Academy Award for Best Original Song

Motion picture award for music

The Academy Award for Best Original Song is one of the awards given every year by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). It is given to the songwriters who write the best original song specifically for a movie. Only songs that are "original and written specifically for the motion picture" can win.[1]

The award category was first given at the 7th Academy Awards. That ceremony was for 1934 movies. Nominations are made by Academy members who are songwriters and composers. All Academy members vote for the winner.

List of winners and nomineesEdit




Year Winning songwriter(s) Nominees
1950 "Mona Lisa" – Captain Carey, U.S.A.
– Music and Lyrics: Ray Evans and Jay Livingston
1951 "In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening" – Here Comes the Groom
– Music: Hoagy Carmichael • Lyrics: Johnny Mercer
1952 "High Noon (Do Not Forsake Me, Oh My Darlin')" – High Noon
– Music: Dimitri Tiomkin • Lyrics: Ned Washington
1953 "Secret Love" – Calamity Jane
– Music: Sammy Fain • Lyrics: Paul Francis Webster
1954 "Three Coins in the Fountain" – Three Coins in the Fountain
– Music: Jule Styne • Lyrics: Sammy Cahn
1955 "Love Is a Many Splendored Thing" – Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing
– Music: 'Sammy Fain • Lyrics: Paul Francis Webster
1956 "Whatever Will Be, Will Be (Qué Será, Será)" – The Man Who Knew Too Much
– Music and lyrics: Jay Livingston and Ray Evans
1957 "All the Way" – The Joker Is Wild
– Music: Jimmy Van Heusen • Lyrics: Sammy Cahn
1958 "Gigi" – Gigi
– Music: Frederick Loewe • Lyrics: Alan Jay Lerner
1959 "High Hopes" – A Hole in the Head
– Music: Jimmy Van Heusen • Lyrics: Sammy Cahn


Year Winning songwriter(s) Nominees
1960 "Never on Sunday" – Never on Sunday
– Music and lyrics: Manos Hadjidakis
1961 "Moon River" – Breakfast at Tiffany's
– Music: Henry Mancini • Lyrics: Johnny Mercer
1962 "Days of Wine and Roses" – Days of Wine and Roses
– Music: Henry Mancini • Lyrics: Johnny Mercer
1963 "Call Me Irresponsible" – Papa's Delicate Condition
– Music: Jimmy Van Heusen • Lyrics: Sammy Cahn
1964 "Chim Chim Cher-ee" – Mary Poppins
– Music and lyrics: Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman
1965 "The Shadow of Your Smile" – The Sandpiper
– Music: Johnny Mandel • Lyrics: Paul Francis Webster
1966 "Born Free" – Born Free
– Music: John Barry • Lyrics: Don Black
1967 "Talk to the Animals" – Doctor Dolittle
– Music and lyrics: Leslie Bricusse
1968 "The Windmills of Your Mind" – The Thomas Crown Affair
– Music: Michel Legrand • Lyrics: Alan Bergman and Marilyn Bergman
1969 "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head" – Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
– Music: Burt Bacharach • Lyrics: Hal David


Year Winning songwriter(s) Nominees
1970 "For All We Know" – Lovers and Other Strangers
– Music: Fred Karlin • Lyrics: Robb Royer and Jimmy Griffin
1971 "Theme from Shaft" – Shaft
– Music and Lyrics: Isaac Hayes
1972 "The Morning After" – The Poseidon Adventure
– Music and Lyrics: Al Kasha and Joel Hirschhorn
1973 "The Way We Were" – The Way We Were
– Music: Marvin Hamlisch • Lyrics: Alan Bergman and Marilyn Bergman
1974 "We May Never Love Like This Again" – The Towering Inferno
– Music and Lyrics: Al Kasha and Joel Hirschhorn
1975 "I'm Easy" – Nashville
– Music and Lyrics: Keith Carradine
1976 "Evergreen (Love Theme from A Star Is Born)" – A Star Is Born
– Music: Barbra Streisand • Lyrics: Paul Williams
1977 "You Light Up My Life" – You Light Up My Life
– Music and Lyrics: Joseph Brooks
1978 "Last Dance" – Thank God It’s Friday
– Music and Lyrics: Paul Jabara
1979 "It Goes Like It Goes" – Norma Rae
– Music: David Shire • Lyrics: Norman Gimbel


