Lady Gaga shared in the Best Original Song Oscar win for “Shallow.” She sang the smash hit in “A Star is Born” and is credited as a co-writer alongside a trio of men: Andrew Wyatt, Anthony Rossomando and Mark Ronson. This win makes make her the 14th woman to take home an Oscar for songwriting. Her co-writers bring the total tally of male winners in this category to a whopping 146.
Two of Lady Gaga’s female predecessors won twice each: lyricist Marilyn Bergman and composer Kristin Anderson-Lopez. Their songwriting partners and husbands (Alan Bergman, Robert Lopez) number among the two dozen men to have won this award at least twice since it was first handed out at the 7th Academy Awards in 1934.
The first woman to win the Best Original Song Oscar was lyricist Dorothy Fields who prevailed in 1936 for “The Way You Look Tonight,” which she wrote with Jerome Kern for the Astaire/Rogers musical “Swing Time.”
The next woman to win was Bergman in 1968 for “The Windmills of Your Mind,” a song she, Alan and composer Michel Legrand crafted for “The Thomas Crown Affair.” The trio also contended that year for “What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?” from “The Happy Ending.”
The Bergmans were back at the podium five years later with “The Way We Were,” from the film of the same name. They penned this #1 hit for Barbra Streisand with Marvin Hamlisch.
Streisand became the first female composer to win an Oscar for a song in her 1976 version of “A Star is Born,” “Evergreen.” She shared in this win with lyricist Paul Williams.
Five years after Streisand prevailed, Carole Bayer Sager did so for “Best That You Can Do,” the theme from “Arthur,” along with Peter Allen, Burt Bacharach and singer/songwriter Christopher Cross. The following year, Buffy Saint-Marie and co-composer Jack Nitzsche as well as lyricist Will Jennings won for “Up Where You Belong” from “An Officer and a Gentleman.”
In 1983, Irene Cara won for “What a Feeling,” the theme from “Flashdance” alongside co-lyricist Keith Forsey and composer Giorgio Moroder.
In 1988, Carly Simon made Oscar history as the first woman to win this award alone, having written both the words and music for the stirring “Let the River Run” from “Working Girl.” Almost two decades later, Melissa Etheridge became the second woman to do so with the rousing “I Need to Wake Up” from the 2006 documentary “An Inconvenient Truth.”
Annie Lennox and Fran Walsh were the first female composers to share this Oscar with their 2003 win for “Into the West,” which they co-wrote with Howard Shore for “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.”
Four years later, Marketa Irglova shared in the win for “Falling Slowly” from “Once” with Glen Hansard. In 2013, Adele made Oscar history by penning, with her pal Paul Epworth, the first James Bond title track to prevail: “Skyfall.”
Anderson-Lopez and her husband won for songs from two of Disney’s animated features: “Let It Go” from “Frozen” (2013) and “Remember Me” from “Coco” (2017).