Adult Contemporary

As OneRepublic goes top 10 thanks to ‘Top Gun: Maverick,’ Ryan Tedder says soundtracks are “more important now”

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ABC/Paula Lobo

When the first Top Gun movie came out back in the ’80s, movie soundtracks were regularly the source of hit songs — just think Dirty Dancing, Footloose and Purple Rain. That hasn’t necessarily been the case in recent years, but it seems to be changing: OneRepublic has just scored their first top 10 hit since 2015 with “I Ain’t Worried” from the Top Gun: Maverick soundtrack. 

“I think soundtracks are becoming [hitmakers] again,” Ryan Tedder tells ABC Audio. In addition to “I Ain’t Worried,” he points to the top 10 success of Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill” — “a 37-year-old song,” notes Ryan — thanks to its inclusion on the Stranger Things soundtrack.

“Soundtracks are more [important] now, more than in the last 10 years, because of how hard it is for anyone to hear your song,” he says. “You have to go everywhere.”

While Ryan appreciates how TikTok can also make a song a hit and revive older tracks, he says, “For us, whether it’s the Euphoria soundtrack … or it’s Stranger Things or it’s Top Gun, I guarantee you there’s going to be another movie or show this year that spits out another massive smash.”

“I think they’re so important now to do licensing, TV … you have to explore every single option, and focus on TV and film now more than ever, because it’s going to be the way that songs are broken, I think, coming up again,” he concludes. “It’s going to have a resurgence.”

You might recall that Top Gun: Maverick also had another single: Lady Gaga‘s “Hold My Hand.” Surprisingly, it stalled at #49. “I Ain’t Worried,” by comparison, had a slow and steady climb, finally hitting the top 10 after 13 weeks.

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