101 Best Movie Songs EVER

101 Best Movie Songs EVER

Movies have always used music to underscore the drama of a monologue or romance of a kiss. Music has been an integral part of elevating the emotions of the silver screen since silent films.

Celebrate the most enduring moments on screen with our list of the best movie songs ever.


101. “Pretty In Pink” by The Psychedelic Furs

Song year: 1981

The John Hughes teen film Pretty in Pink took its name from the Psychedelic Furs' 1981 single. The song's inclusion in the movie set the tone for the soundtrack, which is considered a classic.

The soundtrack would reach the fifth spot on the Billboard album charts, and its era-specific songs make Pretty in Pink a nostalgic favorite to this day.

100. “Iris” by Goo Goo Dolls

Song year: 1998

The Goo Goo Dolls would compose the power ballad “Iris” for the film City of Angels, a marked departure from the band's previous, heavier alternative sound.

The change of pace served that band well, as the single would become the best selling of their career. It also helped the film's soundtrack top the Billboard charts.

99. “Girl, You’ll Be a Woman Soon” by Urge Overkill

Song year: 1992

Alternative rock band Urge Overkill's dark reading of Neil Diamond's classic song “Girl, You'll Be a Woman Soon” was the perfect pairing for Quentin Tarantino's nostalgically laced film Pulp Fiction.

Tarantino's use of music in his films is always intriguing, and the use of Urge Overkill is another example of the director making the old new again.

98. “Damn it Feels Good to be A Gangsta” by Geto Boys

Song year: 1992

Beavis and Butt-Head creator Mike Judge's film about the existential tedium of work, Office Space, is one of the best movies about work ever.

The film's use of The Geto Boys' “Damn it Feels Good to Be a Gangsta” during its iconic montage of a worker's revenge against his office is textbook irony.

97. “The NeverEnding Story” by Limahl

Song year: 1984

Giorgio Moroder's electronic production flourishes transform the titular power ballad from The NeverEnding Story into a dancefloor-ready slice of synth-pop.

English singer Limahl, formerly of the new wave band Kajagoogoo, injects the track with a youthful energy that allowed the song to crack the top ten across the globe.

96. “Rhythm of the Night” by DeBarge

Song year: 1985

DeBarge's synthesizer-laced R&B single “Rhythm of the Night” was featured in the Motown Records produced kung fu movie The Last Dragon.

While the movie wouldn't fare very well, the song would be the band's best-selling record, hitting the number three spot on the Billboard charts.

95. “Falling Slowly” by Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova

Song year: 2006

“Falling Slowly” was written by real-life musicians Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova for their star roles in the film Once.

The folk ballad is a heart-wrenching tear-jerker that helped the film receive universal acclaim and several prestigious award nominations. “Falling Slowly” won the Academy Award for Best Original Song.

94. “Woo Hoo” by The’s

Song year: 1996

The Japanese all-girl rock band The's gained a cult following after Quentin Tarantino used their cover of the '50s rock song “Woo Hoo” in his film Kill Bill: Vol. 1.

The Japanese band playing American rock is a fitting choice for an American director's ode to classic kung fu films.

93. “Maniac” by Michael Sembello

Song year: 1983

Michael Sembello initially wrote the song “Maniac” about a serial killer.

When producers for Flashdance heard the demo for the track, they asked Sembello to rewrite the words to fit the movie better. The resulting song became a number one hit and Grammy winner.

92. “Miss Misery” by Elliott Smith

Song year: 1997

Indie folk singer-songwriter Elliott Smith has a surprise hit with his single “Miss Misery” from the film Good Will Hunting.

The song garnered Smith an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song and catapulted the soft-spoken artist into the national spotlight.

91. “Ghetto Supastar (That is What You Are” by Pras ft. Ol’ Dirty Bastard & Mya

Song year: 1998

Mya and Ol' Dirty Bastard's “Ghetto Supastar (That Is What You Are)” fared better on the Billboard charts than the film that featured it, Bulworth, did at the box office.

The song is an updated R&B take on the Dolly Parton and Kenny Rodger's single “Islands in the Stream.”

