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Will Smith In 'Men In Black'

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News surrounding the upcoming release of Marvel’s highly-anticipated Black Panther sequel, Wakanda Forever, just continues to get better and better as the film’s premiere date nears.

Adding even more excitement to the project, pop icon Rihanna has decided to use the film’s soundtrack as her official launch back into music as she gears up for a new album and Super Bowl Halftime Show performance in 2023.

RELATED: The Best Black Movie Soundtracks Of All Time

Not much is known about the song, which is officially titled “Lift Me Up,” but humming that can be heard faintly in the seconds-long preview Rih posted to social media earlier today (seen above) alludes to it being a powerful pop ballad. We’ll wait to hear the full version when it drops this Friday (October 28), but the cause for conversation put us in the mind of the days when soundtrack songs dominated the charts.

Just a few decades ago, music made for movies would regularly top the Billboard Hot 100 and go on to become one of the biggest songs of its release year. The science of a catchy song being heard in a globally-featured film is one of the most classic money-making moves in the music industry. The recent decline in CD sales and box office attendance has made an effect on the success rate of soundtrack singles, but the synergy between music and movies hasn’t faltered completely as we can see with artists like Beyoncé, Kendrick Lamar and the aforementioned “Umbrella” hitmaker.

To remind the world just how important the soundtrack is when it comes to movie production, we looked back on 25 of the greatest movie songs, year by year, for the past two-and-a-half decades.

Starting in 1997 and ending in 2021, take a look at 25 of the best soundtrack songs to release over the past 25 years:

25 Greatest Soundtrack Songs Of The Past 25 Years  was originally published on

1. “Men In Black” – Will Smith, ‘Men In Black’ (1997)

2. “Are You That Somebody?” – Aaliyah, ‘Dr. Doolittle’ (1998)

3. “Fortunate” – Maxwell, ‘Life’ (1999)

4. “Independent Women, Pt. 1” – Destiny’s Child, ‘Charlies Angels’ (2000)

5. “Lady Marmalade” – Christina Aguilera, Lil’ Kim, Pink, Mya & Missy Elliott, ‘Moulin Rouge’ (2001)

6. “Lose Yourself” – Eminem, ‘8 Mile’ (2002)

7. “Shake Ya Tailfeather” –  Diddy, Nelly & Murphy Lee, ‘Bad Boys II’ (2003)

8. “Million Voices” – Wyclef Jean, ‘Hotel Rwanda’ (2004)

9. “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp”- Three 6 Mafia, ‘Hustle & Flow’ (2005)

10. “(When You Gonna) Give It Up to Me” – Sean Paul & Keyshia Cole, ‘Step Up’ (2006)

11. “Less Than An Hour”- Nas & Cee-Lo, ‘Rush Hour 3’ (2007)

12. “Paper Planes” – M.I.A., ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ (2008)

13. “Forever” – Drake, Kanye West, Lil Wayne & Eminem, ‘More Than a Game’ (2009)

14. “Four Women” – Nina Simone, Lisa Simone, Laura Izibor & Ledisi, ‘For Colored Girls’ (2010)

15. “Let Me Take You To Rio” – Ester Dean & Carlinhos Brown, ‘Rio’ (2011)

16. “Skyfall” – Adele, ‘Skyfall’ (2012)

17. “Happy” – Pharrell, ‘Despicable Me 2’ (2013)

18. “Glory” – Common & John Legend, ‘Selma’ (2014)

19. “See You Again” – Wiz Khalifa & Charlie Puth, ‘Furious 7’ (2015)

20. “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” – Justin Timberlake, ‘Trolls’ (2016)

21. “Mighty River” – Mary J. Blige, ‘Mudbound’ (2017)

22. “All the Stars” – Kendrick Lamar & SZA, ‘Black Panther’ (2018)

23. “Spirit” – Beyoncé, ‘The Lion King’ (2019)

24. “RITMO (Bad Boys For Life)” – Black Eyed Peas & J Balvin, ‘Bad Boys For Life’ (2020)

25. “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” – Lin-Manuel Miranda & Cast of ‘Encanto’ (2021)