The #Oscars (or Academy Awards) are most often thought of when movies are recognized for their achievements. However, music is also recognized with "Best Original Song" and "Best Original Score." Many of us can think of famous Oscar-winning songs like "Let It Go" or "Man or Muppet," but there are dozens of songs that are not well remembered despite winning the "Best Song" statue. So, without any further delay, here are the six Oscar-winning songs that you've (probably) never even heard of.
6. Three 6 Mafia — 'It's Hard Out Here For A Pimp'
Movie: Hustle & Flow
This hop-hop song was the theme for the film Hustle & Flow and was written by Three 6 Mafia. All in all, the 78th Academy Awards was an odd year that saw Crash win best picture (really?). The competition in the Best Original Song category was not strong. Of the three, "It's Hard Out Here For A Pimp" was perhaps the best — it has a good beat and was brought to life by the group.
The song's narrative is seen through the eyes of a pimp (obviously) as he tells the listener about his life and how it’s not as good or lucrative as other songs make it seem. In the end, the song is good yet forgettable, and will not be on people’s radar in the future.
5. Joel Hirschhorn And Al Kasha — 'We May Never Love Like This Again'
Movie: The Towering Inferno
This song appeared in the disaster film The Towering Inferno, which is best remembered for being one of O.J. Simpson's only film roles. The tune is very dated and has a real '70s vibe to it. Nothing about the song really stands out and, overall, it does not sound or feel Oscar worthy. It’s a strange win, especially given a year that saw The Godfather Part II and stars like Ingrid Bergman and Robert De Niro sweep the Oscars.
4. Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein II — 'It Might As Well Be Spring'
Movie: State Fair
This is a classic song from an exceptional film (State Fair) that helped define the '40s. Written by the great Rogers and Hammerstein, this song fought off 13 other contenders including ballads from classic films The Bells of St. Mary’s and Anchors Aweigh. It’s a cute song that has a delightfully '40s sound to it and ponders the sad and restless feelings we all get from time to time.
3. Stephen Schwartz — 'When You Believe'
Movie: The Prince of Egypt
Not many people remember this little gem of a song. Performed by Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey, this is a powerhouse melody about miracles and faith. It’s a touching rendition and one that had heavy competition in the form of the Aerosmith-led song "I Don't Want To Miss A Thing." Overall, I think this track and "I Don't Want To Miss A Thing" are tied for best song in my mind, both are excellent and well written.
2. Dimitri Tiomkin, Ned Washington — 'The Ballad Of High Noon'
Movie: High Noon
This took the statue at the 25th Academy Awards, fighting off tough competition from other well-known writers and performers. This song was very deserving of its award as it is the theme for the famous film High Noon, setting up the film with a narration of a Gunslinger singing to his sweetheart. Overall, it’s a fantastic production that transcends time and will always be remembered due to its attachment to High Noon.
1. Common And John Legend — 'Glory'
The winner of the 2014 Best Song was "Glory," written and preformed by actor and rappers Common and John Legend. It's incredibly surprising that #Selma ended up winning only one Oscar. It was a well shot and incredibly acted picture that sadly got buried under other films. That being said, the song "Glory" was 100 percent deserving of its Oscar as it is a powerhouse of a track. It not only tells a narrative tale that joins together two different eras of civil rights, but also boasts a rousing melody that harkens back to African American spirituals while also incorporating a modern musical edge. The hip-hop portion was a creative addition to the song and it brought home the message that King's legacy lives on in a new generation. The melody is well worth a listen and should be remembered as one of the Oscar-winning greats.
So do you agree with this list? What are YOUR top six favorite Oscar winning songs? Let me know in the comments below