With Sunday night’s win at the 2016 Academy Awards, Sam Smith’s song “Writing’s on the Wall” has become the second James Bond theme to win the Oscar for Best Original Song.
Co-produced with EDM heroes Disclosure, the Spectre theme achieved 700,000 combined sales of physical copies and streams in its first week, more than Adele’s winning 2013 track “Skyfall,” which made it to No 2.
The award was introduced by Common and John Legend, last year’s winners for their Selma track “Glory”. The track beat out a wide range of stylistic excellence, including Lady Gaga, whose song, “Til It Happens to You” was powerfully performed alongside a stage full of sexual assault survivors. The track was written for The Hunting Ground, a documentary that examines the issue of campus rape in US colleges. The Weeknd’s ballad “Earned It,” from Fifty Shades of Grey, was also expected to offer a strong challenge for the win.
Watch Smith’s performance of the track at the Oscars below, which was introduced by Sarah Silverman. The comic joked about not seeing the movie and the downside of sleeping with James Bond. “James Bond: not a grower or a shower,” said Silverman. “I don’t want to say he’s terrible at sex, but he did sleep with 55 women in 24 movies, and most of them tried to kill him afterwards.”