Songwriters Who Topped Hot 100, Landed Oscar Nod in the Same Week – Billboard


Lin-Manuel Miranda is winding up a week he’ll probably always remember as being one of the high points of his career.

On Sunday, Feb. 6, he learned that the Encanto soundtrack, for which he wrote all the songs, remained atop the Billboard 200 for a fourth non-consecutive week. On Monday, Feb. 7, he learned that one of those songs, “We Don’t Talk About Bruno,” held at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for the second week in a row. On Tuesday, Feb. 8, he learned that another of those songs, “”Dos Oruguitas,” received an Oscar nomination for best original song.

That’s what you call a pretty good week. But just how rare is it? Very rare. Miranda is just the fourth individual songwriter or songwriting team to receive an Oscar nomination for best original song and have a writing credit on the No. 1 hit on the Hot 100 in the same week. (The Hot 100 originated in August 1958, so our survey period begins with the Oscar nominations that were announced on Feb. 23, 1959.)


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We list these doubly blessed songwriters in reverse chronological order:

1997—Diane Warren: Toni Braxton’s “Un-break My Heart,” which Warren wrote, was in its 11th and final week at No. 1 when the Oscar nominations were announced on Feb. 11, 1997. Warren’s “Because You Loved Me” from Up Close and Personal (quite possibly her finest song) was nominated. Celine Dion performed the ballad on the Oscar telecast on March 24, but it didn’t win. The award went to “You Must Love Me” from Evita, written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice and performed by Madonna.

1981—Dolly Parton: Parton’s “9 to 5” rose to No. 1 on the Hot 100 the same week in February 1981 that the song (which she also wrote) received an Oscar nomination. Parton sang the song on the Oscar telecast on March 31, but she didn’t go home with a trophy. The award went to the exuberant title song from Fame, written by Michael Gore and Dean Pitchford and performed by Irena Cara.

1974—Marvin Hamlisch, Alan & Marilyn Bergman: Barbra Streisand’s “The Way We Were” was in its second week at No. 1 on the Hot 100 on Feb. 19, 1974 when the song received an Oscar nod. Streisand’s studio album of the same name (which of course included the song) topped the Billboard 200 for two weeks beginning March 16. The song, which was an instant standard, won the Oscar on April 2. Streisand opted not to sing it on the Oscar telecast, so the producers got another legendary singer, Peggy Lee, to fill in for her.

Here are some near misses and special mentions.

1993—Dolly Parton (again!): Whitney Houston’s power ballad rendition of “I Will Always Love You” was in its 13th week at No. 1 on Feb. 17, 1993 when the Oscar nominations were announced. The song, which Parton had written in 1973, would almost certainly have been nominated (and won), but it wasn’t eligible because it wasn’t written for the film.

1978—Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb: The Bee Gees’ “Stayin’ Alive” was in its fourth and final week at No. 1 on Feb. 21, 1978 when the Oscar nominations were announced, but the Brothers Gibb weren’t nominated either for that era-defining smash or for the gorgeous ballad “How Deep Is Your Love.” The songs, both from Saturday Night Fever, were eligible. They just weren’t nominated. What were the voters thinking?!

1960—Max Steiner: Percy Faith’s shimmering instrumental “Theme from ‘A Summer Place’” rose to No. 1 on Feb. 22, 1960, the very day the Oscar nominations were announced. Steiner’s instrumental theme wasn’t eligible for an Oscar for best original song because the version heard in the film didn’t have lyrics. Steiner, a film scoring legend (King Kong, Gone With the Wind, Casablanca) was passed over for a nod for best music score of a dramatic or comedy picture for his superb work on the film. Oscar voters are a tough crowd.

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