U2, Pharrell Williams and the bassist of Arcade Fire are all contending for Academy Awards as is a film about the singers who sang the oohs, ahs and la-la-las on thousands of rock and R&B records in the 20th century.
U2's Golden Globe-winning song from “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom,” “Ordinary Love,” received an Academy Award nomination Thursday morning as did Karen O's "The Moon Song" from "Her" and Williams' “Happy” from “Despicable Me 2.” Idina Menzel's showpiece in the animated “Frozen,” “Let It Go,” earned a nomination for Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez.
The title song from a little-known Christian film “Alone Yet Not Alone” received the fifth nomination. Bruce Broughton did the music, Dennis Spiegel is the lyricist. Joni Eareckson Tada sang it in the film.
U2 was previously nominated for Best Original Song in 2002, when the group's "Gangs of New York" anthem "The Hands That Built America" lost out to Eminem's "Lose Yourself," from "8 Mile." For Yeah Yeah Yeahs leader Karen O and "Get Lucky" maestro Williams, this year's nominations represent their first times competing in the Best Original Song category. At last year's Academy Awards ceremony, Adele and Paul Epworth won the Best Original Song trophy for the "Skyfall" title theme.
Among the 75 original songs from eligible feature films that were in contention for the five Best Original Song nominations, among the more high-profile snubs were "Atlas," Coldplay's single from "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire"; Taylor Swift's "Sweeter Than Fiction," from the film "One Chance"; and "I See Fire," Ed Sheeran's song from "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug." Five songs from Baz Luhrmann's adaptation of "The Great Gatsby" were vying for a nomination, including Lana Del Rey's "Young and Beautiful" and Jay Z's "100 $ Bill," but none of the tracks earned a nod.
"We are humbled and honored that ‘Ordinary Love’ has been nominated for an Oscar,” U2 said in a statement. “It was a privilege to be asked to write a song for this extraordinary film, ‘Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom,’ and to help tell this extraordinary love story. We have been working for this great man since we were teenagers and for our song to be recognized in this way by the Academy is beyond our wildest teenage dreams."
Coming days after the Golden Globes honored a rock band leader -- Alex Ebert -- with an award for his score, the Academy Awards nominating committee nominated Arcade Fire's William Butler and indie musician Owen Pallett (formerly Final Fantasy) for their work on "Her." They'll be competing against a legend (John Williams, "The Book Thief"), a first-timer (Steven Price, "Gravity") and two composers with multiple nominations and no wins, Alexandre Desplat ("Philomena") and Thomas Newman ("Saving Mr. Banks). For Newman it is his 12 nominations, for Desplat, it is his sixth in the last eight years.
With his 44th nomination for Best Original Score, Williams passes Alfred Newman to become the all-time leader in the category. Williams has won five times to Newman’s nine. The composer trails only Walt Disney, with 49 nominations.
“Twenty Feet from Stardom,” Morgan Neville's documentary on backup singers, received one of the five Best Documentary Feature nominations.
“Gravity” and “America Hustle” led the pack with 10 nominations each. The awards will be handed out March 2.
Here are the nominees for Best Original Song and Best Original Score:
Best Original Song
"Alone Yet Not Alone," Alone Yet Not Alone; music by Bruce Broughton, lyrics by Dennis Spiegel "Happy," Despicable Me 2; music and lyrics by Pharrell Williams "Let It Go," Frozen; music and lyrics by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez "The Moon Song," Her; music by Karen O., lyrics by Karen O. and Spike Jonze "Ordinary Love," Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom; music by Paul Hewson, Dan Evans, Adam Clayton, and Larry Mullen, a.k.a. U2; lyrics by Paul Hewson (aka Bono)
Best Original Score
John Williams, The Book Thief Steven Price, Gravity William Butler and Owen Pallett, Her Alexandre Desplat, Philomena Thomas Newman, Saving Mr. Banks