90. “Hungry Eyes” by Eric Carmen

Song year: 1987

Former singer of power-pop pioneers The Raspberries, Eric Carmen took the soft rock approach on his single for Dirty Dancing, “Hungry Eyes.”

The song would be the second hit off the Dirty Dancing soundtrack, along with “(I've Had) The Time of My Life,” and the best charting single of Carmen's career.

89. “Skyfall” by Adele

Song year: 2012

Adele's entry into the James Bond theme songbook proved one of the greatest ever.

On the strength of a passionate performance by the soulful singer, Skyfall's eponymous theme won a plethora of industry awards. “Skyfall” has sold over seven million digital copies.

88. “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going” by Jennifer Hudson

Song year: 2006

Jennifer Hudson's breakout role as Effie in the film Dreamgirls is punctuated by her show-stopping performance of the song “And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going.”

Hudson became a household name after the release of the movie, receiving an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.

87. “The Touch” by Stan Bush (transformers/boogie nights)

Song year: 1986

Stan Bush's '80s power-pop anthem, “The Touch,” was initially written for the Sylvester Stallone film Cobra but eventually found its way onto The Transformers soundtrack.

The nostalgic anthem found a new life and became notorious for its comedic use in the critically acclaimed film Boogie Nights.

86. “Rock Around the Clock” by Bill Haley and His Comets

Song year: 1955

Blackboard Jungle was the first movie to use rock and roll for its soundtrack. Bill Haley's “Rock Around the Clock” became a number one hit after its use in the film's title sequence.

As a result, rock and roll music hit the mainstream.

85. “Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)” by Phil Collins

Song year: 1984

Phil Collins would score his first number one hit with his single for the film of the same name, “Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now).”

Though commissioned for the film, the song's inspiration came from Collins' real-life divorce. The emotional authenticity earned the song a Grammy Award.

84. “Time Warp” by Rocky Horror Picture Show Cast

Song year: 1975

“Time Warp” is a classic song from the glam rock opera The Rock Horror Picture Show.

While the movie was unsuccessful upon its release, it is now a cult classic. The film is a favorite of the midnight movie crowd, with audience members dressing up and singing along to “Time Warp.”

83. “The Goonies ‘R’ Good Enough” by Cyndi Lauper

Song year: 1985

Cyndi Lauper would hit the Billboard top ten for the fifth time in the '80s with her song for The Goonies, “The Goonies ‘R' Good Enough.”

Lauper disliked the song and left it off her first greatest hits album, though she has begun to play it live in recent years.

82. “Man of Constant Sorrow” by The Soggy Bottom Boys

Song year: 2000

As part of the Cohen brother's film O Brother, Where Art Thou? The Soggy Bottom Boys' version of the folk classic “I Am a Man of Constant Sorrow” helped spark a renewed interest in traditional American music.

The soundtrack would win a Grammy Award for Album of the Year.

81. “Pinball Wizard” by The Who ft. Elton John

Song year: 1975

It wasn't until 1975 that The Who's 1969 concept album Tommy was released as a film. In the movie version, the classic single “Pinball Wizard” is performed by Elton John.

The surreal scene from the film helped make the musical and its subsequent soundtrack a hit.

80. “The Heat is On” by Glenn Frey

Song year: 1984

Glenn Frey, a founding member of folk-rock band the Eagles, would find solo success with his song on the Beverly Hills Cop soundtrack, “The Heat Is On.”

The song would reach the second spot on the Billboard charts and become Frey's signature solo song.

79. “Aquarius” by Ren Woods

Song year: 1979

Ren Woods' rendition of “Aquarius,” the standout track from Hair, is a classic funk rendition of the hippie-era classic.

Though the Vietnam War had ended, the song and film were still well received and helped preserve the '60s counterculture for future audiences.

78. “Stay (I Missed You)” by Lisa Loeb

Song year: 1994

Ethan Hawke just so happened to be the neighbor of singer-songwriter Lisa Loeb. He pitched her song “Stay (I Missed You)” to Ben Stiller for inclusion in Reality Bites, and it became the movie's title theme.

The song topped the charts, making Loeb the first unsigned artist to do so.

77. Where Is My Mind” by Pixies

Song year: 1988

The Pixies' classic college radio track was featured in the iconic final scene of the film Fight Club, helping to bring the song to a new audience a decade after it was released.

