“True Colors” is a song written by American songwriters Billy Steinberg and Tom Kelly. It was both the title track and the first single released from American singer Cyndi Lauper’s second album. It was the only original song on the album that Lauper did not help write.
“True Colors” spent two weeks in the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100, and was the last single from Lauper to occupy the top of the chart. It received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.
Transamerica is the original soundtrack, on the Nettwerk America label, of the 2005 film Transamerica starring Felicity Huffman and Kevin Zegers. The album consists of songs from various artists in the country and bluegrass genres.
The song “Travelin’ Thru” was written and performed by Dolly Parton. It was nominated for the Academy Award, Golden Globe, and Grammy Award for Best Song from a Movie.
This song is about a journey on the road to find home and identity. Parton references “The Wayfaring Stranger (song)” and “I Am a Pilgrim”, both examples of American folk music about the search for identity on the road. Parton said she wrote the song because of her status as an outsider and her belief that “It’s all right to be who you are.” She wrote the song on her tour bus in one day.
In 2006, the song was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Song. During the 78th Academy Awards broadcast of March 5, 2006, Parton gave a rousing performance of the song live on stage. The award went to “It’s Hard out Here for a Pimp” by Paul Beauregard, Jordan Houston, and Cedric Coleman.
The song was also nominated for the Golden Globe for Best Original Song and for the Broadcast Film Critics Association for Best Song, though it won neither award. According to the New York Times website, “Travelin’ Thru” won for best original song at the Phoenix Film Critics Society Awards 2005.
On April 1, 2008, Season 7 contestant Jason Castro, 21, performed “Travelin’ Thru” on American Idol for “Dolly Parton Week.”
“Soldier of Love” is a 1988 song by American singer Donny Osmond, which became his comeback hit.
A Top 30 hit in the UK in 1988, the track was not initially released in the US as Osmond did not have a record deal there. However, a cassette of the song from a British import was sent by an Osmond fan to Jessica Ettinger, the acting Program Director and Music Director at ABC’s WPLJ-FM New York. Ettinger liked the song but was concerned that Osmond, a former child star, wouldn’t be accepted by the current pop audience.
Ettinger, believing the song to be a hit, up-ended the top 40 music and radio industry by giving it a slot on her playlist. Osmond was not only unsigned by any record label in the U.S., but the song itself was unavailable for purchase in the U.S. at the time. To give the song a chance, she created a “mystery artist” promotion; put the song in rotation, and kept listeners guessing who the artist was for several weeks. Eventually, Ettinger had her air talent reveal that the song was by Donny Osmond, who appeared live on the air at the same time. Osmond was soon signed by Capitol Records, which copied Ettinger’s promotion idea nationwide and released the song as a single. “Soldier of Love” reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1989, behind Michael Damian’s “Rock On”; and Osmond credits Ettinger with re-launching his career by listening to the music and not pre-judging whether a song could be a hit based on the name of the artist.
The song is set to a post-disco beat. Songwriters are Carl Sturken and Evan Rogers. The music video for the song was directed by Michael Bay, becoming the director’s first official project.
“A Little Less Conversation” is a song written by Mac Davis and Billy Strange originally performed by Elvis Presley for the 1968 film Live a Little, Love a Little. The song became a minor hit in the United States when released as a single with “Almost in Love” as the A-side. A 2002 remix by Junkie XL of a later re-recording of the song by Presley became a worldwide hit, topping the singles charts in nine countries and was awarded certifications in ten countries by 2003.
The song has made numerous appearances in popular culture and has been covered by several artists.
“Let It Go” is a song from Disney’s 2013 animated feature film Frozen, whose music and lyrics were composed by husband-and-wife songwriting team Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez. The song was performed in its original show-tune version in the film by American actress and singer Idina Menzel in her vocal role as Queen Elsa. Anderson-Lopez and Lopez also composed a simplified pop version (with shorter lyrics and background chorus) which was performed by actress and singer Demi Lovato over the start of the film’s closing credits. A music video was separately released for the pop version.
The song presents the ostracized Queen Elsa, who abandons her kingdom when her magical ability to create and control ice and snow is discovered by the public. Up in the mountains, away from confused and suspicious onlookers, Elsa realizes that she no longer needs to hide her abilities, and so declares herself free from the restrictions she has had to endure since childhood. She rejoices in being able to use her power without fear or limit, to let her past go, and manipulate snow to create a living snowman and a magnificent ice castle for herself. The song also includes discarding items, most notably her glove which her parents gave her to hold back her powers, and taking her tiara off her head and throwing it over her shoulder, afterwards unravelling her braided hairstyle.
