Released in the United States on May 5, 2000, Gladiator was a box office success, receiving positive reviews, and was credited with rekindling interest in the historical epic. The film was nominated for and won multiple awards, notably five Academy Awards in the 73rd Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Actor for Crowe.
The Oscar-nominated score was composed by Hans Zimmer and Lisa Gerrard, and conducted by Gavin Greenaway. Zimmer was originally planning to use Israeli vocalist Ofra Haza for the score, after his work with her in The Prince of Egypt. However, Ofra tragically died in her early 40s in late February 2000, before she was able to record anything, and so Gerrard was chosen instead. Lisa Gerrard's vocals are similar to her own work on The Insider score.
In 2003, Luciano Pavarotti released a recording of himself singing a song from the film and said he regretted turning down an offer to perform on the soundtrack. The soundtrack is one of the best selling film scores of all time.