The Highest-Charting Hit Win the Best Original Song Oscar

This year, Justin Timberlake’s Trollssoundtrack smash “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” is in contention for best original song at the Academy Awards,becoming the 41st No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 to be Oscar-nominated. It’s easily the biggest chart hit of the songs nominated this year, with the only other song to even hit the Hot 100 so far being “How Far I’ll Go,” from Moana, which has peaked thusfar at No. 41 for Auli’i Cravalho (and No. 56 for Alessia Cara’s version).

But how often is chart success a predictive measure of Oscar gold? To figure that out, we looked back at every group of Oscar nominees since 1959 — the first ceremonies after the introduction of the Hot 100 — and found the chart history for each nominated song, to determine how often the highest-charting hit won, and how often the winning song was a Hot 100 hit at all.

As it turns out, of the 57 Oscars that have taken place since the ’59 ceremonies, 20 of them have seen the highest-charting Hot 100 hit among nominees win the award, while 28 of them have been won by a lower-charting hit. (We only counted peak placement from before the Oscars in question, with ties among multiple No. 1 hits broken by number of weeks on top. In cases of non-No. 1 shared Hot 100 peaks, or of No. 1 hits sharing the same number of weeks on top, the tie went to the Oscar-winner.)

What about the other nine ceremonies? Well, there were nine years when none of the songs nominated had charted on the Hot 100 at all, thus making it an inconclusive draw. Remarkably, with the lone exception of 1976, each of those years have come in the 21st century: Starting at the 2000 Oscars, eight of the next 12 years saw an entire field of best original song nominees that hadn’t hit the Hot 100, including every year from 2007 to 2011. (Note: Oscar years are taken from the year of the movies nominated, not the year of the actual ceremonies were held, so this year’s Oscars are considerd to be 2016.)

Three times, a song that hadn’t yet charted at all on the Hot 100 beat a song that had already hit No. 1: In 1975 (“I’m Easy” from Nashville, which eventually peaked at No. 17 for Keith Carradine, beat “Theme From Mahogany (Do You Know Where You’re Going To),” a No. 1 for Diana Ross), 1988 (“Let the River Run” from Working Girl, which hit No. 49 after the ceremonies for Carly Simon, beat “Two Hearts” fromBuster, a Phil Collins No. 1) and in 1990 (“Sooner or Later (I Always Get My Man)” from Dick Tracy, sung by Madonna, beat “Blaze of Glory,” from Young Guns II, a No. 1 for Jon Bon Jovi).

In all, 14 winners of best original song had already hit No. 1 by the time of their win. 23 of them were already top 10 hits, 32 of them were top 40 hits, and 35 of them were Hot 100 hits. Of the 22 songs that hadn’t hit the Hot 100 by the time of their Oscars, nine of them did after, including two — “Evergreen (Love Theme From A Star Is Born)” from A Star Is Born in 1976, and “The Morning After” from The Poseidon Adventure in 1972 — that eventually hit No. 1, for Barbra Streisand and Maureen McGovern, respectively.

Read on for the winners and the highest-charting songs of every Oscars year since 1959. (Please note that the artists listed for these hits were the artists responsible the highest-charting version of the song on the Hot 100 at the time of that year’s ceremonies, and were not necessarily nominated for the Oscar themselves — as best original song is an award for songwriters, not performers.)

1959

Best Original Song Winner: “High Hopes,” A Hole in the Head
Highest-Peaking Hot 100 Hit at Time of Oscars: Frank Sinatra, “High Hopes” (No. 30)

1960

Best Original Song Winner: “Never on Sunday,” Never on Sunday
Highest-Peaking Hot 100 Hit at Time of Oscars: Don Costa, “Never on Sunday” (No. 19)

1961

Best Original Song Winner: “Moon River,” Breakfast at Tiffany’s
Highest-Peaking Hot 100 Hit at Time of Oscars: Jerry Butler, “Moon River” (No. 11)

