Marc Shaiman Talks Guild of Music Supervisors Icon Award & Expecting to Lose to Lady Gaga at the Oscars

Marc Shaiman
Rich Polk/Getty Images Guild of Music Supervisors

Marc Shaiman performs onstage during the 9th Annual Guild of Music Supervisors Awards on Feb. 13, 2019 at The Theatre at Ace Hotel in Los Angeles.

The ninth annual Guild of Music Supervisors Awards ceremony took place Wednesday night at the Theatre at the Ace Hotel in Los Angeles, recognizing achievements made in music supervision and exemplary work in 18 categories across movies, television, games, advertising and trailers. One of those honorees was award-winning composer and songwriter Marc Shaiman, most recently recognized for his work on Mary Poppins Returns, who received the prestigious Icon Award at the event and shared his excitement with Billboard before the ceremony.

"The longevity becomes something you're really proud about and I'm very excited to be part of this night," Shaiman says. "And the group of people, the music supervisors, are very much like the lifeblood of modern movie music. So it's a good crowd."

Shaiman’s film credits include Sleepless in Seattle, Patch AdamsSouth Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut, When Harry Met Sally and The Bucket List. Some of his television credits include SNL’s Sweeney Sisters, Smash and appearances with Neil Patrick Harris, Jenifer Lewis and Jennifer Hudson. Besides Hairspray, his and composer Scott Wittman’s other original Broadway musicals include Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me and Catch Me If You Can.

During the Icon Award presentation, a clip of Shaiman's acheivments played on a large screen in the theater while attendees applauded for some of their favorites. Instead of an acceptance speech, however, Shaiman decided to perform two songs onstage that showcased his work, including the currently Academy Award-nominated "Where Lost Things Go" from Mary Poppins Returns and an updated version of the parody song "Yes" from the documentary Finding Kraftland, for which he recieved a standing ovation from the audience.

“Marc Shaiman’s work has withstood the test of time. Because of his songs, cultural sensations such as Hairspray and Sleepless in Seattle have resonated deeply with audiences spanning generations,” said Thomas Golubi?, president of the Guild of Music Supervisors. “We are honored to celebrate Marc’s contributions to the industry as he accepts the prestigious Icon Award at this year’s show.”

In the past, Shaiman has been awarded a Tony, Grammy and Emmy for his musical contributions to film, TV and theater. This year, Shaiman is an Oscar away from achieving the highly coveted EGOT status. Shaiman's Mary Poppins Returns is nominated for two Academy Awards -- best original score and best original song -- and should it win, he will add that final "O." Other competitors in the best original song category include Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper's blockbuster "Shallow" duet from A Star Is Born, and when Billboard asked whether he thinks Mary Poppins Returns could get the gold on Oscar night, Shaiman said, "No. They're going to shove that Oscar so far up Lady Gaga's ass that when she smiles it will look like a filling."

The other distinguished award from the ceremony recognized industry legend Joel Sill, who was given the organization’s Legacy Award, for his creative contribution to music in film. Sill’s body of work includes the classics Forrest Gump, The Goonies, Blade Runner and The Color Purple. "It's really an honor to be recognized," Sill told Billboard. "It's not anything I had ever conceived of, and the fact that the guild has grown to such a proportion, that they're recognizing people for accomplishments, I think it's terrific."