Year Winning songwriter(s) Nominees
1980 "Fame" – Fame
– Music: Michael Gore • Lyrics: Dean Pitchford
1981 "Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do)" – Arthur
– Music and Lyrics: Burt Bacharach, Carole Bayer Sager, Christopher Cross and Peter Allen
1982 "Up Where We Belong" – An Officer and a Gentleman
– Music: Jack Nitzsche and Buffy Sainte-Marie • Lyrics: Will Jennings
1983 "Flashdance... What a Feeling" – Flashdance
– Music: Giorgio Moroder • Lyrics: Keith Forsey and Irene Cara
1984 "I Just Called to Say I Love You" – The Woman in Red
– Music and Lyrics: Stevie Wonder
1985 "Say You, Say Me" – White Nights
– Music and Lyrics: Lionel Richie
1986 "Take My Breath Away" – Top Gun
– Music: Giorgio Moroder • Lyrics: Tom Whitlock
1987 "(I've Had) The Time of My Life" – Dirty Dancing
– Music: Franke Previte, John DeNicola and Donald Markowitz • Lyrics: Franke Previte
1988 "Let the River Run" – Working Girl
– Music and Lyrics: Carly Simon
1989 "Under the Sea" – The Little Mermaid
– Music: Alan Menken • Lyrics: Howard Ashman


Year Winning songwriter(s) Nominees
1990 "Sooner or Later (I Always Get My Man)" – Dick Tracy
– Music and Lyrics: Stephen Sondheim
1991 "Beauty and the Beast" – Beauty and the Beast
– Music: Alan Menken • Lyrics: Howard Ashman (posthumous recognition)
1992 "A Whole New World" – Aladdin
– Music: Alan Menken • Lyrics: Tim Rice
1993 "Streets of Philadelphia" – Philadelphia
– Music and Lyrics: Bruce Springsteen
1994 "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" – The Lion King
– Music: Elton John • Lyrics: Tim Rice
1995 "Colors of the Wind" – Pocahontas
– Music: Alan Menken • Lyrics: Stephen Schwartz
1996 "You Must Love Me" – Evita
– Music: Andrew Lloyd Webber • Lyrics: Tim Rice
1997 "My Heart Will Go On" – Titanic
– Music: James Horner • Lyrics: Will Jennings
1998 "When You Believe" – The Prince of Egypt
– Music and Lyrics: Stephen Schwartz
1999 "You'll Be in My Heart" – Tarzan
– Music and Lyrics: Phil Collins


Year Winning songwriter(s) Nominees
2000 "Things Have Changed" – Wonder Boys
– Music and Lyrics: Bob Dylan
2001 "If I Didn't Have You" – Monsters, Inc.
– Music and Lyrics: Randy Newman
2002 "Lose Yourself" – 8 Mile
– Music: Eminem, Jeff Bass, and Luis Resto • Lyrics: Eminem
2003 "Into the West" – The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
– Music and Lyrics: Fran Walsh, Howard Shore, and Annie Lennox
2004 "Al otro lado del río" – The Motorcycle Diaries
– Music and Lyrics: Jorge Drexler
2005 "It's Hard out Here for a Pimp" – Hustle & Flow
– Music and Lyrics: Juicy J, Frayser Boy and DJ Paul
2006 "I Need to Wake Up" – An Inconvenient Truth
– Music and Lyrics: Melissa Etheridge
2007 "Falling Slowly" – Once
– Music and Lyrics: Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová
2008 "Jai Ho" – Slumdog Millionaire
– Music: A. R. Rahman • Lyrics: Gulzar
2009 "The Weary Kind" – Crazy Heart
– Music and Lyrics: Ryan Bingham and T-Bone Burnett


Year Winning songwriter(s) Nominees
2010 "We Belong Together" – Toy Story 3
– Music and Lyrics: Randy Newman
2011 "Man or Muppet" – The Muppets
– Music and Lyrics: Bret McKenzie
2012 "Skyfall" – Skyfall
– Music and Lyrics: Adele and Paul Epworth
2013 "Let It Go" – Frozen
– Music and Lyrics: Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez

Note: A nomination for "Alone Yet Not Alone" from the movie of the same name, written by Bruce Broughton and Dennis Spiegel, was revoked prior to voting when the Academy concluded that Broughton's request "For Your Consideration" was inconsistent with promotional regulations.[2]

2014 "Glory" – Selma
– Music and Lyrics: John Legend and Common
2015 "Writing's on the Wall" – Spectre
– Music and Lyrics: Jimmy Napes and Sam Smith


  1. "88th Academy Awards of Merit; Rule Fifteen: Special Rules for the Music Awards" (PDF). Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 2016-04-21.
  2. Feinberg, Scott (January 29, 2014), "Academy Disqualifies Oscar-Nominated Song 'Alone Yet Not Alone'", The Hollywood Reporter