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Up Where We Belong

"Up Where We Belong" is a song from the 1982 film An Officer and a Gentleman. Written by Jack Nitzsche and Buffy Sainte-Marie, with lyrics by Will Jennings, it was performed by Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes.

Charts and awards

The single, released by Island Records in 1982, became a number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 on November 6, 1982 and kept the position for three weeks, also reaching number 7 in the UK, where the film was less popular.

"Up Where We Belong" won the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song and the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1983. It also won the BAFTA Film Awards for Best Original Song in 1984. Cocker and Warnes also won the Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal in 1983 for their rendition of this song.

Producer Don Simpson unsuccessfully demanded "Up Where We Belong" to be cut from An Officer and a Gentleman, saying, "The song is no good. It isn't a hit."


The song was part of the An Officer and a Gentleman Original Soundtrack, and was later released as part of The Best of Joe Cocker (1993).

In 1991, it was re-released as a Jennifer Warnes CD-single alongside "First We Take Manhattan" and "(I've Had) The Time of My Life".

The song also featured in the TV advertising campaign for Rover's 200 Series range on its launch in 1989.


  • Cocker performed the song with fellow '60s artist Joan Baez at a 1986 concert honoring Bill Graham and the Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco.
  • The songs' composer, Buffy Sainte-Marie, did a cover of the song for her album Up Where We Belong and the TV special of the same name.
  • BeBe & CeCe Winans have recorded a Christian version of this song, with "Love will lift us up..." replaced by "Lord, lift us up...".
  • It was covered on Gimme a Break! by Nell Carter and Andy Gibb.
  • It featured in an episode of Scrubs, in one of Bob Kelso's fantasies.
  • A cover version of the song was featured in The Simpsons' episode Life on the Fast Lane, the final sequence of which is a parody of An Officer and a Gentleman.
  • Also part of the song is featured in the 'Elephant Love Medley' in the 2001 Academy Award-winning musical production of Moulin Rouge!
  • The melody from "Up Where We Belong" has also been used as a 'company jingle' by the German airline Lufthansa in 1992 for marketing and recruitment purposes.
  • Bo Bice and Carrie Underwood performed this as their duet on American Idol.
  • The song was featured on Family Guy when Stewie Griffin (Seth MacFarlane) and his unborn brother, Bertram (Wallace Shawn), try and make Peter cry. As Peter starts to tear up, Lois says "I love you Peter!", to which Peter responds, "And I love you Lou Gossett Jr.!"
  • It was featured on the episode of Girlfriends when Maya and Darnell renew their marriage vows. Each verse is sung by a different bridesmaid as they walk down the "aisle".
  • This song was featured in the South Park episode Erection Day, when the character Jimmy is carrying his prostitute back to their hotel.
  • The tune to this song is used in the Friends episode 'The one with the chicken pox', when Ross hires a navy uniform and tries to carry Rachel out of Central Perk.


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