1962

Best Original Song Winner: “Days of Wine and Roses,” Days of Wine and Roses
Highest-Peaking Hot 100 Hit at Time of Oscars: Henry Mancini and His Orchestra, “Days of Wine and Roses” (No. 33)

1963

Best Original Song Winner: “Call Me Irresponsible,” Papa’s Delicate Condition
Highest-Peaking Hot 100 Hit at Time of Oscars: Jimmy Smith, “Walk on the Wild Side,” Walk on the Wild Side (No. 21)

1964

Best Original Song Winner: “Chim Chim Cher-ee,” Mary Poppins
Highest-Peaking Hot 100 Hit at Time of Oscars: Andy Williams, “Dear Heart,” Dear Heart (No. 24)

1965

Best Original Song Winner: “The Shadow of Your Smile,” The Sandpiper
Highest-Peaking Hot 100 Hit at Time of Oscars: Tom Jones, “What’s New Pussycat,”What’s New Pussycat (No. 3)

1966

Best Original Song Winner: “Born Free,” Born Free
Highest-Peaking Hot 100 Hit at Time of Oscars: The Seekers, “Georgy Girl,” Georgy Girl (No. 2)

1967

Best Original Song Winner: “Talk to the Animals,” Dr. Doolittle
Highest-Peaking Hot 100 Hit at Time of Oscars: Dusty Springfield, “The Look of Love,” Casino Royale (No. 22)

1968

Best Original Song Winner: “The Windmills of Your Mind,” The Thomas Crown Affair
Highest-Peaking Hot 100 Hit at Time of Oscars: Paul Mauriat, “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang,” Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (No. 76)

1969

Best Original Song Winner: “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head,” Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
Highest-Peaking Hot 100 Hit at Time of Oscars: B.J. Thomas, “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head” (No. 1, 4 weeks)

1970

Best Original Song Winner: “For All We Know,” Lovers and Other Strangers
Highest-Peaking Hot 100 Hit at Time of Oscars: The Carpenters, “For All We Know” (No. 3)

1971

Best Original Song Winner: “Theme From Shaft,” Shaft
Highest-Peaking Hot 100 Hit at Time of Oscars: Isaac Hayes, “Theme From Shaft” (No. 1, 2 weeks)

1972

Best Original Song Winner: “The Morning After,” The Poseidon Adventure
Highest-Peaking Hot 100 Hit at Time of Oscars: Michael Jackson, “Ben,” Ben (No. 1, 1 week)

1973

Best Original Song Winner: “The Way We Were,” The Way We Were
Highest-Peaking Hot 100 Hit at Time of Oscars: “The Way We Were” (No. 1, 3 weeks)

1974

Best Original Song Winner: “We May Never Love This Way Again,” The Towering Inferno
Highest-Peaking Hot 100 Hit at Time of Oscars: Maureen McGovern, “We May Never Love This Way Again” (No. 83)

1975

Best Original Song Winner: “I’m Easy,” Nashville
Highest-Peaking Hot 100 Hit at Time of Oscars: Diana Ross, “Theme From Mahogany (Do You Know Where You’re Going To),” Mahogany (No. 1, 1 week)

1976

Best Original Song Winner: “Evergreen (Love Theme From A Star Is Born),” A Star Is Born
Highest-Peaking Hot 100 Hit at Time of Oscars: No Hot 100 hits at time of ceremony

1977

Best Original Song Winner: “You Light Up My Life,” You Light Up My Life
Highest-Peaking Hot 100 Hit at Time of Oscars: Debby Boone, “You Light Up My Life” (No. 1, 10 weeks)

1978

Best Original Song Winner: “Last Dance,” Thank God It’s Friday
Highest-Peaking Hot 100 Hit at Time of Oscars: Donna Summer, “Last Dance” (No. 3)

1979

Best Original Song Winner: “It Goes Like It Goes,” Norma Rae
Highest-Peaking Hot 100 Hit at Time of Oscars: Kermit the Frog, “The Rainbow Connection,” The Muppet Movie (No. 25)

