Primary Menu

Star Music News

Singer, actress Beyonce Knowles and actor Steve Martin arrive at Columbia Pictures premiere of "The Pink Panther" on February 6, 2006 in New York City.

While much about cinema and the way music is used in film has changed, the importance of songs in film has not. The perfectly-placed track—whether it’s tear-jerking lyrics over a moving melody or a fast-paced power ballad that pulls them into the action—still helps to strike the mood.

We took a look at Billboard data from movies that have performed the best on the Hot 100 charts. To qualify, the song had to peak at #1 or #2 on the Hot 100 and the song also had to be explicitly made for the movie.

  • 'Kiss' by Prince And The Revolution

    From the movie Under the Cherry Moon, “Kiss” was released on Prince’s album Parade, which was also the soundtrack from the film. The song won Prince the 1986 Grammy Award for Best Rhythm & Blues Vocal Performance. It has also been featured in both television and film, including the animated film Happy Feet and an episode of Glee. It is also sung by a bathing Julia Roberts in the hit film Pretty Woman.

  • 'Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now' by Starship

    The romantic comedy Mannequin starred 1980s heartthrob Andrew McCarthy and Kim Cattrall and featured the #1 hit “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now” by Starship, a continuation of the successful band Jefferson Starship. This song came as a follow-up to Starship’s 1985 debut LP Knee Deep in the Hoopla, which birthed “We Built This City” and “Sara.”

  • 'Two Hearts' by Phil Collins

    “Two Hearts” was featured on the soundtrack from the 1988 romantic British crime comedy Buster and starred Phil Collins as the titular character. Written and produced by Collins and Lamont Dozier, the feel-good song reached #1 in the United States and Canada. Collins would make his U.S. acting debut in NBC’s Miami Vice as a con man.

  • 'It Must Have Been Love' by Roxette

    Originally a Christmas song, “It Must Have Been Love” was reworked by Swedish-band Roxette for the 1990 movie Pretty Woman starring Richard Gere and Julia Roberts, and it was featured on the film soundtrack. “It Must Have Been Love” spent two weeks at the top of the Billboard chart and was the band’s most successful song.

  • 'Blaze Of Glory' by Jon Bon Jovi

    This title track to the Western film Young Guns II was featured on Jon Bon Jovi’s debut solo studio album of the same name. The music video features Bon Jovi singing and playing guitar in the middle of a canyon and rock-filled desert while a movie screen plays clips from the film in the background. Not only did Jon Bon Jovi have a cameo in the film, but the song was nominated for an Oscar and the singer got the boys from Bon Jovi back together to perform it at the Academy Award ceremony.

  • '(Everything I Do) I Do It For You' by Bryan Adams

    This power ballad was released on the soundtrack to the 1991 film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, starring Kevin Costner, and Bryan Adams’ album Waking Up the Neighbours. The song went on to garner an Oscar nod for Best Original Song, three Grammy nominations including one for Record of the Year, and a Grammy win for Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or for Television.

  • 'I Will Always Love You' by Whitney Houston

    Whitney Houston’s love ballad accompanied her acting debut in the 1992 romantic thriller The Bodyguard, opposite Kevin Costner. The song was actually a cover of a Dolly Parton 1974 country hit. It topped the charts for both women and even returned to the charts when Whitney Houston died in 2012.

  • 'Can't Help Falling In Love' by UB40

    A cover of an Elvis Presley song, UB40’s version appeared in the 1993 hit film Sliver starring Sharon Stone and William Baldwin and became the band’s biggest hit. Writing about the film for Den of Geek, Simon Brew noted, “The only thing to break out of Sliver was UB40’s cover version of “I Can’t Help Falling In Love With You.”

  • 'Kiss From A Rose' by Seal

    “Kiss From A Rose” was released as a single and featured in the film Batman Forever, starring Val Kilmer, Jim Carrey, and Nicole Kidman. The meaning of the love song has been much debated— Seal would only say it was about a relationship. It was played during the closing credits of the film. The music video featured Seal singing on a rooftop over Gotham in front of a bat signal intercut with clips from the film.

  • 'Gangsta's Paradise' by Coolio feat. L.V.

    “Gangsta’s Paradise” was released on both the soundtrack for the 1995 film, Dangerous Minds, starring Michelle Pfeiffer, and Coolio’s album of the same name. Singer Larry Sanders, who goes by L.V., reworked Stevie Wonder’s 1976 song, “Pastime Paradise,” and sent it to Coolio. The song received Stevie Wonder’s approval, a 1995 Grammy for Best Rap Solo Performance, a music video featuring Coolio and Pfeiffer, and a Weird Al Yankovic song parody called, “Amish Paradise.”

  • 'Because You Loved Me' by Celine Dion

    While the song was performed by Celine Dion, it was produced by David Foster and written by Diane Warren for the film Up Close & Personal, starring Michelle Pfeiffer and Robert Redford. Warren admitted that the inspiration behind the song was her father and his early and ongoing support of her music career. In 2018 Warren told Billboard, “I felt that when I wrote that song, it was better than I was at the time, if that makes sense. I was like, ‘Whoa, this is probably my best song.’ There’s something lyrically about it.”

  • 'Independent Women Part I' by Destiny's Child

    Featured in the action film based on the television series Charlie’s Angels, the film’s stars, Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz, and Lucy Liu are mentioned in the song. “Independent Women Part I” also appeared as the opening track on Destiny’s Child’s album Survivor. The song was the perfect fit for the film, as it was about women who are in charge of their own lives, just as the Angels were.

  • 'Lose Yourself' by Eminem

    “Lose Yourself” earned Eminem, rapper and star of the film 8 Mile, a Grammy and Oscar for Best Original Song, making Eminem the first rapper to claim such an honor. Eminem was so sure the song wouldn’t win that he refused to perform it at the Oscar ceremony; co-producer Luis Resto accepted the award while Eminem fell asleep at home with his daughter.

    Seventeen years later, the rapper finally performed the song at the Academy Awards. The film’s theme song also spent 23 weeks on top of the charts, which earned it the title of “Longest Running Single at Number One for a Rap Song,” in the Guinness Book of World Records.

  • 'Check On It' by Beyoncé

    Featured in the film The Pink Panther, which also starred Steve Martin and Beyoncé, “Check On It” was not included on the film’s soundtrack but did make its way onto Destiny’s Child’s greatest hits album “#1’s.” The song’s music video was shot in pink to tie it to The Pink Panther.

  • 'Shallow' by Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga

    When Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper starred in the remake of the 1976 Barbara Streisand/Kris Kristofferson film, A Star Is Born, Gaga wrote the modern hit for the film along with Andrew Wyatt, Anthony Rossomando, and Mark Ronson. The film was actually a remake of a remake: A Star Is Born was originally made in 1937, and remade in 1954, 1976, and 2018.

    “Shallow” won an Oscar, and when Gaga and Cooper (who also directed the film) performed it together on stage at the ceremony, there was so much chemistry between the two that rumors of an affair ran rampant.