Forty-eight years ago, Diana Ross was nominated in the same category for her portrayal of Holiday in Lady Sings the Blues. Holiday is the first entertainer to be the subject of two Oscar-nominated performances.
This is the third consecutive year that a portrayal of a music icon has received an Oscar nomination. Rami Malek won best actor two years ago for playing Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody. Renée Zellweger won best actress last year for her performance as Judy Garland in Judy.
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross have two nominations for best original score -- Mank and Soul. They collaborated on the latter film with Jon Batiste. Reznor & Ross are the first composer or composing team with two nominated scores in the same year since Alexandre Desplat had double nominees six years ago. The French composer won for The Grand Budapest Hotel and was also nominated for The Imitation Game. (Desplat narrowly missed out on a nod this year for his score to The Midnight Sky.)
Diane Warren and John Legend each had two songs on Oscar's shortlist of 15 finalists for best original song. One of Warren's songs made it, but both of Legend's fell short. Warren landed her 12th Oscar nomination in the category for "Io Sì (Seen)" from The Life Ahead. She is only the ninth songwriter in Oscar history to amass 12 or more nominations for best original song. (She has yet to win.) "Io Sì (Seen)" is the first song heard in the film in a language other than English to be nominated since "Loin De Paname" from Paris 36 in 2009. Warren wrote the music and lyric for "Io Sì (Seen)." Laura Pausini wrote the Italian lyrics and also sings the song in the film.
H.E.R., D'Mile (Dernst Emile II) and Tiara Thomas are nominated for best original song for "Fight for You" from Judas and the Black Messiah. The songwriting team won a Grammy for song of the year last night for “I Can’t Breathe.” They are the first songwriters in 35 years to achieve this feat.
James Newton Howard received his seventh nomination in a scoring category for News of the World. Howard has yet to win an Oscar.
Terence Blanchard received his second nod in three years for Da 5 Bloods. He was nominated two years ago for his score to another Spike Lee film, BlacKkKlansman. Blanchard is the second Black composer, following Quincy Jones, to receive two best original score nominations. (Jones received a third Oscar nod for best adaptation score for his work on 1978's The Wiz).
Also, with Blanchard and Batiste both nominated, this marks the first time in Oscar history that two films scored by Black composers have been nominated in scoring categories in the same year.
Here are the five nominees in each of the two music categories, followed, in each case, by key shortlisted contenders that fell short.
Best Original Song
“Fight For You”
Judas and the Black Messiah (Warner Bros)
Music by H.E.R. and Dernst Emile II; Lyric by H.E.R. and Tiara Thomas
“Hear My Voice”
The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Netflix)
Music by Daniel Pemberton; Lyric by Daniel Pemberton and Celeste
Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga (Netflix)
Music and lyric by Savan Kotecha, Fat Max Gsus and Rickard Göransson
“Io Sì (Seen)”
The Life Ahead (La Vita Davanti a Se) (Netflix)
Music by Diane Warren; Lyric by Diane Warren and Laura Pausini
One Night in Miami... (Amazon Studios)
Music and lyric by Leslie Odom, Jr. and Sam Ashworth
These five songs were selected by the Academy’s 376-member music branch from 15 shortlisted songs in the category. All Oscar voting members will vote to determine the winners, which will be announced on April 25.
Key shortlisted songs that fell short:
Janelle “Django Jane” Monáe, Nathaniel Irvin III & George “George 2.0.” A. Peters II
All In: The Fight for Democracy (Amazon Studios)
“See What You’ve Done”
Mary J. Blige, Nova Wav & DJ Camper
Belly of the Beast (Independent Lens)
Sacha Baron Cohen, Anthony Hines & Erran Baron Cohen
Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (Amazon Studios)
John Legend, Nasri Atweh, Benjamin Hudson McIldowie & Greg Wells
Giving Voice (Netflix)
“Loyal Brave True”
Jamie Hartman, Harry Gregson-Williams, Rosi Golan & Billy Crabtree
Best Original Score
Da 5 Bloods (Netflix)
Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross
News of the World (Universal)
James Newton Howard
Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross and Jon Batiste
These five scores were selected by the Academy’s 376-member music branch from 136 scores that were eligible in the category. All Oscar voting members will vote to determine the winners.
Key shortlisted scores that fell short:
The Midnight Sky (Netflix)
Tenet (Warner Bros.)
The Little Things (HBO Max/Warner Bros.)
The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Netflix)
Oscars Delayed Until April 2021 | THR News