2019 American Music Awards

'Hadestown,' 'Moulin Rouge!' & More Front-Runners for Best Musical Theater Album at 2020 Grammys

Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions
The cast and crew of "Hadestown" accept the award for Best Musical onstage during the 2019 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 9, 2019 in New York City. 

"Hadestown" & "Moulin Rouge! The Musical" are the only Broadway cast albums entered for album of the year.

Hadestown, which won eight Tony Awards in June, including best musical, is almost certain to pick up a Grammy nomination for best musical theater album. The last two Tony winners for best musical, The Band's Visit (2018) and Dear Evan Hansen (2017), both won in this category.

Anaïs Mitchell was both the composer and lyricist on all the Hadestown songs. The show was based on her 2010 studio album of the same name, which was entered in the Grammy process for best contemporary folk album (though it wasn't nominated in that category). Because many of the songs on the 40-track Broadway cast recording first appeared on that 2010 album, Mitchell is not in line to receive a nomination as the composer of the score.

The cast album from Moulin Rouge! The Musical, which will compete in next year's Tony Awards, is also a strong candidate for a Grammy nom. The musical is based on the Oscar-winning 2001 film of the same name, which was directed by Baz Luhrmann. The film soundtrack received a Grammy nom for best compilation soundtrack for a motion picture, television or other visual media.

Moulin Rouge! The Musical opened July 25. If it were to win, it would be the first cast album to win a Grammy before its show had a chance to compete at the Tonys since Hamilton three years ago.

Hadestown and Moulin Rouge! The Musical are the only Broadway cast albums entered for album of the year.

The other 2019 Tony nominees for best musical are also prime Grammy candidates. They are:  Ain't Too Proud: The Life and Times of The Temptations, Beetlejuice (Eddie Perfect, composer and lyricist), The Prom: A New Musical (Chad Beguelin & Matthew Sklar) and Tootsie (David Yasbek)

While Hadestown and Moulin Rouge! The Musical are formidable front-runners, Ain't Too Proud, the story of Motown's top male group, The Temptations, could stage an upset. Dreamgirls, a fictionalized account of the story of Motown's top female group, The Supremes, won in this category in 1982.

Rodgers & Hammerstein's Oklahoma!, which won a Tony for best revival of a musical, is also a prime candidate. The show featured Ali Stroker, who made history as the first actor who uses a wheelchair to win a Tony.

Cole Porter's Kiss Me Kate!, which was the other nominee for best revival of a musical, is also in the running. Other cast albums from revivals that are on the entry list include Lerner & Loewe's Brigadoon and two Stephen Sondheim classics, Company and Follies. The cast album from the original Broadway production of Company won in this category in 1970.

The last cast album from a revival of a musical to win in this category was The Color Purple (2016).

The cast album from Be More Chill (Joe Iconis) is also entered. The show was both a critical and commercial hit.

The cast album from Rent Live, which was televised on Fox on Jan. 27, also has a good shot at a nomination. The special was nominated for an Emmy for outstanding variety special (live). Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert, which won an Emmy in that category in 2018, went on to receive a Grammy nom in this category last year.

The cast album from the original 1996 Broadway production of Rent was nominated in this category but lost to the less historic Riverdance. Jonathan Larson, the creator of Rent, is also represented on this year's entry list with The Jonathan Larson Project, which features music from various Larson projects. Larson died in 1996 on the morning of Rent's first preview performance off Broadway.

Cast albums from three other musicals that are based on the lives of famous pop stars are eligible here. They are The Cher Show, Tina: The Tina Turner Musical and Head Over Heels, which features songs by The Go-Go's.

Other cast albums written by composers and/or lyricists who are well-known to Grammy voters include Alice by Heart (Duncan Sheik, Steven Sater), All About Eve (PJ Harvey) and The Music of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child—In Four Contemporary Suites (Imogen Heap).

A total of 52 cast albums are entered this year, up from 42 last year.

2020 Grammy Awards


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