The film would raise the band's profile, spurring a reunion at the beginning of the 2000s.

76. “Space Jam” by Quad City DJs

Song year: 1996

Quad City DJs had a busy year in 1996. They started it by releasing their classic single “C'mon N' Ride It.” They followed it up that summer with “Space Jam” for the animated Michael Jordan film.

The song would help the Space Jam soundtrack sell over six million copies.

75. “Batdance” by Prince

Song year: 1989

Prince's chaotic, eclectic dance funk track “Batdance” was the lead single for the Batman soundtrack. Prince filmed a music video for the track dressed as the Joker and Batman.

The movie was a wild success and helped the single top the charts. It was Prince's first hit single since “Kiss.”

74. “We Don’t Need Another Hero (Thunderdome)” by Tina Turner

Song year: 1985

Tina Turner pulled double duty as the star of Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome and the singer of its power ballad theme “We Don't Need Another Hero (Thunderdome).”

The song would become one of Turner's best chart performances, peaking at number two in the U.S. and topping many international charts.

73. “If You Want to Sing Out, Sing Out” by Cat Stevens

Song year: 1971

Cat Stevens wrote the song “If You Want to Sing Out, Sing Out” for the movie Harold and Maude during his Tea for the Tillerman period.

Though there was no official release of the single or the movie's soundtrack, the song became synonymous with the cult classic.

72. “Car Wash” by Rose Royce

Song year: 1976

The disco song “Car Wash” by Rose Royce topped the Billboard Hot 100 as the titular theme for the George Carlin stoner comedy.

The single's legacy has far outlasted the film, as “Car Wash” is an iconic track in the American disco crazy of the '70s.

71. “Supermodel” by Jill Sobule

Song year: 1995

Jill Sobule's ironic tale of beauty and fame, “Supermodel,” served as a mission statement for the classic teen comedy Clueless.

The movie was a huge hit and, partially due to Sobule's track, captured the '90s teenage zeitgeist. It spawned a spin-off television series and a book series.

70. “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen

Song year: 1975

Though hard rock band Queen once ruled the airwave globally, their popularity in America had waned by the late 20th century.

Thanks to an iconic scene in the film Wayne's World, the band's “Bohemian Rhapsody” re-entered the charts and sparked renewed interest in the classic rock band.

69. “Fame” by Irene Cara

Song year: 1980

Irene Cara stars in and sings the theme of the film Fame. The film concerning a performing arts high school was a surprise hit, and the song topped the Billboard dance charts.

The song won an Academy Award and garnered Cara a Grammy nomination.

68. “Unchained Melody” by The Righteous Brothers

Song year: 1965

Thanks to the steamy love scene in Ghost, twenty-five years after they first found success with the single “Unchained Melody,” The Righteous Brothers were once again on the Billboard charts.

The American Film Institute ranks the song among the 100 best used in cinema.

67. “Red Right Hand” by Nick Cave

Song year: 1994

Nick Cave's single “Red Right Hand” was released as a single years before it became synonymous with the Scream franchise.

Though it was popular in its own right, the horror films helped the gothic-tinged song from this Australian singer-songwriter become known by cinema's mainstream audiences.

66. “Glory of Love” by Peter Cetera

Song year: 1986

Peter Cetera's soaring power ballad “Glory of Love” lent an emotional weight to The Karate Kid Part II.

Cetera, formerly the lead singer of the rock band Chicago, would top the charts with the single. It would become synonymous with the Karate Kid franchise.

65. “Rock N’ Roll High School” by The Ramones

Song year: 1979

The Ramones wrote “Rock ‘n' Roll High School” for the teenage comedy of the same name.

While the movie's attempt to cash in the punk rock fad didn't set any box office records, it has become a cult classic. Thanks to The Ramones' star roles, the film is a midnight movie favorite.

64. “Halloween Theme” by John Carpenter

Song year: 1978

Halloween director John Carpenter recorded the music for his low-budget horror film out of necessity.

The minimalist piano melody written in a unique time signature is now a hallmark of the Halloween film franchise and ubiquitous to the holiday of Halloween.

