Movie: Thank God It's Friday
  • 23
    17
    23

    For All We Know

  • 24
    20
    32

    The Morning After

    Movie: The Poseidon Adventure
  • 25
    0
    0

    Fight for You

    Movie: Judas and the Black Messiah