Songwriter Diane Warren Slams Rita Ora, Label for Not Promoting Oscar-Nominated Song
The Hollywood Reporter's inaugural Oscar Song Summit, hosted by Scott Feinberg on Feb. 2 immediately following the Oscar Nominees Luncheon, was for the most part a convivial affair, until Diane Warren lashed out at (an absent) Rita Ora.
The 24-year-old British newcomer sings Warren's Academy Award-nominated tune "Grateful" in the film Beyond the Lights -- and will perform it during the Oscar telecast on Feb. 22 -- but Warren, 58, is angry that Ora hasn't done more to promote it. "It's a little frustrating," complained Warren, a seven-time Oscar nominee who really wants to win this time. "It's like, there's no support. She's going to sing for, what, a billion people? What an opportunity! And she tweeted about it twice. I'm like, 'Really?' " Ora has 4.3 million Twitter followers.
Warren also groused that "Grateful" wasn't pushed as a single (since its October release on the Relativity label, it has sold 5,000 downloads, according to Nielsen Music) or a video. "They're not doing anything. I'm just scratching my head. I've never had a song from a movie that this has happened with. I could see them not putting it out before the nomination -- because you never know -- but once you're nominated, what the f--? It's the sloppiest thing I've ever seen." (Relativity Media released the film and is handling the campaign.)
For her part, Ora responded through a representative that she is "so thankful to be have been able to participate in a piece of Diane Warren's lyrical genius" and "incredibly 'grateful' [for] the opportunity to perform [it] at the Oscars."
At the Oscar Song Summit, Warren's fellow nominees Common (nominated with John Legend for "Glory" from Selma) and Gregg Alexander (nominated with Danielle Brisebois for "Lost Stars" from Begin Again) voiced their support. "Maybe that's the reason why the film business does so much better than the music business, right?" said Alexander. "Because with film people, they see an opportunity and they're all over it. With music, it's like, there's a hit -- 'OK, go on vacation to Kauai for six months and maybe we'll return a call,' you know?" Added Common: "For real."
Also nominated in the best original song category is The Lego Movie's "Everything Is Awesome," written by Shawn Patterson, and "I'm Not Gonna Miss You," by Glen Campbell with Julian Raymond, from I'll Be Me.
This article first appeared in the Feb. 21 issue of Billboard.