63. “All Star” by Smash Mouth

Song year: 1999

While Smash Mouth didn't write their hit single “All Star” for a specific film, its inclusion in Mystery Men and Shrek catapulted it from an alternative rock song to a cultural phenomenon.

Whether you know it as a meme or from film and television, the simple fact is that you know it.

62. “That Thing You Do” by The Wonders

Song year: 1996

Power pop musician Adam Schlesinger took a break from his band Fountains of Wayne to pen the titular track for the film That Thing You Do!

The song is a blast of '60s pop perfection that, despite its retro aesthetic, managed to crack the charts globally.

61. “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” by Elton John

Song year: 1994

Elton John earned a Grammy Award and Academy Award for his The Lion King soft rock ballad “Can You Feel the Love Tonight.”

The song is a Disney favorite that has transcended The Lion King as it has become a popular wedding song.

60. “Deep Cover” by Dr. Dre ft. Snoop Dogg

Song year: 1992

Dr. Dre's “Deep Cover,” written for a film of the same name, marks the first appearance of Snoop Doggy Dogg. For this sake alone, the single is historically relevant.

The duo of Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg would go on to collaborate on some of the most influential rap tracks of all time.

59. “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” by Bob Dylan

Song year: 1973

Bob Dylan's gospel-inflected folk song “Knockin' on Heaven's Door” was written as a direct translation of a scene in the film Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid.

Dylan's simple song structure and imagery gave the song a universal quality that has made it the subject of countless covers.

58. “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” by Judy Garland

Song year: 1944

Initially written for the film Meet Me in St. Louis, “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” has become a beloved holiday standard.

The song's place in culture is undeniable as it is covered annually by hundreds of artists and has come to represent the Christmas season.

57. “When You Wish Upon a Star” by Cliff Edwards

Song year: 1940

“When You Wish Upon a Star” has become such an iconic part of Disney's brand that it's easy to forget that it started as the title song for their 1940 film Pinocchio.

Disney uses the song across all of its media platforms, helping it become synonymous with childlike wonder.

56. “I Just Called To Say I Love You” by Stevie Wonder

Song year: 1984

While The Woman in Red has faded away from the public's consciousness since its 1984 release, Stevie Wonder's song for the film, “I Just Called to Say I Love You,” remains one of his best-loved songs.

The song's international success exceeded its film counterpart, topping the charts in over 20 countries.

55. “I Got 5 On It” by Luniz (Tethered Mix)

Song year: 2019

Director Jordan Peele's horror film Us used Luniz's “I Got 5 on It” as a leitmotif throughout the movie. 

By juxtaposing horror with pop culture, Peele injects his film with an uneasy tone of nostalgia. Us began a Hollywood trend of recasting pop songs as brooding covers.

54. “Dueling Banjos” by Eric Weissberg & Steve Mandell

Song year: 1972

“Dueling Banjos” was thrust into the public's consciousness thanks to being featured in Deliverance, but the song dates back to the mid-'50s.

The song shot up the charts thanks to its iconic scene in the movie and introduced the mainstream to the traditional sounds of bluegrass music.

53. “Oh Yeah” by Yello

Song year: 1985

Swiss duo Yello's song for Ferris Bueller's Day Off, “Oh Yeah,” is one of the oddest tracks ever used in a film.

Their minimalist electronica fit in well with new wave of the '80s. Added to the unique qualities of the Ferris Bueller character, the song made perfect sense.

52. “Let It Go” by Idina Menzel

Song year: 2013

“Let It Go,” the power ballad from Disney's Frozen, became the first top ten hit for the company since Pocahontas' “Colors of the Wind.”

The single's sweeping sentimentality and performance have garnered critical accolades, and the track quickly became an integral part of the canon of classic Disney songs.

51. “Gangsta’s Paradise” by Coolio ft. L.V.

“Gangsta’s Paradise” by Coolio ft. L.V.

Song year: 1995

The Michelle Pfeiffer film Dangerous Minds was a surprise box-office hit, thanks in part to the success of Coolio's “Gangsta's Paradise.” The single was the best seller of 1995 and met with much critical acclaim.

The music video featured Pfeiffer as her character in the film.

