There’s nothing quite like a movie with an amazing soundtrack. Many of our favourite movie moments wouldn’t be nearly as iconic without that perfect backing track. And while original movie scores are some of the best music in modern composition, a well-curated soundtrack of pop songs can go a long way towards making both the movie and the song unforgettable. Here are some of our favourite songs that got famous in movies!
Lizzo – “Truth Hurts” – Movie: Someone Great (2019)
By now we all know that Lizzo is 100% that bitch. She’s been 100% that bitch since she dropped the song “Truth Hurts,” in 2017, but many of us didn’t hear it until 2019 after it was used in the Netflix original movie Someone Great. After that, the song took off on TikTok and became a viral sleeper hit – Lizzo already had two albums under her belt, but that single’s feature in Someone Great set Lizzo up perfectly for her third album Cuz I Love You released the same day as the film. The album was Lizzo’s first with a major label, and “Truth Hurts,” was her first song to hit number one on the billboard hot 100.
Whitney Houston – “I Will Always Love You” – Movie: The Bodyguard (1992)
Even if you haven’t seen the bodyguard, you know this song. Originally written and recorded by Dolly Parton in the ‘70s, when Whitney Houston lent her voice to the tune for this movie it created the definitive version that would launch both the movie and the single into stardom. Whitney’s version is one of the best-selling singles of all time with over four and a half million copies sold, and the soundtrack to The Bodyguard is one of the best-selling soundtrack albums ever with 5 hit singles for Houston, two of which were nominated for Oscars.
Smash Mouth – “All Star” – Movie: Shrek (2001)
Yes, this song is a meme. But we all know it because of that, and it wouldn’t be such a popular choice for internet humour if it wasn’t for its ties to the movie Shrek. “All Star” was written and released two years prior alongside another movie, Mystery Men (1999), a comedy superhero movie that featured the song prominently, with the music video for “All Star” even featuring shots and characters from the movie. But this Smash Mouth song was secured as a smash hit with the help of our favourite grumpy green ogre. The iconic opening sequence of Shrek in his swamp perfectly set the tone for what would become one of the most beloved films of the 2000s, with the help of Smash Mouth’s upbeat soundtrack.
Simple Minds – “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” – Movie: The Breakfast Club (1985)
From iconic movie openings to historic end sequences, John Hughes’ 1985 classic The Breakfast Club is widely considered to be the ‘80s teen movie. The song is synonymous with the final shot of this high-school coming of age story, adding a powerful pop anthem to make the climax that much more emotional. By being the unofficial theme song of a movie that was so beloved, Scottish band Simple Minds’ track was put on the map for a lot of American youth who went to see the film, propelling the single to the number one spot in the US and Canada.
Queen – “Bohemian Rhapsody” – Movie: Wayne’s World (1992)
While “Bohemian Rhapsody” had already been a smash hit for legendary stadium rockers Queen, but that was in the ‘70s, nearly 20 years before Wayne’s World’s 1992 release. Before the internet age, while it was doable, it was much more difficult for young listeners to find music from decades prior. This iconic singalong and headbanging scene in Garth’s flame-painted car opened the song up to a whole new generation of listeners, giving “Bohemian Rhapsody” a second surge of popularity with the help of a couple of goofy metalheads and their public access TV show.