5 Artists Who Released Music for Feature Films

Lady Gaga has given her fans and movie lovers an absolute treat with the release of ‘Hold My Hand’. It is the lead single from the upcoming film ‘Top Gun: Maverick’. The track is written by Gaga and artist Michael ‘BloodPop’ Tucker with additional production from Benjamin Rice. 

Gaga has also worked on the film’s score with Oscar-winning composer Hans Zimmer, Lorne Balfe and Harold Faltermeyer, who also worked on the 1986 Top Gun soundtrack. Here is hoping for more iconic soundtracks to go with the first movie that included the Oscar-winning ‘Take My Breath Away’ by Berlin, Kenny Loggins’s ‘Danger Zone’, and ‘Great Balls of Fire’ by Jerry Lee Lewis.

On her official Instagram, she stated, “When I wrote this song for Top Gun: Maverick, I didn’t even realize the multiple layers it spanned across the film’s heart, my psyche, and the nature of the world we’ve been living in. I’ve been working on it for years, perfecting it, trying to make it ours. I wanted to make music into a song where we share our deep need to both be understood and try to understand each other—a longing to be close when we feel so far away and an ability to celebrate life’s heroes.”

The film Top Gun was released in 1986, the year Stefani ‘Lady Gaga’ Germanotta was born.

Keeping her collaboration with Tom Cruise in mind, here are five other music artists who have previously released music in feature films. We made sure to include a wide range of musical genres in our list.

Eddie Vedder – Into The Wild  

Rock and Roll Hall of Famer best known for his stage diving and grunge music, Eddie Vedder, wrote and performed multiple tracks on the score of the 2007 biographical adventure film ‘Into the Wild.’ Pearl Jam’s lead vocalist’s unique and unmistakable voice, coupled with work on guitar, bass, drums, and piano, earned him a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song for his song ‘Guaranteed’ in 2007. ‘Guaranteed’ was also nominated for Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, Television, or Other Visual Media at the 2008 Grammy Awards. ‘Into the Wild’ was Eddie Vedder’s first solo album outside of Pearl Jam.

Vedder has also contributed the song ‘Better Days’ in ‘Eat Pray Love’ (2010). He performed a grunge rock cover of the Beatles track ‘You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away’ in the film ‘I Am Sam’ (2001) and sung ‘The Long Road’ in ‘Dead Man Walking’ (1996) – a film whose soundtrack boasts the talents of Bruce Springsteen, Patti Smith, Steve Earle, and late Johnny Cash and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.

Eddie Vedder and Actor Sean Penn have worked together in multiple films, including the mentioned ‘Dead Man Walking’ and ‘I Am Sam’. In Sean Penn’s drama film ‘Flag Day’ (2021), Eddie’s daughter Olivia Vedder makes her debut with a performance of the track ‘My Father’s Daughter’.

Kendrick Lamar – Black Panther

Grammy award-winning hip-hop and progressive rap artist Kendrick Lamar served as the executive producer on ‘Black Panther: The Album’ for the widely praised and award-winning film ‘Black Panther’ (2018). Along with Anthony Tiffith of Top Dawg Entertainment, Kendrick Lamar assembled a soundtrack album for the movie. He performed on several tracks, including Pray For Me’, ‘Big Shot’, ‘Kings Dead, and the title track ‘Black Panther’. His track in the film, ‘All the Stars, featuring artist SZA, was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2019. ‘King’s Dead from the album also won a Grammy for Best Rap Performance.

Speaking on Hollywood Today about working with Kendrick Lamar in the film, director Ryan Coogler said, “We’ve been wanted to work with each other since we met.”

Billie Eilish – No Time To Die

Singer-songwriter Billie Eilish joined a host of artists, including Adele, Jack White, Alicia Keys, Sam Smith, and the late Chris Cornell who have contributed music to Daniel Craig’s 007 film series. Billie Eilish wrote the song with her brother Finneas O’Connell, who also played bass, percussion, and piano on the piece. Hans Zimmer composed the orchestration for the song.

On James Bond Day (5 October), the sibling duo shared the process of making this song with talk show host Jimmy Fallon, saying that they always wanted to write and work on a James Bond song. Billie mentioned, “we kind of started with making sure we got a melody, that we felt was really solid before we tried any lyrics out. Before we had written anything we both think it was really important to have the title of the movie in the song”.

Billie Eilish holds a Guinness world record for the youngest musician to write and record a James Bond theme song at the age of 18. ‘No Time To Die’ earned an Academy Award for Best Original Song in 2022. In film and TV shows, she has also worked on the music featured in ‘13 Reasons Why’, ‘Music Inspired by the Film Roma’, ‘Euphoria’, and the animated flick ‘Turning Red’.

Bruce Springsteen – The Wrestler

Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, singer, songwriter, and musician Bruce Springsteen features on our list of five with his titular track in the film ‘The Wrestler’ (2008). During the 66th Golden Globe Awards in 2009, the song won an award for Best Original Song. After thanking actor Mickey Rourke for reaching out to him during his acceptance speech, Springsteen described how actor Rourke personally called him and asked him to do some music for the film.

Bruce Springsteen also won an Academy Award for his song ‘Streets of Philadelphia’, which was featured in the Denzil Washington and Tom Hanks film ‘Philadelphia’ (1993). As shared on his official Instagram, Bruce mentioned that director Jonathan Demme asked him for a rock song, however ‘Streets of Philadelphia’ had other ideas, resulting in a Best Original Song Academy Award.

Eminem – Southpaw

The ‘Rap God’ Eminem concludes this list of five. In his career spanning decades, he has collaborated with many film projects, even earning him an Academy Award for his Best Original Song for Lose Yourself for ‘8 Mile’ (2003). It was the first time a rap song had ever won an award in this category. In 2021, Eminem opened a restaurant called ‘Mom’s Spaghetti’ as a joint venture, referencing the song.

Eminem starred in the semi-autobiographical film ‘8 Mile’ in 2002 and has made sporadic appearances in films since then. As revealed in The Southpaw Sessions, the script for southpaw was originally written with the thought of Eminem playing the lead character. Due to the timing and schedule issues, the role ultimately went to actor Jake Gyllenhaal. Eminem wanted to be a part of the project because the script was so appealing, that he ended up being the executive producer on the soundtrack. The movie’s soundtrack also features artist Gwen Stafani, 50 Cent, Busta Rhymes, and Royce da 5’9″, to list a few. Marshal Matters performed on tracks ‘Kings Never Die’, ‘Phenomenal’‘All I Think About’and ‘Raw’ in ‘Southpaw’.

Eminem’s list of tracks featured in films include ‘Till I Collapse’ ft Nate Dogg in ‘Reel Steel’ (2013), ‘Guts Over Fear’ ft. Sia in ‘The Equalizer’ (2014), and tracks ‘Venom’ and ‘Last One Standing’ and in ‘Venom’ (2018) and ‘Venom 2’ (2021), respectively. As recently announced by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Eminem will be an inductee in the class of 2022.

 

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