50. “Goldfinger” by Shirley Bassey

Song year: 1964

Shirley Bassey's vocal for Goldfinger‘s theme is one of the most iconic James Bond themes ever.

Thanks to Bassey's powerful vocal performance, the single was a platinum seller. It is part of the Grammy Hall of Fame and AFI's 100 Years… 100 Songs survey at number 53.

49. “Playground Love” by Air

Song year: 1999

Sofia Coppola's The Virgin Suicides is a contemplative and moody meditation on childhood that marked the arrival of a new auteur.

Air's score, particularly their track “Playground Love,” is the perfect counterpart to Coppola's aesthetic and pacing. The band's sultry take on smooth jazz is astoundingly lush and subversive.

48. “I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing” by Aerosmith

Song year: 1999

“I Don't Want to Miss a Thing” was initially written for a powerful big-voiced Diva for the film Armageddon.

It would be difficult to imagine the song now without Aerosmith's hard rock stamp. The song is an iconic update of the traditional movie power ballad and became a number one hit.

47. “Oh, Pretty Woman” by Roy Orbison

Song year: 1964

The classic romantic comedy Pretty Woman takes its name from the Roy Orbison song “Oh, Pretty Woman.”

The use of Orbison serves as an interesting juxtaposition for the film's dark, modern tone. The movie thrust the iconic Sun Records singer into a career renaissance.

46. “Gonna Fly Now” by Bill Conti

Song year: 1977

Bill Conti's iconic Rocky theme song has become an indelible part of the city of Philadelphia and sports at large.

“Gonna Fly Now” can be heard blaring from stadium PA systems across the world and has secured Rocky‘s place in the fabric of pop culture.

45. “Shallow” by Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper

Song year: 2018

The theme from Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga's remake of A Star Is Born, “Shallow,” became a globe-spanning number one hit. The single won multiple Grammy Awards, a Golden Globe, and two Academy Awards.

Many critics consider “Shallow” to be the best movie song ever.

44. “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina” by Madonna

Song year: 1996

Madonna's single from the film adaptation of the Broadway show Evita, “Don't Cry for me Argentina,” earned the Queen of Pop rave reviews.

Madonna has made her four-decade career by defying expectations, and her operatic star-turn is another example of her mercurial talent.

43. “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You” by Bryan Adams

Song year: 1991

Bryan Adams' single for Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, “(Everything I Do) I Do It for You,” was an international chart smash.

This classic power ballad topped the charts in 19 countries. The single stayed at the number one spot in the U.K. for 16 consecutive weeks. The feat is still unmatched.

42. “A Hard Day’s Night” by The Beatles

Song year: 1964

With its iconic opening chord, the Beatles‘ “A Hard Day's Night” shot to the top of the U.S. and U.K. charts.

As the title theme for the Fab Four's nod to film noir, the single is of great significance to the music and film industry.

41. “Ghostbusters” by Ray Parker Jr.

Song year: 1984

Ray Parker Jr.'s iconic theme for Ghostbusters became a Billboard chart-topper in 1984.

The music video, which played heavily on the fledgling MTV, featured celebrity cameos from Chevy Chase, John Candy, and Dany Devito. The single and music video helped Ghostbusters become the top film in the country.

40. “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” by Randy Newman

Song year: 1995

Legendary singer-songwriter Randy Newman is no stranger to composing music for films, but no one could have predicted the runaway success of his theme for Toy Story, “You've Got a Friend in Me.”

The song has been used in every installment of the franchise, becoming synonymous with Pixar and childhood.

39. “Everything is Awesome” by Tegan and Sara ft. The Lonely Island

Song year: 2014

The inescapably catchy and upbeat single “Everything Is Awesome” from The Lego Movie is a modern classic that eschews the typical animated movie power ballad for a synth-pop sound.

Indie artists Tegan and Sara team up with comedy group The Lonely Island for this hipster kid movie banger.

38. “Hakuna Matata” by Nathan Lane, Ernie Sabella, Jason Weaver, & Joseph Williams

Song year: 1994

Stemming from a Swahili phrase, Disney's Lion King showstopper “Hakuna Matata” has become a favorite song for generations of children.

