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Oscar's Best: Surveying The 5 Best Original Songs by African American Artists

by Erik Luers
February 28, 2014 11:53 AM
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White Nights: “Say You, Say Me”

1985 – From White Nights: “Say You, Say Me” by Lionel Ritchie (performed song and wrote music and lyrics)

Now this is music. This doozy of a love ballad may very well represent the pinnacle of high school dances. You know, the ones where you would stand on one side of the room hoping that a romantic song would come on that would prompt you to slow dance with that special someone. Ritchie just gets everyone in the mood. Toward the song’s conclusion, Ritchie makes a slight up-tempo detour to get the blood pumping, riling you up before bringing it back home with the memorable chorus.

Best lyrics: “So you think you know the answers? Oh no. Well, the whole world’s got you dancing, that’s right I’m telling you.

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  • Mike | July 3, 2014 6:28 PMReply

    The Academy doesn't understand music in motion pictures period. "Happy" is a feel good song, but it was not used in the film at all. The only song that was used properly in the film was "Let It Go" from "Frozen." Disney really knows how to use music in their films that are a cengtral park of moving the story along. Other filmmakers need to learn from Disney.

  • Mr. Marin | March 2, 2014 6:44 PMReply

    I take it that 'Purple Rain' never happened. Oh.

  • Donella | February 28, 2014 4:30 PMReply

    I think Ray Parker Jr's "Ghostbusters" suffered the controversy from its similarity to Huey Lewis and the News "I Need a New Drug."

  • @IvoryJeff | February 28, 2014 3:41 PMReply

    As always, I love the opportunity to chop it up with fellow movie-lovers. Just wanted to respectfully point out a couple things in response to the comments so far.

    @ INDIENERD - This is not a list of what that the writer considers the best movie songs composed by blacks. It's a roundup of the five tunes that won the Oscar for Best Original Song.

    @ SOSGEMINI - Just looked it up and Prince won Best Original Song Score for the track Purple Rain, not When Doves Cry. I agree about the category being silly btw. Glad it's gone.


  • indienerd | February 28, 2014 12:47 PMReply

    You are mother effin' crazy to not include "When Doves Cry" or anything from the Color Purple. Shut this site down. PLEASE!

  • sosgemini | February 28, 2014 12:41 PMReply


    After number two, I just cant. :sigh:

    And what the heck was up with Prince winning for Song Score for When Doves Cry? Still don't get that category. Guess no one did hence it being eliminated. And wouldn't Ghostbusters also be a song score since the song was used throughout the film as a score theme? silly.

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