Everyone thinks the Oscars are only for the actors and actresses of Hollywood, but they forget there are so many other departments that lead to other celebrities earning themselves an Academy Award. In this case, singers. While majority of these awards have been won through the Best Original Song or Best Music (Original Score), there are a few who have received the Oscar for other categories. Which is what we will be diving into for this list, those few singers who have managed to make the move from music to movies. Many of these vocal performers have Grammy’s, these are the ones who have Oscars.
Film: Wonder Boys (2000)
Song: Things Have Changed
Receiving the award in 2001, a film starring Michael Douglas playing as an English professor consistently putting himself in poor situations. When he is caught having an affair with his employers wife, he is let go from his job. At the same time he is attempting to create a follow up novel to his first successful book, but is having a writers block and is unable to finish the book. Later he gives up and makes the decision to enjoy the rest of his summer smoking marijuana. Dylan was competing against returning award winner Randy Newman and also the talents of Sting. When Dylan earned the award, he was touring through Australia. He accepted the award and preformed the song through satellite.
Film: Philadelphia (1993)
Song: Streets of Philadelphia
Those who are unaware of the of the Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington film Philadelphia, it might be one of the biggest snubs in Hollywood. Hanks played a gay man with HIV who is fired from his job for his condition, he hires Washington who is homophobic lawyer to defend him. A film with a deeper meaning behind it, one that makes you rethink your morals and standards. Springsteen managed to win his award for Best Original Song alongside Tom Hanks win for Best Actor. Two years later he was nominated again for his song Dead Man Walking in the film of the same name.
Film: Tarzan (1999)
Song: You’ll Be in My Heart
The Disney hit of 1999, surrounding the tale of the man raised by apes. Lost in the jungle as a baby, he is found by a group of apes and raised to live among them. When a group of explorers discover Tarzan, he becomes intrigued by them as much as they do in him. Now Tarzan must make the decision between staying with his gorilla family or leave with the explorers to uncover more of his human roots. The song written and performed by Phil Collins was a representation of the relationship between Tarzan and his mother Kala. Third time is the charm for Collins, he was nominated in Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now) from Against All Odds in 1985 and Two Hearts from Buster in 1989 before finally winning for his third nomination.
Film: The Woman in Red (1984)
Song: I Just Called to Say I Love You
In The Woman in Red directed by Gene Wilder, Wilder also stars as Theodore Pierce. A man with everything he could ask for in life with a good wife, kids, friends and fine job. When one day he comes across a beautiful woman in red and becomes obsessed with her, making it his mission to have her. Stevie Wonder received his first nomination and win for his song he wrote and performed. Beating out other incredible nominations such as Footloose by Kenny Loggins and Ghostbusters by Ray Parker Jr. The film is a remake of a French film called Pardon Mon Affaire in 1976.
Film: Selma (2014)
Most known for his successful rap career, Common eventually made the move over too film with his major appearances in movies such as Smokin’ Aces, Wanted and John Wick: Chapter 2. Eventually he put his music and film career’s together to craft a song for the movie Selma, following the story of Martin Luther King Jr. and his influence on society. Written and performed with collaborator John Legend, both artist received an Academy Award in 2015 for crafting a powerful song about pride and strength. Despite the lack of competition that year, this song still could have stood up against some of the best previous winners.
Film: Spectre (2015)
Song: Writings on the Wall
The second 007 film directed by Sam Mendes as the success of Skyfall, came with a second academy award as well for Best Original Song. Spectre brings back Daniel Craig as James Bond, as he uncover a secret message from his past that will lead to the unraveling of a secret organization and the part its played in his pain through his last couple missions. Smith and collaborator Jimmy Napes wrote the song together, a song that wraps up the premise of the film. A song about pain from the past and the way it affects him today. Smith beat out other popular nominated songs and singers including Lady Gaga’s Til It Happens to You from The Hunting Ground and Earned It by the Weeknd from Fifty Shades of Grey.
Three 6 Mafia
Film: Hustle & Flow (2005)
Song: Hard Out Here for a Pimp
Directed by Craig Brewer and starring Terrence Howard, Hustle & Flow follows Howard as an aspiring DJ attempting to try and make a career for himself as a Hip-Hop artist. However, the people around him are attempting to bring him down and prevent him from accomplishing his goal. It’s rare for a rap song to be nominated for an Academy Award, let alone win it. But in this case it ended up working out for Juicy J, Cedric Coleman and DJ Paul at the 78th Academy Awards. With only two other nominations, one of them including Dolly Parton. The rap group Three 6 Mafia became one of the pioneers in establishing rap as more than music, but a powerful story through lyrics.
Film: A Star is Born (2018)
Lady Gaga’s second nomination, but her first win. The fourth reiteration of A Star is Born, once again swept the Oscars with eight nominations including Best Actress for Gaga, Best Actor for Bradley Cooper and Best Picture. Winning only just one award for Best Original song for Gaga and co-writers Mark Ronson, Anthony Rossomando and Andrew Wyatt. Honorably Shallow came out on top beating All the Stars by Kendrick Lamar and SZA from Black Panther and The Place Where Things Go by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman from Mary Poppins Returns. From renowned popstar to Academy Award winner, Gaga has proven herself to be more than just a pop artist.
Film: 8 Mile (2002)
Song: Lose Yourself
A massive upset during the 75th Academy Awards when controversial rapper Marshall Mathers won the award for Best Original Song with his instant classic Lose Yourself. While the rest of the film was snubbed with nominations, it still became an important and triumphant moment for rap. Loosely based on Marshall Mathers life growing up in the ghetto of Chicago, 8 Mile is an emotional story as Eminem plays Jimmy Smith trying to make a life for himself as a rapper. Beating out other nominations from esteemed films who usually take on the award such as Gangs of New York and Chicago.
Film: Skyfall (2012)
After 24 films and a unique musical theme with each movie, Skyfall became the first one to win an Academy Award for best original song. As mentioned earlier, Spectre managed to become the second 007 film to win the same award. However, it was Adele who first showcased just how effective a song from a Jame Bond movie can be. The song follows the same beats as the film, telling a story about what seems to be the conclusion of our favorite 007 agent. Even after the success of all her hit songs from her memorable albums, when you thought she was already a force to be reckoned with after winning bundles of Grammy awards, she proves herself even further as one of the greatest voices from this generation with a beautifully crafted song and Oscar to back it up.