The song's catchy melody and carefree lyrics are comedically insightful and helped the film become one of the highest-grossing animated features of all time.

37. “Kiss From a Rose” by Seal

Song year: 1994

Seal's classic '90s track “Kiss from a Rose” first saw the light of day as a single from his album Seal II.  

It was then included on the soundtrack to The Neverending Story III and most famously a year later on the Batman Forever soundtrack.

36. “Live and Let Die” by Wings

Song year: 1973

The first James Bond theme ever nominated for an Academy Award, Paul McCartney and Wings' “Live and Let Die” has become a signature song of Sir Paul's long and illustrious career.

The single has received over four million plays in the U.S.

35. “Danger Zone” by Kenny Loggins

Song year: 1986

Initially written for Toto, legal disputes between the band and the producers of Top Gun led to Kenny Loggins' performance of “Danger Zone.”

This era-defining hit single would help the Top Gun soundtrack become one of the best-selling soundtracks ever.

34. “When Doves Cry” by Prince

Song year: 1984

Prince wrote “When Doves Cry” for a specific scene in the movie Purple Rain. The song was the lead single off his album Purple Rain and became his first number-one single.

Now considered one of the best songs ever, the track cemented Prince's place as a pop icon of the '80s.

33. “Men in Black” by Will Smith

Song year: 1997

“Men in Black” was Will Smith's first solo without DJ Jazzy Jeff. The song was an international chart-topper that helped Men in Black spawn a movie franchise.

The track is on Smith's debut solo album, Big Willie Style, helping the record sell over nine million copies.

32. “Wind Beneath My Wings” by Bette Midler

Song year: 1988

Bette Midler won two Grammy Awards for her theme from Beaches, “Wind Beneath My Wings.” The song and film are tear-jerkers thanks to Middler's singing and acting.

“Wind Beneath My Wings” has become part of the canon of emotionally-charged ballads and is the subject of many parodies and covers.

31. “Lady Marmalade” by Christina Aguilera, Pink, Lil Kim, Mya, & Missy Elliott

Song year: 2001

A who's who of early 21st-century pop music, Christina Aguilera, Mya, Pink, and Lil' Kim perform the Missy Elliott produced “Lady Marmalade.” 

This R&B cover of the '70s disco classic is featured in the jukebox musical Moulin Rouge! It would top the Billboard charts for five straight weeks.

30. “Old Time Rock and Roll” by Bob Seger

Song year: 1979

Initially released in 1979, Bob Seger's “Old Time Rock and Roll” was featured in the 1983 film Risky Business in a now-iconic scene featuring Tom Cruise dancing in his underwear.

The scene and song are synonymous, becoming a much referenced and parodied image from the '80s.

29. “9 to 5” by Dolly Parton

Song year: 1980

Dolly Parton's Billboard chart-topping feminist anthem “9 to 5” has become synonymous with female and worker empowerment.

Written for the film of the same name, the multi-talented Parton is also one of the movie's stars. The film spawned a Broadway musical and television adaptation.

28. “Mrs. Robinson” by Simon & Garfunkel

Song year: 1967

Written for The Graduate, Simon and Garfunkel's “Mrs. Robinson” is one of the duo's signature songs.

The single became a number one hit for the duo and was the first rock song to win a Grammy Award for Song of the Year.

27. “Fight the Power” by Public Enemy

Song year: 1989

Public Enemy wrote “Fight the Power” for Spike Lee's classic film Do the Right Thing. Used in Rose Perez's iconic dance sequence, the song would become a pop hit.

The single and the movie are some of the greatest works in their respective art forms.

26. “Up Where We Belong” by Joe Cocker & Jennifer Warnes

Song year: 1982

Joe Cocker's gritty delivery and Jennifer Warnes' smooth croon in “Up Where We Belong” are analogs for the romance in the film An Officer and a Gentleman.

Though studio executives were hesitant to use the track, it became a massive success, topping the charts and winning several awards.

25. “Rebel Rebel” by Seu Jorge

Song year: 2004

Brazillian singer-songwriter Seu Jorge was tapped by auteur Wes Anderson to cover several David Bowie songs for the film The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou.

Jorge's Portuguese language performances gave the film a unique flavor that added to its status as a cult classic.

