Top 10 Songs That Are Iconic to 2000s Movies

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Top 10 Songs That Are Iconic to 2000s Movies

VOICE OVER: Emily Brayton WRITTEN BY: Jesse Singer
Even years later, we can't get these 2000s movie songs out of our heads. For this list, we'll be listening to songs that have become synonymous with films from the 2000s. Our countdown includes "Dreamgirls," "Shrek," "Once," and more!
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Top 10 Songs That Are Iconic to 2000s Movies


Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Songs That Are Iconic to 2000s Movies.

For this list, we’ll be listening to songs that have become synonymous with films from the 2000s.

Did we miss any big ones? Which tracks brought back your best movie memories? Sound off in the comments.

#10: “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going”
“Dreamgirls” (2006)


Although Beyoncé had top billing, and Eddie Murphy garnered an Oscar nomination, it was Jennifer Hudson who stole the show in “Dreamgirls.” Her role as the talented Effie White earned her the 2007 Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. At 25, Hudson became the youngest African American to win an Academy Award. Her performance in the movie was powerful, and her rendition of “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going” was filled with raw emotion. She showed everyone that she definitely deserved to finish higher than 7th on “American Idol” in 2004.

#9: “Can’t Fight the Moonlight”
“Coyote Ugly” (2000)


Many remember “Coyote Ugly” for the dancing bartenders, but it’s “Can’t Fight the Moonlight” that’s forever in our heads (and hearts). In her breakout role, actress Piper Perabo plays Violet Sanford, an aspiring songwriter who finds herself working at an all-night bar. One night, she gets on stage and sings her song. But it’s the performance by LeAnn Rimes at the end that’s Violet’s dream come true. The track appeared on Rimes’ 2002 album “I Need You.” The film’s director David McNally also directed the music video that was equally as memorable.

#8: “I’m a Believer”
“Shrek” (2001)


As iconic as “Shrek’s” closing scene is, you might be surprised to know that it was almost very different. Originally, the film was to end with the classic closing of the storybook as Shrek and Fiona rode off to their honeymoon. But producer Jeffrey Katzenberg told the filmmakers that he thought the movie should “go out with a big laugh.” The decision was made to close the film with all the characters dancing and singing to Smash Mouth’s cover of “I’m a Believer” by the Monkees. And that is why most of us can’t hear that song without thinking about a singing donkey, breakdancing pigs, and Robin Hood-esque characters doing the Macarena.

#7: “Afternoon Delight”
“Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy” (2004)


“Anchorman” is filled with brilliantly absurd and random comedic moments. One such moment is when Ron Burgundy explains what love is by singing “Afternoon Delight” with his newsroom buds. The song was a huge hit for the Starland Vocal Band back in 1976, hitting number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 and picking up multiple Grammy nominations - including Song of the Year. However, ask anyone who wasn’t around in 1976 who sings the song and they’d be more likely to say Will Ferrell, Paul Rudd, Steve Carell and David Koechner.

#6: “Jai Ho”
“Slumdog Millionaire” (2008)


Unless it’s a Marvel movie, most people leave the theater after the credits start to roll. However, we have a feeling most people stuck around at the end of “Slumdog Millionaire” once “Jai Ho” and the choreographed Bollywood dancing lit up the screen. The song was composed by A. R. Rahman for the movie, and showcased Indian music and dancing for audiences who may not have been overly familiar with either. Not only did the hit song win an Oscar and a Grammy, but it spawned many cover versions, including one by The Pussycat Dolls.

#5: “Falling Slowly”
“Once” (2007)


Given that the film “Once” is about musicians, and filled with amazing original songs, there are a number of songs from the soundtrack that could have made this list. But for many, “Falling Slowly” is the standout song of the film and the one that won the Oscar for Best Original Song at the 80th Academy Awards. It’s also the song that - for those of us who have seen the film and remember it playing over the final montage - has us smiling and tearing up almost every time we hear it.

#4: “Independent Women Part 1”
“Charlie's Angels” (2000)


We admit that Drew Barrymore “moonwalking” out of the room to the opening notes of “Billie Jean” is pretty damn awesome. But Michael Jackson’s hit song isn’t nearly as iconic in the “Charlie’s Angels” reboot as “Independent Women Part 1.” In the opening of the track, the group even introduces stars Lucy Liu, Drew Barrymore and Cameron Diaz, and the music video takes place at Charlie’s Angels Boot Camp. The song became a huge hit on its own, but it will also forever be connected to the film.

#3: “Lady Marmalade”
“Moulin Rouge!” (2001)


There’s so much music in “Moulin Rouge!” that fans probably associate a whole number of songs with the film. There is, of course, the romantic “Come What May,” which is the love song sung by the film’s leads Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman. While the love song was originally conceived for Baz Luhrmann’s “Romeo + Juliet,” it ended up being used for “Moulin Rouge!” But it’s the remake of “Lady Marmalade” that was recorded specifically for the soundtrack. Pop and hip hop artists Christina Aguilera, Lil’ Kim, Mya, and Pink all dressed up as ladies from the Moulin Rouge for the music video.

#2: “Tiny Dancer”
“Almost Famous” (2000)


After a wild night of partying, Russell ‘the Golden God’ Hammond is back on the tour bus with his bandmates. Having just had a recent fight, Stillwater and their crew sit in tense silence. But it’s music that breaks the ice. In one of the film’s most memorable scenes, they all gradually start singing along to Elton John’s “Tiny Dancer.” Without saying a word to each other, there’s forgiveness and reconciliation. It’s impossible not to sing this infectious song out loud. In a movie all about 70s rock ‘n roll, “Tiny Dancer” is the perfect addition.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

“Backdoor Lover” / “Josie and the Pussycats” (2001)
A Satirical Boy Band’s Big Hit Song

“It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp” / “Hustle & Flow” (2005)
The Song Is the Heart of the Entire Movie

“Man of Constant Sorrow” / “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” (2000)
George Clooney Doesn’t Actually Sing It, But We Think of Him When We Hear It

“Canned Heat” / “Napoleon Dynamite” (2004)
The Dance That Won Pedro His Class Presidency

“New Slang” / “Garden State” (2004)
If Natalie Portman Tells You a Song Will Change Your Life, You Listen to It

#1: “Lose Yourself”
“8 Mile” (2002)


Some songs become strongly connected to films because of a scene they appear in (as with “Tiny Dancer”). That isn’t the case with Eminem’s “Lose Yourself,” though. In fact, the song doesn’t show up in the film until the final moments, and it mostly just plays over the end credits. But that doesn’t matter, because the song isn’t about one scene in “8 Mile.” It is “8 Mile.” The song is so connected to the film that we wouldn’t be surprised if some people thought the name of the movie was “Lose Yourself.”
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