1980

Best Original Song Winner: “Fame,” Fame
Highest-Peaking Hot 100 Hit at Time of Oscars: Dolly Parton, “9 to 5,” 9 to 5 (No. 1, 2 weeks)

1981

Best Original Song Winner: “Arthur’s Theme (Best That You Can Do),” Arthur
Highest-Peaking Hot 100 Hit at Time of Oscars: Diana Ross and Lionel Richie, “Endless Love,” Endless Love (No. 1, 9 weeks)

1982

Best Original Song Winner: “Up Where We Belong,” An Officer and a Gentleman
Highest-Peaking Hot 100 Hit at Time of Oscars: Survivor, “Eye of the Tiger,” Rocky III(No. 1, 7 weeks)

1983

Best Original Song Winner: “Flashdance… What a Feeling,” Flashdance
Highest-Peaking Hot 100 Hit at Time of Oscars: Irene Cara, “Flashdance… What a Feeling” (No. 1, 6 weeks)

1984

Best Original Song Winner: “I Just Called to Say I Love You,” The Woman in Red
Highest-Peaking Hot 100 Hit at Time of Oscars: Stevie Wonder, “I Just Called to Say I Love You” (No. 1, 3 weeks)

1985

Best Original Song Winner: “Say You, Say Me,” White Nights
Highest-Peaking Hot 100 Hit at Time of Oscars: Lionel Richie, “Say You, Say Me” (No. 1, 4 weeks)

1986

Best Original Song Winner: “Take My Breath Away,” Top Gun
Highest-Peaking Hot 100 Hit at Time of Oscars: Peter Cetera, “The Glory of Love,”The Karate Kid, Pt. II (No. 1, 2 weeks)

1987

Best Original Song Winner: “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life,” Dirty Dancing
Highest-Peaking Hot 100 Hit at Time of Oscars: Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes, “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” (No. 1, 1 week)

1988

Best Original Song Winner: “Let the River Run,” Working Girl
Highest-Peaking Hot 100 Hit at Time of Oscars: Phil Collins, “Two Hearts,” Buster(No. 1, 2 weeks)

1989

Best Original Song Winner: “Under the Sea,” The Little Mermaid
Highest-Peaking Hot 100 Hit at Time of Oscars: Cher and Peter Cetera, “After All,”Chances Are (No. 6)

1990

Best Original Song Winner: “Sooner or Later (I Always Get My Man),” Dick Tracy
Highest-Peaking Hot 100 Hit at Time of Oscars: Jon Bon Jovi, “Blaze of Glory,” Young Guns II (No. 1, 1 week)

1991

Best Original Song Winner: “Beauty and the Beast,” Beauty and the Beast
Highest-Peaking Hot 100 Hit at Time of Oscars: Bryan Adams, “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You,” Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (No. 1, 7 weeks)

1992

Best Original Song Winner: “A Whole New World,” Aladdin
Highest-Peaking Hot 100 Hit at Time of Oscars: Peabo Bryson and Regina Belle, “A Whole New World” (No. 1, 1 week)

1993

Best Original Song Winner: “Streets of Philaelphia,” Philadelphia
Highest-Peaking Hot 100 Hit at Time of Oscars: Janet Jackson, “Again,” Poetic Justice(No. 1, 2 weeks)

1994

Best Original Song Winner: “Can You Feel the Love Tonight,” The Lion King
Highest-Peaking Hot 100 Hit at Time of Oscars: Elton John, “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” (No. 4)

1995

Best Original Song Winner: “Colors of the Wind,” Pocahontas
Highest-Peaking Hot 100 Hit at Time of Oscars: Bryan Adams, “Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman,” Don Juan DeMarco (No.1, 5 weeks)

1996

Best Original Song Winner: “You Must Love Me,” Evita
Highest-Peaking Hot 100 Hit at Time of Oscars: Celine Dion, “Because You Loved Me,” Up Close and Personal (No. 1, 6 Weeks)