24. “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor

Song year: 1982

Survivor wrote “Eye of the Tiger” for Rocky III after Queen refused to let Sylvester Stallone use “Another One Bites the Dust.”

The song became a number one single across the globe, selling millions of copies. It is now synonymous with sporting events.

23. “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” by Simple Minds

Song year: 1985

While Simple Minds was reluctant to record the single “Don't You (Forget About Me),” the popularity of The Breakfast Club helped propel the song to the top of the Billboard charts.

The song is now an iconic part of the John Hughes' “brat pack” films of the '80s.

22. “Over the Rainbow” by Judy Garland

Song year: 1939

The pure longing of Judy Garland's performance as Dorothy singing “Over the Rainbow” in The Wizard of Oz has captivated audiences for over eight decades.

The American Film Institute named it the best movie song ever. The song's legacy continues through countless contemporary covers.

21. “Stayin’ Alive” by The Bee Gees

Song year: 1977

Considered one of the best songs ever, “Stayin' Alive” expertly captures the sound of the '70s.

Saturday Night Fever‘s disco soundtrack helped the film capture audience's imaginations across the world. The box-office smash also helped propel the Bee Gees into the second phase of their recording career.

20. “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” by Julie Andrews & Dick Van Dyke

Song year: 1964

Dick Van Dyke and Julie Andrews perform the nonsensical “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” so convincingly that you'd almost think it was a real word.

Generations have grown up loving Disney's Mary Poppins, no doubt thanks to this imaginative song's catchy melody and childish wordplay.

19. “America” by Rita Moreno & George Chakiris

Song year: 1961

West Side Story‘s “America” is an ironically catchy song about the immigrant experience in the U.S.

Hollywood's adaptation of the Broadway musical brought the song to a broader audience, and since “America” has been covered and parodied countless times, becoming an enduring song of hope and critique.

18. “Footloose” by Kenny Loggins

Song year: 1984

Kenny Loggins scored a Billboard number one hit with his titular song for the film Footloose.

Loggins would record several highly successful songs for soundtracks in the '80s, but none are as synonymous with the era as this blast of feel-good pop.

17. “My Heart Will Go On” by Celine Dion

Song year: 1997

Selling over 18 million copies and topping the charts in over 20 countries, Celine Dion's “My Heart Will Go On” is one of the most successful songs ever.

The song's success was due in part to Titanic‘s record-breaking billion-dollar box-office gross.

16. “Jailhouse Rock” by Elvis Presley

Song year: 1957

Elvis' “Jailhouse Rock” is one of the most famous rock and roll songs ever in film.

The song's influence has been felt throughout generations thanks to The King's passionate delivery of the song's comedic lyrics and the iconic dance scene from the film Jailhouse Rock.

15. “Born to Be Wild” by Steppenwolf

Song year: 1969

Easy Rider was an independent '60s film that explored countercultural themes while setting the stage for the gritty wave of '70s cinema.

The film's use of Steppenwolf's “Born to Be Wild” aligned it with the counterculture and simultaneously brought proto-heavy metal to the mainstream.

14. “Theme From Shaft” by Isaac Hayes

Song year: 1971

Isaac Hayes became the first Black musician to win the Academy Award for Best Original Song with “Theme From Shaft.”

As one of America's earliest examples of disco, the song topped the Billboard Hot 100 and became an iconic song of the '70s.

13. “Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be) by Doris Day

Song year: 1956

Doris Day's most enduring song, “Que Sera Sera,” was first featured in the Alfred Hitchcock movie The Man Who Knew Too Much.

Day would go on to perform the song in several other films and albums, weaving the track into the cultural fabric of the 20th century.

12. “Summer Nights” by John Travolta & Olivia Newton-John

Song year: 1978

John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John had a worldwide hit with their single from Grease, “Summer Nights.”

Adapted for the screen from a Broadway musical, the song's ode to teenage love and 1950s nostalgia captivated filmgoers and radio DJs alike. Dozens of covers have cemented the song's pop culture legacy.

11. “Puttin’ on the Ritz” by Gene Wilder and Peter Boyle

Song year: 1974

Mel Brooks' use of the 1920s composition “Puttin' on the Ritz” for Young Frankenstein, his parody of classic horror films, was a masterstroke.

