H.E.R.’s ‘Fight for You’ could join a long list of classic songs to win both Oscar and Grammy

The past 12 months have been outstanding for H.E.R. Not only did she pick up two Grammys at the 2021 ceremony including Song of the Year for “I Can’t Breathe,” she also won an Academy Award for Best Original Song a few weeks later for “Fight For You” from “Judas and the Black Messiah.” “Fight For You” was then submitted to the 2022 Grammys, and it has been nominated for Song of the Year, Best Traditional R&B Performance, and Best Song Written for Visual Media. Now it’s the front-runner for the latter two according to Gold Derby’s odds. But just how common (or uncommon) is it for Oscar-winning songs to have Grammys to their name as well?

The first Oscar-winning song to win at the Grammys was “Moon River,” written by Henry Mancini and Johnny Mercer, from the film “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” The track won three Grammys, taking home Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Arrangement at the fourth annual music kudos. Mancini and Mercer quickly won another Oscar and three Grammys (including Record and Song of the Year) for “Days of Wine and Roses” from the film of the same name. A few years later in 1966, Oscar champ “The Shadow of Your Smile” from “The Sandpiper” also won Song of the Year at the Grammys.

Oscar winners went Grammy-less for the next six years until Isaac Hayes’s “Theme From Shaft” won two Grammys for Best Instrumental Arrangement and Best Engineered Recording (Non-Classical) in 1972; Hayes also won a Grammy that year for composing the entire “Shaft” score. The ’70s had four more songs win at both awards. “The Way We Were’s” title tune in 1975 (its Grammy was for Song of the Year) and “A Star Is Born’s” “Evergreen” in 1978 (Grammys for Song of the Year, Best Arrangement, and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance) were both coincidentally performed by Barbra Streisand. “Evergreen” actually tied for Song of the Year — the first and only time that has happened — with “You Light Up My Life,” which ended up winning the Oscar for Best Original Song the following year for the film of the same name. Finally, Donna Summer’s iconic hit “Last Dance” from the film “Thank God It’s Friday” won the Oscar as well as two Grammys, for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance and Best R&B Song in 1979 for the 21st Grammy Awards.

The ’80s had a couple winners at both award shows. “Up Where We Belong” from “An Officer and a Gentleman,” which won the Oscar in 1983, won Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal for performers Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes. The next year Irene Cara’s “Flashdance…What A Feeling” from the movie “Flashdance” won the Oscar and the Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. 1987 saw “Dirty Dancing’s” “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” win the Grammy for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group for Bill Medley and Warnes in addition to the Oscar; though it lost the Grammy for Best Song for Visual Media in the inaugural year of that award. However, two late-’80s winners at the Oscars won that category at the Grammys in the early ’90s: Carly Simon’s “Let the River Run” from “Working Girl,” and “Under the Sea” from “The Little Mermaid.”

The ’90s saw many more Oscar winners taking home Grammys. The title song from “Beauty and the Beast” won the Grammy for Best Song for Visual Media in 1993. Then in 1994 “Aladdin’s” “A Whole New World” claimed three Grammys including Song of the Year and Best Song for Visual Media. Bruce Springsteen’s “Streets of Philadelphia” from “Philadelphia” won four Grammys the next year including Song of the Year and Best Song for Visual Media, and also in 1995 “The Lion King’s” Oscar-winning “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?” won Best Male Pop Vocal Performance for Elton John. “Pocahontas’s” “Colors of the Wind” won Best Song for Visual Media the year after that. And Celine Dion’s iconic “My Heart Will Go On” from “Titanic” won four Grammys, including Record and Song of the Year in 1999.

The 2000s were leaner, but did have “If I Didn’t Have You” from “Monsters, Inc.” winning the Oscar and 2003’s Grammy for Best Song for Visual Media. Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” won Best Rap Solo Performance and Best Rap Song in 2004. And Annie Lennox’s “Into the West” from “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” won Best Song for Visual Media in 2005. In the following decade “Slumdog Millionaire’s” “Jai Ho” took home the Grammy for Best Song for Visual Media in 2010, as did “Crazy Heart’s” “The Weary Kind” the year after. Adele’s “Skyfall” from the James Bond film of the same name, “Let It Go” from “Frozen,” and Common and John Legend’s “Glory” from “Selma” then claimed the Grammy for Best Song for Visual Media in consecutive years (2014, 2015, 2016). Finally, Lady Gaga’s “Shallow” from the most recent adaptation of “A Star is Born” won the Grammy for Best Song for Visual Media as well as Best Pop Duo/Group Performance in 2019 before winning the Oscar a few weeks later.

The odds are looking good for H.E.R. to prevail based on the track records of these past winners, but something interesting that could happen is that last year’s Best Song for Visual Media, Billie EIlish’s title theme from “No Time To Die,” might win the Oscar this year due to its unusual eligibility status (the song was released in early 2020, making it eligible for the last Grammys, but the film’s release was delayed until 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic). If “Fight For You” wins the Grammy for Song Written for Visual Media and “No Time To Die” wins the Oscar, it’ll be the first time these two categories match inversely like this. Time will tell if H.E.R. can pick up yet another Grammy (or two) to add to her collection, or if perhaps the recording academy will choose to award a more recent song instead.

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