1997

Best Original Song Winner: “My Heart Will Go On,” Titanic
Highest-Peaking Hot 100 Hit at Time of Oscars: Celine Dion, “My Heart Will Go On” (No. 1, 2 Weeks)

1998

Best Original Song Winner: “When You Believe,” The Prince of Egypt
Highest-Peaking Hot 100 Hit at Time of Oscars: Aerosmith, “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing,” Armageddon (No. 1, 4 Weeks)

1999

Best Original Song Winner: “You’ll Be in My Heart,” Tarzan
Highest-Peaking Hot 100 Hit at Time of Oscars: Gloria Estefan and *NSYNC, “Music of My Heart,” Music of My Heart (No. 2)

2000

Best Original Song Winner: “Things Have Changed,” Wonder Boys
Highest-Peaking Hot 100 Hit at Time of Oscars: No Hot 100 hits at time of ceremony

2001

Best Original Song Winner: “If I Didn’t Have You,” Monsters, Inc.
Highest-Peaking Hot 100 Hit at Time of Oscars: “There You’ll Be,” Pearl Harbor (No. 10)

2002

Best Original Song Winner: “Lose Yourself,” 8 Mile
Highest-Peaking Hot 100 Hit at Time of Oscars: Eminem, “Lose Yourself” (No. 1, 12 weeks)

2003

Best Original Song Winner: “Into the West,” The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King
Highest-Peaking Hot 100 Hit at Time of Oscars: No Hot 100 hits at time of ceremony

2004

Best Original Song Winner: “Al otro lado del rio,” The Motorcycle Diaries
Highest-Peaking Hot 100 Hit at Time of Oscars: Counting Crows, “Accidentally in Love,” Shrek 2 (No. 39)

2005

Best Original Song Winner: “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp,” Hustle & Flow
Highest-Peaking Hot 100 Hit at Time of Oscars: No Hot 100 hits at time of ceremony

2006

Best Original Song Winner: “I Need to Wake Up,” An Inconvenient Truth
Highest-Peaking Hot 100 Hit at Time of Oscars: Beyonce, “Listen,” Dreamgirls (No. 61)

2007

Best Original Song Winner: “Falling Slowly,” Once
Highest-Peaking Hot 100 Hit at Time of Oscars: No Hot 100 hits at time of ceremony

2008

Best Original Song Winner: “Jai Ho,” Slumdog Millionaire
Highest-Peaking Hot 100 Hit at Time of Oscars: No Hot 100 hits at time of ceremony

2009

Best Original Song Winner: “The Weary Kind,” Crazy Heart
Highest-Peaking Hot 100 Hit at Time of Oscars: No Hot 100 hits at time of ceremony

2010

Best Original Song Winner: “We Belong Together,” Toy Story 3
Highest-Peaking Hot 100 Hit at Time of Oscars: No Hot 100 hits at time of ceremony

2011

Best Original Song Winner: “Man or Muppet,” The Muppets
Highest-Peaking Hot 100 Hit: No Hot 100 hits at time of ceremony

2012

Best Original Song Winner: “Skyfall,” Skyfall
Highest-Peaking Hot 100 Hit at Time of Oscars: Adele, “Skyfall” (No. 8)

2013

Best Original Song Winner: “Let It Go,” Frozen
Highest-Peaking Hot 100 Hit at Time of Oscars: Pharrell, “Happy,” Despicable Me 2(No. 2)

2014

Best Original Song Winner: “Glory,” Selma
Highest-Peaking Hot 100 Hit at Time of Oscars: Matt McAndrew & Adam Levine, “Lost Stars,” Begin Again (No. 83)

2015

Best Original Song Winner: “Writing’s on the Wall,” Spectre
Highest-Peaking Hot 100 Hit at Time of Oscars: The Weeknd, “Earned It,” Fifty Shades of Grey (No. 3)