Bollywood and music have always been inseparable. A good Hindi movie without at least a few good songs still feels incomplete. Things were much different overseas, though. There was a time when soundtracks were merely a noise in the background in Hollywood. Though they were still an important part of films, few people paid attention to soundtracks outside of the actual film. However, they have come a long way since then.

Today, soundtracks have gone beyond being background noise. In fact, they have received recognition outside the movie theater as well. Let It Go from 2013’s Frozen is a notable example of this. Not only did the track win Best Original Song at the 86th Academy Awards, but it was also certified platinum in the United States. Additionally, the song charted in twelve countries. Let It Go was also translated into almost 40 languages, including – but not limited to – Portuguese, Swedish, Cantonese, Greek and Latvian! In fact, the Frozen soundtrack charted in almost 20 countries and went on to be Number 1 in five countries.

However, Frozen is far from the only movie with a soundtrack that made it big. Recent years have seen a rise in the number of big names lending songs to soundtracks. Most recently, Ellie Goulding lent her track, Beating Heart, to the upcoming movie, Divergent. With this, she joined the league of other A-list pop stars who have been featured in soundtracks. 

Movies belonging to most genres have now roped in big names, but animation still remains the genre with the most star-power. One of the biggest names to be featured on a soundtrack in the last few years is undoubtedly Elton John, who teamed up with Nelly Furtado for Crocodile Rock from 2011’s Gnomeo & Juliet. Disney’s Enchanted also featured the track, Ever Ever After by Carrie Underwood. This was the year after the track When Will My Life Begin? from Tangled, made waves. 

Some other stars who’ve lent tracks to animated movies include Christina Aguilera (Reflection from Mulan), Ne-Yo (Never Knew I Needed from The Princess and the Frog), Rascal Flatts (Life is a Highway from Cars), Britney Spears (Ooh La La from The Smurfs 2) and Pharrell Williams (Happy from Despicable Me 2).

Not only have these songs become commercially successful, but they have also gone on to win prestigious awards. In recent years, tracks like Happy (Despicable Me 2), I See the Light (Tangled), Real in Rio (Rio) and Man or Muppet (The Muppets) were nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Song.

If their chart position and critical success is any indication, soundtracks are only going to become more important. It looks like Hollywood is finally realizing how well music and movies go together.

Bollywood? Well… they’ve known this all along!

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