Gene Wilder and Frankenstein singing this Irving Berlin composition is comedic gold and has become a classic film moment in its own right.

10. “I’m Easy” by Keith Carradine

Song year: 1975

Director Robert Altman's classic country musical Nashville revolves around several musical performances, but none are as arresting as Keith Carradine's performance of “I'm Easy.”

Carradine also stars in the film, and the scene where he plays “I'm Easy” masterfully shows his character's womanizing ways.

9. “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” by Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes

Song year: 1987

Bill Medley of The Righteous Brothers and Jennifer Warnes topped the charts with their duet from Dirty Dancing, “(I've Had) The Time of My Life.”

The song won every conceivable accolade and, along with Dirty Dancing, has become synonymous with the '80s. Nobody puts this song in a corner!

8. “Streets of Philadelphia” by Bruce Springsteen

Song year: 1993

Bruce Springsteen's song for the film Philadelphia, one of the earliest mainstream films concerning HIV/AIDS, is a moving track that won a Grammy, ASCAP, Golden Globe, and Acadamy Awards.

The song's role in a film that helped change the public's view of HIV/AIDS is important on a socially historic scale.

7. “Suicide Is Painless” by Johnny Mandel

Song year: 1970

M*A*S*H director Robert Altman wanted the lyrics to the theme for his film to be “stupid.” Unsatisfied with his own attempts, Altman had his teenage son write the words.

While the resulting obtuse lyrics seem nonsensical, they struck a chord with audiences. The song topped the U.K. charts.

6. “Do-Re-Mi” by Julie Andrews

Song year: 1965

The Sound of Music, based on the Rodgers and Hammerstein play of the same name, became the highest-grossing film ever upon its release.

As part of one of the highest regarded musicals ever, the song “Do-Re-Mi” has become ubiquitous in culture. It remains a favorite for teaching and vocal warmups.

5. “I Will Always Love You” by Whitney Houston

Song year: 1992

At the suggestion of her co-star Kevin Costner, Whitney Houston recorded a revamped arrangement of Dolly Parton's “I Will Always Love You” for The Bodyguard soundtrack.

The single became the signature song of Houston's career. It topped the charts, garnered her a Grammy Award, and is in the National Recording Registry.

4. “Flashdance… What a Feeling” by Irene Cara

Song year: 1983

“Flashdance… What a Feeling” won a Grammy Award and an Academy award while topping the Billboard charts for six weeks. Produced by disco pioneer Giorgio Moroder, the song incorporates disco and hi-NRG rhythms with 80s-style synthesizers.

Used in Flashdance‘s iconic last scene, the song secured its place in the canon of film music.

3. “Everybody’s Talkin’” by Harry Nilsson

Song year: 1969

Harry Nilsson's cover of Fred Neil's song “Everybody's Talkin'” is synonymous with Midnight Cowboy. Both the film and soundtrack were critically acclaimed.

Midnight Cowboy won the Academy Award for Best Picture, the first and only X-rated film to do so, while “Everybody's Talkin'” won a Grammy Award.

2. “Rainbow Connection” by Kermit the Frog

Song year: 1979

“Rainbow Connection” is performed by Jim Henson as Kermit the Frog in the 1979 film The Muppet Movie

Inspired by Pinocchio‘s “When You Wish Upon a Star,” the song is an enduring part of The Muppets' legacy and millions of childhoods. It is in the National Recording Registry.

1. “Lose Yourself” by Eminem

Song year: 2002

Eminem topped the Billboard charts with “Lose Yourself,” the rap track he wrote for the film 8 Mile. The movie and song are semi-autobiographical accounts of Eminem's rise through the hip-hop ranks.

Many have named it one of the best songs ever. It also won an Academy Award.

Best Movie Songs Of All Time, Final Thoughts

Whether it plays behind a training montage or a dance sequence, the power of music helps bring the stories we see on the movie screen to life. This relationship between song and cinema is why many of our favorite Hollywood moments have unforgettable soundtracks.

For film buffs and music fans alike, we hope our list of the best movie songs ever reminded you of the magic pairing of movies and music.

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