The Academy Awards are closely associated with acting and film, but famous musicians have taken home many Oscars for their contributions to moviemaking. Some of the people on our list of musicians who have won Oscars wrote songs that were more memorable than the film they were nominated for. Others composed classics that helped make a great film even better. And a few lucky musicians have even nabbed the gold statuette for acting rather than singing.
“I Just Called to Say I Love You” was one of the biggest hits of the mid-1980’s, but few people remember that it was actually for a film, The Woman in Red. Stevie Wonder even won the Oscar for Best Original Song in 1984.
Purple Rain made a huge splash at the box office in 1985. Prince won an award for Best Original Song. Prince’s work on TIm Burton’s Batman was also highly acclaimed, winning a Brit Award.
Cher is the rare musician who not only dabbled in acting, but was critically acclaimed for it. She won the Academy Award for Best Actress in 1988 for her role in Moonstruck. Cher, who was always famous for wacky Bob Mackie dresses, accepted the award in a shimmering negligee.
Barbra Streisand has been nominated for five Academy Awards. She won twice: first for Best Actress in 1968 (Funny Girl) and then for Best Original Song for “Evergreen” (from A Star is Born). As a director, her film The Prince of Tides was nominated for Best Picture. Streisand is one of the few performers who has won an EGOT – Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony.
Elton John hosts the most coveted Oscar-viewing party in Hollywood, which benefits charity. However, in 1995 he attended the ceremony to pick up an award for Best Original Song. “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” was the theme of the movie Lion King.
Jennifer Hudson joins Cher and Barbra Streisand as actors who also won an acting award at the Oscars. Her win as Best Supporting Actress for Dreamgirls in 2007 totally upstaged Beyonce.
You might have forgotten about 8 Mile, but Eminem’s movie debut actually won him an Academy Award for his song “Lose Yourself” in 2002. Eminem was not able to perform or accept the award, which he surely regrets to this day.
Skyfall was just a James Bond movie, but the flick did win Adele an Oscar in 2013 for her song “Skyfall,” which was named Best Original Song.
Bruce Springsteen doesn’t do much film work, but when he does, it’s a home run. In 1994, he took home the Oscar for Best Original Song for “Streets of Philadelphia,” which he wrote for the movie Philadelphia.
Nobody likes thinking about climate change, but Al Gore’s movie An Inconvenient Truth took on the topic in a documentary. It won an Academy Award. Melissa Etheridge won Best Original Song for her original song “I Need to Wake Up”
Carly Simon’s song “Let the River Run” was the perfect crescendo for the Melanie Griffith movie Working Girl, and won Best Original Song in 1989.
Lionel Richie’s song “Say You, Say Me” was a massive hit. The movie it was written for, White Nights, is largely forgotten despite beautiful performances by Gregory Hines and Mikhail Baryshnikov. It won Best Original Song in 1986.