On Sunday (February 9), the biggest names in entertainment will all flock to Hollywood for the 92nd Academy Awards. 24 awards will be given out for acting, writing, costume design, sound editing, cinematography, directing, editing, makeup and hairstyling, and music, to name a few.
As country fans, we always enjoy when a country artist or song is nominated for Best Original Song, so we’ve compiled a list of the ten country songs that have been nominated for an Academy Award.
This year, unfortunately, no country songs were nominated. Take a look at 11 songs that have been nominated for an Academy Award.
1. 2015 – “I’m Not Gonna Miss You” from Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me
The most recent Oscar-nominated country song was Glen Campbell’s heart-wrenching song “I’m Not Gonna Miss You.” The country legend was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2011 and embarked on a final “Goodbye Tour,” with his last show being November 30, 2012.
Campbell let cameras follow him on this journey and it became the critically-acclaimed documentary Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me. Campbell and good friend Julian Raymond wrote the song, “I’m Not Gonna Miss You,” which became the last song he ever recorded.
Although Campbell gave an incredibly moving performance, and is a winner in our eyes, “Glory” from the movie Selma took home the Academy Award.
Campbell was not well enough to perform the song, let alone attend the ceremony, so country star Tim McGraw sang it in his place. Watch McGraw’s performance of “I’m Not Gonna Miss You” at the 87th Academy Awards below. You can see Campbell’s wife, Kim, and daughter, Ashley, in the audience.
2. 2010 – “The Weary Kind” from Crazy Heart
In the film Crazy Heart, Jeff Bridges plays an alcoholic singer-songwriter who was once a big country music star. Bridges’ character writes “The Weary Kind” after his girlfriend breaks up with him and he thinks it’s the best song he’s ever written. He sells it to a popular country star, played by Colin Farrell, who makes it a certified hit.
“The Weary Kind” was written by Ryan Bingham and T Bone Burnett, who also penned songs for the rest of the film. Not only did “The Weary Kind” win the Academy Award for Best Original Song, Bridges also won for Best Actor.
3. 2011 – “Coming Home” from Country Strong
The Country Strong soundtrack was filled with incredible songs written especially for the movie, as well as several country favorites. Lee Ann Womack, Hank Williams Jr., Faith Hill, and more lent their voices to the soundtrack, but one original song stood out from the rest.
Titled “Coming Home,” the song is performed by the film’s main character, Kelly Cantor, who is played by Gwenyth Paltrow. Cantor is a troubled star who is an alcoholic who left rehab too early to embark on a three-city tour to help restore her image.
After a two disastrous concerts, Cantor is finally clean and sober for the third show. She flawlessly sings her hits, including the incredibly moving “Coming Home.” It was written by Ton Douglas, Troy Verges, and Hillary Lindsey.
If you’ve seen the movie, you know the significance of this performance because it is her final one.
“We Belong Together” for Toy Story 3 took home the Oscar.
4. 2006 – “Travelin’ Thru” from Transamerica
This Oscar nomination comes over 25 years after her first, but it proves that Dolly Parton hasn’t lost her touch. It is said that Parton wrote the song on her tour bus in just one day. “Travelin’ Thru” is about a journey on the road to find home and identity.
Transamerica is a comedy-drama film about a transgender woman who goes on a road trip with her long-lost son. Parton delivered an incredible performance of “Travelin’ Thru” at the 78th Academy Awards.
Despite rave reviews of “Travelin’ Thru,” the Academy Award went to Hustle & Flow‘s “It’s Hard Out Here For A Pimp.”
Watch it above.
5. 1998 – “How Do I Live” from Con Air
While this song was not included on the soundtrack of Con Air, it was an important part of the film. Written solely by Dianne Warren, the powerful song appeared in the final scene of the movie, when Nicolas Cage’s character and Monica Potter’s character reunited after eight years of being apart.
Although many country fans wanted “How Do I Live” to win the Oscar, “My Heart Will Go On” from Titanic ultimately took home the coveted award.
Check out the famous scene from Con Air below.
6. 1985 – “Footloose” from Footloose
“Footloose” was co-written and performed by Kenny Loggins. It spent three weeks at number one and was the first of two number one hits from the movie Footloose, which starred Kevin Bacon. “Footloose” was the soundtrack of the high school dance scene at the very end of Footloose. It was a vital part of the film because the town it was set in had banned dancing and rock music.
“Footloose” was nominated for an Academy Award, but lost out to Stevie Wonder’s “I Just Called To Say I Love You” from the movie The Woman in Red.
7. 1981 – “On The Road Again” from Honeysuckle Rose
You may know this song very well, but did you know it was written for the film Honeysuckle Rose? The film starred Willie Nelson as Buck Bonham, a country music singer struggling to find fame. He tries to balance life as a touring musician with his family life, but the tour leads to temptations with a female guitarist in his band.
The film grossed over $17.8 million and landed Nelson an Academy Award nomination, but lost out to “Fame” from the film of the same name.
According to IMDb, Nelson is recreating his role at Buck Bonham for an upcoming film titled My Cricket and Me, and also stars a few of Honeysuckle Rose‘s original cast.
8. 1981 – “9 to 5” from 9 to 5
Even though the role of Doralee was written especially for Dolly Parton, the country star wouldn’t sign on to act in the film 9 to 5, unless she could write the theme song. They would have been fools to turn her down, and she penned the song “9 to 5,” which went on to hit the number one spot on the country, Hot 100, and Adult Contemporary charts.
It also won her two Grammys, and became an anthem for office workers in the United States. Although we think she should have won the Academy Award, “9 to 5” ultimately lost out to “Fame” from the film of the same name.
9. 1976 – “I’m Easy” from Nashville
The film Nashville was known for its very large ensemble – 24 main characters to be exact. It followed them, mostly country and gospel singers, on their overlapping story arcs and gave us about a full hour of musical performances.
One of those performances was “I’m Easy,” performed by Keith Carradine, who also wrote the music and lyrics. Carradine took home the Oscar, beating out “How Lucky Can You Get” from Funny Lady, “Now That We’re In Love” from Whiffs, “Richard’s Window” from The Other Side of the Mountain, and “Theme From Mahogany (Do You Know Where You’re Going To” from Mahogany.
10. 1970 – “True Grit” from True Grit
Written by Don Black and Elmer Bernstein and recorded by the legendary Glen Campbell, “True Grit” was released in July 1969 as the first single from Campbell’s album of the same name.
While John Wayne took home his only Oscar for his performance in True Grit, the song did not win. Instead, “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head” from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid did.
11. 2019 – “When A Cowboy Trades His Spurs For Wings”
From the film The Ballad of Buster Scruggs is nominated for Best Original Song. Titled “When A Cowboy Trades His Spurs For Wings,” the song was written by David Rawlings and Gillian Welch.
“Shallow” from A Star Is Born won the trophy that year.
1977 – “Evergreen” from A Star Is Born
Although this isn’t a country song, we had to include it on the honorable mention section just because Kris Kristofferson sang on it in the movie A Star Is Born. The song’s writers Barbra Streisand and Paul Williams took home to coveted prize, beating out songs from Half a House, Rocky, The Pink Panther Strikes Again and The Omen.
1975 – “Blazing Saddles” from Blazing Saddles
In 1975, Mel Brooks’ theme song from his satirical western comedy Blazing Saddles was nominated for an Academy Award. Although Brooks lost to “We May Never Love Like This Again” from The Towering Inferno, he did win an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for The Producers several years prior.
We included “Blazing Saddles” in the honorable mention section because it’s from a Western.
Did you know about all of these nominees? Let us know in the comments!