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by Barry Walters

March 2, 2014

Oscar-Winning Best Original Songs

by Barry Walters  |  March 2, 2014

It used to be easier to predict what song would get the Oscar: the biggest, most melodramatic nominated ballad! But ever since last decade, when Academy Awards started going to rappers and world music acts, handicapping the Best Original Song category has gotten a whole lot tougher. Will the Academy this year reward Pharrell; U2; Karen O and Spike Jonze; or Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, the songwriting duo behind Frozen?

To help you make a more educated guess, we've assembled a playlist of the last 50 years of Oscar-winning songs in reverse chronological order. It's true that there are plenty of roof-raising ballads here, but there are also joyous dance anthems, as well as contributions from esteemed veteran bards and even a few left-field composers, so anything could happen. Whenever possible, we've included the actual movie renditions of these songs, and if those weren't available, we went with contemporaneous hit versions, and then sound-alike covers as a last resort.

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