It was recently announced that Billie Eilish and her brother Finneas would be writing the new James Bond theme song, making her the youngest artist to ever do so. She's not the only superstar to write an original song for film or TV, with the likes of Eminem, Pharrell Williams and more all turning their talents to writing for the screen. Here are some of our favourite songs written for film and TV, and what makes them so good.
Eminem - Lose Yourself
It's arguably his most well-known song, but Eminem's Lose Yourself doesn't actually appear on any of his albums, instead featuring in his movie 8 Mile. The movie stars Eminem playing a version of himself going on a journey through the rap battles of Detroit, and is considered one of the best musicals of all time.
Lose Yourself is one of those songs that pretty much everyone has heard at least once in their lives, and it's arguably the highlight of 8 Mile, amongst its many great moments.
Coolio - Gangsta's Paradise (feat. L.V)
Coolio won a Grammy for his song Gangsta's Paradise, winning the 1995 Grammy for Best Rap Solo Performance. It was a song that he wrote for the 1995 film Dangerous Minds, which, prior to the release of Gangsta's Paradise, wasn't doing so well. Afterward, though, fans were loving it.
Gangsta's Paradise samples Stevie Wonder's 1976 song Pastime Paradise, but it wasn't his idea to use the song - instead, L.V, who also appears on the track, came up with the idea. Stevie initially rejected the request to sample the track, because the song contained swearing. Coolio re-wrote the track to get the sample cleared, and it went on to be a huge hit.
Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper - Shallow
Speaking about Shallow to the Los Angeles Times, Lady Gaga said, “it’s a song that gives you wings to fly." She's not wrong, either, with Gaga and actor Bradley Cooper capturing the hearts of audiences worldwide thanks to their performances in A Star Is Born, with Shallow being the highlight of the film.
She collaborated with Mark Ronson, Anthony Rossomando and Andrew Wyatt on the track, with Cooper directing A Star Is Born. Gaga and Cooper performed Shallow at the Oscars, and it's a performance that needs to be seen to be believed.
Pharrell Williams - Happy
It reportedly took Pharrell Williams 10 tries to write Happy for the soundtrack of Despicable Me 2, but given how big of a song it turned out to be, maybe the 10th time truly is the charm.
It's still a song that remains on rotation, and if you play it at any party, people will stop and dance. Pharrell has a knack of writing huge hits, and this is no doubt one of his biggest.
Karen O - The Moon Song
Yeah Yeah Yeahs frontwoman Karen O received a Best Original Song Oscar nomination for her song The Moon Song, written for Spike Jonze's film Her. She told Rolling Stone that she was shocked by the nomination, saying, “It’s wild because The Moon Song was written and recorded in the most humble of circumstances; at my dining room table, a few paces away from the couch I read the script for Her for the first time."
However we're not so shocked that it received an Oscar nomination - in the context of the film, it was created as an expression of love by the characters played by Joaquin Phoenix and Scarlett Johansson, and it's hauntingly beautiful - even today, it sounds as heartfelt as it did when it was first released. There's even a version featuring Vampire Weekend frontman Ezra Koenig, which is just as powerful as the original.
Survivor - Eye Of The Tiger
The Rocky series has many iconic moments, but one of the enduring memories from the series has to be Survivor's Eye Of The Tiger. If you've ever been warming up for a sporting match, or just trying to amp yourself up before needing a moment of bravery and confidence, then this is the song for you. If there's ever been a song more perfect for a montage/inspirational scene in a movie, then we're yet to find it.
Beck - We Are Sex Bob-Omb
When director Edgar Wright hired Beck and Nigel Godrich to write all the songs for his film Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, he had the pair write them for a band called Sex Bob-Omb, the best band you've never heard of.
Beck wrote the music, and actors from the film, including Michael Cera, sung on the track. The movie was in part so successful, and so memorable because of the soundtrack, which Beck described as needing to sound rough. "They had to be funny, but I also wanted them to sound raw, like demos." Sex Bob-Omb might sound rough, but it's hard to get their songs out of your head.