Movie Soundtracks: The Most Shazamed Songs of All Time
Many will remember the final closing moments in Fight Club, as “Where Is My Mind” by Pixies echos through the scene whilst Helena Bonham Carter and Edward Norton hold hands, the skyline on the horizon, overlaid by the infamous words “Trust me, everything‘s going to be fine.”
Throughout the years, terms have even been coined such as “needle drop” - slang to describe music that already exists, being added into a movie. Most notably, when both elements become so intertwined, it becomes difficult to disassociate a song from a specific film.
The song identifying app, Shazam, made its debut on the Apple store in 2008, with the tech giant acquiring it themselves in September 2018. As a platform that allows users to find out the track's name at the touch of a button, or a simple voice command, its popularity has grown immensely; especially when it comes to eager viewers hearing a song played in a film that resonates in some way with themselves.
At Roberts, we wanted to find out just how often people were using Shazam to find songs played in popular films, and which songs held the title of ‘The Most Shazamed Movie Songs of All Time”. We analysed data from Shazam to find out which songs people from around the world had been searching for the most, and the movie titles that made them famous.
The 40 Most-Shazamed Movie Songs of All Time
Taking the top spot, the most Shazamed song globally is ‘See You Again’ by Wiz Khalifa ft Charlie Puth, famously used in Fast and Furious 7. On Spotify, the song has been streamed over 1.3 billion times since its release in 2015. Most notably, this is a tribute to Paul Walker, the song has been searched over 18 million times on the app.
Following closely behind as the second-most Shazamed song is ‘Happy’ by Pharrell Williams, created for Despicable Me 2, released in 2013. As the third-highest-grossing film of that year, it made an astounding £47.5m at the UK box office upon its release, and the song topped the charts for four weeks, spending another 50 on the UK Top 40 list. The song has been searched on Shazam over 17 million times.
In third place is ‘Gangsta’s Paradise’ by Coolio with 14,754,514 searches on Shazam as of 2022. It was first released in 1995, alongside the film Dangerous Minds starring Michelle Pfeiffer.
One of the most modern songs in the Top 40 released in 2018, and also placing fourth, is ‘Shallow’ by Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga from the film A Star Is Born which has been searched for over 13 million times. The film was revolutionary for Gaga’s career, with it receiving eight nominations at the 91st Academy Awards in 2019, winning Best Original Song.
‘Earned It’ by The Weeknd is the last of the songs to make the Top 5, having been searched on Shazam 13,441,986 times since its release in 2015 as part of the 50 Shades of Grey soundtrack. The song was also included in the artist’s second studio album ‘Beauty Behind the Madness’ and surpassed 1 billion streams on Spotify last year.
Over 9 million searches on Shazam places ‘Iris’ by the Goo Goo Dolls well within the Top 10. Although ‘Name’ was the breakthrough single for the band that helped them experience mainstream success, it’s Iris they are renowned for. The song was released in 1998 as part of the City of Angels Motion Picture Soundtrack.
Although ‘Bittersweet Symphony’ by The Verve was originally released in 1997, the legacy of the song is beholden to the 1999 film Cruel Intentions, based on the novel Dangerous Liaisons. Grossing over £62 million worldwide, the motion picture has been regarded as a cult classic since its release. Named Single of the Year and now considered one of the defining songs of the era, it is reported that almost $1 million dollars were paid for the rights to use the song in the film, which was around 10% of the entire budget. The song has been searched for 9,099,793 times on Shazam.
A disco classic, ‘Stayin' Alive’ by The BeeGees was released in 1997 as part of the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack and is the most famous song produced by the band, even placing 99th on the list of Rolling Stone's ‘500 Greatest Songs of All Time’, updated in 2021. With 8,320,774 searches on Shazam, it’s the 8th-most-searched movie soundtrack of all time on the app.
‘I Don't Wanna Miss A Thing’ by Aerosmith is the next song that appears in our study with 8,119,466 searches on Shazam since its conception. It was first released in 1998, alongside the sci-fi film Armageddon starring Bruce Willis, and Steven Tyler's daughter, Liv Tyler.
Number 10 on our list is ‘Lose Yourself’ by Eminem, who also starred in the film 8 Mile. Written by Scott Silver and directed by Curtis Hanson, it was the rapper’s debut role in a motion picture. Not only a hit at the box office; the soundtrack was certified quadruple platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and won an Academy Award for Best Original Song. It has been searched over 7.5 million times on Shazam.
Famous songs that also make the Top 40 include ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ by Queen, featured in Wayne's World, ‘Skyfall’ by Adele for the film of the same name, and ‘Where Is My Mind’ by Pixies for Fight Club. Although many of the films in our study are pre-2000s, our results find that people are still using Shazam across the globe to figure out the music in newer releases, with ‘It Will Rain’ by Bruno Mars for Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1 and ‘Cups (When I'm Gone)’ performed by Anna Kendrick in Pitch Perfect also sitting among the most-searched movie songs of all time.
Listen to all the top songs on our Spotify playlist
Data sourced from Shazam.com.