Singer's 'Skyfall' an Instant Favorite in Original Song Category; Rodriguez Doc 'Searching for Sugar Man' Up for Best Documentary
"Skyfall," the Adele track from the latest James Bond film, is the first Academy Awards nominee for best original song in 10 years to have also been a top 10 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Its nomination was announced Thursday morning in Beverly Hills. "Skyfall" will be competing with the new tune penned for the screen version of "Les Misérables," "Suddenly," "Pi's Lullaby" from "Life of Pi," J. Ralph's "Before My Time" from the documentary "Chasing Ice" and finally "Everybody Needs A Best Friend" from "Ted," which features lyrics from Seth MacFarlane who announced the nominations with Emma Stone at Oscars headquarters.
The odds-on favorite is "Skyfall" and the song nomination was one of four the Bond film received; Thomas Newman's score is also up for a trophy.
Songs in James Bond films have been nominated three times, but have never won. Paul and Linda McCartney were considered for 1973's "Live and Let Die"; Marvin Hamlisch and Carole Bayer Sager wrote "Nobody Does it Better" for "The Spy Who Loved Me" in 1977; and Bill Conti and Mick Leeson received a nomination for 1981's "For Your Eyes Only."
As a Hot 100 hit, Adele's song far outpaced its competition. It peaked at No. 8 and has sold 1.3 million copies, according to Soundscan. The last top 10 song to receive a nomination was Eminem's "Lose Yourself" from the film "8 Mile." It reached No. 1 in November of 2002, spent a total of 12 weeks atop the list, and went on to win the Academy Award the following year.
"Suddenly," with music by Claude-Michel Schönberg and lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer and Alain Boublil, has only 5,000 track sales, but the "Les Misérables" soundtrack album is currently sitting at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, the first soundtrack to top the chart since "Hunger Games" was No. 1 on April 7 of last year. The last musical film soundtrack to head the list was "Hannah Montana: The Movie" in May 2009; the last stage musical-turned-movie musical to reach No. 1 was "Mamma Mia!" in 2008. "Les Miserables" received eight nominations.
Composer Mychael Danna was the only person to receive two nominations in the music categories. Besides his song, written with lyricist Bombay Jayashri, he is also up for his "Life of Pi" score as the film received 11 total nominations. Besides Danna and Newman, the other best original score nominees are Dario Marianelli for "Anna Karenina," Alexandre Desplat for "Argo" and John Williams for "Lincoln."
MacFarlane wrote "Everybody Needs a Best Friend" with Walter Murphy, the comedy writer-director's collaborator on the TV series "Family Guy." The song nominations for "Ted" and "Chasing Ice" were the only ones the films received.
Oscar ceremony producers could add compelling music power to the telecast by booking the singers who performed the songs in the films. For starters, it gets Adele involved in the show, which has already announced that it will do a tribute to James Bond. For the other nominated songs, Scarlett Johansson and violinist Joshua Bell perform Ralph's "Before My Time"; Norah Jones sings "Everybody Needs A Best Friend" in "Ted," Hugh Jackman is the singer of "Suddenly" in "Les Miserables" and Bombay Jayashri, a leading singer in India, sings "Pi's Lullaby."
Among the contenders that did not receive nominations were Keith Urban's "For You," which has sold 502,000 copies and hit No. 55 on the Hot 100, Taylor Swift's "Hunger Games track "Safe & Sound," a No. 30 hit that sold 1.5 million downloads, tracks from the animated "Brave" and Neil Finn's song from "The Hobbit," "Song of the Lonely Mountain."
The other key nomination for music fans is in the documentary category where "Searching for Sugar Man" is up for the statuette. Malik Benedjelloul's film tells the story of Rodriguez, a forgotten 1970s recording artist from Detroit rediscovered in the late 1990s and celebrated in South Africa.
The Oscars will be handed out on Feb. 24.
"Before My Time" from "Chasing Ice" Music and Lyric by J. Ralph
"Everybody Needs A Best Friend" from "Ted" Music by Walter Murphy; Lyric by Seth MacFarlane
"Pi's Lullaby" from "Life of Pi" Music by Mychael Danna; Lyric by Bombay Jayashri
"Skyfall" from "Skyfall" Music and Lyric by Adele Adkins and Paul Epworth
"Suddenly" from "Les Misérables" Music by Claude-Michel Schönberg; Lyric by Herbert Kretzmer and Alain Boublil
"Anna Karenina" -- Dario Marianelli
"Argo" -- Alexandre Desplat
"Life of Pi" -- Mychael Danna
"Lincoln" -- John Williams
"Skyfall" -- Thomas Newman
Get a full rundown of the Oscar nominations at The Hollywood Reporter.