When Pop Stars Make Soundtracks: A Brief History

When the creators of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 approached Lorde about contributing to the film, their intention was simple:

Create a powerful song in line with Taylor Swift‘s “Safe & Sound” and Coldplay‘s “Atlas,” lead singles from the franchise’s first and second film, respectively, and be on your merry way. No more, no less.

And yet, when the New Zealand-born singer met with director Francis Lawrence about the project, he found himself blown away by her deep connection to the material and, suddenly, merely writing an end-credits track wasn’t nearly enough. “I sat down with Lorde on the set of Mockingjay this spring and I was immediately struck by how she so innately understood what we, as both fans and filmmakers, were trying to accomplish with the film,” he said in a statement announcing her involvement with the film in July 2014. “Her immense talent and keen understanding of Mockingjay‘s characters and themes not only have enabled her to create a song of her own that completely captures the film’s essence, but her insight and passion for our project make her the perfect creative force to assemble the other songs on our soundtrack.”

In a statement of her own, Lorde said of the opportunity, “Curating the soundtrack for such a hotly-anticipated film was a challenge, but I jumped at the chance. The cast and story are an inspiration for all musicians participating and, as someone with cinematic leanings, being privy to a different creative process has been a unique experience. I think the soundtrack is definitely going to surprise people.”

And five years ago today, just days after her 18th birthday, Lorde did just that. As she unveiled her masterpiece, an expertly curated soundtrack featuring material from artists like Ariana Grande, Kanye West, Grace Jones, The Chemical Brothers, Charli XCX, Q-Tip, Haim and many more, she surprised everyone by proving that not only was she a force to be reckoned as far as her own music was concerned, but she had excellent taste in music and an innate ability to put an album together.

In that moment, she joined a small list of A-list talent who’ve put music supervisors out of work, albeit temporarily, as they’ve tried their hands at soundtrack curation and creation. In honor of the fifth anniversary of Lorde’s outstanding effort, let’s take a look at the pop stars who both came before her and followed in her footsteps.

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Pop Star Movie Soundtracks, Batman 1989, Prince

Flashback – Rhino; Getty Images

Pop Star Movie Soundtracks, I'm Breathless, Madonna

Sire Records

Pop Star Movie Soundtracks, 8 Mile, Eminem

Interscope Records; Getty Images

Pop Star Movie Soundtracks, The Great Gatsby, Jay-Z

Interscope Records; Getty Images

Pop Star Movie Soundtracks, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1, Lorde

Interscope Records; Joanne Davidson/Shutterstock

Pop Star Movie Soundtracks, Trolls, Justin Timberlake

RCA Records/Getty Images

Pop Star Movie Soundtracks, Black Panther, Kendrick Lamar

Interscope Records; Getty Images

Pop Star Movie Soundtracks, A Star is Born, Lady Gaga

Interscope Records

Pop Star Movie Soundtracks, The Lion King: The Gift, Beyonce

Columbia Records/Disney

Pop Star Movie Soundtracks, Charlie's Angels, Ariana Grande

Republic Records

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