Mockingjay Part 1: Jennifer Lawrence wins first UK Top 20 single with Hunger Games anthem

The Hollywood actress sings 'The Hanging Tree' as heroine Katniss Everdeen

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The Independent Culture

Jennifer Lawrence is now a bonafide pop star as well as the Oscar-winning star of The Hunger Games.

The Hollywood actress scored her first UK Top 20 single on Sunday with Mockingjay Part 1 track, “The Hanging Tree”.

The song is performed a cappella by Lawrence’s Hunger Games heroine Katniss Everdeen in the new film. Learnt from her father, it becomes the District 13 rebels’ battlecry against President Snow and the Capitol.

Lawrence’s contribution to the Lorde-curated soundtrack debuted earlier this week and soon began its journey up the charts, reaching number 19 after millions of online plays.

Composer James Newton and folk-rock group The Lumineers wrote “The Hanging Tree” while Hunger Games author Suzanne Collins penned the lyrics.

US figures suggest the moving track has sold more than 150,000 copies, meaning Lawrence is well on her way to claiming a Top 40 hit across the pond too.


However, despite her newfound musical success, Lawrence hated her Mockingjay Part 1 singing scene.

“I do not like singing in front of other people,” the 24-year-old told David Letterman earlier this month. “It’s like my biggest fear. I cried on set that day. That was awful.”

Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen in Mockingjay Part 1

Director Francis Lawrence told Vulture that his lead star was uncharacteristically nervous. “There are very few times when Jen gets nervous about stuff she has to do on set,” he said.

“The singing was that kind of a thing. I didn’t have to talk her into it, she was going to do it, she knew it was her job, but she just wasn’t happy about it. ‘Oh man, I’ve got to actually sing! In front of 150 people!’

“It shouldn’t sound like a professional. It should sound like a real girl singing. So she did it. She did it all day and she has a really cool sound to her voice. There’s kind of a raspy texture to it. So it was not terrible in the slightest.”

Mockingjay Part 1 has proved a box office hit, achieving the highest opening of 2014 so far in both the UK and the US.

The final movie in the franchise, Mockingjay Part 2 will be released in November 2015.