Composer Ennio Morricone Dies at 91: A Look at His Impact Across Music

He contributed an estimated 500 film and television scores in his career

July 6, 2020

Legendary composer Ennio Morricone has passed away at the age of 91.

The Oscar winner was one of the most prolific film score writers in the history of the industry having received six nominations for Best Original Score throughout his career. Morricone won his first Academy Award in 2016 for his score to The Hateful Eight.

His compositions from The Good, the Bad and The Ugly, The Mission, Once Upon a Time in the West, and Cinema Paradiso are among his acclaimed works.

Morricone’s influence stretches far beyond the cinema as artists across many genres have been inspired by some of his work.

Metallica has long used his The Good, the Bad and The Ugly composition “The Ecstasy of Gold” as introduction music during their concerts.

The cover appears on numerous live releases with Metallica recording a version of it on the 2007 tribute album We All Love Ennio Morricone. Their cover of the song was nominated for a GRAMMY Award for Best Rock Instrumental Performance.

David Guetta was largely inspired by Morricone on his 2014 track “Lovers On The Sun” serving as a tribute to the composer. The song features numerous audio and visual references to the Wild West drawing on the spaghetti western films Morricone was famous for.

Morricone’s influence stretched well into the Hip Hop world with artists like Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Eminem, Slick Rick, LL Cool J, and Wu-Tang Clan sampling his work.

“The Ecstasy of Gold” was also featured as the prominent sample on JAY-Z’s "Blueprint 2,” from his album of the same name.

Morricone died early Monday morning in a Rome clinic, where he was taken after suffering a fall that caused a hip fracture. Throughout his 50 year career, Morricone contributed an estimated 500 scores for film and television.

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