“Let It Go” reached the top five on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and won both the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 2014 and the Grammy Award for Best Song Written for Visual Media in 2015. The song gained international recognition, becoming one of the most globally recorded Disney songs, with numerous covers being recorded in different languages.
According to the IFPI, “Let It Go” sold 10.9 million copies in 2014, becoming the year’s fifth best-selling song.
“If I Could Turn Back Time” is a song by American recording artist Cher. Written by Diane Warren and co-produced along with Guy Roche, the pop rock track was included on Cher’s nineteenth album, Heart of Stone (1989). The song was released on June 1, 1989 as the second North American and first European single release from the album. The song also appears on the greatest hits compilations The Greatest Hits (1999) and The Very Best of Cher (2003). It was certified Gold by the RIAA for the sales of 500,000 copies. In November 2011, Billboard reported the digital sales of “If I Could Turn Back Time” to be 394,000 in the US.
Highly successful around the globe, “If I Could Turn Back Time” was seen as a major comeback for Cher in the late 1980s. It charted at number one in Australia and Norway, and reached number three in the United States and number six in the United Kingdom, respectively. It also became Cher’s second consecutive solo number one hit on Billboard’s Adult Contemporary chart. Gary Hill of Allmusic retrospectively wrote that the song “has a crunchy texture to it, albeit in a poppy, ’80s Starship sort of arrangement.”
“Hot for Teacher” is a song by the American rock band Van Halen, taken from their sixth studio album, 1984. The song was written by band members Eddie Van Halen, Alex Van Halen, Michael Anthony and David Lee Roth, and produced by Ted Templeman. It was released as the fourth and final single from the album in October 1984. It was the final single released by Van Halen’s original lineup.
The song is best known for Alex Van Halen’s double bass drum performance, and its music video, featuring the band as both adults and young students. The ending of this song comes from a studio outtake from the band’s club days, entitled “Voodoo Queen”. The Parents Music Resource Center protested the song due to its sexually suggestive lyrics and music video.
In 2009 it was named the 36th best hard rock song of all time by VH1.
“Don’t Forget Me” is an original song introduced in the fifteenth episode of the first season of the musical TV series “Smash”, entitled “Bombshell”. It was written by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, but in the show’s universe, it was written by the songwriting team of Tom Levitt (Christian Borle) and Julia Houston (Debra Messing) for their Marilyn Monroe musical Bombshell.
In the episode, the song is sung by Karen Cartwright (Katharine McPhee) as Marilyn Monroe during a Boston preview for the musical after having just taken over the role from Rebecca Duvall (Uma Thurman), who has been felled by illness.
The song is reprised by Ivy Lynn (Megan Hilty) in the twelfth episode of Season 2, “Opening Night”, as part of the performance of Bombshell’s opening night on Broadway opening, with Ivy playing the lead of Marilyn.
The song was initially released as a single from iTunes and Amazon.com’s MP3 store and is currently available on the cast album Bombshell.
“Basket Case” is a song by the American punk rock band Green Day. It is the seventh track and third single from their third studio album, Dookie (1994). The song spent five weeks at the top of the Modern Rock Tracks chart.
Green Day vocalist/guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong said “Basket Case” is about his struggle with anxiety; before he was diagnosed with a panic disorder years afterward, he thought he was going crazy. Armstrong commented that at the time, “The only way I could know what the hell was going on was to write a song about it.”
“Basket Case” was one of the songs producer Rob Cavallo heard when he received Green Day’s demo tape. He ended up signing the band to Reprise Records in mid-1993. Green Day and Cavallo recorded the version of “Basket Case” released on the trio’s major label debut Dookie between September and October 1993 at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, California.
“All That Jazz” (alternatively “And All That Jazz”) is a song from the 1975 musical Chicago. It has music by John Kander and lyrics by Fred Ebb, and is the opening song of the musical. The title of the 1979 film, starring Roy Scheider as a character strongly resembling choreographer/stage and film director Bob Fosse, is derived from the song.   
Bursting With Song explained the song’s context within the 2002 film: “We see Velma Kelly stomp into that very same nightclub, where she performs “All That Jazz” as a solo headliner; we know she’s killed her sister and boyfriend, and so do the cops, who arrest her after the number ends”.
Opus, Book 3 by Rob Blythe notes the song uses the 7th chord to create a unique musical effect.
Popular Culture: Introductory Perspectives postulated that the song encapsulated the “importance of jazz in the constitution of pop culture”. Describes it as a “cynical comment on the willingness of humans…to act solely, simply, and remorselessly in their own interest”, and deeming this unlawful conduct as part of “all that jazz” one needs to get by. BlueCoupe said in the song, “the ghost of Bob Fosse hangs about”.