Top-10 Oscar-winning songs

By Leighton Ginn

One of the clear favorites to win a 2019 Oscar is the song “Shallow” from “A
Star is Born,” which will probably go down as one of the top movie songs of all time.

But what are the other greats? There’s been 84 songs to win an Oscar. This is one man’s opinion on the top-10 Oscar-winners of all time.


. SOMEWHERE OVER THE RAINBOW

I think this one is pretty automatic, as this is a song numerous generations have grown up with.

Somewhere Over the Rainbow won the 1930 Academy Awards, making it the sixth song ever to win the award. The American Film Institute has named is the No. 1 song in its “100 Greatest American Movie Music.”

MY HEART WILL GO ON


Celine Dion had so many songs nominated for best song, but this one is her defining number that earned her the 1997 Oscar. “Titanic” is one of the most successful films in history, and this song is one of the reasons why. AFI ranked this No. 10.

LOSE YOURSELF

Eminem’s theme song from his semi-autobiographical film “8 Mile,” is the classic song from a genre that’s so rarely recognized by the academy. It took home the 2002 Oscar, but AFI isn’t so kind to the song as it only ranked 93rd.

SHAFT

This is the funkiest winner of all time. And quite possibly the coolest song to win the Oscar.

It makes me happy that a best song winner has the lyrics “Who’s the black private dick who’s a sex machine to all the chicks.” We’re talking about “Shaft,” the 1971 award winner. AFI ranked this No. 38.

Can you dig it?

A new version of the “Shaft” series will be out later this year with Richard Roundtree and Samuel L. Jackson.

I’VE HAD THE TIME OF MY LIFE

Nobody puts this song in the corner.

“Dirty Dancing” was the little movie that could, and “I’ve Had the Time of My Life,” was the theme song that made the movie go. It’s a great collaboration between Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes. Warnes had the golden touch as she also sang in the award-winning “Up Where We Belong,” from An Officer and a Gentleman,” and “It Goes Like It Goes,” from Norma Rae. AFI ranked this No. 86. 

FAME

And now we begin the Irene Cara portion of the list. She was golden in the 80s with “Fame,” a film in which she also starred in. And that year might have been one of the strongest group of songs, which included the Willie Nelson classic “On The Road Again,” from “Honeysuckle Rose” and Dolly Parton’s hit “9 to 5) from the film of the same name. AFI ranked this song No. 51.

FLASHDANCE … WHAT A FEELING


Three years later, Irene Cara did it again with the theme from “Flashdance,” as “What a Feeling,” became another classic. And this time, Cara had to beat out Barbra Streisand, who had two songs from “Yentl.” AFI ranked this song No. 55.

UP WHERE WE BELONG


One of the great duets of all time that matched Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes, the song from “An Officer and a Gentleman,” was an instant classic. It took home the 1982 Oscar, beating out “Eye of the Tiger” from “Rocky III” and “It Might Be You,” from “Tootsie.” AFI ranked it No. 75.

MOON RIVER

Andy Williams is famous for singing this song, but it’s Audrey Hepburn’s performance in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” that won it the Oscar in 1961. AFI ranks it No. 4.

THE WAY YOU LOOK TONIGHT

Fred Astaire is one of the most influential dancers in the history of cinema, which sometimes overshadows his accomplishments as a singer. Although he claims he’s not a great singer, many of Astaire’s songs are stables in the Great American Songbook, including “The Way You Look Tonight” from the 1936 film “Swing Time.” Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett and Michael Buble have since covered the song. AFI ranked this No. 43.

HONORABLE MENTIONS: Streets of Philadelphia (Philadelphia), Let It Go (Frozen), Thanks for the Memories (The Big Broadcast of 1938), Mona Lisa (Captain Carey, U.S.A.), Last Dance (Thank God It’s Friday), Let The River Run (Working Girl), When You Wish Upon A Star (Pinocchio), White Christmas (Holiday Inn).

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