Disney tunes have a special place in the hearts of many millennials (and millennial parents) who spent formative years glued to their televisions, watching and re-watching the animated fairy tales. As it turns out, the classic films of Disney’s ’90s renaissance have also provided a great showcase for the famous pop stars who lent their voices to their powerful, uplifting theme songs — often serenading viewers as the end credits rolled. Here, we’ve rounded up the best radio-ready versions of Disney’s finest melodies, from names as big as Elton John, Ariana Grande and Christina Aguilera.
1“A Whole New World,” Peabo Bryson and Regina Belle
Disney favorite Peabo Bryson returned one year after lending his voice to Beauty and the Beast for 1992’s Aladdin, joining powerhouse vocalist Regina Belle. The R&B-influenced take was included as the end credits version, a more radio-friendly rendition of the song performed in the movie by Brad Kane and Lea Salonga. It took home the Academy Award for Best Original Song and ultimately topped radio charts.
2“Can You Feel the Love Tonight,” Elton John
Elton John took home the 1995 Academy Award for Best Original Song — as well as a Grammy and Golden Globe — for composing “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” with lyricist Tim Rice for The Lion King. While the film version features a different cast of voices, the end credits have John’s own vocal. The song could get another remake to accompany Disney’s live-action version of the film, set to star Donald Glover as Simba and James Earl Jones as Mufasa.
3“Colors of the Wind,” Vanessa Williams
The powerful Pocahontas song finds the crystal-clear voice of Vanessa Williams painting a vision of 17th-century Native American life—and the importance of the environment—that still resonates with audiences today.
4“Go the Distance,” Michael Bolton
Singer Michael Bolton (and his flowing locks) stepped up to the plate to perform “Go the Distance,” composed by Disney mainstay Alan Menken, for the 1997 Hercules movie. Sung in the film by Roger Bart, Bolton’s take appeared in the end credits (and got its own music video).
5“You’ll Be in My Heart,” Phil Collins
Phil Collins both composed and performed the famous Tarzan tune. It was another Academy Award winner for Best Original Song, in 2000, in addition to nabbing a slew of other honors. Collins’ daughter, actress Lilly Collins, recently revealed that it had originally been used a lullaby for her.
6“Reflection,” Christina Aguilera
Aguilera swept into the spotlight in 1998 with this cover of the song performed in Mulan by Lea Salonga. It was Aguilera’s debut single—she was 17—and quickly won her national attention for her powerhouse vocals, helping launch her career as a singer.